Take the money and run

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.” 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.

From: Brian.Bonney
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!

Cheers,

Brian
______________________________
BC Liberal Party
Brian Bonney - Director of Operations

Regional Organiser
Vancouver, West Van and North Van

***

From: Brian.Bonney
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!

Cheers,

Brian

-----Original Message-----
From: Dallas Henault
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2007 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: Fundraiser

Hey Brian,

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.

Dallas Henault
Speakers' Bureau &
Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
BC Liberal Party

6 Comments

Liberal riding associations are being let off easy by their head office. In the provincial NDP the "revenue sharing" on locally generated fundraising events (almost always dinners and the like) is 50% to the provincial party, 50% to the riding. And that applies whether or not Carol James or any other frontbencher comes into the riding or not.

Maybe members of the BC Liberal party should
be asking why there is a budget deficit at the
Head Office to begin with. After all, Head Office
should be accountable for how their funds are
spent.

"Maybe members of the BC Liberal party should
be asking why there is a budget deficit at the
Head Office to begin with. After all, Head Office
should be accountable for how their funds are
spent."

probably spending too much on salaries. Can't be
the new Toshiba photocopier they bought on a good deal lease.

One figures that much of the money that would be
spent on Head office would come from corporation
donations and the BCL Club 300, plus membership
revenue apportion.

The BC Liberal Party was swimming in money not long ago. Wonder what happened? Too many paid hacks? Is Head Office Honchos getting paid too much? Why keep the Regional Organizers between elections? (ordinarily they should be let go after an election, since the ridings know how to do things anyway, or so they should).

Seems to be overly autocratic. It would mean that some ridings would need to raise the ticket price to anticipate revenue for some new projects they want to do (read: Saanich Conservative Fundraiser cancelled as to what not to do).

The aspect of bringing the Minister out for a fundraiser so that the suppporters can see one is obvously lost on whoever wrote those memos.

The ridings should learn how to work with Caucus
or the Ministry Office to arrange an MLA or Minister guest speaker (entertainment).

Otherwise what is the BC Liberal Party? BC Liberal Inc.?

A 70/30 cut to the ridings (70% to the ridings,
30% to the party) would be a better deal. Or if it
is a swing riding, even an 80/20 cut would be much better. The "safe" ridings such as Carole Taylors would be 10/90.

The party should be focusing more on the ridings than head office.

Trim your non-essential costs first.

They can accept unlimited amounts of corporate money and they still need to make a grab from local ridings?

"They can accept unlimited amounts of corporate money and they still need to make a grab from local ridings?"

add in the annual Premier's Dinner which is around $200 to $500 a ticket.

Something's wrong with how they're running their headquarters. Probably too many people getting paid too much, or a few are getting paid way too much or they're mismanaging money.

They should be getting Ministers and MLA's out to the swing ridings so that the ridings can recharge their own campaign reserves, and events for the membership rather than being a fuel tank for headquarters. That 40% takes away money that could be put to better use in the local ridings.

The ridings should be free (with arrangement with Caucus or the Minister's office) to set their own events, rather than have some guy sitting in a squeaky chair do it for them. Otherwise how are the riding people going to learn how to run their riding events?

If the Minister or MLA doesn't speak then there shouldn't be any cut.

People pay for the entertainment, not for the
program invitation card.

Could it be that there is a short fall at Head Office for another reason. The rent can't be all that much. Ink, reams of paper, stamps, accountants. Are the employees at Head Office being paid too much or are there just too many business trips etc. taking place. The party members deserve an accounting.

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