Sunday, 7 September 2014

The history of VOICES (the evolution of the growth of a political party)

Last month, I had a quick exchange on FB.

2011 Candidate Amanda Nichol and soon to be 2014 Candidate 85% financed by the CUPE 389 and their parent union. The other 15% was anonymous with no indication that it was self financed.
9 hrs · Edited · Like

From the Voices website "On influencing the decision – we have had some success here and there, getting the city to slow down some of the development growth. We support Councillors not funded by developers and unions." EXCEPT they ran Amanda Nichol as a VOICES candidate and are planning to do so again.
9 hrs · Like
Toni Bolton Your imagination knows no bounds George Pringle . Maybe you should try dealing in facts as a change of pace.

That's really weak Toni.  Why don't you reveal who is on any Voices' Board of Directors?  Perhaps because if VOICES legally registered as an elector organisation, you won't be to hide the activities of VOICES. It's time to rip that mask off since Elections BC is now in charge of any matter to do with any political financing in the upcoming election.
The information below is being sent to Elections BC in for their consideration when dealing with any application for VOICES to be granted "Third Party Sponsor" status as it is known know with recent changes to the Act.
FACT:  on the 14th of November, the day before the 2008 election someone (pending Freedom of Information request made to the City) placed an ad in the NS News:

This was illegal, not just by my standards and my "imagination" but by the law of BC and that person should have been charged.  If they had even filed to be a legal "Third Party Advertiser" as the Labour Councils do to donate thousands of dollars to their union candidates in our but there is a legal requirement that they be completely at arm's length to the candidates they promote.  Or the candidate is legally bound to declare that expense. To pretend that they were unaware of that ad and endorsement is illegal. To have a supporter form an organization aimed at bypassing election laws is more than just illegal, it is down right immoral and unethical.

In that 2008 election, two candidates mass mailed the following leaflets (showing the cover only) 

So incumbent Bookham and Leonard were running a mini-slate.  Someone? You guess for yourself, arranged an ad with the key words from their leaflets. Bookham was reelected but Leonard was beaten badly.

In the 2011 campaign, the above mentioned Toni Bolton and close friend of Councillor Bookham legally registered an organization called "Independent Voices".  (There is that term again.)  They collected $616 from 13 anonymous donors to put this ad in the NS News on the 18th of November the day before the election:

Does anyone doubt this two ads were done by same group?  I believe there is a core group of candidates who had illegal pre-knowledge of this ad and others like Don Bell who was placed on this ad as they they were trying to imply that Don was a member of the Independent Voices team and if you support him, you should vote with their candidates.

Again, their takeover attempt failed, electing only the incumbents and of course Don Bell topped the polls.

In the spring of 2012, the North Van City Voices (but they want no one to assume that they had any ties to Independent Voices or that it was just an evolution the old party) organisation announced they had just been founded and were a brand spanking new org with no ties to any existing org.  Most of what we hear from them comes from their website run by no other than Toni Bolton. There are only a few people that have revealed themselves in public. 

Marc Petersen. Fred Dawkins and Gerry Scott have all identified themselves at Council meetings as members of VOICES, with the the frequency the Fred Dawkins  appeared in Chambers speaking for VOICES that he taken on the role of President although Ron Polly has told a reporter that he was the President.

The Outlook did an article in April 2012 which  former union candidate in the 2011 Council race,  Amanda Nichol self-identifies as a Voices spokesperson.  I bet the VOICES' plan is to publish a third ad which includes Amanda Nichol breaking the legal "arm's length" requirement.

The North Shore News did an initial article on Voices in May 2012 which idenifies Ron Polly who was a supporter in one ad but a Mayoral recommendation in the next ad and union candidate 

In December of 2012, during Voices' tussle with Onni, someone got in the secret Voices email list and a few of were leaked some of them through a food blogger.  Voices' membership was revealed as about 20-25 people and one was signed John Watson, another name from the first two election ads.  A Joan (Peters) and Valarie (Cottingham) is mentioned, of course both and on the elections ad.

See it here.

So  8 people of the 20-25 members of Voices are identified in public, add a ninth, Ivan Leonard in as well and as they prepare for the 2014 elections, I am quite sure that they want attempt to repeat their questionable election activities for the upcoming elections.

But it seems that Diogenes' quest is ended its long journey and he has found that one honest man, candidate for council Tony Valente. For a while, while I had given him snippets of some the information above.  He had responded with statements like VOICES is just a small group of active community members.

I presume, that he had been offered an endorsement in advance and I presume his instincts told him there was something wrong with it and he told them that was truly an independent candidate and intended to remain one.  Good for you, Tony!

I've heard that Ivan Leonard when hearing of this, responded by exclaiming that: Why was the point of this whole VOICES thing if we don't have an united group (party) against Mussatto's team.

That is what is really wrong with our Council, it's a small pond with little fish trying to keep their pond as small as possible so they can puff up to pretend they're big and important.

That is on small reason why I say amalgamation and why VOICES Councillors oppose it.