Tuesday, January 15, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Right-wing Group Plans $1 million 'Blanket Coverage' Ad Blitz Against BC NDP

Million dollar campaign supporting BC Liberals helped by federal Liberal lobbyists. 
Jim Shepard of Concerned Citizens for BC
Wazuku Advisory Group's Michael Watson, Brad Zubyk & Steve Kukucha - website photo
Bill Tieleman’s 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday January 15, 2013

By Bill Tieleman

"Christy has not been given a fair shake. She has not been identified as a competent premier." 

-Jim Shepard, Concerned Citizens for B.C.

A political action group formed by a retired corporate leader will soon launch a $1 million "blanket coverage... full multi-media campaign" to attack the BC New Democrats and help re-elect Premier Christy Clark's BC Liberals, according to leaked documents obtained by 24 hours Vancouver and The Tyee.

And Concerned Citizens for B.C. -- created by Jim Shepard, the right-wing former Clark economic advisor and ex-Canfor and Finning International CEO -- is running the campaign with the help of prominent lobbyists with strong ties to the federal and BC Liberal parties.

CC4BC, as it refers to itself, told supporters in a Nov. 30, 2012 email obtained by 24 hours about advertising plans that "the cost of such a bold undertaking is $1 million" and that it is "already to $520,000."
"The positive feedback we get from all quarters indicates we will reach our goal well before year end. That will enable us to come out with a full multi-media campaign early in the New Year," the email sent by Shepard states.
No spending limits or disclosure
Shepard has been a vociferous critic of the NDP, claiming that it introduced "socialism" when in power in the 1990s.
"You know, we lived through socialism in B.C. for 10 years. I know what it looks like and it is not pretty," Shepard said in 2010, adding that he was similarly worried about U.S. President Barack Obama political proclivities.
Shepard's $1 million advertising campaign -- or any other -- isn't subject to any spending limits or financial disclosure so long as it concludes before the provincial election officially begins with the writ being dropped 28 days before the May 14 vote, Elections BC confirmed Friday.
That's because a court decision striking down BC Liberal legislation that attempted to ban pre-election advertising.
Ties to Grits
Wazuku Advisory Groups' Kirsten Avison confirmed in a telephone interview Friday that the firm is doing paid work for CC4BC but had no details on its ad plans and did not call back with additional information as requested or respond to email.
Wazuku's three principals are Mike Watson, Brad Zubyk and Steve Kukucha. Kukucha did not return telephone and email interview requests.
Both Kukucha and Zubyk have strong ties to the federal Liberal Party as well as the B.C. Liberal Party and Clark.
Zubyk was communications director for the federal Liberals in B.C. in the 2008 and 2011 campaigns and Kukucha was senior advisor to former Liberal Environment Minister David Anderson.
Wazuku, Kukucha and Watson are BC Liberal Party donors.
Zubyk was also active in Clark's BC Liberal leadership campaign and has worked for the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association in an expensive anti-NDP campaign before the 2009 election. The ICBA's Philip Hochstein is a vociferous opponent of the NDP and unions in B.C.
Zubyk also testified for the B.C. government in court in support of its earlier legislation restricting election advertising.
Ironically, Zubyk's political career in B.C. started when he was communications coordinator for the NDP caucus under then-Premier Mike Harcourt and he later ran two unsuccessful BC NDP leadership campaigns for ex-MLA Corky Evans.
Zubyk's current lobbying clients include General Electric Canada and the B.C. Maritime Employers Association.
Kukucha, who has previously been active in independent power production, has lobbyist clients that include Ballard Power Systems and Blu Earth Renewables Kukucha has also been a federal lobbyist but currently has no active clients.
Watson is a BC Liberal government appointee on the Pacific Carbon Trust and a national director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
'Oh really?'
But despite the colourful background of CC4BC's top advisors, its biggest problem may actually be founder Shepard. The ex-CEO is an evangelical supporter of Clark and the "free enterprise" cause but he is often short on facts.
In an interview with CKNW radio host Bill Good on Jan. 8, Shepard was definitive on the NDP record -- but wrong.
Good: Fiscal management does not seem to be a high point of this government today... It's not been balancing its budget.
Shepard: They have not done as well as they should have. They only balanced their budget four times out of the last nine attempts.
But if you look at the previous nine years with the NDP, they never had one single balanced budget.
Good: They had two.
Shepard: Oh really? Which ones?
In fact, the NDP left office in 2001 after two balanced budgets.
But despite Shepard's shaky grasp on political and financial reality, he has a $1 million ad campaign ready to launch -- why let any facts get in the way?

