Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Confidential BC cabinet document show partisan approach to $19 million pre-election government advertising campaign, links to party

Confidential BC cabinet document linking BC Liberal Party to government

Bill Tieleman’s 24 Hours Column


Tuesday March 10, 2009
Libs get message out at all costs

By BILL TIELEMAN


I can tell you this: We are going to end government feel-good advertising. People don't want to see us use their money for that.

- Gordon Campbell, November 2000

Confidential B.C. government documents show that "key messages" for $19 million in provincial advertising run before the May 2005 election included highly partisan attacks on the opposition New Democratic Party.

And another newly released document outlines government communications plans to "maximize convention attendance and membership renewals" for the B.C. Liberal Party.

Details of the taxpayer-funded "Best Place On Earth" ad campaign were attached to a document titled "Advertising - Key Messages" that directly references the "NDP" three times and complains about the media not communicating government messages.

"We know that under the NDP thousands of skilled workers moved away from the province. This current campaign is one of the steps we're taking to attract and retain workers ..." the memo states.

"It may come as a surprise, but we cannot always rely on the press to communicate factual information," it says.

Another document titled "Communications Structure" and marked "Confidential Advice to Cabinet" includes a chart showing a circle with arrows between the words: "Government - Caucus - Media - Public - Party".

The undated briefing document is ostensibly about the "New Relationship" government initiative with First Nations that began in 2005.

But it also includes a line reading: "Party to develop summer program aimed at using ministers, political staff to maximize convention attendance and membership renewals" and a page titled "Defining the Opposition" with explicit attacks on the NDP.

The 2004-05 advertising - which went $7.5 million over budget - included a $3.1-million "Best Place to Work" ad buy and "creative and production services" costs of $737,811 paid to TBWA agency to develop television and other ads.

A "Best Place On Earth" tourism campaign included an ad buy of $3.4 million, "creative and production services" costs of $939,149 paid to Cossette Communications and $47,931 to Cheadle Photography.

NDP MLA Leonard Krog - who obtained the documents through a B.C. Supreme Court order - said the blatantly partisan approach is an "arrogant" expenditure of taxpayer dollars.

"These documents show the government spent millions and millions of dollars on spin doctoring in an effort to mislead the public with their own money," Krog said in an interview. "They speak to hiding partisan B.C. Liberal advertising in a government budget, to get the Liberal Party message out at taxpayer expense."

They are part of 8,000 pages of confidential government documents related to the 2003 B.C. Legislature Raid and the B.C. Rail corruption trial of former B.C. Liberal aides David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi and were obtained by defence lawyers through Freedom Of Information requests.

The full documents are online at:



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16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bill, here is a problem that the Liberals are facing. Fewer and fewer people are watching these TV adds. The new media - blogs, pod casts, etc.- are trampling the established old school media and those who advertise in them.

Example: At one time I uses to listen to 'NW all the time, now only 1 hour at the most and never if I don't like what is on.

At one time I used to subscribe to the Sun, now I feel the paper is terribly biased against the NDP, I do not buy it any more.

Now, I read at least 7 blogs (&comments)every day; yours, David Berners, Stephen Rees, Bula's, Rail for the Valley, Schreck's, the hook, the Straight and others.

As the old media collapses in a heap of obsolescence, the new media makes getting the message out harder and more expensive.

That said, $19 million for your media friends is not pocket change but maybe just a legal way to enrich political friends at the expense of the taxpayer.

Gazetteer said...

Anon-Above--

Following Paul Willcock's lead on Binder #3, I've had a go at Binder #8 of the RailGate 8000.

I call it 'The Counselling Of Mayors'.

RossK.

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Anonymous said...

The proof again that these hypocrites are unworthy. Good work, Bill. What we have always known is now exposed.

The ad $$ go to the MSM and they are the "mouthpieces" for a regime that is shown to be of questionable honesty and totally involved in their own self interest.

Sadly, only a determined investigator with a blog makes the case. And people wonder why democracy fails and revolution is needed?

peter kelly said...

Anon (9:54am) is on to something here.
Watching the news of MSM announcing layoffs and cuts is indicative that they have lost touch with reality. The new media; independent media; indivual bloggers, etc are where its at. People like Bill and others are telling how it is; and not the corporate controlled media who have an agenda of their own.

Anonymous said...

The Revolution starts NOW.

BC Mary said...

Good work, Bill.

