All the King's Men

Earlier, Public Eye reported ex-provincial cabinet minister Christy Clark would be hosting a reception for supposed federal Liberal leadership candidate Scott Brison. But what was said and who was at that scratch-and-sniff event - which Ms. Clark says is "neither intended nor should be interpreted as an endorsement" of the former Tory. Well, according to our operatives, most interesting was the appearance of John Bethel. Mr. Bethel ran unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate in Edmonton East during the 2004 election (despite or perhaps because of being appointed to that nomination by Paul Martin). But he is best known for having been the president of Prime Minister Martin's leadership campaign in that province. Any guesses who Mr. Bethel, a friend of Mr. Brison's national co-ordinator Leslie Swartman, might be organizing for now?

We're also told former Albertan David Brodie, who headed up Prime Minister Martin's western desk, was in attendance - as were Earnscliffe Strategy Group Inc. members Mike Drummond, Adam Johnson and Bruce Young. And Dale Flood, former special assistant to Industry Minister David Emerson, could be seen working the crowd of 80 or so Liberals - which included national party vice-president Mike Hillman, constitution and legal affairs committee co-chair Martin MacLachlan and Janice Nicholson, Prime Minister Martin's former director of parliamentary affaris.

Farris, Vaughan, Wills and Murphy partner James Hatton also showed up with his wife/television star Jennifer Schlotter. And former ministers' regional office executive director Billy Cunningham was spotted escorting Mr. Brison into the reception, where the would-be contender had his French language skills tested by former national communications vice-president Shannon Salter.

Of course, this wasn't just a Martini party. Also noted was the presence of the ubiquiotus Greg Wilson, as well as Unified Network of Indo-Canadians for Togetherness Through Education and Discussion co-founder Amar Randhawa. Both supported Sheila Copps for the Liberal leadership. And former (Alan) Rock machine members Craig Munroe, Vancouver Quadra's constituency association president, and Bilal Cheema, who was most recently a special assistant to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Geoff Regan, were also there.

And how did these backroomers receive Mr. Brison? Politely. But our operatives report the would-be contender sounded somewhat scripted at times. And we've also been told Mr. Brison would be well-advised, in the future, to spend more time schmoozing and less time on question and answer sessions.


What was Hamish up to?

Running up and down the stairs with sword in hand.

No shows for the Brison reception included

Ann Wicks
Tony Roy
Mike Witherley
Coco Lefoka
Kelly Murdoch
Caroline Murphy
Tex Enemark
Jamie Elmhirst
Mark Marissen himself!

I would have been at the Brison reception but I was too busy messaging my supporters on

I thought that Amar was a nice guy the few times I have met him.

Actually Coco Lefoka was there and so was Stacy Shield (Mike Witherly's better half).

Clearly not a group fully committed though. Doug Beaton, David Brodie and Christie Clark could be overheard in the Kitchen discussing the merits of other potential candidates like Dion, Dryden and Gerrard Kennedy. Seems like at this point most were just there to see what Brison was all about including the hosts.

I heard Sukh Dhaliwal is organizing for Joe Volpe?? Is that true??

BC is gonna be a mixed bag with people like Greg Wilson, Marrissen and S. Dhaliwal all angling to be the kingpins

It would have been a little difficult for me to attend, you know, being at school on the other side of the country and... lets clear this up, my last name is spelled with a k

Where were the NDP defectors, such as Dave Haggard, Ujjal Dosanjh, and ex-MLA Bernie Simpson, who did some useless organizing for the abortive John Manley leadership drive?

And where were Shirley Chan and her husband, PublicEyeOnline contributor Steve Hopkins? Would it be fair to say that Steve isn't really welcome at these high level functions.

And getting to the really fun part, what is Bill Cunningham doing for work these days? As regards Dale Flood, how about the rest of Emerson's staff? Did he not take them with him when he moved to the Tories, or did they decline an offer of continued employment?

Dale Flood is doing is MBA. Billy Cunningham has grown a beard and is praying his "good" buddy Brison wins.

