Tuesday, March 03, 2009

TYEE ARTICLE: Railgate Bombshell: BC Gov't Ethics Scorched by Rail Firms

Angry bidders 'dismayed' by 'unfair' process in $1 billion privatization

View full article and comments here http://thetyee.ca/News/2009/03/03/BCRail/

By Bill Tieleman

Published: March 3, 2009

TheTyee.ca

Two major rail companies who dropped out of bidding on the $1 billion privatization of B.C. Rail angrily accused the BC Liberals of leaking vital secrets to the winning competitor and conducting an "unfair" process.

The allegations are contained in newly-released confidential government documents dating back to the time of the negotiations in 2003.

Canadian Pacific Railroad stated in a letter to Ken Dobell, Premier Gordon Campbell's senior deputy minister, that the "actual value of the bids" in the $1 billion privatization of B.C. Rail in 2003 were known by winning bidder Canadian National and others before the B.C. government made its decision.

And Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway dropped out of its role supporting the bid of OmniTRAX, writing in a letter that it was "extremely dismayed with the handling of the B.C. Rail Transaction.... because of the lack of fairness in which the process has been conducted." That letter was sent to CIBC World Markets managing director Alan Wallace, whose firm handled the B.C. Rail sale for the province.

CPR also dropped out of the bidding before CN was announced as the winner, calling the process "unfair" because it believed the B.C. government had leaked confidential B.C. Rail information to CN, giving that company a clear advantage in preparing its bid.

CN given advantage: CPR

The Nov. 17, 2003, letter from CPR vice-president of strategy and law Marcella Szel to Dobell says that its "market intelligence" showed "that CN was speaking directly to B.C. Rail shippers about their bid, with what we must consider the approval of the [B.C. Rail] Evaluation Committee, since the confidentiality agreement clearly stated no such discussions were to be held without consent."

"This feedback included the marketplace being aware of the actual value of the bids," Szel wrote to Dobell, just eight days before the B.C. government announced the sale of B.C. Rail to CN.

The letters are part of 8,000 pages of documents ordered released by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett last week in response to a court application filed on behalf of New Democratic Party MLA Leonard Krog.

Bennett also ordered that the documents be made available to media and the public for review but not photocopying at the court's Criminal Registry, where I obtained the information, taking notes in longhand for the Tyee and 24 hours newspaper.

[Applications to make photocopies must be decided by Bennett in court, which does not sit until March 9, including serving notice to lawyers for the B.C. government, B.C. Rail, the Special Prosecutor and the defence -- about 10 in total.]

The information was obtained through Freedom Of Information requests by defence counsel acting for David Basi, Bob Virk and Aneal Basi, three former government aides facing corruption charges related to the sale of B.C. Rail.

CPR sent the letter to Dobell three days after a Vancouver Sun story Nov. 14, 2003, speculated CN would be announced as the winning bidder -- a story that CPR says the government leaked.

"...Late on Thursday November 13, when we received an email from the CIBC advising us that they had 'commenced detailed discussions with one of the proponents.' It is now hard to believe that CPR would have been provided such clarification had the government parties in the process not been aware of the planned story in the Vancouver Sun and CIBC had not also been made aware of CPR's knowledge of CN's activities," Szel wrote Dobell.

'Irreparable impacts': Burlington Northern

For its part, BNSF was also furious with both the government and CIBC World Markets.

"We have been advised that the chosen proponent was provided, as early as the first half of October, with information from B.C. Rail including confidential inter-rail division information involving BNSF customers and business flows," reads a Nov. 24, 2003, letter from Peter Rickershauser, Burlington Northern Santa Fe vice president network development, to Allan Wallace, managing director of CIBC World Markets, and copied to senior bureaucrats, including deputy minister of Provincial Revenue Chris Trumpy and B.C. Rail chair John McLernan.

"Disclosure of such information to a competitor of BSNF places BSNF at a distinct competitive disadvantage, with irreparable negative financial impacts to our company and customers," Rickershauser complained.

In an earlier letter to Wallace dated Nov. 18, 2003, Rickershauser blasted CIBC World Markets with both barrels:

"I and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway are extremely dismayed with the handling of the B.C. Rail Transaction, especially in recent weeks as managed by CIBC World Markets. Our dismay arises because of the lack of fairness in which the process has been conducted so far, the apparent favoritism of certain bidders, and the lack of timely information provided to all participants involved in the process," Rickershauser wrote.

