Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Will Bill Bennett demand Martyn Brown be fired?

Bill Bennett, not the former Social Credit Premier but the current BC Liberal Minister of State for Mining, is making a name for himself in the last few days.

That name is "bonehead."

Bennett accused the nefarious BC NDP of planning a campaign of "dirty tricks" against Premoer Gordon Campbell's Conversation on Health and that they would be advised by "American strategists" who might be "Democrats or Republicans".

Yikes! but the only problem is that Bennett has no evidence. Except this:

Bennett told Province reporter Ian Bailey in today's edition that some New Democrats have been to Washington for seminars, "where they were trying to teach people about how to practise politics in a more effective and negative way."

So I guess Bennett's next step will be to demand Premier Campbell fire his own Chief of Staff Martyn Brown - because Brown has been doing the same thing, as I reported on March 10, 2005 when I was writing for the Georgia Straight.

In a column asking if the BC Liberals were engaged in the controversial political strategy of "push polling" I reported the following:

"And now questions are being raised about the potential involvement of Martyn Brown, chief of staff to Campbell.

U.S. political consultant Cathy Allen said in an interview with the Straight that the controversial Liberal push polling may also be part of a sophisticated new electoral strategy called “micro targeting”, where a variety of techniques are used to focus on specific voters in a riding.

Allen said that when attending the American Association of Political Consultants conference in Washington, D.C., on January 22, she ran into Brown at a session on micro targeting.

Andy Orr, the Liberals’ executive director of communications in the public-affairs bureau, returned a call from the Straight to say that the B.C. Liberal party paid for Brown’s attendance at the conference, but he declined to comment on Brown’s possible involvement in the Liberal push polling. Orr added that Brown would be taking a leave of absence to work on the upcoming election campaign."

So, over to you Premier Campbell - and my advice is that you should fire someone - and it should be Bill Bennett!!

[You can see the whole Straight column at: ]


Budd Campbell said...

As a long time BC resident I am always pleased whenever anyone named Bill Bennett makes a fool of themselves.

But seriously, do we know which American political consultanting companies are presently working for either the BC Liberals or the BC New Democrats?

Paul Willcocks said...

Great, another blog on B.C. politics and public policy. How much can an overwhelmed and bewildered populace endure? Surely my contributions as 'The Voice of Reason' in this polarized province are enough to meet the market demand.
But welcome anyway.
On the Bill Bennett front, I find his allegations baffling. Bennett has consistently struck me as a reasonable man with a good sense of what matters to people in his constituency and a willingness to stand up for their interests. The skid into petty, unsubstantiated mud-slinging is, I hope, a brief aberration.
It's easy to slide into an us-and-them mentality in politics, journalism or life. And I know Bennett feels people in his riding are too critical of the health care system. But given the profound dissatisfaction with the Interior Health Authority's performance in the region, it would be wiser to consider the possibility that the public is right.

off-the-radar said...

always nice to read politcally astute columns (or blogs!). Glad to find you more easily (you were the only reason I ever checked out the Straight).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting up this blog! I don't listen to CKNW and don't receive any of the papers you write in.

Eleanor Gregory said...

Glad to see you online. Always read your columns in 24hrs and appreciate the dilligence with which you pursue your subjects.