OK, I know that my stupidity is not exactly a revelation to some. All the same, I thought I would be able to figure out something so simple as what a political cash for access scheme looks like.
Just to recap, an event was scheduled where for the low fee of $5,000 or so, a person could join Mayor Naheed Nenshi along with 20 other well heeled donors for an intimate luncheon where they could get some one on one time for the Mayor. If you don’t want to or don’t have the means to spend a few thousand dollars to speak to the Mayor, you may wait for hours on end in hopes of addressing a city council meeting and pray that the Mayor doesn’t ignore your statement while he tweets instead of listening.
Nenshi boldly shouted that anybody who considered such an arrangement as being a cash for access scheme was stupid.
Well, I remain a fool because no matter how many ways I try to view this whole scandal I can only see a cash for access scheme.
Due to so many people in Calgary being so damned stupid in Nenshi’s eyes, the event was cancelled.
Nenshi essentially stated that Calgarians are too stupid to understand what the fundraiser was about so it was best to cancel it rather than let these dim misconceptions go on.
Apparently if you are a preferred architecture firm in Calgary, it is not stupid to arrange for and pay into these cash for access ripoffs however.
Kasian Architecture was long been doing Naheed Nenshi some rather questionable favors. Even back in 2011 Kasian caused a mini scandal when it was found that they were providing Nenshi with free flights across the country. Nice benefits if you can get them I guess.
The price of some airfare was well worth it for Kasian it appears. Their firm coincidentally happened to win Calgary Mayor’s Urban Design award in 2013. Perhaps giving the Mayor free trips doesn’t guarantee such awards but it apparently certainly doesn’t hurt.
Senior Kasian Architecture executive, Bill Chomik coincidentally landed positions such as being a director on the Calgary Economic Development board and chair of the Calgary Development Appeal board with the Mayor’s encouragement. What a great selling point for an architecture firm. Having a voice on boards that impact city grants and development appeals must look very good when seeking to partner with developers for contracts.
Kasian Architecture sure has good luck in securing those lucrative city contracts too.
Calgary Economic Development (who was on their board again?) was responsible for the Calgary tax funded film studio. Through what was surely another big coincidence, Kasian Architecture was named the prime consultant on the project.
The city of Calgary committed $25,000,000 to build the National Music Center. By what was surely a huge coincidence, Chomik and Kasian Architecture got the contract.
With Kasian being so dedicated to funding the Mayor and doing so well with city contracts, I would say something stinks. But then again, perhaps I am just stupid.
It would seem to me that charging $5,000 for personal access to the Mayor is exactly what pay to play is but how could a fool like myself question the brilliance of the communications gurus in the Mayor’s office?
I look forward to seeing how Nenshi and his gang model the invitations for the next fundraiser where they can charge $5,000 per person for personal time with the Mayor yet not have it actually be a pay to play event. Yes, indeed. I am too dim to see how that can be phrased but surely Nenshi and company will manage the task.