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The oppo research on civic-election candidates starts to seep to the surface

October 28th, 2011 · 58 Comments

I predicted weeks ago that we’d be seeing nasty stories surface about various candidates in the Vancouver civic election. I’m sad to see that I was completely right.

No election seems to be complete these days without someone digging up a candidate’s bad report card, stupid Facebook photos, previously unrevealed lawsuit, and the rest.

First out of the box was the revelation of a silly “date matrix” site created by NPA candidate Jason Lamarche from his old Langara College days, where he rated various women on their intelligence and performance in bed. (One of the many stories published/broadcast here.)

Silly, and not surprising, considering some of the less-than-mature tweets Lamarche has been sending out during the campaign. (Slagging one of his critics as a guy who still lived in his parents’ basement was probably the low point to date.)

Vision people claim they had nothing to do with this story emerging but if someone connected with them didn’t leak this to media, I will eat the Gregor Robertson flyer that just arrived in my mailbox last night, which is fairly large and glossy.

Even if they didn’t leak it, they certainly filled up the twitterverse with their outrage over Lamarche’s alleged transgressions, thereby overplaying their hand and leading to some backlash from commentators, who noted that Lamarche’s background didn’t bother them when he was running the campaign for Vision candidate Sarah Blythe in 2008.

It makes me wonder if that might alter the game plan for revealing information about other NPA candidates, some of whom have left a trail through the local courts.

Clearly, it would be nice to establish a narrative of a weak NPA team by having negative stories about more than one candidate. And it’s easy to do, since the NPA team is very green and it doesn’t look as though there was the kind of candidate screening that alerted anyone to these kinds of background problems.

But there’s always the danger of overdoing it.

On the other side, we’ve seen the story about the company that Mayor Robertson founded, Happy Planet, moving to Burnaby also mysteriously emerge this week, as we march towards voting day on Nov. 19.

Funny, the company moved in February and yet the story only comes out now, just in time to supposedly make the point that the mayor’s own company doesn’t believe Vancouver is a good place to do business.

I don’t expect this will be the last little scoop to suddenly make its way to newsrooms in the coming weeks.

I’m still waiting, as I said in earlier blog posts, for negative stuff from inside city hall to possibly fall into the hands of waiting reporters. There are an awful lot of unhappy staff from there, either still working or recently resigned.

Happy democracy, everyone.


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