Saturday, November 22, 2008

 

Basi ran the Media Monitoring Contracts??? Including Prem Vinning's 'performance'?

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It's the weekend ... Grey Cup weekend at that. So some of us can take time for a look-back. It's amazing, the things which suddenly stand out.
See Neal Hall's story "Premier gets 'softball' call from Basi", showing how the Media Monitoring Service actually works in B.C. Recommended, at this point in the Basi-Virk trial.

[I'm having computer problems again this a.m., so I hope readers will click onto the URL to review that important article by Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun, April 21, 2007 ... but first, a few tidbits:



VANCOUVER - Former B.C. Liberal government aide Dave Basi, now on trial for accepting bribes, used a phoney name when he called a Victoria radio station to ask Premier Gordon Campbell a "softball" question about BC Rail, a defence lawyer revealed Friday during legal arguments.

While Campbell was appearing on CFAX radio on Nov. 27, 2003, Basi called from his home phone to praise the government's controversial privatization of BC Rail, lawyer Kevin McCullough told the criminal trial of Basi and Bob Virk.

"Basi calls CFAX, disguises his voice and said his name was Don from East Saanich and puts a question to Mr. Campbell," the defence lawyer told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Bennett, who is sitting without a jury.

"It was a call from Mr. Basi to the premier, lobbing a softball for the premier to hit out of the park," the lawyer said.

He pointed out that before Basi asked his question, he told the radio show host: "I think the BC Rail deal is the best thing you could have done for the province."

Basi, the lawyer added, then asked Campbell: "I just want to know, as far as Prince Rupert is concerned, if you could maybe let me know when those projects are going to start there?"

Two days before Basi's call, the government announced Canadian National Railway was the winning bidder for BC Rail, which was sold for $1 billion.

McCullough questioned whether the call to the radio station was an organized event that Campbell or Basi's boss, then-finance minister Gary Collins, knew about.

What the phoney call showed was how political operatives such as Basi were being used by their political masters, the lawyer said ...

At the time of the phoney call to the radio station, Basi was in charge of administering "media monitoring contracts" that were paid for by the B.C. Liberal party, McCullough said.

The contracts were "a highly political effort" to sway public opinion through radio talk shows and other media, said the lawyer, who is representing Virk, the former ministerial assistant to then transportation minister Judith Reid.




And all these things got me thinking some more ...

Remember the name "Prem Vinning"? Wow. I had another look at that story ... ! And was able to copy some remarks from VoiceOnLine, as follows:

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voiceonline - April 28, 2007

PREM VINNING AND PREMIER GORDON CAMPBELL MAKE FOOLS OF THEMSELVES

By RATTAN MALL
EDITOR'S NOTE:

I wrote this piece in The VOICE of January 29, 2005, about how Prem Vinning made a fool of himself (and of our whole community) by misrepresenting himself on a TV call-in show to ask Premier Gordon Campbell a soft question. These kind of low tactics were brought up this week at the preliminary hearings in the Dave Basi-Bob Virk-Aneal Basi case where lawyers for Dave Basi and Virk quoted wiretap evidence collected by the RCMP that appeared to show that Campbell KNEW about these dirty tactics. I have always said that Campbell knew that Vinning was the caller on the TV show. Thanks to The VOICE's fearless reporting, most Indo-Canadians turned against the Liberals and voted in NDP MLAs especially in Surrey in the provincial elections in May, 2005.

The Voiceonline editorial begins:

What kind of characters are Prem Vinning, a man whose political influence in the community is close to zero although he desperately pretends to be an Indo-Canadian "leader" with his smooth tongue, and Premier Gordon Campbell, who has angered Indo-Canadian Liberals because of his neglect of our community?

Vinning took so long to finally admit he misrepresented himself on a Channel M TV call-in show and Campbell still won't admit that he knew that "Peter" was Vinning.

"Meanwhile, Liberal sources told me that Prem Vinning had started making calls this week to the Liberal old guard trying to win their support for Campbell. But these sources tell me that they will wait and see what concrete measures Campbell actually takes vis-a-vis Indo-Canadians."

Vinning was present at the two special meetings that Campbell held with top Indo-Canadian Liberals on December 11. I wrote, "The Indo-Canadian Liberals gave Campbell hell" and "wanted to know why it took Campbell almost four years to consult Indo-Canadians, why no renewal notices are being sent out to members whose membership have expired, why blank membership forms are not readily available, why riding associations have become exclusive clubs with no proper notices for meetings being issued and so on." ...


