Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lots more questions need answers in BC's latest political scandal case - the Kash Heed election campaign investigation

Seven Big Questions for Kash Heed Election Campaign Case

Citizens will be looking for answers from the continuing investigation

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday May 11, 2010

By Bill Tieleman

"There is a cloud over the report."

- B.C. Attorney General Mike de Jong

While much national laughter has been rightly directed at the sight of a hapless Premier Gordon Campbell popping ex-Solicitor General Kash Heed out and in and out of cabinet like a clock cuckoo, serious questions remain unanswered about allegations of political fraud.

The strange tale of Chief Kash and Mr. Heed is far from a cold case, with even the legitimacy of the MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview's election in doubt.

The appointment Friday of veteran lawyer Peter Wilson as the new Special Prosecutor to replace Terry Robertson, the man who "cleared" Heed of any possible involvement in political dirty tricks that resulted in both criminal and Election Act
charges against B.C. Liberal Party campaign officials is just a start.

Robertson resigned as Special Prosecutor shortly after giving Heed a glowing all-clear while recommending that his campaign manager Barinder Sall, financial agent Satpal Johl and supporter and mailing house owner Dinesh Khanna be charged with multiple alleged offences.

Sall and Khanna both face Criminal Code obstruction of justice charges and all three are charged with Election Act violations for their parts in allegedly distributing a vicious and untrue anti-New Democratic Party flyer aimed at the riding's substantial Chinese-Canadian community that was both unauthorized and not included in Heed's campaign financing.

The result could be not only jail time and fines, but Heed losing his seat and a by-election ordered, regardless of Heed's repeated statements that he neither knew of nor was at all involved in the Chinese-language mailer.

If it is found that the flyer was indeed sent by the campaign and the cost pushes campaign spending over the legal limit, Heed's election could be
tossed out.

Much more to learn

But as troubling a situation as it already is, there's much more to learn as a police investigation continues.

Here are some of the questions that need to get answered.

1. Mailings mystery. The same flyer was mailed into two other ridings with sizeable numbers of Chinese-Canadian voters -- Vancouver-Kensington and Vancouver-Kingsway. Who was responsible for those mailings and will more charges be laid?

2. Sall's job. Barinder Sall has been described as "campaign manager" for Kash Heed. But did he also have any other roles in the B.C. Liberal election campaign in other east side ridings or centrally?

3. Nailing down numbers. The Heed campaign revised downward its election expenditures report to Elections BC from an original amount of $63,203 to a lower $60,762 -- almost $10,000 below the $70,000 spending limit. Why?

4. Liberal early response. The virulent anti-NDP flyer targeting its Vancouver-Fraserview candidate Gabriel Yiu became a news story in early May 2009, just days before the May 15 election. Did the B.C. Liberal Party take immediate steps to investigate the mailing? What were they?

5. Campbell's steps. When did Premier Gordon Campbell learn of this mailing and what steps did he take to investigate it before the original appointment of Kash Heed as Solicitor General -- B.C.'s top cop?

6. Robertson's OK. Why was Robertson, a known major contributor to Heed's personal campaign, still appointed as Special Prosecutor to investigate alleged electoral fraud by key staff in that campaign?

7. RCMP's response. Why was Robertson able to dismiss direct RCMP questions about his apparent conflict of interest in making a $1,000 donation to Heed's campaign and continue on to "exonerate" Heed?

Once again British Columbia is rocked with allegations of political corruption and once again there are significant mysteries and serious consequences for those involved.

.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

The first question is the most important, especially for those at Liberal Provincial Office.

Anonymous said...

What will the topic of Robertson's punishment essay be?

So many choices.....

Anonymous said...

'serious consequences',
Bill your forgetting where you live.
The police investigate the police.

Sgt.Ward was right was he said 6 years ago that,

'no one will want to come to BC, except for criminals'!

Shane Dyson said...

“Heed's repeated statements that he neither knew of nor was at all involved in the Chinese-language mailer.”

I’ve been involved in almost 30 elections over the years and have held many positions of responsibility around the campaign committee table. I’ve chaired several campaign committees and have on one occasion been a campaign manager. I have never known a candidate not to be aware of a leaflet and its distribution.

I find it inconceivable that Heed was not aware of this leaflet.
Is it possible that both Heed’s campaign manager and financial agent could keep this away from him. Is this a case of plausible deniability?

I doubt it very much.

Anonymous said...

“I am not a political guy. I am not a member of any political party. I’ve never participated in the political process.” - Terrence Robertson


Source:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/political-donations-in-heed-case-a-serious-problem/article1563928/

Whether its municipal, provincial or federal politics and voter turn-out is at an all time low, here we have a lawyer, no different than the average voter (who is not a lawyer) spending a $1,000 even though he's "never participated in the political process".

