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The Tsakuminator goes after Anton and her $5,000-a-plate dinner

January 28th, 2010 · 20 Comments

With some trepidation, I pass along this grenade from Alex Tsakumis re NPA Councillor Suzanne Anton’s planned fundraising dinner.

As you’ll notice, if you can get beyond Alex’s wimpy interview style (joke, Alex), there are some nuggets of information here about the state of the NPA. This whole thing reminds me that the NPA has not held a major fundraiser since the election, which speaks volumes.

I remember that even after the NPA almost got wiped out in 2002, surviving councillors Peter Ladner and Sam Sullivan hosted a relatively successful dinner for the NPA faithful by about this time. It showed the party still had a few hundred followers willing to write cheques and that there was definitely life in the old beast.

(Sorry I forget to actually provide the link earlier on today — thanks as always to Bill Lee for providing invaluable back-up)

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Bill Lee

    1250 words (yawn?) at

    since the link ain’t in Fabula’s text.

  • No really, AGT, don’t hold back. Let ‘er have it.

    If you were a politician in this city, why on earth would you take that phone call?

  • Chris B

    I am not 100% certain that if you phone someone up and ask them inane questins that their responses count as “terrorizing” you.

    And why, if you are so brave and honest Alex, are all of your caustic comments in the sidebar? Why not make them to her face to face?

  • Leanne

    Wow, the anti-Tsak pack on Bula’s blog? What a shock. I honestly thought it was a hilarious piece. Brenton and Chris being Vision apologizers, I have to be honest, this is definitely the place for the lefties. Hey maybe you guys can piss Alex off enough that he concentrates on nothing but Vision. Really cowards never last Chris. Underestimate The Tsakuminator at your peril.

  • JP Ratelle

    Chris, did you even read the post at the link Bill provided? In his opening question and statement to Suzanne he says:

    “So, I hear you’re having a ‘do’ tomorrow night for some hefty money-men, why don’t you just announce you’re running for Mayor? But then the NPA would need be buried without colour-guard or any honours..”

    I’m assuming that you didn’t bother getting past the first sentence before commenting here. Further if you’ve paid attention to anything written by the man for the past 2 years, he’s been highly critical of her, Sam Sullivan and the City Caucus boys when they worked for Sam. If you think Suzanne didn’t know what Alex thought of her prior to his post you’re a fool.

    As for Brenton ‘Visionista’ Walters, you and your friend Jonathon Ross like to slag Alex at any opportunity so its no surprise you’ve opened your yap here.

    For a guy who’s trying desperately to be a “hanger on” with the Vision crowd, it appears you haven’t learnt anything about communications.

    Refusing calls and not speaking to anyone in the press, regardless who it is and whether or not there is obvious tension, is a pretty dumb thing to do for any elected official or anyone who wants to be elected.

    Do you think Gregor is earning points staying out of the public eye because he’s utterly useless at public speaking? Vision isn’t doing him or the party any favours by trotting out others to speak at times normally reserved for the mayor.

    Let’s do a quick rundown of media in this town and which way they swing:

    City Caucus – (Right) but a very confused right. Some days I’m sure they don’t even know themselves which way they swing. Give them time and they’ll destroy the NPA since they got the boot from city hall. It’s the least they could do for their buddy Sam.

    Civic Scene – (Left) Little Jonathon and his rabid defence of anything Vision does, needs a shower to get all that brown out from behind his ears. A little cologne to mask the smell would be good too.

    Frances – Out of respect I’ll leave her out but we all know the answer to this.

    Charlie Smith – (Left) Everyone knows the Straight writer is left of left. I hear he wants the Lenin/Moa statute in his front yard when Richmond’s done with it.

    Allen Garr – (Left) The (un)official communications director for Vision has passed his expiry date and doesn’t seem to know when to hit the pasture. At least Bill Tieleman is transparent in his support of the NDP in his journalism. Garr should fess up and get some credibility back if thats possible.

    Tsakumis – (Center-Right) The guy was intrumental in ousting Sullivan from City Hall once he felt Sam was bad for the city. Now he’s ripping Gregor and Co. a new a**hole for what Vision’s doing wrong. And rightly so.

    Frankly if I take a look at the score sheet, Tsakumis is the only person in this city providing any balance. He certainly doesn’t need me to defend him, but you folks are pathetic.

  • The well-worn political maxim holds that the smaller the stakes, the nastier the fight.

    People, we don’t need confirmation.

  • JP Ratelle


    This political axiom you quote I guess would be confirmed by Carole James’ dismal performances in the last 2 elections.

    Although I’ll need more time to determine how that applies to Visions’ handling of Vancouver politics and how they turn their rabid dogs on anyone who opposes their lunacy.

  • Harry

    JP Rattel are you Alex Tsukamis’s alter ego? You sure have the exact same writing style.

  • Hi Harry:

    Not that my comments on this thread are necessary, but…

    The oldest bullshit move on the planet (well, one of them) is to locate a commentator (or his comments) that you dislike and then try to discredit people who defend him by making the accusation that they are one and the same.

    As you might have read here in the past, I’m against people hiding behind contrived names and wish they would use their own names. I realize, full well, there are “good” reasons for this, but I don’t believe in them.

    With respect to Mr. Rattel, I thank him for his kind words.

    Synchronously, I do not deny anyone the right to trash or appreciate anything I’ve written–ever.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that on this blog I actually received a couple of nice comments.

    Notwithstanding Frances’ continued “compliments”… LOL.

    Judging from the bump of traffic of some 1200 visitors, I gather some people found it an enjoyable read.

    Take care.