"Reports and rumours of CN talking directly with B.C. Rail shippers and communities have been circulating for several weeks in shipper, government and media circles.... In fact, reports from shippers indicate that CN has been discussing what it will or will not do when it is awarded the B.C. Rail concession." Rickershauser concluded.

'Process fundamentally flawed': BNSF

BNSF vented its spleen again in a Nov. 19, 2003 letter to OmniTRAX president Dwight Johnson telling him that it was withdrawing its support for the OmniTRAX bid for B.C. Rail.

"It is with much regret that I inform you that Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company has decided to terminate the support we have provided to OmniTRAX Inc. in its efforts to obtain the B.C. Rail concession," Rickershauser wrote.

"As you know, BNSF has continually been frustrated by the lack of information, processes, and independence and candor of CIBC, as well as confirmed reports from CIBC advising that one of the other proponents has been selected to receive additional information as well as present information on their bid to shippers and others. Based upon these facts, BNSF cannot afford to spend any more time on this futile venture," he wrote, adding that the decision was "not a negative reflection" in any way on OmniTRAX.

"...Recently, however, the facts surrounding the bidding process which have came to light have illustrated that the process is fundamentally flawed because of the lack of credibility and ethics surrounding it," Rickershauser said. "The last straw was recent reports that have illustrated the blatant favoritism shown to one of the bidders (recently announced as a chosen 'proponent'). All of this leaves BNSF with no other option than to withdraw from the process."

Although it was known at the time of the bid announcement that both CPR and OmniTRAX had concerns about the process, the allegation by CPR that CN and others knew the "actual value of the bids" has never before been made public, nor have the letters from BNSF denouncing the government and CIBC World Markets.

The Vancouver Sun obtained some letters from CPR to Premier Gordon Campbell's office through FOI requests in March 2004, forcing the government to admit for the first time that confidential information was leaked to CN.

But Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon said at the time it was "an accident" that had no impact on the fairness of the process.

It's clear from the additional letters now made public that neither CPR nor BNSF believe the leaking was anything but deliberate.

The newly-released documents examined so far also show that CIBC World Markets response to the complaint letters primarily consisted of reminding the former bidders to honour their confidentiality agreements.

Dobell assailed for press report

CPR's Marcella Szel pulls no punches in her Nov. 17, 2003 letter to Ken Dobell, which is presented here in full.

"The story appearing in Friday's Vancouver Sun speculating on the outcome of the BCR sale was no surprise to CPR. Our market intelligence in the weeks prior to the story was that CN was speaking directly to BCR shippers about their bid, with what we must consider the approval of the [B.C. Rail] Evaluation Committee, since the confidentiality agreement clearly stated no such discussions were to be held without consent."

"This feedback included the marketplace being aware of the actual value of the bids. During the time we believe CN was talking to BCR customers, CPR was asked by the designated CIBC process representative if we would extend our bid to accommodate more study of all bids. We agreed to do so."

"There was no indication that one of the bidders would receive preferred access to BCR's shippers or other information on the railway's operation until late on Thursday, November 13, when we received an email from the CIBC advising us that they had 'commenced detailed discussions with one of the proponents.'"

"It is now hard to believe that CPR would have been provided with such clarification had the government parties in the process not been aware of the planned story in the Vancouver Sun and CIBC had not also been made aware of CPR's knowledge of CN's activities."

"This clear breach of general process fairness and a violation of the intent of the specific process established and communicated by the Evaluation Committee."

'CPR at risk of losing existing business'

Szel went on to say that the consequences for CPR are: 1) lack of fairness; 2) that the marketplace was aware of CN's presence and "judged CPR to be naïve and out of the process loop when we stated we were unable to discuss the process or comment on the information that they were conveying due to our obligation to adhere to confidentiality agreements in place; 3) "CPR is at risk of losing existing business or being disadvantaged in attracting new business."

Despite the bitterness of the letter, Szel still offers to "discuss with you how the British Columbia government can re-establish this kind of confidence with the CPR."

It appears unlikely that was easily accomplished, if at all.

.

28 comments:

BC Mary said...

Great work, Bill. I'm glad you got your teeth into this, as it's been bothering me ever since I discovered that "bid rigging" is a criminal act.

I even saved this bit from Hansard where the Leader of the Opposition is asking the Minister of Finance about a certain 3-day "leak":


... Hon. K. Falcon: The time involved would be three days maximum.