Later, Rattan Mall, editor of Voiceonline, wrote more:

Hats off to Sean Holman of the Public Eye website for exposing Vinning and Campbell.

On January 26, this outstanding journalist reported that he had learned that Campbell's new director of Asia-Pacific trade and economic development Vinning had quit his job "three days after being hired." He wrote: "That decision comes hours after Public Eye revealed Mr. Vinning used a different name other than his own when phoning in a question to a weekend Channel M call-in-show featuring Premier Gordon Campbell."

Holman in a taped interview made Vinning admit that he was the "Peter" who had phoned in a question to the Channel M show. He asked: "I'm in the trucking business and, you know, the economy is going great guns and that's good. But to get my products from the Cariboo into the harbour, the time I lose on my trucking business is just an enormous amount of time. When are you going to do something to move the traffic so we can keep our business going?"

Premier Campbell called that "a very good question" and went on to answer it with great delight.

Any idiot would know that Campbell knew it was Vinning and that he was ready with his answer to please the Indo-Canadians who dominate the trucking business.

Duh!

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Footnote:
FAMILY TIES


... Mr. Basi emerged as an early person of interest in a drug investigation that was triggered when informants told the RCMP that the arrest, in May, 2002, of U.S. drug dealer Cirilo Lopez had created an opening for a new drug boss on Vancouver Island.

"The word on the street was that Jas Bains was going to be the person taking over," (Crown prosecutor) Ms. (Janet) Winteringham said.

Mr. Bains is Mr. Basi's cousin.

That drug investigation identified Ravinder Singh Dosanjh, who was then a Victoria police constable, and Mandeep Singh Sandhu as other persons of interest. Both are related to Mr. Basi.

While tapping the phones of Mr. Dosanjh and Mr. Bains, the police intercepted calls to Mr. Basi, and soon formed a suspicion that he was being used to launder money, Ms. Winteringham said.

The police drug operation later spun off several investigations, and soon, the RCMP's Vancouver Island drug team and commercial crime units were developing different theories about what was happening.

Some investigators, she said, thought that Mr. Basi's boss, Mr. Collins, was a suspect in a scenario related to the alleged leaking of confidential government information about the pending sale of BC Rail.

But other investigators argued Mr. Collins wasn't a suspect, she said, and the defence contention that he was dropped because police didn't want to implicate any politicians was incorrect.

"Different investigators had different views as to whether Mr. Collins was under investigation," she said.

RCMP Inspector Kevin DeBruyckere, a lead investigator, "held the view that Mr. Collins was under investigation and he wanted to interview him immediately," she said.


From a Mark Hume story quoted in The Gazetteer, May 8, 2007.

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Comments:
Is this the same Campbell government that is so busy handing out gold medals to venue workers that he hasn't realized that he may not be the PREMIER in February 2010?

Arrogance?

The ballots haven't been printed, let alone counted.
 
Speaking of Prem Vinning,I recently heard that he has been recruited by the Michael Ignatieff Liberal Leadership campaign. Also working on the Ignatieff team is potential Basi trial witness Mark Marissen. What a small world we live in.
 
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Deja vu ... all over again, eh?

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Prem Vinning will be co-chairing Michael Ignatieff's campaign in BC along with Wendy Yuan. See Bill Tieleman's Oct 12 2008 blog entry about Wendy. I'm starting to feel sorry for Michael,
 
All you Vision Vancouver supporters take note! Michael Ignatieff has recruited Senator Larry Campbell to help run his Liberal Leadership campaign. Larry Campbell, Prem Vinning, Wendy Yuan, and Mark Marissen. Who's next?
 
Iggy is too willing to consider torture acceptable protocol - No to IGGY! Isn't there someone who has actually spent the majority of his life in Canada available for the job? I may have been born an American, but have spent more time in Canada than IGGY!

He is/was an apologist for the US idea of the War on Terra!

It is just another black mark to be backed by the same people that prop up Gordo the Not So Great! Harper is undoubtably still laughing (or sneering) at the lack of a viable rival, while negotiating the fee/fine for murdered labor leaders with Uribe of Columbia (the penalty for lack of compliance with labor stands under the Columbian Free Trade Agreement). If Parliament signs on they are worse than the Republican dominated Congress in the US) with which drew a line there.

Would stopping cocaine at the border be in contravention and subject Canada to penalties?
 
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