Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Was Moe Sihota being paid $72,000 a year to be NDP President? Who approved it?

According to sources in contact with me tonight, BC NDP President Moe Sihota has been paid for his role to head the party to the tune of between $60,000 and $100,000 a year.

A specific figure of $72,000 a year has been suggested.

Who approved this salary if accurate?

Why was the party president being paid for what has been a volunteer position if so?

Who knows this and who was he reporting to?

Did the party also pay for Sihota to travel to Washington D.C. with NDP leader Carole James to attend a "green jobs" conference?

UPDATE - Thursday October 14

I now have additional independent sources confirming that Moe Sihota is being paid as BC NDP president.

As a former BC NDP executive member for four years in the 1990s and political observer I am sure this is a unique situation.



Anonymous said...

Sleazy Moe back up to his old tricks again. Simpson is right to criticize the likes of Sihota.

peter kelly said...

Good catch Bill. I hope the insiders of the party are watching closely...the NDP is ever so close to being challenged by a new party that actually gives a damn about its grassroots activists and supporters. Be afraid - Ms. James.

Anonymous said...

Moe Sihota should not have been brought back into the party. Big mistake. Carole James should not have fired Bob Simpson. Bob Simpson only said what everyone else was thinking.

Carole James must resign. She is not helping her party or the people of BC.

Politics in BC is disgusting to say the least. There is so much deceit and corruption. The people of this province deserve better.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Bill!

Now please tell us: are you working for the Zalmer; or are you trying to make sure that BC gets another several years of Emperor Gordo?

Anonymous said...

Party membership is waning and so is party fund-raising. So what does Moe do? He sets up a dinner at $300 a plate for LIEberal lobbyists from Enbridge, the fish farming industry et al, which revenue will pay for his salary for the next 2 years.


Anonymous said...

Carole James, screwed up again. However, Campbell, is supporting James, big time. She is pulling a, Campbell tactic. Carole will not step down, to save the party, as Campbell refuses to step down, to save the BC Liberals. It is said, Campbell isn't a Liberal, he works for Harper, hence, Campbell could care less about, the BC Liberal party name. Canada has produced, the worst crop of, governing officials ever known. James is losing voters, by the boat load. I too, will look at the BC First Party. It will be a, terrible chore, to clean up Campbell, Hansen and the BC Liberals mess.

DPL said...

8.37 is not only another anon but his comments are a bit underhand. If an insider slipped Bill the information about Moe getting paid for a previously unpaid job, it was done to ensure it became public. I'm beginning to wonder if Carole and friends are developing their own non government PAB. and if donations are down maybe something will have to stop. sure would like to see more enveloped over the transom as it used to be called prior to blogs and emails.If I am correct, a present NDP MLA used to be party president. Maybe he could shed some light on the perks or non of holding down the job.

cherylb said...

I've asked Provincial Office. Let's see what they have to say. I'm not paying dues to pay Moe a very good salary. I'm paying dues to get us out of debt from 2009 and to prepare for 2013. If my dollars are being used to pay Moe that outrageous amount, I will stop.

Paul said...

Did Moe Sihota also order Carole James to fire Bob Simpson without even informing caucus until after the deed was done because Simpson had the guts to inform Sihota of his views on his "autocratic" leadership?

Bob Simpson: "The more important aspect for me is Moe is a very autocratic leader and has been exercising what I think are rights and privileges and authority that I think fuzz the lines between the caucus and the party and don’t promote more democracy in the party. And I’ve made that known to him."

You'll notice that Bob Simpson didn't call Moe Sihota an autocratic president - He called him an "autocratic leader".

Bob Simpson: "The way that he comes into our caucus meetings and basically tells us how to do our politics as well as how to organize our time and everything else, its a very demeaning approach to things."

Is Carole James hiding under the caucus room desk while Sihota is lording it over the elected NDP MLA's?

Maybe it was Sihota who ordered Carole James to attend a "green jobs" conference.

No one wants Carole James to stay on more than Gordon Campbell.

Anonymous said...

Simple answer to this one.

The NDP's Provincial Council in working with the Treasurer would have approved what most likely is a negotiated contract between The TerMoenator and the NDP.

It's not uncommon, and is jsut an extension of the excessive renumerations paid out for positions that are supposed to be volunteer, but receiptable expenses paid out for campign or party business paid out within set reasonable limitations.

Seems the NDP isn't immune from largesse.

In this instance while the NDP has tried to see everone as being equal for decades, some are more equal than others.

Is Moe a "working British Columbian"?

Grant G said...

Yes it`s true Bill...And it`s better that this comes out now then during the next election writ!

Moe Sihota must leave or the NDP will die on the vine....

Now that you have turned the light on this shame Bill T...

Carole will be turfed and Moe Sihota will go with her and the NDP polling numbers and new members will soar.

