Just how much
did Kash Heed know?

Results of RCMP probe into close contest
could cost Liberals

Michael Smyth, Vancouver Province, April 13, 2010


B.C. Solicitor-General Kash Heed announces Friday he is resigning.
Photo: Bill Keay, PNG, Vancouver Province.

It may have been a major newspaper story in his riding during the election, but Kash Heed still insisted Monday he knew nothing about the illegal election flyers that triggered a police probe and his shocking resignation.

Heed quit as solicitor-general on Friday after being told by the RCMP he was a target in an investigation into allegations of campaign finance infractions during last May’s election.

The police probe was triggered by a sleazy pamphlet bulk-mailed to Chinese homes in Vancouver-Fraserview during the final days of the campaign. The pamphlets alleged the NDP would legalize heroin, cocaine and prostitution and bring in a “death tax” on family inheritances.

The flyers sent off shock waves in the riding’s politically crucial Chinese community — as did a followup “voicemail broadcast” in which Chinese homes received recorded phone messages in Cantonese with the same “death tax” allegation contained in the flyers.

Although the Vancouver Sun carried a major page-four story about the illegal-pamphlet uproar three days before the May 12 election, Heed insisted Monday he didn’t hear about the controversy until the election was over.

Heed, the Liberals’ star candidate, won the riding by just 748 votes over NDP rival Gabriel Yiu.

“My campaign would never endorse anything like that,” Heed told reporters Monday.

Heed’s claim of ignorance is important as police probe whether his campaign had anything to do with the pamphlets.

And his comment that he didn’t find out about the controversy until after the election was over — he said he saw a report about it in a Chinese newspaper — is also significant, since the New Democrats asked his campaign manager before election day to issue a public statement condemning the flyers.

The New Democrats say the Liberals ignored the request, as crucial Chinese votes drained away from the NDP in the election’s dying days.

Why didn’t Heed know about any of this? Why didn’t his campaign manager tell him the NDP had officially complained about the flyers and asked his campaign to issue a public statement condemning them?

But the answers to those questions remain a mystery, because nobody has found Heed’s campaign manager, Barinder Sall, since this bombshell exploded on Friday. Sall is a well-known Liberal political organizer and former government appointee.

If the Liberals are innocent in all this, why wouldn’t Sall simply come forward and explain what happened?

Meanwhile, the direct-mail company that delivered the toxic flyers last May is also doing the old “no-comment” routine.

The flyers were delivered by North American Mailing of Richmond, which donated about $1,600 to the Liberals in previous elections. Company owner Dinesh Khanna is also a Liberal donor.

As the stench continues to rise — and Heed continues to plead ignorance — the Liberals are extremely concerned about where the police investigation is leading.

That’s because if the cops can somehow connect this drive-by sliming to the Libs, Heed could end up losing his seat in the legislature, even if he knew nothing about it.

Meanwhile, Premier Gordon Campbell’s insinuation that the entire affair may be “trivial” is an insult to democracy.

If just 375 voters rejected the NDP because of the bogus contents of the pamphlets — not inconceivable in a riding with more than 38,000 registered voters — it’s arguable Heed’s election was a fraud in the first place.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take years for the public to get the truth.

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