One thing I should say — I should correct an earlier comment I made — is that the data that was faxed out would be data that would only have gone to the final partner, so I was incorrect in saying it would have ultimately gone to all of them. It actually would have just gone to the final one, so I wanted to correct that.

J. MacPhail: What does that correction mean? The data that was given to CN never, ever went to the other bidders?

Hon. K. Falcon: Yes.

J. MacPhail: Okay. Let me just get this clear. In September 2003, CIBC World Markets, the analyst, who's the investment banker for British Columbia, says: "Of course CN would be the best company to buy B.C. Rail. They're actually doing the bidding of the taxpayers." They show their hand — that CN would be the best choice. That's September. In October there's a leak of commercial data to CN while the bidding is going on. CN is one of four bidders, and that commercial data is never distributed to the other bidders — and somehow this is a fair process?

How does that work? The minister said this data that was leaked to them should have only gone to the final bidder. Well, the problem is: we were in the middle of a bidding process that had four bidders. How is that fair? ...

Hon. K. Falcon: The other thing I would point out is that in regards to the information, the reason why it wouldn't go to all the parties is because the information is very commercially sensitive — data that you don't want the competitors to have. You don't want them to have access to all of that data. The final negotiating partner you end up with is the partner you would like to have access to that data.

J. MacPhail: I am very pleased with the forthrightness of the Minister of Transportation. He's what we like to call courageous in telling the truth. But let's be very clear. What the minister has just admitted to is that the leak, which we asked about day after day in the Legislature and in question period…. We now know what it is. It's commercially sensitive information of B.C. Rail that should only go, in the final analysis, to the successful bidder — except that CN got it halfway through the bidding process. If that doesn't give you a leg up, what does?

The playing field wasn't levelled after that. The government didn't say: "Oh, my gosh. That's such a big error; we should start all over again." They didn't do anything. They called up CN after they'd had the data for three days, minimum — at least three days, and that's three days from the time it was discovered that this information had been leaked. They've got three days to absorb it and then destroy it, and the other three bidders get nothing.

Madam Chair, I will just refresh the minister's memory. The Minister of Finance of British Columbia commented on the inappropriateness of the CIBC World Markets analyst making the comments that she did about the B.C. Rail deal. It was around the time of the release of the first-quarter report. The story interfered with the release of the first-quarter report.

It was about a CIBC World Markets analyst — I think it was a woman — who made those inappropriate comments, and she was chastised. The company, the investment banker, was chastised by the Minister of Finance of British Columbia, so the admission was delivered by the government that yes indeed, CIBC World Markets did say this about the sale of B.C. Rail. I find it unbelievable, but I'm very happy that the minister has been so courageous in the truth here that this is the story.

When this was discovered Charles River Associates says this: "In the second case, we have been informed that the error was quickly identified." We now know that the government didn't identify the error. It was CIBC World Markets. We now know it was sensitive commercial information that should only ever be given to the final bidder. We know that. Then the report goes on to say, "We have documented statements from the attorneys" — I love that American language, "attorneys" — "involved, verifying that the data were retrieved from or destroyed by those who had access to it," so fill in the blanks there. It would be the lawyers from CN saying: "Oh yeah. We've destroyed it."

The minister said that process took three days — minimum three days — from the time it was identified. Well, whoop-de-do — and it's the fairness adviser's assessment that there was no problem there? You don't think getting commercially sensitive data that didn't go to anyone else didn't help CN in its bid?

.

DPL said...

StoneWally is at it again today. It's before the courts says Wally even though anyone who wants to can go over and read the stuff. The opposition is mixing the state and the judiciary says Wally. Wonder what they were mixing as they shut out some of the bidders when the government decided who was to get the railway. With extra bidders the price would probrably go higher. Do we expect to see King Gordo on the CN board of directors when he leaves his place in the house? Hopefully soon before the complete sale of the province

Anonymous said...

dewy suem and howe

Anonymous said...

I gather I'm not the only one to notice that the Campbellite "fart-catchers" at CanWest/Global media have not even heard of let alone reported on any of this.

If Premiers could appoint Senators, the entire editorial boards and reporters of the Sun, the Province, the Times/Colonist, BCTV and whatever the name of the Billy Bad radio station is, would all be in the Red Chamber and "Honourable".