UPDATE:  In an ironic twist that must have Shepard and his supporters apoplectic, BC NDP leader Adrian Dix helped open the Toronto Stock Exchange today with Catalyst Paper!  

Apparently NDP "socialism" isn't what it used to be.

See also related story by 24 hours Richard Sussman:  

Negative publicity nothing new to NDP’s Dix



Bernard said...

Honestly I think CC4BC is just what the NDP needed to get people open their wallets as well as give some of their time. I suspect the NDP will get more in donations than CC4BC plans on spending.

$1,000,000 advertising in BC in the lead up to the election is not going to be enough to have any impact if it is the sort fanciful messaging the website seems to be made up of.

Anonymous said...

Isn't going to work. The BC Liberals are damaged so much a "make work" project such as this one just means an ad agency gets paid and the NDP becomes government.

But the NDP wasn't exactly forest industry friendly back in the 1990s when it was needed. Several mills closed and because of the environmentalists protests, one logging division was closed.

Add to that the forest industry pointed to pine beetle trees in Tweedsmuir Park's northern fringes that could be cut down and sold off. But the NDP said no to that one.

Are the NDP socialist? In a way they are as they formally declare themselves to be Democratic Socialists. But the real "socialism" didn't exist in the 1990s. It did exist in the 1970s.

But how is this CC4BC any different really that the mirrored efforts put on by Labour and other groups against the BC Liberals, and earlier Social Credit. Except for the direction, it isn't.

The PR and Ad firms get paid, and a few lucky people get paid to run this joke of a CC4BC, and what tangible value is there out of that $1million? A few extra votes?

Give it a rest.

A website other than buying space from an Internet Service Provider costs nothing if a person knows how to set pages and graphics to it.

I'd rather see that money go into the forest industry for those who want to operate heavy equipment used in forest operations.

Face reality. The NDP becomes government.

Anonymous said...

Stolen from Mike Ball. A revolving door between the highest levels of government and corporate boardrooms and sanctioned by all those groups across all levels of society who don't like 'government spending' and anything esle that they think is 'socialist' -except when they themselves are primary beneficiaries.

Anonymous said...

Mitt Romney spent about a Billion and look where that went. The voters of this province are generally smarter than that, with only a few exceptions.

Anonymous said...

For an example of how well this will work - anyone remember how much Phil Hocstein and his crew spent to convince us the HST was good for us?

DPL said...

They will try and hopefully won't be believed by most folks. But many undecided folks will believe just about anything no matter how far from the truth. The NDP will need to collect far more money than last time to ensure the high spending Liberals are turfed. Its to those guys willing to spend a million benefit to keep the Liberals as they expect and would get much more back in contracts. So don't believe the BC Liberals are a spent force until after the polls close. Contribute or expect to see that slimy group of bottom feeders back after the election

judi sommer said...

You are right about the irony of Mr Dix opening the TSX with the folks at Catalyst. Ms Clark was invited too but declined,unusual in one who loves photo ops and taking credit for things she she had no hand in;the shipbuilding contract from Ottawa comes to mind. As I understand it, there has been a rocky relationship between the premier and Catalyst as the Liberals didn't seem to keen to help the company get back on their feet and the company is in an NDP riding so I guess the jobs firt mantra doesn't apply to this demographic.
As far as this group's plan to saturate the airways with pro-CC ads and attack ads because Ms Clark "hasn't been given a fair shake". What rock has he been living under? Most voters have now twigged to the fact that Ms Clark is her own worst eneny-she makes gaffs-the media simply report on her lack of gravitas. The only ones who will benefit from this doomed campaign will be the pr people and the stations who run the ads.Not a sound business plan by any means.Too late-damage done and no time to reinvent the premier.