Hmmmmm. If I had a spare $1,000 it would go towards a new television set, or PVR or HD or

islandcynic said...

Perhaps Kash will volunteer himself to participate in a series of questions while attached to a lie detector.

I mean, if he is so innocent and all.

Anonymous said...

"I’ve been involved in almost 30 elections over the years and have held many positions of responsibility around the campaign committee table. I’ve chaired several campaign committees and have on one occasion been a campaign manager. I have never known a candidate not to be aware of a leaflet and its distribution. "

I've done more campaigning, and have chaired many parts of a campaign.

It is very easy to do a leaflet without the candidate knowing, since all that takes is resources
that are easily available. Anyone who has worked quite a few campaigns the means of pamphlet distribution by mail can do it.

It's easier than Political Science
1st year.

There is a voter's list distributed to the campaigns, and it doesn't take much to copy it for other uses. It doesn't take much to copy data. In fact it was easy to cut open the BC Liberal data system used in two previous elections quite easily, and could be used for all kinds of things.

"I find it inconceivable that Heed was not aware of this leaflet.
Is it possible that both Heed’s campaign manager and financial agent could keep this away from him. Is this a case of plausible deniability? "

Bingo. Rang the bell. That's most likely what happened. There wouldn't be a specific need to use
campaign resources in something like this, (those resources are not exclusive to the campaign, they are not much more than purchased services that anyone can use) the typesetting can easily be done at home making a PDF
to take to a copy shop to print.

Then use the accused mail processing company to do the distribution, as a "favour" so what
he does is do the processing.

"I doubt it very much."

Need to think a little deeper.

It was a very stupid thing to do,
but doing it outside of the campaign and its resources isn't all that difficult.

What it does and will come down to is the honesty and integrity of the Campaign Manager, who doesn't any of either right now.

Anonymous said...

Bill..Bill... Bill... tsk tsk tsk.

"1. Mailings mystery. The same flyer was mailed into two other ridings with sizeable numbers of Chinese-Canadian voters -- Vancouver-Kensington and Vancouver-Kingsway. Who was responsible for those mailings and will more charges be laid?"

Think hard on this one. My guess is that it was Acused No. 1. What other charges could be laid?

"2. Sall's job. Barinder Sall has been described as "campaign manager" for Kash Heed. But did he also have any other roles in the B.C. Liberal election campaign in other east side ridings or centrally?"

Probably. Worth checking the only other roles he could have been involved with is a Field Organizer,
but that's a seperate role, and one can't be a Campaign manager and a Field Organizer at the same time. He could have been out in other ridings "helping". There's nothing preventing a person from doing a dumb thing like that.

"3. Nailing down numbers. The Heed campaign revised downward its election expenditures report to Elections BC from an original amount of $63,203 to a lower $60,762 -- almost $10,000 below the $70,000 spending limit. Why?"

No need to spend the $70,000 entirely so the $10,000 is a bit of a moot point. What is interesting is the $2441. What was
erased that was valued at $2,441?

"4. Liberal early response. The virulent anti-NDP flyer targeting its Vancouver-Fraserview candidate Gabriel Yiu became a news story in early May 2009, just days before the May 15 election. Did the B.C. Liberal Party take immediate steps to investigate the mailing? What were they?"

Probably none since the campaign by then was moving into Election Day mode, with the usual bumpf and
rallies. Wondered why the NDP didn't stomp on it. But there's also the timing. By the time the NDP and Yiu saw the pamphlet it was
too late to stop all of them from being delivered.

A very stupid move on Accused No. 1's part, but he'll probably get some kind of political goodie once all of this is over, and he's found not guilty. I'd bet to see him wash up on the federal Liberal
beach in time to "help" the federal Liberals in the next federal election.

Could also return to some "help" role within the BC Liberals. They have brought in some really stupid
thinking people in the past, and will do so again, because for some reason.

Anonymous said...

#1 Mailing mystery isn't so great when you consider the fact that the Canada Postal Code for the three ridings overlap. The Mailout was a mass mail out based solely on postal codes within Vancouver-Fraserview.

#2 Barinder Sall duties probably revolved around not only his job for Kash Heed but also of where he lived and worked (in his normal work day)

#3 Nailing down numbers isn't something that was only done by Kash Heed's Financial Agent, MOST candidates put in an Amendment, just check out the BC Disclosure Statements.

#4 Did the BC Liberals check out the flyers once they were informed. Noooooo! They rubbed their collective hands together and yelled out YES! We'll form the next government.

