At work versus at play

Minister of State for Mining Bill Bennett resigned Tuesday over an offensive email he wrote last month. But, when Premier Gordon Campbell was charged with driving drunk in Maui, he didn't resign. He apologized. And that has some wondering why Mr. Bennett couldn't have said he was sorry too - rather than losing his cabinet post. In response to a question posed by Public Eye, Premier Campbell said, "I think that it was clear - and Bill recognized this - that he was acting as a Minister of the Crown (when he sent the email). And he accepted that responsibility. I was on vacation, as I said, at the time (I was charged). And I didn't feel (resigning) was something I had to do. And I said I would give British Columbians a chance to judge that and they did. And I was re-elected in 2005. But I think, clearly, when you're acting as a Minister of the Crown, in your capacity at work, I think you have an obligation to be met." Premier Campbell has named Kamloops-North Thompson legislator Kevin Krueger as Mr. Bennett's replacement.

19 Comments

What are you picking on Gordon Campbell for? After all Bennett swore at a constituent. All Campbell did was weave down a highway with a blood/alcohol reading only double the legal limit.

You got to be kidding Kevin Krueger! NO wonder he was praising Bennett in the Kamloops paper today. Kevin finally hit the big money group

Krueger???That must make it official. Campbell has run out of cabinet material MLA's.

Hmmm, If this happened in Alberta, Bill Bennet would be half way to becoming premier there.

What I love, more than almost anything else, about this blog, is that everytime we get a little thin, someone, ahem, drags the Gordo-as-bogeyman whipping post out and dusts it off.

From the top......

What Gordon Campbell did one Maui night was incredibly stupid. He has admitted to that, in a considerably worse tone. In public. He apologized for that. In public. He suffered at the hands of his political enemies (but really he did it) for months. In public. He spoke, in the most sincere manner, about how considering his family's sad history, he should have thought better (when he really did not have to bring that up). In public.

How much more kicking do you do after a guy stands in front of the world and admits to such momentary lunacy, alludes to his own father's suicide, apologizes profusely, over and over again?

I have heard of kicking a guy while he is down, but kicking a guy when he is up, has received the thumbs up for his mea culpa and not done it again.....just how much venom is there for someone who does what few of us would do? Would any of you talk about what may have fuelled your binge, or a painful moment in your life?

No, of course not, nor would I.

That takes more than just your garden variety, uncommon courage courage.

Love him or hate him (and;or his government) Gordon is a credit to the Office of the Premier, on a personal note, for having dealt with that issue in such a painfully open manner.

Interesting that Campbell chose Kevin Krueger over Harry Bloy or Iain Black for cabinet.

Besides the ill-placed venom for Gord, what Bennett did was monumentally stupid. His comments were inappropriate for a Minister and hurtful to all MLA's. It lowers the level of dignity. He should sit in the back bench period.

And, yes, of course Gordon's running out of potential cabinet talent.....but that's what you get when your candidate recruiters think Brian Smith is still Attorney General.....time for a new team. There are LOTS of qualified people out there and they can be found.

So let's see. Bennett has a brain fart and commits a cardinal sin by sending an emotional email to a constituent laden with insults and other things, and does the right thing, and resigns.

And yet, the Maui Owie Kid still holds on to that Canworst Gliberal belief that I was on vacation therefore what I do is my own business???? 3 years on and it still makes me ill.

So So sad.

Kevy Krueger?!?!

Oh my god.

Despite how cool it is that Kamloops now has two cabinet representatives (however minor they may be), this guy is not cabinet material. Mmm...but if he does happen to last, a cabinet spot would probably make him tougher to take out in 2009.

Kevin likes to do a lot of praying.. I guess somebody heard him this time around,he got what he wanted, and no sperior being was involved Just Gordon who needed to fill a spot.If I recall when Gordon was found guilty of drunk driving( I din't bring it up, sombody else did)I'm sure Kevin did a bit of praying for him.

How much more kicking do you do after a guy stands in front of the world and admits to such momentary lunacy, alludes to his own father's suicide, apologizes profusely, over and over again?

Tsakumis, there's a major assumption buried in this sentence. It's in your use of the adjective "momentary".