Like a SCAB, like a band-aid ...


Ta ta Carole and Moe!

Anonymous said...

Not to distract y'all from issues de'jour...

Lower-income British Columbians are this month receiving a flyer from the provincial government explaining the merits of the harmonized sales tax.

The two-page notice is being included with the province's HST rebate cheques, which are mailed every three months to individuals who make $20,000 per year or less, and families who make less than $25,000.
- Victoria T-C

Party hack said...

That's ridiculous. The party can barely afford to pay staff right now and can only afford to hold face to face meetings once or twice a year and this guy is getting $72,000 a year?

Sihota, who was largely a troublemaker in the 90's and has now swept in after being absent from the scene for a decade, is getting a salary? I was curious about why he showed up, seemingly from nowhere, right before the last convention. Now it's clear that he obviously just needed a job.

And what has he done to deserve his salary? I doubt he organized that fundraiser in the fall. And I don't see him doing even half the work that other party presidents have done for free.

If this is where my pac money is going, I'm furious.

Paul said...

Today's Victoria Times Colonist

James and Campbell political odd couple

OCTOBER 14, 2010


'Campbell privately considers James one of the B.C. Liberal Party's biggest assets.'

'The one factor most Liberals count on as being solidly in their favour is the prospect of James leading the NDP.'

'Mixed with their delight at seeing the enemy camp in crisis is a certain amount of anxiety that it might actually come to something.'

'The Liberals want to see James in trouble. They want to see the NDP wracked with argument and dissension.'

'But they don't actually want to see her gone.'

The Vancouver Sun which has endorsed Gordon Campbell editorially and financially for years doesn't want to see her gone either.

All of a sudden they think that she is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Look at Vaughn Palmer's Vancouver Sun article from last Saturday:

Why NDP should stay with James as leader


"If James were to resign, voluntarily or otherwise, the result would likely be a bitter, divisive contest, followed by the selection of a leader who might very well be no more acceptable to voters (and perhaps less so) than the likable, experienced James."

They Love her, they really, really Love her! lol

How is it possible for anyone to lose to Pinocchio twice in a row?

Anonymous said...

This very public, messy situation concerns me deeply. It is no secret that the NDP has been struggling for years with absolutely dreadful, out-of-touch inner circle leadership. Having known some of the back roomers, I can say with absolute confidence that the silverbacks are destroying this party, tearing it apart - limb, by bloody limb. These are the ilk that have made a mess of everything, everywhere. Their egos, agendas and hubris keeps them in the game to the detriment of new generations of leaders who are what is needed for a progressive movement to continue on. It is time for new blood, new ideas and new people.

I respect Carole James very much. However, there comes a time when a leader must look at the bigger picture and make some hard decisions. Whose tune is Ms. James marching to now? Whoever it is, or if it is her own judgment, it is way off base. After 2 tries, Ms. James is simply unable to capture the confidence of voters on the broad range of issues. Unfair perhaps, but it is reality, which is what is needed right now.

There must be more than a leadership review. It is time for a fair, collegial leadership race within the NDP. If this does not happen, this party is over, since a large majority of voters chose not to vote at all (thus securing the BC Liberals another majority) and NDP members are walking away and taking their money and support with them.

It is put up, or shut up time. BC cannot afford another term of a BC Liberal majority. The damage that has been done is irreparable and our province will bear this forever. It's time for people to stop acting from ego and start thinking about the greater good.

Anonymous said...

Lets get back to work. Clean house.

Anonymous said...

What would a fair salary be?

Henri Paul said...

Anonymous said... 5:21 PM PDT
What would a fair salary be
Three and a half per day....

Anonymous said...

I knew it was bad news when he came back.James and Sihota deserve each other....

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Wonder what else Mighty Moe gets. Usually paid for car is part of the picture or, the party picks up the tab for gas and insurance. Of course he also gets all of his travel expenses reimbursed.

Not all that common. But this shows the NDP is not immune from largesse and porking out.

Anonymous said...

Last night on the conference call with NDP Constituency Presidents, Moe Sihota CONFIRMED that he was being paid $75,000, but he said the money is not coming from party funds, but rather he is paid by labour unions.

Anonymous said...

"Last night on the conference call with NDP Constituency Presidents, Moe Sihota CONFIRMED that he was being paid $75,000, but he said the money is not coming from party funds, but rather he is paid by labour unions."

Probably not true unless he has named them, or it is the BCFed. Either way, that shouldn't happen as it commits the NDP to labour in getting favours. Not all NDPers are union members, just as not all BC Liberal members are those big bad corporate employee hating types.

Also factor in, where exactly was the approval from the union membership to use union funds to pay for something that isn't related to union growth or programmes for its members??

He would be paid out of party money.

There is an audit trail, the key is to find it.

"Follow the money".