  • landlord

    As I recall the NPA has been quite capable of destroying itself without help from outside forces. Think Jennifer Clarke, Sam Sullivan, the knife-in-the-back of Phillip Owen (the most courageous politician in the country), Marty freakin’ Zlotnik and on and on.
    Anybody remember TEAM? Time for a similar organization to put grown-ups back in Council. And to place limits on corporate and union campaign contributions.

  • Refusing calls and not speaking to anyone in the press, regardless who it is and whether or not there is obvious tension, is a pretty dumb thing to do for any elected official or anyone who wants to be elected.
    I would agree in most cases, but does anyone think that Suzanne Anton benefited at all from this? I hardly think so.

    I assume, though, that we may have gotten an equally caustic post from AGT if she refused the interview; a no win situation for her.

  • As for Brenton ‘Visionista’ Walters, you and your friend Jonathon Ross like to slag Alex at any opportunity
    Easy, tiger. Does anyone disagree that AGT was quite aggressive in the interview? That was my only point.

  • Politicians decline interviews all the time, esp. if they know the questions will be hard to answer, or their actions difficult to justify. It doesn’t seem to have much impact on their fortunes.

    Aggressive reporters get to the truth. We need more of them. IMO, it is a bit disappointing when they go for the cheap shot however.

    Bloggers (tend) to take a position and defend it. It leads to online shouting matches that are fun to watch, but aren’t particularly useful in terms of substantive improvements to the public welfare. This blog (Frances’) is a bit different in that she (mostly) uses it as an awareness vehicle for her other work.

  • Gassy Jack’s Ghost

    “it’s like she’s channeling Sarah Palin…even Caribou Barbie’s got better messaging and sharper political smarts…”

    Hahahahaha! Good one Alex!

  • spartikus

    Politicians decline interviews all the time

    And if they’re Tories, all-candidate meetings.

  • Higgins

    Frances, you win the prize for the Best Title for January 2010!

    I don’t know about you but some opinion pieces I’ve seen on Frances’s blog and others are way better than all the printed MSM that’s out there trying helplessly to make a buck.
    In order to complement JP Rapelle comments above, I’m adding my favorite commentators , from MSM, the blogosphere, personal blog or not.
    The most astute writers, the guru’s of critical urban design, political, social and the Big Life in general:

    In alphabetical order!

    1. Alex G Tsakumis – The Vitriolic (in a constructive way)
    2. Glissando Remmy – The Satirist
    3. Lewis N Villegas; Michael Geller; Urbanismo – The Urbanists

    Of course Frances Bula is the queen Bee that allows all the above to bring in the honey for all of us to enjoy. And what a great queen she is!

    As for the others, including myself (City Caucus; Civic Scene; Allen, Bill and Charlie)…good try, thanks for stopping by!

    The Higginsmator, ha, ha…

  • I find it interesting that the lone NPA councillor holds a small, private fundraiser and that creates a controversy.

    Meanwhile, I’ve been told the Mayor’s party isn’t complying with campaign finance laws, failing to report their $250,000 campaign debt properly or who is paying it off for them. But that story is completely ignored by the very same commentators … wouldn’t you like to know who is paying off Vision’s debt?

    By comparison, the NPA is completely debt-free, we’ve just launched a great new website, have a renewed Board of Directors with broad-based election experience and we’re embarking on an aggressive calendar of activities in 2010.

    So if fundraising is any measure of the relative strengths of the two parties as Frances suggests, I’d suggest she do a balancing piece on Vision’s campaign debt, and how that also speaks volumes. As would any information on who is paying it off for them …

  • David

    Is it a “grenade” or just some elementary school drivel from someone less interesting than the colour of concrete. Suzanne is good for the city and as lone opposition she is badly needed to voice other opinions.

  • Leanne

    Please let me again add my voice to those opposed to the anti-Tsak pack that always seem to crawl out from under their rocks when he is mentioned or appears on this blog. I do not agree with everything Alex writes but he is almost always informative, articulate and very entertaining. I think it’s sad when people like Sean Bickerton come here make dumb comments. What great events are you talking about Sean? Your party is dead as a doornail with the people you are supporting. The NPA board have done nothing and are sitting an spinning. Maybe that includes you? I think the most important point for me is that Suzanne has done nothing to distinguish herself from Vision on almost every issue. Her comments on Bill Good’s program this morning were more of the same.

  • Dear Leanne,

    One thing is true – Vision definitely has a more effective PR machine behind them, so I’ll leave the spinning to them.

    But we have been both more active and successful than you are aware, so please allow me to point out just a few examples that might help enlighten you:

    We have stopped an attempt by this council to replace long-promised Creekside Park with a strip of lawn bordered by a new row of condo towers … the city is better off because of that opposition.

    And we continue to call on this council to admit their mistake and reinstate the 2.75 acres of park per 1000 residents required of all new developments, a standard that developers have had to pay dearly to uphold for decades through administrations of all parties, until Vision decided to throw that standard out the window without any community consultation or planning.

    We have stopped this council’s wrong-headed plans to close the McMillan Bloedel Conservatory, thanks as much to spontaneous community outcry as to the outstanding, quiet leadership of NPA Park Board Commissioner Ian Robertson.

    We were successful in standing up for the residents of False Creek North when members of this council attempted to smear them with unfounded accusations, and forced this council to remove the no-rules no-barrier homeless shelter that completely disrupted that neighbourhood without consultation, without any planning and without any provision of the services that would have been necessary to make it work.

    We have opposed censorship of local artists and artworks and have been successful in convincing the city to replace artworks and murals taken down by Vision’s new art police.

    Those are just a few examples, but they make the point that contrary to your portrayal of the NPA, we remain active and effective in influencing the affairs of this city for the better. It’s true we may not get much credit for these initiatives – we’re not as good at spinning things I guess – but we will continue to do so in power or out because we care deeply about making this a better city.