Anonymous said...

I thought SeaSpan had the ship building contract. SeaSpan is an American company of, The Washington Marine Group. That's the same outfit, Christy's brother Bruce was involved with, was it not? The Americans, usually bring their own workers with them, as they did for the tear down, of the old Kitimat smelter.

Christy had every opportunity, to clean up some of Campbell's thefts and corruption. However, Christy chose to work for Harper, as Campbell did before her.

We don't forget Campbell's election lies. The BCR was not for sale. The HST wasn't on Campbell's radar either. The HST is really hurting Christy's "family's first" claim. Christy is ignoring all of that. BC still has the highest number of children, living in poverty.

Christy's job plans, aren't for the people of BC. Those jobs are for China. There are already 200 Chinese taking the mining jobs.

Christy has yet again, raised our cost of living. Christy is thieving our tax dollars, for her ridiculous, blatant lies in her ads.

Does BC still have a Legislature building? Or, has Christy sold that too? Ads are extremely expensive.

Anonymous said...

Seaspan does have the federal non combat vessel contract. I doubt Bruce was involved heavily with Washington Marine Group. Even if he was, he's federal Liberal not Conservative.

Don't fret too much. The BC Legislative Buildings are still there and will be when Adrian Dix walks into his new office.

The NDP forms government in May.

Gee we can hardly wait, can't we?

Not anon DPL said...

Watched a bit of an interview with some guy from the truck loggers association this evening. They are out there arguing that we have lot of logs so lets export some more and of course we must be careful about the upcoming election as it could hurt the industry if you know who gets elected. They never give up trying to stab the NDP

Anonymous said...

Well the NDP was never in favour of the forest industry to begin with.

The NDP used to cave in to the environmentalists even after the major players in the forest industry cleaned up their act and began sustainable cuts.

It is a bit of a paradox because the IWA had sanctioned seats at NDP Conventions in the past.

Also worth nothing is that the NDP wrote the foundation of the current policy when it comes to exporting raw logs.

The truck Loggers do benifit from inreased log harvesting be it logs to the pond to lumber, pulp and paper mills here or for export.

The NDP has wrapped itself with a choker cable many times when it comes to forestry policy.

Some of their policies were run up the spar tree.

But other than the NDP diehards, no one saluted.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 10:07 - well, that's a bit of revisionist history. The NDP "caved" to the environmentalists in the 90s to try and save the Industry. And the ONLY reason the major players in the forest industry cleaned up their act, is because of the Forest Practises Code. Notice they haven't been cutting sustainably for, oh...the past 12 years or so? They also had money for retraining of displaced forest workers. Truck loggers are the ONLY people benefiting from the BC Lieberal forest policy.....

Anonymous said...

What some of you seem to have forgot was that back in the 90's when the forest industry ruled, was at that time Japan which was our second largest customer next to the US had a major economic meltdown. This meltdown had a huge effect on the BC forest industry, there wasn't a whole lot the NDP could have done at the time, sure they could have given tax breaks but that still wouldn't have helped with the customer base or sales. As a result some mills curtailed production.

Anonymous said...

Some mills closed outright, there were a strong of such closures in the late 1990s and, and the NDP did not do much of anything to try and sell BC forest products beyond the US market. Nor did they provide
much support for the forest industry.

The main thing is the the NDP did very little to assist what was BC's largest industry at the time.

The Forest companies did adhere to the changes in the Forest Practices Code, and continue with sustainable harvesting. The environmentalists were front and center on just about everyhwere there were logging operations, and the NDP of the day certainly did not go onside with the forest companies to assist the industry. They couldn't because they did not want to split the green vote that existed at the time.

As far as truck loggers only benifiting from BC Liberal forest policy, that's crap.