On the lighter side, the arrival of Kevin Kreuger in the Cabinet, and in a portfolio that is continuing to attract serious criticism across Canada over the manner in which mining exploration is conducted on the lands owned or leased by farmers and ranchers, is very nearly the largest political windfall the NDP and the press gallery could ever ask for. It really begs the question "why" in a voice as loud as Kreuger's own. In fact, when the history of this period is written the story is not going to be Bennett's departure, but Krueger's arrival.

Let me say too that Campbell's own words in the main article are an alarming disappointment for a man of nearly 60. He appears to have a difficult time appreciating what's serious and what's not, what's credible and what's not. It's a small thing, but it's a scary little insight.

Gosh Buddly, you're so sharp this morning, fresh out of the knifebox! Hardy, har, har; yuk, yuk, yuk.....

Truth be told you are an occasional ignoramus, and I'm being generous here...if Carole James spilled her guts out as Gordon did during his Maui: One Night Only episode about a personal matter and further stopped at speculation's door about what in her life may have lead her (or should have stopped her) from an indiscretion, you would see the throngs of provincial Libs, without exception, yours truly included, adding our voices to the empathy that would ensue. Truth be told, Gordon's mea culpa was one of the rarest moments, if not the rarest moment, of complete honesty exhibited by an politician I've seen in the almost 25 years I've known any pols, including some of your like, whom I respect. But, like the nasty, ill-thought of secular "progressive" you like to make yourself out to be, you take a comment I make out of context and try and post a funny. Brilliant.

How 'bout for once in your dogma infested life admitting that how Campbell handled the issue was dignified, open and honest--even the clowns in your political bailiwick on the Opposition benches did that much. Resigning because he did something stupid in his private time might have been easier for a Minister, but for a Premier, the logistics are significantly different and you know it. What Bennett did was ridiculous. In his capacity as Minister, he should have known better, although his candor was refreshing, I'll agree with you on that much, but only on that.

Have a nice day, Budd.

I'm off to my greehouse to plant some flowers. I'll be thinking of you among the vegetation.

"What Gordon Campbell did one Maui night was incredibly stupid."

No kidding. He should have thought twice before
leaving drunk from the beach house owned by Fred and Kathy.

"He has admitted to that, in a considerably worse tone. "

He did? Not to the public's knowledge. That was
a soppy news event he gave. Pathetic.

"In public. He apologized for that. In public. He suffered at the hands of his political enemies (but really he did it) for months. In public. He spoke, in the most sincere manner, about how considering his family's sad history, he should have thought better (when he really did not have to bring that up). In public.

oh phuleez, Alex, end the soppy story about his
family sad history. there are many families out
there that have had family members commit suicide,
and they haven't dealt with it by getting pickled
on while on a trip to Hawai'i.

As for his soppy event to the public, the guy is
a public figure, he had to go to the public otherwise the voting public and the media would
have politically teared him apart and your friends would not be running the government in Victoria right now.

"How much more kicking do you do after a guy stands in front of the world and admits to such momentary lunacy, alludes to his own father's suicide, apologizes profusely, over and over again?"

How much more of this soppy blind loyalty to Gordon Campbell by Alex is going to go on?

"I have heard of kicking a guy while he is down, but kicking a guy when he is up, has received the thumbs up for his mea culpa and not done it again.....just how much venom is there for someone who does what few of us would do? Would any of you talk about what may have fuelled your binge, or a painful moment in your life?"

Alex obviously does, in regards to his political
binge regarding Gordon Campell.

That takes more than just your garden variety, uncommon courage courage.

It takes smarts not to know to drink and drive,
the simple thing is, he should have known better.

"Love him or hate him (and;or his government) Gordon is a credit to the Office of the Premier, on a personal note, for having dealt with that issue in such a painfully open manner."

Alex, he had no choice. he said he was going to
stiffen the penalties for drunk driving, and all he did was raise the penalties up a .30 to .5 of a point. In otehr words, he didn't do that much compared to what should have been done. If he was really ambitious, he would have ended up publicly advocating very severe penalties in working with the federal government, but also his own, since driver licensing is issued by the province, and it would not take much for legislation to change to ensure that drunk drivers get the message, that there is zero tolerance for those who drink and drive, and esp. for those who drink and drive and because of that, they lose their license. Permantly. I am not interested in what can't be
done, the simple matter is that people who drink and drive should get the message, and it was obvious that Campbell didn't do as much on that issue as he should have. It won't happen now with
Wimpy Oppal as AG, and John Les has made progress but not enough.