DPL said...

slightly off the subject but the CBC news is reporting that MLA McDonald stepped down as caucus chair as he didn't like the way James handled Bob Simpson. wonder who really runs the show?

cherylb said...

I don't believe Sihota is being paid by labour funds. Can he just be honest and tell us where the money is coming from and why a previously volunteer position suddenly has to pay such a hefty salary? Please??? It's not an unreasonable question, considering the shape of our finances.

Paul said...

Macdonald comments on resigning as caucus chair

Dear friends,

This afternoon I released a statement to the media announcing my resignation yesterday as caucus chair. I was elected chair in June of 2009.

The role of caucus chair is to ensure that caucus decisions are made in a principled way, following a proper process.

I have decided that I am no longer able to continue in my role of caucus chair given recent events.

I will continue to focus my energies on representing my constituents as a member of the NDP caucus and on being a strong critic of the current government.

Over the next week, I will be travelling throughout the constituency and we will likely get an opportunity to discuss this situation further.

I have appreciated your support over the years and I thank you again for being given this chance to serve as your MLA.


Norm Macdonald

Reckless said...

This may seem like a silly question but I honestly don't understand. Why is it that overnight everyone seems to know about Moe Sihota being paid as NDP President? I assume that he has been paid for this ever since he became President. Now I don't know enough about the inner workings of political parties but isn't this an elected position on top of formerly being a volunterr position? Who is paying him and why didn't this person (or whoever knew about it) that finally blew the whistle, speak up when the first cheque was cut?

Seems like someone in the NDP wants Moe out of the way and was just waiting for the right scandal to make use of this political chip. So rather than be honest right from the outset, our NDP "friend" has resorted to a shameful political power play. Such integrity the NDP displays.

Some recent comments here:
"Simpson is right to criticize the likes of Sihota."
"Carole James must resign"
"Moe Sihota must leave or the NDP will die on the vine"
" . . . the silverbacks are destroying this party, . . . it is time for new blood, new ideas and new people."
"If this (leadership race within the NDP) does not happen, this party is over"
"Carole James must resign for the good of the party!"
". . . the ONLY way the NDP will win is with a new Leader"
"Carole has got to go for the good of the party!"
"They need to have a leadership review and throw James out if the NDP is serious"
"Carole, resign now!"
"It is time to depose of Carole James. LEADERSHIP CHANGE NOW!"
"The NDP needs a new leader and a new direction"
". . . good news for the many voters who are leaning NDP but who are not going to vote NDP while Carol James is leader"

"Face the NDP and take a stand, internally, and also publicly as to what you want the NDP to do."

"This is the blog where you get the real goods on what the NDP should be doing"

So many voices, so many opinions about how to fix the NDP. Why? The same people can form the same consensus opinion regardless of what they call themselves so what's the difference whether it's as the NDP or as a new party?

If the NDP stood for something specific then there would be some reasoning behind trying to prevent the self-implosion but having wasted $5 attending last year's NDP convention I am aware that the NDP has no position on itself, they have yet to define what it is they stand for. I wasn't planning on going back to watch but if bloodshed can be promised I might check it out as cheap entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Here's Baldrey's weekly column in the Northshore News on the principled stance that Bill's taken against Carole James talking to business:

There is a considerable dose of hypocrisy here. The same New Democrats who gleefully jump into bed with Bill Vander Zalm (whose track record on gay rights, reproductive rights and unions is so much more at odds with NDP values and policies than any tax break for business ever would be) think it's abhorrent to even talk to the business community."

NeoDude said...

Is this the NDP way of handling a Carole James scandal, by having a new Moe Sihota scandal every day? And what is this BS that organizations are limited in their ability to be a part of the Recall campaigns? If a group of people who just happen to all be members of the NDP want to work together on a Recall campaign then they should and are allowed to do so. For it to be labelled as violating the law if they do so AND have the backing of the NDP is just silly. I'm on Moe's side for this one, the only problem I have with the situation is that he is acting like the NDP might be doing something wrong. Everyone knows the NDP or rather the vast majority of people who are members of the NDP, are in full support of Recall campaigns as part of the overall strategy of the anti-HST campaign so JUST SAY SO ALREADY! Make it a part of public record or we might believe that the Liberals aren't the only deceitful party in the province. Besides, what can the Liberals do about it except possibly start an even bigger revolt against themselves?

Anonymous said...

It makes sense that the unions are behind Moe's salary, because the NDP is BROKE. I've heard tales of Moe & Carol making the rounds, going hat in hand to union executives, it makes sense now, or at least it's a distinct possibility. I knew Moe getting back in the mix was going to be bad news.