The logs have to be harvested so enter the boys and girls up there running the chainsaws, the spar trees, and the yarders. Then the haul roads have to be maintained so there's the crews there. The logs reach the pond or the dryland sort, so more operators for the equipment there. If the logs are barged, the tugboat crews are a part of it. At port, the logs are sorted and then lifted aboard the ship. The tugboats assist the ship out of port. The pilot boards the ship to take her out to sea. |

in the mean time in the office, the office staff are keeping an eye on the shipments, the suppliers are providing parts and replacement equipment for all steps invovled in the movement of the logs.

The thing missing are the crews at the lumber mills.

Only second and third grade level logs are bought for log export. Prime grade logs are sent to the mills for cutting into lumber projects.

To say just the truck loggers are the only people benifiting is just crap from someone who hasn't worked the industry even as a gate guard guy.

Anonymous said...

To Non DPL. You just fed the Lieberal troll again. Selling raw logs creates no value added. Something the Libs do not care about.

Anonymous said...

So where exactly would the NDP be on this issue? Would they ban outright the export of logs outright? Or continue with the log export policy they revised in the 1990s?

The NDP allowed the export of raw logs when they were in power and will continue to do when they become government. A government would have to a fool not to take advantage of that addition revenue.

or let's suppose if the NDP got smart and actually worked with the lumber industry to reconfigure mills to produce lumber cuts that can be exported to buyers in China and East Asia.

Considering that Mike Harcourt went on a much ballyhooed trip to Japan in November of 1991 after winning the provincial election in October.

Again anyone who says its just the truck loggers who benifit from the export of raw logs is very ignorant to the forest industry.

What is missing from the equation is increased lumber product production, which is steadily increasing.

Anonymous said...

"So where exactly would the NDP be on this issue?"
Why don't you ask them, Sherlock? How about asking them how they will deal with a $60 Billion debt left behind. How will they deal with Basi-Virk? How will they deal with a massive oil spill? Corruption? Scandal after scandal? Horrible bridge construction? Translink corruption? ICBC corruption? Did you notice your car insurance skyrocket the last few years, but THIS year...just before and election...no significant increase? Nice guys!

Anonymous said...

"What is missing from the equation is increased lumber product production" Are you kidding? Missing? You mean non existent!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:51 Friday January 18:

B.S. All you have to do is see the lumber transfer yard next to the Skytrain Bridge to see lumber production is ongoing, and so are the lumber mills.

Take your hands off the PC at home and go out and see for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:49 Friday Jan 18:

Well a better idea is for you to do that. The NDP will have to deal with
export logs and my guess is that they will continue to allow raw logs to be exported since that is the topic of this thread, not Basi-Virk, etc etc.

Please stay on topic.

Anonymous said...

" Right-wing Group Plans $1 million 'Blanket Coverage' Ad Blitz Against BC NDP"

You try first!

Not anon DPL said...

The original deal for raw logs as I understand, was the BC mills had to be asked if they want the logs and if nobody does then they could be sold elsewhere. It seems now that some mills are finding it hard to get logs. I recall a district forest guy arresting a train about to haul logs out of the province and that was in 1973. Bill of course can explain the system used by the NDP The story here started with some guys trying to dig up a million to bucks to smear the NDP

Anonymous said...

The NDP is prime target. The basic concept of raw logs exports is just that, if second or third grade logs
aren't sold off to the mills, they are exported. The prime grade logs are used for sawing building lumber.

But to get those logs as being logs takes alot of people and equipment, so the line says that it's just the truck loggers who benifit is crap.

So how is some guys coming up with a million bucks to smear the NDP any different from the BCFed / BCTF / et. al. using resources to smear the BC Liberals in 2005 and 2009 which obviously didn't work)?

The outcome of this digging up a milllion bucks to smear the NDP won't work, simply because the NDP will end up as government and the million bucks would be wasted money, but at least it gives work to PR consultants and ad agencies.

BillnPat said...

The purpose of this campaign is not to give work to ad agencies. It is to buy off the MSM which is desperate for ad bucks. For every dollar spent on MSM ads you get many dollars worth of editorial and opinion collusion. These guys know value added when they see it!

