52% Backed By Real Estate – Analysis Of Contributions To Campaign Of Christy Clark, New Leader of the BC Liberals

Who influences our political leaders?

Here follows the results of an analysis of the sources of campaign donations to Christy Clark, new leader of the BC Liberal Party.
(Thanks to ‘Nemesis’ [at VREAA 27 Feb 2011] for the list [pdf here].)

Each source was researched online, and classified by industry type, as best as possible based on available information.
Results were analyzed by number of contributors, and by dollar amounts.
Businesses classified as real estate related were developers, contractors, construction, property managers, realtors, and RE marketers.
A minority of sources (21 of 147) could not be reliably classified (for instance numbered or named corporations with no online presence, or individuals whose industry affiliations could not be ascertained) and they are classified accordingly.

Total contributions: $513,200*
Total number of contributors: 147*
[*For the sake of this analysis, we have removed the single line item ’55 donations under $250′ and the $5,840 that they contributed.]

Contributors & contributions by group:

A. Contributor known to be affiliated primarily with RE related industry:
(i) Number: 46/147
(ii) Dollar amount: $267,250

B. Contributor known to be affiliated primarily with industry that is not RE related:
(i) Number: 80/147
(ii) Dollar amount: $212,300

C. Contributors where industry affiliation cannot be ascertained:
(i) Number: 21/147
(ii) Dollar amount: $33,650

Percentage of known industry affiliated contributions coming from contributors with known RE affiliation:  55.7% ($267,250 of $479,550)

Percentage of all contributions coming from contributors with known RE industry affiliation:  52.1% ($267,250 of $513,200)

We anticipated that the RE-affiliated portion would be large, but 52% is substantially larger than we expected, very much more than the percentage of our GDP made up by directly RE-related industry (20-22%, we believe).
Powerful vested interests means ongoing misallocation of resources.
The provincial and municipal governments will likely continue to do everything possible to perpetuate the speculative mania in Vancouver’s housing markets.

16 responses to “52% Backed By Real Estate – Analysis Of Contributions To Campaign Of Christy Clark, New Leader of the BC Liberals

  1. depressing

  2. The pdf link seems not to goto the document.
    Here it is from Clark’s website. http://www.christyclark.ca/cc/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Christy-Clark-Donor-List.pdf
    [thanks, corrected -ed.]

    I went to look for Kevin Falcon’s donation list to compare but couldn’t find it on his website. A little search and it turned up here. http://www.scribd.com/doc/49361318/Kevin-Falcon-Campaign-Donor-List

    Looking at Clark’s donor list it does seem that the big donors are mostly real-estate based. Names like “Rennie”and “Wall” do tend to stand out.

  3. Nice job. It’s great to have real data. Are you able to post the categorized data somehow?

    • UnagiDon.
      We will post the categorization as links to images of a spreadsheet, thus:
      Christy Clark Contributors:
      CCC1 RE-affiliated
      CCC2 Non-RE affiliated
      CCC3 Unknown

      [*We are aware that our categorization process may have been imperfect.
      Anybody who looks these over and can correct any errors we have made, please let us know.
      If any identified errors make a substantial difference to the results of the analysis, we will update them.]

  4. “Who influences our political leaders?” – VREAA…

    For one, TheMoney, of course (and you’re most welcome for the link, VREAA). However, from time to time – in what currently passes for our regional/civic political arena/theatres of the absurd – other interests do present themselves (think GeoStrategic/GlobalMacro, vs. the ‘usual [local] suspects’) . For example, who here remembers DCSIS Richard Fadden’s ‘inflammatory’ remarks of last year?… Anyone? If not, this may help:

    [CBC] – Foreign influence ‘ongoing threat’: CSIS

    “…clandestine efforts by foreign governments to influence our officials, policies and communities have the potential to undermine our ability to make independent decisions in Canada’s national interests.” – CSIS director Richard Fadden


