Power doesn’t come cheap in British Columbia, where there are no limits to how much political parties can raise and spend.
According to its Feb. 11 disclosure to Elections BC (which can be seen at this link), Vision Vancouver spent a British Columbia record $3,410,553.82 on its 2014 election campaign, resulting in a $485,519.48 deficit.
That campaign finance disclosure was published Feb. 23 on the Elections BC website.
On Feb. 26, Vision Vancouver ramped up its fundraising efforts, spamming those in its database with this message:
From: Paul Nixey <email@example.com>
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:33 PM
Dear XXXXXXXX —
On behalf of the board of Vision Vancouver, I’m writing to thank you. Thousands of you contributed to our Campaign Victory Fund and helped us in a hard-fought election.
We recognize that we could not have done this without you.
Our goal in the months ahead is two-fold: to continue to advocate forcefully for an ambitious progressive agenda at City Hall – including and especially to win the transit referendum – and to engage all of you in building the party’s strength for the years ahead.
We need your support to do both.
Will you join me by becoming a monthly donor?
Whether $5, $10, $25, or even $75 per month, your donation will ensure we’re able to advance our shared goals of building affordable housing, ending street homelessness, and campaigning to win the transit referendum?
Become a monthly contributor, donate now.
On behalf of the entire Vision Vancouver team, thank you for your support.
Co-Chair, Vision Vancouver
PS: Our team is hard at work getting out the YES vote for the upcoming transit referendum. Learn more by “liking” our Facebook page and following us on Twitter. Thanks!
Vision Vancouver · Canada
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Did you notice how the party that was $485,519.48 in the red at the end of 2014 now is “campaigning to win the transit referendum” and has a “team” that is “hard at work getting out the YES vote”?
As I wrote in a Feb. 17-published Vancouver Courier story, the provincial cabinet order for the March 16-May 29 plebiscite included no rules about campaign finance disclosure for the 0.5% TransLink sales tax plebiscite. Vision Vancouver and other political parties across Metro Vancouver must’ve been celebrating.
Vancouver city hall, under Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, is spending an undisclosed amount of taxpayer funds to push for a Yes vote. Now his party is using the plebiscite as an opportunity to raise funds and actively campaign for a Yes vote.
Presumably some of the cash raised by Vision will go to erase its deficit. Might some of it end up in its 2018 campaign war chest? Will we ever know who donated how much to influence the vote on TransLink’s expansion and/or to gain favour with the Vancouver city hall governing party that has stubbornly refused to implement a lobbyist registry?
Nixey, by the way, gave his party $360 in 2014. We don’t know how much the party paid him as co-chair of its campaign. Elections BC does not require parties to show us who gets paid what.