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NPA spends $1.3 million or so; Vision Vancouver rumoured $1.5

March 10th, 2009 · 9 Comments

That most exciting point in the three-year cycle of any civic reporter approaches, as the deadline for disclosing campaign finance donations for all candidates and parties in the last fall’s election draws nigh. I know that the folks at Beyond Robson will mock me again for beating them repeatedly with long lists of numbers, but I must do it in order that you, the people, know who is paying for your civic government.

And the answer is, once again: Mostly the development industry for the two major parties. Unless Vision Vancouver surprises us on Monday, with the news that the bulk of its money has come from organic carrot farmers, yoga-mat producers, and graphic designers.

VV’s details on its rumoured $1.5 million campaign aren’t in yet — deadline is Monday. Nor are those of the Coalition of Progressive Electors, which has said it spent $300,000 on its campaign. (By the way, that works out to a cost of just under $100,000 per successful candidate for VV and a bargain basement $50,000 per successful candidate for COPE.)

But the Non-Partisan Association filed its disclosure today, as have a few of the candidates, notably Peter Ladner, Kim Capri and Elizabeth Ball. You can look at the documents here, which the city has helpfully — thanks to a motion last May — started providing on the web this year instead of requiring us to down to city hall dressed like Queen Victoria and copy out the numbers with quill pens, as was the previous practice. (Sorry, I just had a beer with dinner and am feeling silly.)

All very helpful, except that the NPA has many documents laid out in such a way that you have to turn your head sideways to read them and keep scrolling back and forth to figure out which development company donated $10,000 and which only donated $2,000. But I quibble.

I can’t quite tell what the total NPA spending was, because they file for the party and for candidates but the candidates give money to the party, though not everything they raise and so on. But it appears that the party raised just over $1 million, Peter got brought in $200,000 after paying his money to the party, Suzanne about $70,000 in total but she gave some to Peter’s campaign and then some to the party, etc., so I’m going to estimate the total was around $1.3 million. The list of the city’s prominent figures in the development industry is fairly complete.

Bob Rennie appears to be the biggest donor, having turned over $35,000 worth of his advertising pages (I presume in the Vancouver Sun) to the party. Developer Rob Macdonald gave at least $12,625; Imperial Parking kicked in $12,500 ($7,500 to the party; $5,000 to Peter); Concord Pacific gave around $12,000, Jimmy Pattison’s company, $10,000; Henderson Developers gave $12,500; the Keg restaurants gave $10,000. There are a couple of newcomers (to me, anyway, it seems) on the scene with big money. The owners Harbour Centre Complex, the Sears tower to oldtimers, gave $10,000. That’s odd, considering that the directors of the company, Rainer Hackert and Carl-Gustav Staelin, are from Missassagua and Germany respectively. Another newcomer donor is David Sidoo, the ex-football player, investment banker and owner of DB Bistro Moderne. Those last two also gave $10,000 apiece.

What does new NPA president Michael Davis make of all this? Well, he’s glad the party’s not in debt. They came out of the debacle with about $3,000. But he’d like to see a limit on donations from unions, developers and businesses. Gee, maybe there could be bipartisan support for this idea at last.

Now we’re waiting to see what Vision will file.

BTW, for those waiting to see what Sam Sullivan and Raymond Louie spent on their failed campaigns to run for mayor — keep waiting. Davis said the current law does not appear to require Sullivan for sure and Louie, maybe, to file. A candidate who runs for a nomination and loses has no requirement to file later, so we will never never find out who Sullivan’s great supporters were. (I should note that he gave $15,000 to the party through donations.) As for whether Louie, who ran for a mayoral nomination and lost but then ran for a council nomination, got it and then was elected, has to file his expenses for the mayoral nomination — that’s not at all clear, says Davis.

I would like to note for the record that I spent a quarter tank of gas, plus the cost of a coffee (with an NPA organizer) and a lunch (with a Vision organizer) on the day of the election.