Anonymous said...

"So how is some guys coming up with a million bucks to smear the NDP any different from the BCFed / BCTF / et. al. using resources to smear the BC Liberals in 2005 and 2009 which obviously didn't work)?"

I sincerely doubt that ONE person would pay out that much, unless that person is Phil H. Only someone with that much hate would waste that much money. More reasonably thinking persons would go on holidays to Mexico and so on.

Unless Clark resigns next week, it will be a fait accompli. No money on the planet will change folks minds.

Anonymous said...

BTW, smear and facts are 2 very different things.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter if it is one person or one hundred.

It wouldn't be one person, there are probably 20 or 40 people who in total have reached that $ 1million, but it is a waste of money and effort.

Now to parallel this million dollar effort by CC4BC, why would the BC Fed/BCTF, etc. etc. pay out additional money for their own adversting to slag the BC Liberals (and state the obvious?

That too would be a waste of money and effort.

If CC4BC can do this sort of advertising against the NDP, the BCFed/BCTF CUPE etc. can also do the same thing in favour of the NDP and against the BC Liberals (stating the obvious).

Both are a waste of time and effort

A reasonably thinking person would forgo those needless holidays to Mexico (and risk getting potted off by the drugistias down there) and spend the vacation money here.

and the BC Fed/BCTF/BCGEU etc. do use time and space in MSM, is that buying them off?

Is Bill's time in MSM appearances a waste of time and effort because many here hate the MSM and yet still hear/read/watch it?

Anonymous said...

It would appear the BC libs are fundraising out of the province. Alberta...you bet...the oil industry. They are up to the same old nonsense...say one thing, do another...

As for this group of nut bars, and the toons they let loose, it obviously makes no difference to them that the BC libs are the worst government ever seen in this province. What a complete crock...these types are shills for the clown contingent...the so called elites who want to rip the taxpayers off and leave a scorched earth financial mess for the rest of us...

This crap has to come to an end....as far as the BC libs are concerned some time behind bars for a few of them, just might send a message...

Anonymous said...

Amen to Anon 4:40! Some prison time sounds good.
What sounds stupid is taking a winter holiday in Canada. For a start, where would one bask on a beach here in January ? It costs more for just a flight to Toronto or wherever than an all inclusive to Cabo! But you go ahead.

Anonymous said...

So who needs to bask on a beach during the winter? There's ski-ing,
snow shoeing, etc. basking on the beach is done in summer.

and who would want to go to Toronto in winter unless to see the family? What for? To see the Maple Leafs play? Get real.

and in regards to the prison time, tell us exactly what part of the Criminal Code would apply there? Cite?

The BC Liberals are guilty of stupidity,not a prison time crime.

Anonymous said...

While the BC Liberals are indeed guilty of stupidity and its well known, can we please get back on topic which is CC4BC??

Sheesh. Do NDPers constantly squeal like a squeaky wheel needing grease?

The grease is coming.

Wait for it to be plastered everywhere amongst the NDP government in June.

Anonymous said...

"The BC Liberals are guilty of stupidity,not a prison time crime."

Let's start with drinking and driving shall we? Wow, that was easy.

"basking on the beach is done in summer."
You don't get around much do you?
Today it's 35 degrees anywhere in southern Mexico, Cuba, Australia, and all over south America.Nice in Florida, too. Sounds like beach time to me! Ask Mr. T how the weather was in Mexico. I suspect phenomenal!

Anonymous said...

Want to also balance that off with David Stupich skimming off Bingo proceeds? He actually ended up in court for that. Harcourt turned himself in as a sacrificial lamb and left.

Then there was Robin Blencoe and his sexual harassment case.

But let's end the perpetual reminding of that idiot Gordon Campbell and his DUI and get back on topic shall we?

Anonymous said...

Decades old news, there.142 Radenta

Anonymous said...

Hey parrot troll,i will see your bingogate and raise you one Basi Virk payout.Nothing else matters except the swift kick in the teeth your party of thieves will get this May .You will both become more irrelevent than you already are.Have a good one troll.