An acquaintance here in town forwarded me the following today:
First, the email by Ben Besler sent out two days ago that I heard about its existence on Wednesday
From: Ben Besler
Date: 5 September, 2012
Subject: Address to BCC Presidents
Hello, BC Conservative Presidents:
The feedback I’ve been getting from my address to the membership, this past week, has been positive in the fact that I have had a chance to clear up issues relating to party communication and administration that have been weighing heavy this past term.
It seems as though there are issues affecting our party that many of you had wished the respect of knowing sooner, but were not privy to.
Please let me clarify, too, that my intent on bringing to light party matters and the encouragement to vote yes in the leadership review, is that this party can ensure a strong success in the next general election.
Although you may not be aware, it has been made public knowledge, that our party has limited funds and has weekend its ability to raise funds this term. In fact, last month our expenses were twice that of funds raised. With this in mind, in a vote that was not permitted to go to secret ballot at a board meeting, by our party president Reed Elley when asked for; and in contrast to our one MLA putting up his own money to fight the BC Rail case. John Cummins is now taking $4000.00 per month, plus his expenses, of the party’s limited resources, to add to his extremely high personal income, at a time when we need every resource possible to fight the next general election. With this in mind, we must ask ourselves what the motivation of the leadership of this party is when we have not seen, although we have gone through two by-elections, one workshop to train our volunteers in election readiness. When we had seen the growth of this party’s organisation develop, on an average rate at one Constituency Association (CA) every two weeks from 2010-2011, to a stagnant term where CAs have now resigned and dissolved. To the inability to provide in many instances a positive work environment, respect to volunteers, and a proper channel of communication to you our CA presidents and local representatives.
The fact of the matter is that we will not be relevant in the next election, even in times like these, through a campaign of press releases and limited resources.
I hope this brings more clarification to recent statements.
If there are other items I can clear up, you can give me a private call.
BC Conservative Party
Second the response from party director Al Siebring
To: CA Presidents, BCCP.
In the most recent email you received from Mr. Besler (copied below), he neglects to mention several things. First of all, the motion to give Mr.Cummins the honorarium passed unanimously.
Ben Besler voted for this honorarium.
From the minutes of the July 7th meeting:
“It is moved by Ian Pyper, seconded by Joan Robinson:
Having regard to:
1. The fact that the Provincial Election in BC is just over 10 months away; and
2 The advice given to this Board at its meeting on June 9th, 2012,by our Leader, John Cummins, that the costs of leadership were such that he would have to curtail his current heavy schedule and,
3. The fact that the Leaders of the other two major parties receive substantial remuneration and expenses both from their Parties and from the people through Legislature salaries and benefits;
It is hereby moved that the Leader of the BC Conservative Party receive an honorarium of $4000 per month commencing on July 1, 2012.
(The minutes do not show any negative recorded votes. The roll call shows Mr. Besler was at the meeting. Those minutes were approved by the Board without amendment at a subsequent meeting, and again Mr. Besler was present. What’s all of that tell you?)
As to the business about donations falling off, it’s not as serious as he makes it out to be. And interestingly, to the degree that there has been a drop in donations, that didn’t start to happen in any substantive way until a few dissidents on the Board started causing trouble for the AGM organizing committee, leaking confidential stuff to the media, and agitating for a leadership review with the unauthorized use of a improperly obtained (stolen?) membership database.
For them to whine to you (or the membership at large) about the problems that exist now is akin to dousing the inside of a house with gasoline, throwing a match into it, and then running to the neighbours to complain that the house is on fire!!!
Mr. Besler has spread this poison beyond just the CA Presidents. Anyone who bothered to respond to his first email received essentially the same letter as the one below. One answer I saw from a Party member sums up the appropriate response:
“If you think Cummins is in this for personal income you are insane. I have been one of the largest contributors… (and) I would never question his leadership or his success in building this Party. He gave up a lot to do this for us. We need to support him. I am ashamed of people who have embarrassed us so much in these recent weeks. You have done more for Christy than she has done for herself. You should be ashamed.”
Indeed, he should.
Director at Large,
It seems my acquaintance is rethinking their involvement with the BC Conservatives. I do not think they will actively work for the BC Liberals, but who know. To quote them "Christy may be a federal Liberal, but at least she understands you have to try and win elections and not kill each with friendly fire."