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Vision governs, the NPA blogs

    What date range does the NPA disclosure cover?

  • fbula

    I can’t quite remember. It’s supposed to be “the election period.” But that can actually mean money raised over the three years and has in past NPA filings.

  • Paul

    This calling people whores has no place in this discussion (this is the second time). Clearly a ban is in order.

  • “….you have to turn your head sideways to read them and keep scrolling back and forth to figure out which development company donated $10,000 and which only donated $2,000. But I quibble.

    Uhhhhhh, no.

    You do not Frances.

    Quibble I mean.

    Because it is unfathomable to me that there is not a requirement to enter these things into a spreadsheet so that they are machine-readable and searchable after they have been uploaded.

    No reason at all.

    Unless, of course, there are still folks who would like to make it hard to do so and/or would like you to dress up like Queen Victoria in the privacy of your own home while you turn your head sideways and scroll up and down trying to figure out who gave what to whom….


  • fbula

    FRANCES SAYS: YESSSS, searchable would be so great. Then I wouldn’t have to go to all the work of hunting for all the different ways that Concord Pacific or Henderson Developments give money. At least one good thing this year — no numbered companies.

  • glissando remmy

    Frances, I don’t mind you editing ALL my postings as you may see fit but to remove my post all together based on Paul’s sensitivity to a word that is actually defined and was intended to be read as “a person considered as having compromised principles for personal gain” I find it a bit drastic more like on the MSM approach.
    I offer my apologies to your reader(s) and I promise to wear a chalice before I even think of posting anything on your blog.
    I’ll try to post it again (nice and clean) and I’ll see if it was a matter of semantics or content.

    There you go again:

    Whaaaaat!? Vision Vancouver and NPA spent how much?
    Developers are what? They are the main bread and butter providers for both parties? Not possible.
    Two parties that are so opposed to each other ideologically, that have bases of support from different sides of the city and that hate each other so much cannot share the same friends. Not possible.
    Wow what a surprise there!
    Betty Krawczyk “the real deal” lady of Vancouver politics said it so nicely few years back, and I quote from memory “ there is no distinction between Vancouver Vision and NPA, they are like Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum” How truthful!
    Memo ONE to myself:
    “It almost takes the same amount of money to win as it takes to lose”
    To the COPE people; don’t kid yourselves in thinking you did well because you spent wisely. Think again. The only thing that allowed you to get good results was in fact the result of you sucking up to Vision. They consequently showed some pity on you and threw you a bone. Now that bone is polished to lustre. You better frame it and canonize it because that’s the only one you are going to get. Some people said that you got an influx of young blood and magnificent strategy; I say that you sold out, that was your strategy. The money spent created the mirage that you won the privilege to sit at the same table with the rest of the adults not noticing that they gave you little chairs, so you’ll get whatever you’ll be able to reach.
    That made you the third identical twin in this disturbing family, the Twiddle Dumb.
    Memo TWO to myself:
    “Don’t board a demonstration plane with a COPE member. He might just sell your parachute for a bag of peanuts and replace it with an ordinary backpack”
    So in conclusion, what do we have now on the municipal scene in terms of politics? Two and a half “men” (not the sitcom although the resemblance is striking) that are aiming for the same “woman”.

    Memo THREE to myself
    Buy that popular bestseller: “NPA, VV and COPE are from Mars, Developers are from Venus”
    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

  • fbula

    Glissando — Sorry, one of my problems seems to be that I don’t have the ability to edit comments. I either have to accept everything or nothing. I’m looking around to see if I’ve missed some function on the site that allows me to do that, but haven’t found it yet.

  • Paul

    Do you want to get into the habit of editing people’s comments or perhaps just not approving comments with slurs and inappropriate language.

    While I think GR’s comments are valuable, I do believe that GR knows when the line between decency and dialogue is crossed and perhaps should be more respectful of this forum in future.

    Yours in sensitivity and sensibility,

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