Monday, August 29, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Much speculation has arisen lately on whether former BC Liberal cabinet minister, Christy Clark will run for Vancouver Mayor.

Ms Clark is a Diva and I doubt whether she will formally announce she is running unless she is handed the Mayoralty on a platter. So far, Councillor Sam Sullivan, who has all but declared himself the NPA Mayoral candidate isn't budging.

But the strong-arming going on in the backroom (war chest room) of the NPA over the potential of a Christy Clark mayoral run has deepened old wounds with-in the NPA. In one corner you have former NPA Mayor Philip Owen and his son Christian, who are strong supporters of Mr. Sullivan's Mayoral dream. In the other corner are those influential backroom players who believe Christy can deliver a knockout punch to Jim Green and his Vision slate. Most notable among them is past board member of the NPA Marty Zlotnick.

Mr Zlotnick's good friend Lynne Kennedy is co-chairing the NPA campaign. Mr Zlotnick and Lynne Kennedy have many supporters on the NPA executive. Notable among them is Mr Zlotnick's stepson Andrew Graham, who is the NPA treasurer. The NPA president is Paul Barbeau, who happens to be Philip Owen's nephew. Mr. Graham was best man at Mr. Barbeau's wedding. Can you imagine the drama unfolding behind the scenes within the NPA tent?

Add to the mix, Mr Sullivan's steadfast belief that anyone running for political parties should have to seek nomination. He sincerely believes this is democracy. However, I doubt Christy Clark would be willing to seek an nomination unless she was certain of winning. After all she is a 'star candidate' and the NPA came calling, not the other way around. So if the NPA want her, they better get any obstacles out of her way.

Sam being Sam (you gotta love him) has according to internal sources said "no I will not back down to make way for Ms Clark'. This is creating anxiety and turmoil with-in the NPA as their nomination deadline for filing papers is in two days.

The backroom players sensing they will not entice Mr. Sullivan to voluntarily withdraw are lobbying NPA council candidates who signed up hundreds of members to support them. They are dangling this carrot. They claim if Ms Clark is the mayoral candidate, many of the NPA council candidates will be elected on her coattails. If Ms Clark isn't the mayoral nominee, the majority of the team may well go down to defeat. According to informed sources, their polling is telling them this.

According to one internal NPA source, Suzanne Anton signed up the most NPA members. The source claims she signed up 500 members. Of course the NPA back-roomers are heavily lobbying Ms Anton to encourage her and her supporters to support a Clark candidacy. B.C. Lee, another NPA council candidate sold the third highest number of memberships just behind Sam Sullivan.

Its no secret that Asian candidates tend to be conservative in nature and Mr Sullivan was a big supporter of the injection site whereas the chinese community objects to it. If the influential players get their way, Ms Anton and Mr, Lee's membership tallies will be enough to secure the nomination for Ms Clark over Sam Sullivan.

So what will happen? Sam Sullivan will be presented with a choice. He can either choose to run again as a councillor and win or he will probably lose the Mayoral nomination to Ms Clark. It becomes a game of chicken. Just like BC Liberals, Jennifer Clarke and Sandy McCormick did provincially--making way for finance minister Carole Taylor--Mr Sullivan has an option. He can say he is putting his mayoral dream on hold for the greater benefit of the NPA party. Taking one for the team so to speak.

And that folks is the bloodsport of politics. Isn't it just lovely?

Jamie Lee Hamilton