The GREAT SATAN

p.s. I'm sorry if I left any other deserving Senators from the Beautiful BC Butt-Kissing media out . . . including the Vancouver wing of the Candian Broadcasting CORPSE.

Anonymous said...

YAWN

Why is the government in the railroad business anyways?

Who were the socialists (both from the left and the right) who are the root cause of this problem?

jake from the lake said...

The sole purpose of Bill 42 is to limit 3rd parties from informing the general public on how corrupt this Liberal gov is. The BC rail fiasco is one of the longest cover ups of political corruption in BC and possibly Canada. What's in it for the Campbell bunch personally? When the NDP form the gov in May I hope Carole James puts the fast track on the Basi Virk Basi trial The end of may would be great. This mass corruption coverup by Campbell and his crew has to be uncovered. Remember your ABC"s Anyboby But Campbell

Anonymous said...

The tragedy of this, and Bill, you know this better than anyone, is that NO ONE CARES.

Everyone knows you are a political hack, thats why no one takes you seriously in the journalist community.

If you had an ounce of integrity your hard work might get some play outside your shitty column in 24 hrs. Instead, your just the sweaty fat guy always yelling about BC Rail.

Hey Bill, did you get the memo its the year two thousand and fucking nine? People have other things on their minds.

peter kelly said...

Note to Anon. at (10:03pm)

Yes, voters give a crap about this. If you could flash back to 2001, you would have found that voters were thinking of NDP scandals from the 1980's when they tossed them from office...they'll be thinking of RailGate and the legislature raid when they vote in May.

Anonymous said...

To: ANOM 10:03pm

Your wrong . . . lots of people care, but your kind has been around for decades preaching neo-con dribble from one trailer park or another from Abbotsford to Arkansas.

Characters like you stateside voted for George & Dick in 2000 and in the "Fatherland" in 1932 for the Austrian Corporal.

The GREAT SATAN

Anonymous said...

Neo Con dribble? Do you have any idea what a neo conservative is?

I see idiots throwing this terminology around. In order to be a neo conservative, you have to have studied under philosophy under Leo Strauss or Michael Bloom. Calling anyone in Canada a neo conservative idiotic.

Neo conservatives are an extremely small group of people within the Republican Party in the United States.

Anonymous said...

Bill, I really notice the right wingers on your site stepping it up a notch. Their insults are getting much angrier, and credibility now down to zero.

Way to go boys...keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

A little disgusted with the comments of one your readers. F..this F..that. Sounds like this could be coming from one of the Campbell crew or the CEO at CN rail.The CEO at CN[an american]gets 55 million a year.This is the same co.that is dumping toxic waste into lakes and rivers, in BC Alta and elsewhere in Canada.Have they ever paid for cleanup?
You are doing a great job Bill keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Basically this is glorified sour grapes from unsuccessful bidders. Nothing new in that. If these other bidders really knew what the exact bid amount was they could have submitted something higher. Instead they chose to withdraw and complain. Boo Hoo.

Hopefully there is a much bigger smoking gun in those 8000 pages other than sour grapes and some lame political strategy notes. I think Basi and Virk are taking us all for a ride.

Anonymous said...

Bill T---Thanks Bill,I have been watching the BC legislature and WOW,a picture worth a 1000 words,the BC Liberal MLAs and cabinet look like they are ready to cry!
I guess they must have gotten some more internal polls--Nuraney and the Burnaby Liberal Mlas know they are finished,they are begging for Campbell to throw them a life-line--
The BC Liberals know they are finished,BC Rail is just a little icing,I expect 4 or more Liberal MLAs to resign/not run in may/they know their done!
Falcon got Lambasted on the Sean Leslie show last sunday,Hansen can`t even speak anymore with using words and phrases like, "Our share of some of,the incremental costs of,items that we agreed,would be part of a deal involving the incremantal partial share of the deal we signed with Ottawa"
Yikes,what jibberish is that!

And to you angry little Liberals,just have Campbell state on the record, "we don`t care about BC Rail,nothing to see,BCers have more important things on their minds"

I guess the clowns down at PAB (public affairs bereau) are worried,they have but another 2 months of employment! HAAA-HAAA

Election results may 2009---NDP 55 seats---Independent 1 seat---Liberals 29 seats--Eat that you cry baby Liberals.

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Truthfully, I was going to post a long, detailed account of the shameless hypocrisy with which some obviously Liberal posters have commented, but I gather from the rest of you that you have seen through the mist...

