Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Rumor Mill - Councilor Bateman's 60 Tickets, 60 Minutes, for 60 Dollars

UPDATE (10:00 pm) - Note, that just 6 hours after LFP's initial BREAKING NEWS posting seen a little further down below right under 'Original LFP Posting', the story has suddenly changed on Bateman's website! (See excerpt from his website immediately below in red italics). Obviously, his posters must have worked because he now says all the tickets have sold out. Guess all ticketbuyers are looking forward to their raffle prizes! Wonder what they are (were)? Curious, don't you think?
Excerpt from Bateman's website 6 hours after our LFP posting; "...Anon, about disclosure. I will be disclosing all donors, just as I have always done.George, the invite posted here is now out of date. Sam and I were thinking about a raffle (which we would have only done if we had been issued a licence), but decided after this rendition of the invitation that a modest auction would be a better fit for what we have planned. And I'm pleased to say tickets have sold out--but I have two set aside for Servant, as requested (and as long as his/her cheque clears!). Jordan 11.10.07 - 9:40 pm

Original LFP Posting:

"I have always been on the side of transparency and accountability in campaign fundraising" says Councillor Jordan Bateman who is the first off the mark on Langley Township council to kick off his formal re-election fundraising campaign one full year in advance of the November 2008 election. Towards this end he has organized and is promoting a one hour long luncheon within the next 2 weeks which he is prominently advertising as "Sixty Tickets" total to be sold for a "Sixty Minutes" long luncheon, for "Sixty Dollars" a seat.

Bateman's short one hour long fundraising luncheon should be a jam-packed speed-listening luncheon where the attendees will be hear his "vision for Langley". However, the "Rumor Mill" has also learned that many are mainly coming because of his special advertised guest, MLA Minister Rich Coleman. "Raffle prizes to be won" are also an added advertised benefit.

Sounds great? Right? Let's look a little closer and listen to the street talk "Rumor Mill" about this Bateman reelection fundraising event.

First and foremost, let's be clear that this Editor unabashedly has the greatest respect and regard for our eminent Langley BC MLA Rich Coleman. Rich's work for the Langleys has been outstanding and appreciated. But the street talk "Rumor Mill" suggests that many including this Editor, are taken aback that Coleman is suddenly getting very involved in another separate level of government's political business by lending his name and reputation and essentially an implied endorsement as the keynote headline selling feature at Cllr. Bateman's "60 -60-$60" fundraising luncheon. In fact, since Bateman is presently Coleman's constituency VP and was also Coleman's constituency or election campaign previous communications consultant it is even more so raising people's eyebrows.

To the best of this Editor's knowledge and other's, Minister Coleman has despite his own personal affiliations and partisan relationships steered clear of all other levels of government direct and overt political involvement or interference especially insofar as election endorsements and even more so with respect to political fundraising. Will the floodgate of more non-municipal government political endorsements become the norm now? More importantly, should it? Coleman's sudden icebreaker on this issue has surprised many and raises even more questions of partisan nepotism. Does this mean that other candidates in the upcoming elections can also count on getting Minister Coleman to be a special guest at their events too?

The "Rumor Mill" also has heard talk and asks the question of whether indeed key Surrey provincial Liberal politico's are involved in fundraising for Bateman's luncheon which is targeting the prominent Surrey historically friendly developers and Liberal movers and shakers? Is the old Surrey SET crowd perhaps strategizing a Liberal friendly/compatible township council? Is the "Get Moving BC" smokescreen work and support from Bateman perhaps a contributing reason for getting financial & political support from key provincial Liberal movers and shakers?

The "Rumor Mill" also wonders how involved Coleman's constituency association was in previously helping elect Bateman and how involved will they be in his next reelection campaign?

But ultimately, would the Langley voters be in favor of any actual or perceived municipal political takeover attempts by big brother provincial or even federal politicos? Or do they expect an arm's length approach as has been the case in the past. The "Rumor Mill" has also found out that many are questioning whether the Cllr. Jordan Bateman advertised fundraising luncheon is a sanctimonious doublespeak on gambling?

Specifically Bateman has been the most vocal voice against the evils of gambling, (" ..a long time opponent of gambling, - Langley Advance Nov 9/07) saying essentially that his own personal beliefs are dead set against gambling. In fact he was the only Township council member in the past week to vote against adding slot machines at the existing Langley Bingo palace. Yet his prominent ad for his reelection fundraising luncheon entices purchasers of his $60 per seat tickets with the possibility of "raffle prizes to be won"! Is this appropriate, doublespeak, or simply poor decision making? You decide.

The "Rumor Mill" has found out that in fact a formal written complaint has been lodged with the appropriate powers at the BC gaming authorities. Apparently only registered charities are authorized to have raffles. Will there now be a sudden flurry to get some proper gaming approval or will it be quietly dropped?

Either way one wonders how Bateman on one hand is against gambling when it brings in direct revenue for the community and community's charities but on the other hand he condones and even promotes his fundraising raffle when it brings in revenue for his own reelection campaign? And both in the very same week! It reminds this Editor of the old adage that you can't be partially pregnant!

(This is Part 1 of the Raffle Waffle Controversy. See Part 5 here. See Part 4 here. See Part 3 here. See Part 2 here.)LFP EDITOR NOTE: Also this is part 1 of 5, see part 2 to see actual complaint email from Mr. Wally Martin....

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