There was a sharp battle today in the Legislature -- I just posted it to my blog:

http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/

in which the Opposition demands an explanation for almost $300,000. paid to the Liberal Party bagman presumably for his aid in selling BC Rail.

What did Kinsella do for that money? Stonewally wasn't about to answer, even though this Kinsella matter is not before the courts.

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DPL said...

Mike Smythe was worth reading today in The Province. Question period was worth watching as well. StoneWally was doing his thing. If he keeps going, every paper on every court case for the last number of years will be out of bounds as he uses his usual. Before the courts comments.

Anonymous said...

Sean Holman had the numbers nailed down back in 2005 when it came to "Cossette" @ $1,928,820.06 in his column called The Final Tab

Anonymous said...

What seems lost to all of you is that these people will if necessary rig the election to win.

Just like the Bush League in Florida in 2000 or the numerous phony elections held in Soviet occupied eastern Europe between 1945-1989 . . . the BC neo-cons will use dirty tricks, dirty money, media-fear-tactics and manipulation of the courts to once again seize power.

With StoneWally running the courts I doubt if you could find a single honest or unbiased judge in all of BC.

For the Campbell regime . . . "WE ONLY CHEAT WHEN WE CAN'T WIN" is not a casual bit of humour, its their holy spirit.

I do not believe that free and fair elections can exist at this time in BC and therefore other options must be considered.

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

It always amazes me that transparency and honesty in government is no longer a requirement. People will still vote for the most corrupted party ever in BC history.

WTF has happened to our society Bill?

Anonymous said...

9:51, no doubt the 2000 election was rigged. With dead dogs being registered to vote??? Looks like it's up to YOU, to come out of the closet and lead the way!

Kinsella: pimp what you can.man.

Deep Throat said...

Bill:

As you may recall, some time ago on your blog I alluded to the fact that it was my “understanding” that Mr. Kinsella had a corporate client with a direct interest in the BC Rail privatization.

Given the recent revelations regarding Mr. Kinsella’s lucrative contract with BC Rail, I thought that your readers may now like to know that I was then referring specifically to CN.

So the obvious question really is not: What was Mr. Kinsella doing on behalf of BC Rail? Rather, what was Mr. Kinsella doing on behalf of BC Rail AND CN?

Gazetteer said...

DT--

So, Ms. McPhail was not mistaken when she enquired about Mr. K's association with CNR rather than BC Rail in the Ledge in 2003 and the Premier told her to make an FOIA to find out?

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North Van's Grumps said...

What the Libs don't want us to know

Tyee 2006/05/10

Bill 23 would limit truth-finding public inquiries. - By Stanley Tromp Published: May 10, 2006

"[Editor's note: Two sweeping pieces of BC legislation shielding government from public scrutiny are headed for vote any day. Yesterday, Freedom of Information expert Stanley Tromp analyzed Bill 30. This is the second of two parts.]"

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Deep Throat said: from a previous post by BT:

Dirty Tricks by Collins/Basi

In the comment section...... Deep Throat explains....all... sort of...

But its what Vaughn Palmer, the guy who makes politicians nervous, is asking the question of AG Wally Oppal that should really be answered:

Oppal doesn't know if there is a connection between what the NDP researchers have found in the legistlative libraries (having to do with Patrick Kinsella being paid $297,000) but the jurist has assumed that there is a connection. Pity. Open and Transparent.

If the press wants to know if there is a connection its up to the press to do the research, its not for Gordon Campbell to get up from his seat and answer any questions!

If the Premier continues to not answer direct questions with direct answers, this will turn out to be his last term of office.

Stonewally to the fore as NDP pounds Kinsella connection
By Vaughn Palmer, Vancouver Sun March 12, 2009

Anonymous said...

I find it "odd" that Oppal can say it is not his business to find out if any wrong doing was going on when P. Kinsella received $300 000 but he jumps into the Bountiful polygamy case and makes sure it gets before the courts. There seems to be a disconnect with what he perceives to be his responsibility for justice in this province._Astro

Anonymous said...

Recently there was a puff piece on the news about all the money the film industry made last year. Made the gov't look good. Ha! What the reporters failed to ask was "How is the industry doing this year?" My son has worked steadily since 1992 in this field. HE HAS HAD NO WORK THIS YEAR. That's how well the film industry is doing. Watch for more made up news by lackeys dependent on the gov't dole.
Last January there was BIG FANFARE about hotels being bought for the homeless. Why, goodness me, they even bought one from an HA. So, where is this housing now? Anybody seen any of it open?