As time passes, the demand should become greater and greater...

The BC Rail debacle aches for a public inquiry like nothing ever has before.

This should be the mantra of every major media outlet in, at least, this province.

But I think it's abundantly obvious that this isn't going to happen.

So, it will be up to the rest of us...

I also love how some posters, again, Lib lickspittles, have attacked Bill as being left wing, and that this simply enables his motivation.

Let me be clear: I am not a left winger, not now, not ever. I have many friends who are, one of whom is Tieleman, and I don't judge them, and certainly, I do not love or respect them any less.

But, I am a right winger, although quite moderate on social issues, and I feel that this information is vital. I am convinced that ON OUR TAX DOLLAR, the trajectory of BC Rail deal went places it should have NEVER traveled to.

I BELIEVE VERY STRONGLY THAT MANY MEMBERS OF THE POLITICAL HIERARCHIES OF BOTH GORDON CAMPBELL AND THEN PRIME MINISTER PAUL MARTIN, ARE FEARFUL THAT THEIR ROLES IN THIS AFFAIR WILL BECOME VERY PUBLIC, IN PAINFUL DETAIL.

Thus, I want you all to understand what a huge service Bill Tieleman has done for the people of this province. He is the only journalist with enough courage and integrity to ask the difficult questions and report the facts, as they relate to this sordid affair and NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY ANYONE'S CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE.

This isn't about right or left, this about right and wrong!

Never in our province's history has there been a series of more potentially devastating accusations by police against any govt officials--period. Yes, the side issues of who did what to whom are tantalizing, but the real issues here are the legal ones. You can't have one without the other.

So I have two questions:

Regardless of what the trial reveals, if Premier Gordon Campbell has nothing to hide or to fear, then why not say that a full and independent public inquiry is certainly on the table at the conclusion of this trial, if his govt is re-elected.

And...

Why has Carole James not committed to the same thing if she is elected Premier?

Cost? Phewy...we are spending 6B on the Owelympics..

No amt of money is too costly to return dignity to the West Annex, integrity to the Legislature and concurrently satisfy the public's right to know.

NRF said...

argumentum ad hominem

Reply to an argument by attacking the presenter, not the argument itself. Used when the responder is incapable of factually disputing an argument. Indicative of weak intellectual capacity.

The shoe fits a few anonymous commenters here.

Gazetteer said...

And the crazy thing about all this?

I find myself agreeing with every single word pounded out by AGT in his comment above.

And given my political leanings that's saying something.

RossK

.

Anonymous said...

Alex, FYI: Carole James called for/ committed to a public inquiry into the BC Rail sale in the 2005 campaign.

According Hansard, the NDP put a motion forward in the legislature back in February of 2006 calling for the same.

DPL said...

Always charming to find some person called Anon, dropping stuff all over the blogger. Lets get real folks, to manage the time to be able to read the stuff released and then take notes, to write articles, it sure is lousy to complain about which side of the political spectrum the messenger is located.

In case some folks don't know, MLA Krog said the whole works will be on the NDP website before the week end so we can all read the stuff and make our own decisions on who is right and who is not. Kind of makes Stone Wally's feeble attempts keep saying it's before the courts etc.

As Alex says, right or left is not the issue, it's who is giving away a lot of the province and are too underhanded to allow other companies to have a fair bit opportunity. A couple of pretty large rail companies were apparently getting shafted, and big companies don't like being treated like dummies.

Question Period is getting pretty interesting. Not many answers but good questions.

I saw on TV this evening that our Soliciter General has racked up quite a record of speeding tickets. Government side pretty quiet , not like when Moe was known to have picked up a few himself. The Liberals went ballistic then. But not now.

Anonymous said...

Great to see all sort of nationalists, paleocons, and isolationists creeping out of the woodwork to break bread with the fake progressive leftists here for an orgy of the nationalists and the socialists.

Reminds me of a terrific pact back in 1939 between the right and the left in Europe - giving credence to the alliance of the national socialists.

Keep up the good work Bill - and lets see some sweaty photos with Socred rightwinger Raif Mair added to your collection.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't this headline news everywhere!!??

The fact that it is not headline news - IS HEADLINE NEWS

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Anon 7:50pm:

Yes, I'm quite aware of Carole's commitment to a public inquiry IN THE LAST ELECTION.

