Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Once again, Mayor Larry Campbell is really out to lunch if he expects the public to buy his latest harebrained idea that his separation from COPE is only a temporary split. Along with three other COPE councilors, Mayor Campbell today announced that his new group--friends of Larry Campbell--is a caucus separate from the COPE elected caucus.

Mr Campbell in a telling display of political immaturity, has articulated, however, that his crew will remain COPE members. It seems to me that the membership of COPE will decide whether they want him after this latest blustery attack on their values, party, elected officials, legacy and history.

Party insiders, claim Mayor Campbell is in for a bumpy ride if he expects the grassroots of the party to simply roll over as he takes the boots to the values and party inspired by and founded by longtime and well respected city councilor, Harry Rankin. One anonymous source says, "Not only is Larry Campbell crapping on the very people who got him where he is--the members will not stand by and allow him to continually mock and taunt us".

Larry Campbell has many problems on his hands, least of which is his reason for splitting from the longer serving COPE elected representatives on council. The Mayor wilfully ignores that the whole city is entitled to representation and his suggestion that COPE is an eastside party that only serves the eastside is really ill thought out.

Perhaps Mayor Campbell has forgotten how the founders of COPE came into being. Perhaps he has forgotten that the founding of COPE was a result of eastside ratepayers groups, fed up with being left out in the cold at City Hall, electing someone from their neighorhood. With the assistance of westside voters, who wanted to keep the NPA honest, Mr Rankin's star was born.

And should he need a reminder, when he chose to run with COPE, he was embracing their historical values, movement and successes. To discount these values as only eastside values must be troublesome to eastsiders and westsiders alike.

For Mayor Campbell to delusionally believe he is the great shining light who led COPE to victory in 2002, is really telling of his super--whopper--sized ego. For him to conveniently forget that there were many other stellar individuals before him who put COPE on the electoral map is probably not lost on the voting public.

While Larry Campbell and Jim Green believe they have set a showdown within COPE, I'd say, what they are really doing is setting the stage for the dramatic COPE civil war.

Continually taking pothot after potshot against those who are in political dis-agreement is no way to make friends Larry. Friends of Larry Campbell--we'll see.

Jamie Lee Hamilton