But you'll disagree on that one. As per usual.

Tsakumis, save the teary-drenched fertilizer for your greenhouse friends.

Bill Bennett swore at a constituent in an e-mail after flipping out due to the conflicting pressures of being an MLA in a region where a coal mine is being proposed and his support as the junior Mines Minister for that project.

But, in the end, he did the right thing by resigning.

Premier Gordon Campbell partied hardy, as they say for a night at a friends place and then dumbly got behind the wheel of a vehicle capable of killing innocent people if in the hands of a drunk.

How drunk was he? We all saw the pics Alex and they certainly didn't project anything you might call Premierial.

However, he has refused to resign as anyone else in that position certainly would have, family history or not.

"One Night Only episode ... Gordon's mea culpa was one of the rarest moments, if not the rarest moment, of complete honesty exhibited by an politician I've seen ... how Campbell handled the issue was dignified, open and honest ...
Resigning because he did something stupid in his private time might have been easier for a Minister, but for a Premier, the logistics are significantly different ... "

You see, Mr Tsakumis, you're still basing things on a great assumption here, your reliance on the "one time only" clause. Your on and on spiel about his supposed honesty and candour is kind of funny, though, and I think you deserve some thanks for allowing us this added levity.

Suffice it to say that this is the kind of situation I foresaw the day after the news came from Maui, that Campbell would find it a lot more difficult to discipline or dismiss Ministers in a fully credibly fashion. By his standards, Bill Bennett should have been allowed to apologize and carry on.

Gordo's mea culpa was no mea culpa - he pleaded 'no contest' when he should have pleaded 'guilty'.

Hate to be a stickler here, but since Mr. Campbell himself has decided to make it the 'delineator'.....

Was that not a 'working' vacation the Premier was on while he was in Maui on that fateful night?

.

The anti-Campbell venom is pretty thick...and reeks to high Heaven...

In order:

1) Teary accusations notwithsatnding, he had no obligation to say what he did, and if you know Grodon, which you obviously do not, he meant every word of it. He did not have to reference anything personal and the results would be the same as they are today.

2) We need to separate the Bennett issue with the Maui incident. Gordon was one personal holiday, was not representing government. No excuses, but the same crew of boo-birds ran to the Glen's defence because the work was on personal property and "couldn't be linked" to anything in government.

3) Yes, no one, including Gordon thinks that his Maui screw-up wasn't ridiculously dumb and very dangerous. He never said otherwise...

4) I don't think other Premiers were anymore forthcoming when they had issues...Bill stayed beyond the natural call (and against good advice), Harcourt left well after Stupich was obviously being stupid, and Glen wouldn't go until Ujjal made it so...notice all professional indiscretions, no one was on holiday. Still no excuse, but context matters.

5) Bob should change his name to boob. Campbell pleaded no contest as most 'celebrities' do. It was good legal advice. You got drunk and drove, got caught without killing yourself or anyone around you. Lucky, absolutely. But if you were given an opportunity to eat the same justice and get it removed from your record (or not at all), wouldn't you do it? Of course you would, but were talking about Gordo, who has been a very good Premier (with exceptions--no one's perfect), so you guys have to slime up.

Nice work boys, but not quite good enough.

Sorry Alex, not all of your responses would
hold water.

Obviously blindly loyal to Gordon Campbell, but more than than the average Liberal who supported him by working his constituency campaign or working the Provincial Tour.

You're forgetting one thing. Politicians don't go "off duty" once they swing the briefcase into the car on friday afternoons. They are on duty all the time.

Gordon reflects himself and the Province at all times, being a Premier.

Campell isn't a 'celebrity'. He's a public official.

Truth was he was found guilty and should have acknowledged it rather than wimping out on providing the 'no contest' option. The penalties
would have been the same. In fact the 'no contest' option does not exist in B.C. law.

It's simple Alex, either your guilty of drunk driving or your not. He was.

Nice work Alex, but you need to take a few steps
away and look at the bigger picture.

Get away from your blind loyalty and widen your peripheral political vision.

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