Since then, nothing but vacant messaging and frothy nothingness.

Stand up woman! Stand up and tell us, without any of the political spinmeistering by your (thus far) mostly incompetent spit-bucket carriers, that this is a matter of vital interest to us all. I could give a flying damn what she said in the last election. I think the public needs to know that if she's going to be Premier, that we can expect that she will pursue the truth. WE ARE OWED THIS!

As for Anon 8:51, please pay attn. As someone who almost lost two relatives to the firing squads (that was when they were too tired to shuffle you off to the ovens), I really feel that you should be quite ashamed of what you have written.

I did not crawl out from anywhere, am not an isolationist, and have not banded together with anyone based on their political ideology. I want what I deserve, like every single other person in this province deserves--THE TRUTH.

I do not care about what political pipe someone smokes, although I admit to not having much time or patience with the doctrinaire left (any more than I can bear the soCons)

Madame Justice ELizabeth Bennett said it herself: There is no question that there exists and overwhelming public interest in this matter...the public has a right to know.

The details are very simple: This was a drug case that turned into a corruption case. How did that come about? Who is directly and indirectly involved? What involvement, if any did any govt officials have? In the course of the deal, were there any bribes made, who made them and what does the map of the deal really look like.

Those questions are plenty enough. But they get to the heart of the matter and any other issues will extend from those.

I repeat, based on the new information, if none existed before, there is now an OVERWHELMING necessity for a full, independent and complete public inquiry.

Enough dancing and sparring. Tell the truth. If you have nothing to hide, great, it does not in any way compromise the case, let's hear it.

G West said...

Alex,

Second time in a couple of months I have been forced to say 'well done' in response to something you have written here.

Bravo.

Keep pushing, the truth will out.

In addition, Ms James, please, pay attention.

I understand her party is planning a media briefing on Friday - seems like a good opportunity to announce a commitment to a full public inquiry headed by a commissioner with the legal power to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony.

Keep up the good work Bill.

Anonymous said...

All the debate we generate here disappears when it hits the boundaries of Beautiful Mainstream BC Media and the grossly ineffective leadership of the NDP.

It is fast becoming time that the other legal democratic options start being employed.

The battle for a free press and truly democratic government must be taken to the streets.

The Campbell Regime and its media fellow-travelers are no different than Poland and Romania in the early 1980s and certainly our "Great Helmsman" Campbell would see the People Republic of China as a model on how government and the press should work in harmony with the ruling elites.

The GREAT SATAN

A. G. Tsakumis said...

Thx Garth...yes, you know, when good people get together, their politics comes away and what you're left with is just the goodness.

Perhaps I'm a bit of a dreamer when it comes to this, but I genuinely believe in the goodness of people. And that inherent quality has been disrespected by a very pampered set of politicos and establishment swine (as opposed to some very good people in the same bailiwick).

No one will get me to change my mind: We've been lied to and the truth has been shielded from us.

That's disgusting.

But what I find more disgusting is that so many of my colleagues in the media have some sort of variation of 'Ostrich Syndrome': Being on someone's show or satisfying some editor, who's pals with one of the questioned, is more important. And journalistic integrity goes out the window. I am scorned and dismissed by many of them because I didn't spend twenty years in some smoke filled newsroom, but I would stack up my professional integrity against my critics, any day. I have never shilled for anyone. I've been both critical and supportive of almost every party (except the Greens, for obvious reasons and the federal NDP, who are led by a madman)

I have a whole slew of friends in politics, but when I need to write something negative about them, tey understand that it's nothing personal; I pull no punches--ever.

The rid and subsequent trial are so very significant because it speaks to the fundamental reason you proverbially pull the lever for any candidate: You make a basic emotional connection with the candidate--integirty, honesty, commitment, all play great roles in your decision.

In this case, we have been significantly let down.

At least.

And May is just around the corner.

Gazetteer said...

Alex--

May I humbly suggest that, with respect to a the actions of a good number of your colleagues in the media, you have just described what some have termed 'The Evils of Access'.


RossK


____
As an aside, it's interesting that, despite the trolling (or maybe because of it?), this ultimately turned into a darned fine comment thread.

.

Anonymous said...

You know your dealing with slimeball reporting when AGT comes out and starts defending it.

This blog has become a pow wow of political losers and social rejects from across the country. Keep it up Bill!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:59. Are you saying that wishing to know the truth makes one a political loser and social reject?