The Palmer files – notes on an obsession

“December 30, 2003 – Vaughn Palmer says Dave Basi was working for the federal Liberals… Notes Required: Yes”

“January 7, 2004 – Vaughn Palmer exposes Gordon Campbell’s alleged double standard… Notes Required: Yes”

“January 15, 2004 – Vaughn Palmer thinks the flip flop of government on Bill 92 looked dishonest and incompetent.  Notes Required: Yes”

And so it goes.  The Vaughn Palmer Spreadsheet, that is – a product of the BC Liberals obsession with the Dean.

The version of the Palmer spreadsheet I got, nestled in the middle of reams of scrum transcripts and newspaper clippings produced by the Campbell Liberals, covers the year from December 2003 to December 2004.

And it is a speadsheet, with 3 headings – Date Published, Summary of Article and Notes Required – running to four pages with 26 entries.

Do I detect a hint of spurned lover in the notes?  “Vaughn Palmer says Christy Clark’s ‘equanimity’ suggests Liberals are not that worried about the optics of the ‘Leg raids’.  I don’t know about spurning, but when I see “equanimity” in quotes I see deep hurt.

Funny, when the notes summarize Palmer’s critique of the government’s honesty and competence the words “dishonest and incompetent” aren’t in quotes.

Another thing:  “Leg raids” is always in quotes, as if that’s an unfair characterization.  But aren’t a busload of cops hauling boxes of evidence out of the Leg a Leg raid, no quotes?

More highlights from the Palmer spreadsheet:

“Vaughn Palmer believes government members are worried that Liberals and scandals will go together in the public’s mind more.”

Perish the thought.

“Palmer writes about the Walls affair.  He sys Minister Hogg resigned and Deputy Minister Chris Haynes was fired.  He says whoever is appointed … has a big job ahead of them.”

Gee, ten years later that’s turned out well.

“Vaughn Palmer says Victoria snuck in the new liquor tax…”

No way they’d sneak in a tax!

“Vaughn Palmer describes the job posting for the next manager to take over the plan to reassign developmentally disabled services.  He says Minister Clark’s plan to “stick with the plan” is wishful and even reckless thinking…”

Minister Clark?  As in Premier Clark?  Wishful and even reckless thinking?  How could he possibly link the two?

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