#5 http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Heed+quits+post+again+seat+risk/2993018/story.html
Jan. 12, 2010: Vancouver lawyer Terrence Robertson appointed special prosecutor to oversee an RCMP investigation into Heed's finances. The investigation is secret.

Sometime in March Heed tells Premier of visit from RCMP.... on behalf of Special Prosecutor AND RCMP tells SP that he is perceived to by in a conflict of interest position....nO, No, no says he... thereby delaying the time by which he removes himself and shortens the time that the charges have to be found and laid before May 11th.



- April 9: Heed resigns cabinet post after learning about special prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

"#1 Mailing mystery isn't so great when you consider the fact that the Canada Postal Code for the three ridings overlap. The Mailout was a mass mail out based solely on postal codes within Vancouver-Fraserview."

Mailings are based on Postal Walks
which are subsets of Post Codes. Bulk mail users select Postal Walks
for their particular riding. Some overlap neighbouring ridings, others don't. Depends on how far into the neighbouring ridings the leaflets went into. Not exactly
Physics 2nd year.

"#2 Barinder Sall duties probably revolved around not only his job for Kash Heed but also of where he lived and worked (in his normal work day)"

Most likely no.

"#3 Nailing down numbers isn't something that was only done by Kash Heed's Financial Agent, MOST candidates put in an Amendment, just check out the BC Disclosure Statements."

Quite common, but unusual to have
a reported amount reduced, and one entry erased from the amendment. Usually spending items are added
because the accounting close out
might occur after the first (required) reporting was due in.

"#4 Did the BC Liberals check out the flyers once they were informed. Noooooo! They rubbed their collective hands together and yelled out YES! We'll form the next government."

Stupid statement. Time to move on.

not the media mafia said...

And I wonder who paid for all the DeElect Emerson "campaign" material?

Of course, that was done outside of the 'election window' and is not the subject of an investigation. But it did cause Emerson to step down and led to the eventual election of an NDP member.

Just sayin'!

p.s. - I think Heed has done the honourable thing by resigning from cabinet. Too bad his boss refuses to do the same!

Anonymous said...

"And I wonder who paid for all the DeElect Emerson "campaign" material?"

Who cares?

"Of course, that was done outside of the 'election window' and is not the subject of an investigation. But it did cause Emerson to step down and led to the eventual election of an NDP member."

Actually it did not. Emmerson didn't need to continue on, since
he has the opportunity to go on
to other things.

"Just sayin'!"

Stupid phrase -- you already did.

"p.s. - I think Heed has done the honourable thing by resigning from cabinet. Too bad his boss refuses to do the same!"

Well good luck in getting that to happen. Campbell has no requirement
to resign since he did not violate
any election laws. Might be good for him to end his leadership, but
he won't and watch the BC Liberals
get defeated, and an NDP goverment
replacing it.

Only thing remains after all of this is the HST.

Anonymous said...

How many more scandals, will the BC Liberal party be involved in? They are just like the RCMP, who never do anything wrong either. Campbell and Hansen, committed fraud, so Campbell would be re-elected. There are no laws of decency, and certainly, no ethics, in the BC Liberals. They ignore the Canadian Constitution. Civil Rights and Liberties, are not found in BC. Democracy and Freedom, are, null and void. The BC Liberals, are lawless.

Anonymous said...

How many more scandals, will the BC Liberal party be involved in? They are just like the RCMP, who never do anything wrong either. Campbell and Hansen, committed fraud, so Campbell would be re-elected. There are no laws of decency, and certainly, no ethics, in the BC Liberals. They ignore the Canadian Constitution. Civil Rights and Liberties, are not found in BC. Democracy and Freedom, are, null and void. The BC Liberals, are lawless.

Anonymous said...

"How many more scandals, will the BC Liberal party be involved in? They are just like the RCMP, who never do anything wrong either."

The NDP can be said to be the same
when they were in power. Rmemeber,
they went through 4 Premiers in 10 years.

"Campbell and Hansen, committed fraud, so Campbell would be re-elected. There are no laws of decency, and certainly, no ethics, in the BC Liberals. They ignore the Canadian Constitution. Civil Rights and Liberties, are not found in BC. Democracy and Freedom, are, null and void. The BC Liberals, are lawless."

A bit over the top. Exactly howdid they ignore the Canadian Constitution?? Civil Rights and Liberties? Way over the top.

Anonymous said...

May 12th and Kash Heed has not had the integrity to do the right thing and resign as MLA.

We're waiting.....

Anonymous said...