Doug Beaton still looks like someone stuck a dagger through him (Emerson Defection), and his ever loyal water boy Ryan Hoag is unemployed like the rest of the Gang.

The happiest looking is the ever - jovial Greg Wilson.

Apparently former MLA Karn Manhas and LPCBC executive director Kim Hakkstad were also in attendance.

So i guess the whole Christy/Marissen loyalists are lining up behind Brison and or Stronach.

Where does that leave Volpe, if Volpe is being supported by Amar Bajwa (Dave Basi buddy and Former Volpe Aide) and Sukh Dhaliwal.

Very interesting times ahead, i think Marissen is about to clash with alot of his water boys (Dhaliwal, Bajwa, Beaton, etc...)

Sukh and Ujjal aren't the only ones capable of organizing the Punjabi community. Herb Dhaliwal still has a lot of clout.

Herb is very close with Rock machine folk. They will make a push to take control. Craig Munroe, Dr. Gulzar Cheema and any others are all Rock people. They will support whoever Rock supports, word is it could be Denis Codere, Codere thus becomes Kingmaker.

What about the old Chretienites like Peter Dhillon, Pam McDonald, Greg Wilson, Mary Pynenburg etc... Who is this crew gonna support??

we are spending some much time talking about backroom guys, what about the real powerplayers??
i'm talking about the elected mp's, i would luv to know who and if anyone Raymond Chan, Ujjal, Sukh Dhaliwal, Hedy Fry and Blair Wilson (very popular in the youth wing of the party) are gonna be working for..
that is the real question.

At least Amar Bajwa can deliver unlike Amar Randhawa.

When was the last time Amar Randhawa was on the winning side of a campaign? When Ujjal became the Premier - for the NDP!

Yes, Kim HaakStaadt was there flaunting her dance steps. Justyna Jonca was armwrestling Mia Taghezadeh over the last of Christy Clark's delicious brownees while Marlene Brayne was trying to teach Megan Pritchard how to yodel, forcing Wendy Yeung to use her Tai Kwon Do to restore order. It was really quite an evening. Too bad Mark Marissen wasn't there to see it.

Interesting bits on the ex-Ministerial personnel, but they do leave unanswered the key question, how is Bill Cunningham supporting himself these days?

Also, has anyone prepared a comprehensive list of the former Emerson exempt staff, both in Ottawa and in the constituency office, and found out what's become of each of them? How many are still on the payroll, that is, how many made the switch? Were they all offered an opportunity to come over or not?

Bill Cunningham has gotten himself a bicycle with a large basket attached to it. Every blue box day he rides through the back alleys of Vancouver collecting the empty beverage containers that people put out. He takes those containers back to the recycling depots to collect the deposits on them. Rumour has it that he made a good $60 returning the empties from Christy's Scott Brison reception. Hope this answers your question, Bud.

Guess not, guess who. Will the Royal Bank take Cunningham back? How is he paying his bills, really?

And the rest of Emerson's staff, what became of them? How many are still working for the federal taxpayer in one form or another? Did he really abandon some people, or where they Liberals first and Emerson people second and chose to be unemployed?

All of the Emerson staff were stunned at his bizarre behaviour, and none of them, except maybe one who was lent to him by the industry department, came to work for him with the new government. No political staffer he had has any rewpect for him any longer.

I realize this may be difficult for Budd Campbell to grasp but not everybody lives paycheck to paycheck. Some people stash away some of their searnings as savings for a rainy day. I'm sure a fiscally responsible fellow like Billy Cunningham stuffed enough of his extra loonies and toonies in his piggy bank while he was employed to support him during these lean times.

Is Kevin Chalmers organizing De Elect Emerson by himself? i don't see Marissen, Beaton anywhere near it. Chalmers was also in attendance at Brison event at Christy home

Are the young libs helping in the De Elect campaign?

paycheques, deelect campaigns..Chalmers is the public voice for Marrissen and Co.

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