The big unions can and do get away with shoveling union dues into the gaping maw of the NDP. Members don't get to see the minutes of Executive meetings, what resolutions get passed etc. Annual financial reports show the dollar amounts for "Political Action" committees and the like. Most union members have no idea how much of their dues get poured into the NDP. Some unions are failing to in any way adequately represent their members, or spend funds on them, but the money trail leads to one place.

All I know is, as a business person, not everyone is a big corporation. Small business in BC is a very powerful and important part of the economy and will become increasingly more crucial to BC's economic well-being and sustainability. The old days of "us vs. them" are over. Newsflash - people in business have values, ethics and morals too. And we vote. Any political party that ignores business (SM or L) does so at it's own peril.

I stand by my original statement - the NDP must have a fair, collegial leadership race. It's the only way forward.

jaydee said...

Carole James being the person who brought back big biz Moe must be the one who decided to pay him the big bucks, if not directly, then indirectly, she is still responsible.

There was rarely, if ever, a bill brought forward by Campbell and his mob that James wouldn't sign and all Carole the dictator's party had to toe the line and vote as she directed. Think Bill 17, the huge wage and pension increases, sure Carole ordered everyone to donate some of their winnings to charity for a short while......!

Carole James, without the power, is now a carbon copy of Campbell same as Campbell is a carbon copy of Harper. She has been the worst NDP opposition leader in the history of B.C.

Bob Simpson did the right thing and now she is "still willing to forgive him" if HE apologizes??? James then over-rules Norm McDonald for doing his job which forces him to resign as a consequence. It appears Carole's and Moe's intentions are to get rid of anyone who honestly represents the people who elected them.

It just keeps getting worse. I will never vote NDP again and I have voted CCF and NDP all my life. Now they are just another corrupt right wing party.

I would indeed vote for Bob Simpson and Norm McDonald should they decide, I hope, to form a left wing party and if not, as independents. No more corporate welfare.

Being that Carole and Moe just won't go then any elected NDPer who expects to defeat Campbell must leave this now NDP right wing dictatorship party in order to do so.

The NDP will be in no position to investigate and honestly report all things corrupted since 2001, they are too heavily involved.

The NDP name is forever tainted.

DPL said...

Anon 11:24 writes about big unions shoveling money to the NDP. Maybe some unions but the two I belonged to had it right in the constitution, agreed upon by the members that no union funds go to any political party. If a member like any other citizen supports a particular party, that's up to that person. If a member applied for and took leave of absence from work to work for a party that too was allowed. Unions are democratic groups that represent people from all political parties. James went out of her way to distance herself from unions so I find it odd that someone says she went cap in hand. Mind you the Liberals simply call up business friends and the money flows.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I sure hope none of my union dues, directly or indirectly, was used to pay for Glen Clark's shadow to run the NDP. Not unless my union's membership specifically voted for such an expenditure. Otherwise that 75 large looks like train robbery to me.

On the question of Carol James' leadership: the whole thing sounds like nothing more than another burble from the boiling pot that is the fight between the the NDPs two principal membership factions. The old boys are always trying get back control of the party they once lorded over like Jimmy Hoffa, if only Jimmy Hoffa wore a toque.

I am no fan of James but I do not see anybody, presently representing their party at this time at any level (except maybe for bike lane boy), who would be much, if any, of an improvement.

BC Mary said...

Partisan politics (Me good, You bad) is a mugs' game which doesn't help us resolve the issues which in reality we all face together. We'd be smart to stand together to solve the huge, current BC issues, such as what's gone wrong with the NDP Opposition.

Something has bothered me for a long time ... about the person, Moe Sihota. I had always liked Moe. And so I listened with an open mind when, one day long ago on CBC radio, he explained the event which caused the Law Society to reprimand him.

And I recall that Law Society reprimand as having the signs of a cooked charge ... wherein Moe (as I remember it), explained that he, in his law practice, had been advising an old friend on a financial matter. His old friend knew the file well, as did Moe. Therefore, he did provide his advice twice as required but the 2nd time was verbal not written, hence the charge.

In my view, it sounded like a cooked charge - much like the sundeck charges. In Moe's case, the old friend didn't lay a complaint, it was the Law Society being super-righteous (and yet they have nothing to say -- nothing -- about the BC Rail's Special Prosecutor being improperly appointed!).

The compliant media obligingly drums both NDP "crimes" into our heads -- and it's now commonplace for people (even on this blog) to say as proven fact that Moe was hauled onto the carpet for wrongdoing. The charge seems to have stuck in the public memory. Was Moe Sihota wrong?

Definitely, I do agree that a $72,000. salary is a shocker. Once again, I look at THAT issue and wonder: was he bought, to bring in the block votes? Or is there something else going on here?

And yes, it'd be much better if Moe himself would explain this one, too.

Anonymous said...

no, "Honest" Moe Sihota getting paid for a volunteer position?

Next you're going to tell me the party has backroom plans to support Vander Zalm's recall initiative in secret!