Friday, January 18, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


With a huff huff and puff puff, political commentator, Mr. Alex G Tsakumis, went off on another tirade in the latest edition of 24 Hours, the favorite rag of Sky high riders who skim the reads as they pass time before arriving at their destination.

Mr Tsakumis latest rant besides putting him squarely in the laps of the Visionistas (Vision municipal party), was so out there, it couldn't possibly be taken as resembling serious commentary.

Mr. Tsakumis was blowing so hard for potential NDP Mayoral candidate, Gregor Robertson and the NDP municipal farm team that whatever he was blowing probably swelled a number of the Visionistas, however, whether this is enough to take out of the Mayoral race, legitimate contenders like Mayor, Sam Sullivan or potential Mayoral candidate, Councillor Peter Ladner is doubtful.

The piece though deserves an A as it reached its intended target of being embarrassingly circle-jerk-like.

At one time, Mr. Tsakumis was in tight with Mayor Sam Sullivan and the NPA, however, along the way something happened and he began spouting anti-Sullivan comments on the Public Eye Online message board. This landed him a gig as a political commentator on the Sunday Victoria, BC, radio program of Public Eye and later a guest columnist role with 24 Hours.

At first, Tsakumis's anti-Sullivan viewpoints seemed legitimate and fair game. After all, Mr Tsakumis as a political diarist, should express his commentaries freely.

Reporting primarily on the Vancouver municipal scene, Mr Tsakumis is a rare individual who has an opinion on all matters political and while this isn't necessarily bad, what isn't particularly endearing is the way, Mr. Tsakumis has of late, personalized his opinions. His penchant for taking-no-prisoners approach is one thing, but putting people down in such a highly personal way is quite another.

Besides Mayor Sullivan, Mr. Tsakumis also has a fondness for attacking former Councillor, Mr. Tim Louis. In his leaning-further-left than the Tower of Pisa commentary, he takes a number of unnecessary swipes at Louis, who like Sullivan is confined to a wheelchair. These ongoing blistery attacks against Mayor Sullivan and former Councillor Mr. Louis, come across as bullying guys in wheel-chairs and I'm sad to say this reduces in the eyes of the public, Mr. Tsakumis credibility.

Mr. Tsakumis continuous attempts to paint Mr. Louis, on the fringe of municipal politics besides being so way out there is blatantly false. Mr. Louis has been elected four times to political office. He served six years as a Park Commissioner and another six years as City Councillor. Serving twelve years is pretty impressive for any politician.

Contrary to Mr. Tsakimis claims, this track record of Mr. Louis demonstrates that citizens respect his political judgement and they don't see his ideas as being out-of-sync with theirs. These culminated votes for Mr. Louis are coming from 42, 000-57,000 average joe's and Mr. Tsakumis clearly shows his disdain for ordinary citizens when he attacks Mr. Louis.
While Mr. Tsakumis can put down politicians like Mr. Louis, what cannot as easily be ignored is those consistant 42,000-57,000 votes Mr. Louis receives in every election he has challenged . Moreover, it needs affirming that at least Mr. Louis has the political courage to put his name up for election.

As a political operative-come-journalist, whether Mr. Tsakumis can make the same claim is questionable.

Sources close to the NPA inform me that Mr. Tsakumis was appointed to the NPA board however, he by-passed normal channels for election. Instead he seem to rely on influential board members to work out his appointment, skipping the normal democratic route and now has the gall to claim righteousness around democratic integrity.

While Mr. Tsakumis is entitled to be a Vision lapdog, its embarrassing since he also professes to be an arch Conservative and why a Conservative would blindly promote the NDP municipal farm team as the new governing party-in-waiting, is oddball politics.

Your vision Mr Tsakumis isn't what I would consider to be clear vision, in fact, its tunnel vision and you need to smarten up if you expect to have any journalistic credibility. Otherwise you run the risk of being a dogmatic visionless also-ran.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


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