"May 12th and Kash Heed has not had the integrity to do the right thing and resign as MLA.

We're waiting....."

Might as well turn around and head back home. Going to be very long time before you see that boat sail off.

cosmicsync said...

Anonymous 11:04 said:

"The NDP can be said to be the same
when they were in power. Rmemeber,
they went through 4 Premiers in 10 years."

Is that right, Anonymous? So what's your point?

Mike Harcourt resigned over something that had absolutely nothing to do with him, because he felt it was the honorable thing to do. What a radical concept! Doing the honorable thing. I know it's completely beyond comprehension for a supporter of the BC Liberals.

Glen Clark also resigned when questions of a conflict came up. Some would say he waited too long; others would say the raid on his house (conveniently captured by a BCTV camera crew) was politically motivated by people within the RCMP who had ties to the BC Liberal party. Since he was eventually acquitted of all criminal charges, it's kind of a moot point.

Dan Miller was an interim premiere, and chose to not put his name forward to take the permanent position.

Udal Dosanjh became premier, and lost the 2001 election over fast ferries (which pale in comparison to the cost overruns on the convention center).

So there's your four NDP premiers in 10 years.

Of course, Gordon Campbell (much like Vander Zalm before him) had too much important work to do to resign over a silly little DUI charge.

And when he ripped up contracts with health care workers, which cost us taxpayers a pretty penny and made us a laughing stock to the rest of the country, that didn't bother him too enough to quit either.

Nor did having the legislature raided over the sale of BC Rail (another broken promise), which enabled him to finally table a balanced budget (has the great economic manager ever "managed" that feat without breaking an election promise)?

So I don't think you have to worry about Campbell doing the right thing and resigning. He has shown he lacks the integrity to do anything other than serve his own interests, and those of his well connected cronies.

Anonymous said...

2 provincial Liberal + 1 federal Liberal =
3 disaster stories

1 - BC Liberal minister failed to comply with law: Documents must be turned over to children's watchdog

2 - Chief Electoral Officer rejects BC Liberal government complaint over anti-HST campaign

3 - The federal Liberals have sabotaged Parliament

Anonymous said...

Bill, after the Liberals completely ignore the electorate after the HST petition is delivered, then we need to implement a complete shut down of the province. Not just one or two days mind you, indefinitely. That is the only thing that will work.

Shut down BC!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:33 PM posted "2 provincial Liberal + 1 federal Liberal = 3 disaster stories"

I figure the federal Conservatives must have some deal with the so called "provincial Liberals" for them to keep on using the name in order to discredit the federal Liberals as much as possible.

Not that the federal Liberals need much help.

Anonymous said...

"Mike Harcourt resigned over something that had absolutely nothing to do with him, because he felt it was the honorable thing to do. What a radical concept! Doing the honorable thing. I know it's completely beyond comprehension for a supporter of the BC Liberals."

It's also beyond comprehension that the reason for Harcourt's resignation was more to do with what happened within his party, not him personally. But will give
Harcourt a half point on that one.

"Glen Clark also resigned when questions of a conflict came up. Some would say he waited too long; others would say the raid on his house (conveniently captured by a BCTV camera crew) was politically motivated by people within the RCMP who had ties to the BC Liberal party."

Should never got the deck done in the first place.


"Since he was eventually acquitted of all criminal charges, it's kind of a moot point."

Not really, he was the instigator of the fudgit-budget and also that
nutty idea of building aluminium
ferries.

"Dan Miller was an interim premiere, and chose to not put his name forward to take the permanent position."

True. A fill-in while Bill here and the others were busy working the leadership convention.

"Udal Dosanjh became premier, and lost the 2001 election over fast ferries (which pale in comparison to the cost overruns on the convention center)."

Not a comparison since the additional costs of the convention centre were attributed to increased costs in materials, which
spiked during the construction. There were many private projects
going on that were faced with the same situation. ALso, the Convention Centre is bringing in
economic activity with the large
conventions. The ferries never did
bring any additional economic activity.

"So there's your four NDP premiers in 10 years."

Still shows instability in leadership. The NDP was better off
with Dave Barrett.

"Of course, Gordon Campbell (much like Vander Zalm before him) had too much important work to do to resign over a silly little DUI charge."

VanderZalm was never charged with any DUI. Campbell's DUI occured
in 2003. The next election following was in 2005. If that DUI
was such a concern to people like the previous poster, the citizens could have easily voted him out,
but they didn't. Campbell won the
next election after that in 2009,
and once again could have easily voted him out. But didn't.

Two easy to handle chances to vote the BC Liberals out, and the NDP
in. What does that tell you?