Thursday, May 16, 2013

Christy Clark and the Manning Centre for Building Conservatives

In March 2012, Christy Clark gave the opening remarks to the Ottawa Manning Centre Networking Conference, the yearly "conservative family reunion".

She was introduced by her then chief of staff, former senior Harper advisor, Enbridge lobbyist, and Alberta 'firewall manifesto' signatory Ken Boessenkool, who was her very first campaign manager back in 2010
"We have a duty to Canada" to easy the flow of products to Asia, she told her audience at the Manning Centre [a year ago]. "We support pipelines in British Columbia."
BC Conservative leader John Cummins was not invited.
Manning has in the past said he doesn’t support the political ambitions of Cummins, who was elected as a Reformer with Manning in the 1993 election, because vote-splitting on the centre-right always makes it easier for the NDP to assume power.
One-time Harper government cabinet minister, Jay Hill, also said Friday he’s backing Clark’s leadership. “I’ll do whatever I can to support her and support the B.C. Liberals."

Preston Manning, founder of the Reform Party and President of the Manning Centre, is also a senior fellow at the Koch-funded Fraser Institute.
Jay Hill was in charge of the Cons 200 page dirty tricks manual on how to disrupt and stonewall parliamentary committees back in 2007.

Also helping Christy's campaign was Chuck Strahl, former BC Reform and Con MP, now chair of the Manning Centre and chair of CSIS watchdog the Security Intelligence Review Committee since last June, at which time he had to give up working for Christy.

The only pollster to accurately predict Tuesday's election result was Christy's principal secretary and ADM in charge of "Intergovernmental Relations" till a year ago and now on contract to Christy, former Reform and Republican policy advisor Dimitri Pantazopoulos.

Premier’s Office targeted crucial election ridings for the B.C. Liberals — all on government time and your dime

"Premier Christy Clark’s former principal secretary, Dimitri Pantazopolous, and former deputy chief of staff Kim Haakstad were among those involved in a comprehensive strategy that used government staff and resources to try to win swing ridings for the BC Liberals ...  serious misconduct by government employees and misuse of government funds.   
“Dimitri was the driving force behind the swing teams, from its inception through to the operational phase."
Pantazoploulos also runs the Manning Centre Municipal Governance Project and is mentioned by Calgary developer Cal Wenzel in the now infamous cel vid about buying the campaigns of developer-friendly municipal candidates in order to defeat Calgary Mayor Nenshi.

On Ken Boessenkool's twitter account at Kool, Topp, & Guy Public Affairs - the political consultancy firm formed in February - Christy's former chief of staff Ken Boessenkool and Christy's election advisor Don Guy are busy congratulating Nick Kouvalis of Campaign Research on Christy Clark's federal ConservaLiberal campaign win.  
The third partner in the firm is BC NDP campaign director Brian Topp.

and a quick tweet from Rob Ford's chief of staff Mark Towhey:

You do remember Nick Kouvalis from Campaign Research,  don't you ? 

In addition to being Rob Ford's election architect, Kouvalis is a regular speaker at ... wait for it ... the Manning Centre yearly bunfest.

Fun fact :  Founding directors of the Manning Centre for Building Democracy :
  • Nigel Wright, Harper's chief of staff, currently in the news for cutting Con senator Mike Duffy a $90,000 personal cheque to cover money the Duffster owed to the Senate for inappropriately claimed living expenses for the past four years while Duffy was being investigated for it,  and 
  • Gwyn Morgan, Chairman of the Board of SNC Lavalin til May 2 this year, the company being investigated for fraud in four countries on three continentswas Steve's choice for heading up his brand new Accountability commission in 2006.
Manning Centre : "Congratulations to Christy Clark on a spectacular victory. The election of a non-socialist government in BC is in the best interests of BC and Canada."


Anonymous said...

Outrageous. We're doomed.

sue said...

Might want to check out another Campaign employee @joyamber on twitter.

Manager of Campaign call centre.

Nick's wife.

Lots of RT's from her after EDay that were very interesting.

thwap said...

Imagine what we could do with the resources these cretins and scumbags have to work with.

Alison said...

Anon : Not quite doomed yet but yeah, time running out on action catching up to knowledge here and it's always going to be harder than we hoped.

Sue : Oh clever catch and thank you but I didn't see anything other than retweets of some federal Cons and fixers congratulating Christy.
What did I miss, Sue?

thwap : Mmm. You just referring to elections? You think more money would fix this? A total shitload of the stuff - on the order of enough to buy out CTV shareholders for instance - would certainly help, but I don't think it's the main problem. More, we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into thinking politics=elections or politics=scandals and we're done here. Meanwhile on the inside, politics=elections has become an imploding dodgy business.

We need a jump in imagination here - something beyond the misleading dichotomies of jobs vs environment, rich vs poor, social media vs corp media, right vs left, etc. that might feed those of us with favorite hobbyhorses but mostly serves to alienate and exclude people who don't have any interest in them from expanding the body politic into something that actually works.

sue said...

You didn't miss anything..just thought it interesting to see all the Harperites working on the campaign.

Actually got a call from Libs Voter Outreach (Campaign)but cut the call short after the guy calling insisted I'm a Lib supporter.

I don't think so.

I find the connection with the Harperites frightening.

And I'm wondering how they got our name (to call).

Kim said...

And what the hell was Brian Topp doing partnering with Christie/Harper operatives while running the so called Dix campaign?

Was Dix a plant to lose the election? He certainly ran his campaign that way, like some kind of manchurian candidate?

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