Provincial Liberal headquarters is grabbing some cash from the party's local constituency associations. In an email sent out on Sunday, operations director Brian Bonney reminded members that if a minister attends an association fundraiser - even if it's just to have dinner - the party will deposit 40 percent of the money raised at the event into its own bank account. The rest will go into a separate account for the association, which is held by the party. And what's the reason for this so-called speakers bureau levy? According to Mr. Bonney, funds raised will go to "pay down any debt and fund (head office) activities.â€ In an interview with Public Eye, Liberal communications director Chad Pederson explained the levy - which has parallels in other political parties - was introduced last year. He declined to say how much debt the Liberals are in. The following is an edited copy of Mr. Bonney's emails.
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2007 5:44 PM
Subject: Speakers Bureau, ANY minister, 40% and blackout - Remind your ridings!
Hi Presidents and MLAs ,
Thought I would send around this update on the speakers bureau. When I asked for clarification recently, I learned that ANY minister attending a fundraiser, for any reason, would constitute the speakers bureau fee being charged against that riding's fundraising event.
To clarify: If a minister attend 's , has dinner, does not speak in any way, and then leaves, even if you do not advertise this visibly, we would charge this event the 40%.
Be sure your fundraisers understand this. I was mistaken in telling couple of you that I thought the fee was only charged if the Minister speaks, or, is advertised as attending, even if they do not speak. This is not the case and I should have asked for clarification before this. I apologize.
Remember, 2007 is 40% ! - remind your ridings!!!!
Remember, Leaders Dinner is June 15th - BLACK OUT (no Fundraisers in BC) is April 15th - June 30th
If you have any questions let me know!
BC Liberal Party
Brian Bonney - Director of Operations
Vancouver, West Van and North Van
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 10:50 AM
Subject: Speakers Bureau - MLAs and Ministers speaking at their own fundraiser
Hello Presidents and MLAs,
I promise this is the last e-mail on this ! However, based on the feedback we received from you I am pleased to send a further clarification...and small change!
MLAs and Cabinet ministers will not be charged the speakers Bureau levy for speaking at their own fundraiser as long as another Cabinet minister is not in attendance.
If a cabinet minister attends, there will be the Speakers Bureau levy charged to the event.
If other MLAs are in attendance and not a Cabinet minister, then talk to Dallas Henault and he will make a decision based on a number of factors.
Please see the e-mail from Dallas on this below.
I think this makes it clear.
I have talked to a number of you and pleased that with this change you find this very fair and acceptable. We are all in this together and the speakers Bureau levy allows us to raise some funds to pay down any debt and fund HO activities, while at the same time offering you an option, especially the swings, if you should wish, to have the odd fundraiser where you keep all the funds for your riding.
Thank you all for your team spirit, It is always uplifting!
From: Dallas Henault
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: Fundraiser
All right here it is! Even though there will be many grey situations that will come from these fundraisers, we will just have to deal with them on a case by case basis for the ones that do come up. But the standard is that if an MLA is doing a fundraiser for their riding, and they are the sole speaker (even if the MLA happens to be a cabinet minister), with no other MLA's in attendance or Cabinet Ministers in attendance, the Speakers' Bureau levy will not apply to them. Once other MLA's begin to attend (non cabinet), this becomes one of those grey areas and as we discussed yesterday, I will deal with it on a case by case basis. Once a cabinet minister is in attendance, the Speakers' Bureau levy will apply.
Hope this all makes sense.
Speakers' Bureau &
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
BC Liberal Party