    Now, what’s really/deliciously cute about DCSIS Fadden’s revelations is that a plurality of readers will impulsively assume he’s referencing a certain ‘visible’ community (the very same who purportedly charter Sikorsky S-76A’s to terrorize WhiteRock beachcombers). Whereas, Nemesis believes Fadden’s circumspection (declining to name names, provinces, or state actors) has far less to do with protecting agency sources/methods (or guilty parties, for that matter) than it does our delicate political relationship vis-à-vis a certain ‘neighbour’.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if local blogger Vivian Krause was actually his ‘back-channel’ into the FourthEstate…

    Those of you not familiar with Ms. Krause’s work will doubtless find her recent disclosures of monied influence (predominantly American ‘charitable’ foundations) in BC/Vancouver politics compelling reading.

    Perhaps more captivating (from ‘Nemesis’ wicked perspective) is Vivian’s fascinating career transition from supranational non-profits/NGO’s operating in the third world, to the upper echelons of the BC AquaCulture industry, thence briefly to the constituency office of North Island MP John Duncan; culminating in her most recent incarnation – ‘investigative journalist’.


  5. A look at the civic funding yields similar results, on both sides of the aisle. This should be no surprise, though, with so much of BC’s private sector economy based on real estate and construction.

    So here’s the obvious question: what do these donors want, specifically?

    • Yes, great question.
      Our political set up appears to weed out the more obvious favours-for-bribes.
      What is likely achieved by all these contributions is the steady leaning of policy in favour of a sector like RE. This is arguably more sinister and further reaching than the occasional deck-for-casino-license type of ‘arrangement’.

      And, you’re right, Christy Clark is just an example here; other politicians’ campaign war-chests very likely have similar origins.

      • “Our political set up appears to weed out the more obvious favours-for-bribes.” – VREAA

        Whereas powerful actors/’constituencies’ are self-evidently driving political policy, VREAA – the converse is, invariably, also true; in so far as the ‘masters of policy’ are equally culpable: viz. artificially constructing/attracting policy-harmonious ‘constituencies’…

        [G&M] – Jason Kenney: Minister of the Crown or party operative?

        “The Immigration Minister’s unceasing efforts to deliver their votes and those of other new Canadians into the welcoming arms of the Conservative Party have landed Mr. Kenney in the biggest trouble of his ministerial career, thanks to a wrongly delivered parcel that revealed the extent to which his office has become a party war room.”…


        So, although it pains me to contest your original postulate, I would contend that our polity – as currently constituted – is better suited to maintaining and rewarding both nascent and entrenched networks of patronage/privilege than it is to either discouraging or ‘weeding’ them out…

        Woe is us.


    • Well let’s brainstorm on it.
      – ALR
      – Tenancy Act changes
      – Business tax cuts, or at least no tax hikes
      – Direct government subsidy of construction projects and preferred tenders
      – PTT reductions
      – Sale of crown land for development
      – Staving off changes to builder liability laws
      – Moratorium on closer scrutiny into Realtor malfeasance

      I’m sure there are obvious ones I’ve missed; those are just off the top of my head.

  6. chumpie chump

    this is indeed depressing- those who contribute want and demand a return on investment. however, much of the future is out of CC’s control. This will not end well regardless of who is our Premier. the only difference is what kind of stupid policies they will try to enact to stave off the inevitable.

    • One wonders just how much is under CC’s control. It is becoming quite evident she does not have significant support in caucus — I wonder what other “superstars” will step up to the plate to run in the next election if not the old guard who only superficially support her.

  7. Bigger donors have been made in the US by various real estate magnates, it didn’t work. They can tout condos until the chickens roost. When OIL hits $150-200 you can kiss everything good-bye because its on its way to $300. You won’t be able to pay for a tomato never mind your mortgage.

    • Relax. Unless there is a large scale war, oil isn’t goint to $300 any time soon. Before oil comes even close to $300, the economy will collapse and with it the price of oil. Very similar to what happened in 2008 when oil fell to $30.

  8. I miss the old days when forestry was a big donor 😉

    The only defense is to have a diverse economy – like Washington state.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s