Campbell: "I know that many people think they can turn this into an election issue..."

When questions about Patrick Kinsella arise in the legislature, Premier Gordon Campbell is shielded from answering them by Attorney General Wally Oppal. But, scrummed by the media prior to today's caucus meeting, the premier didn't have the attorney general around to deflect those slings and arrows.

The first projectile: British Columbia Railway Co. has responded to questions about the work the former provincial Liberal campaign co-chair did for them between 2002 and 2005. And so has Mr. Kinsella. But the government hasn't. So why is that, asked CTV's Jim Beatty.

"Well, I think Jim you know the answer to that," the premier responded. "When the investigation into BC Rail started, I said that we hoped it would carry on as quickly as possible. And I've been advised by the attorney (general) not to comment on it. And my first responsibility is the integrity of that court process - not to deal with these issues one at a time.

"I think we have to protect the integrity of the court process - let it run it's course," he continued. "Decisions will be made. And then we'll be in a position where it can be dealt with. I know that many people think they can turn this into an election issue by speculating whatever they want. I'm not going to comment on issues that are before the courts" - a reference to the fact records related to Mr. Kinsella's work for British Columbia Railway have been obtained by legislature raid trial defense lawyers.

But what about New Democrat allegations Mr. Kinsella has violated the Lobbyists Registration Act? That isn't a matter before the courts.

"There are processes in place right now under the Lobbyists Registration Act and we are dealing with improving the Lobbyists Registration Act. Mr. Kinsella is like everyone else. He's going to be held accountable to the law."

What the premier doesn't mention, though, is that those processes have been exhausted. Lobbyists registrar David Loukidelis can't review the allegations - which are said to have happened in or before 2007 - because Mr. Kinsella has refused to cooperate. And the Royal Canadian Mounted Police can't investigate because proceedings could only be brought against Mr. Kinsella within six months of his alleged offences taking place.

The following is a recording of that scrum.

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