Earlier, our colleague Bill Tieleman reported Kevin McCullough, the lawyer for former Campbell administration aide Bob Virk, alleged David Basi, "while a ministerial assistant, was hired by the Liberal party on media monitoring contracts" which was "a highly political effort to sway public opinion through the use of radio shows and other events." Asked about those allegations, which have not been proven in court, provincial Liberal communications director Chad Pederson said, "We're not going to be commenting on anything that's coming out with the court proceedings. From our standpoint, it's a matter before the courts. And we're going to let that process take its course."
Public Eye has documented numerous attempts by administration and party officials - following Mr. Basi's firing and not connected to the aforementioned allegations - to sway public opinion through the use of radio shows and online opinion polls. For example, in January 2005, the premier's then Asia-Pacific trade and economic development director Prem Vinning used a different name other than his own when phoning in a question to a weekend Channel M call-in-show featuring Gordon Campbell. Then, in July, callers who sounded like Liberal organizers Dan Baxter, Brian Bonney and Mark Robertson phoned into a CKNW segement. And, last March, we caught Mr. Bonney encouraging supporters to skew the results of an online poll on The Tri-City News's Website.