Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Alberta Alliance's Sugar Daddy

I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that Randy Thorsteinson is the most notable personage in the brief history of the Alberta Alliance Party. He was the first leader, and the main party builder. He got the party registration done - which in and of itself was a massive undertaking.

However, until I reviewed the financial statements filed in the offices of the Chief Electoral Officer for the Province of Alberta, I did not realize that Mr. Thorsteinson deserves another title as well.

He is the AAP's official "Sugar Daddy".

Check out this screencap from the final page of the Alberta Alliance's 2004 Financial Statement:

Click for complete document

In 2004, the Alberta Alliance received a total of $121,300.00 in cash contributions from individuals who contributed more than $375.00, and from corporations (evidently, these two types of donations must be reported individually). Of that, $85,000.00 (or 70% of the total) came from individuals with the surname "Thorsteinson". An additional $15,000.00 (or 12% of the total) came from Randy Thorsteinson's company, Cascadia Motivation.

So, a total of $100,000.00 (or 82%) of individually reportable cash contributions essentially came directly from Randy Thorsteinson, or persons he is related to.

A measly 18% of contributions in this category came from all other party members and contributors.

Now look at the 2005 Statement:

Click for complete document

The cash contributions from the Thorsteinson clan dropped to $2,000.00. Furthermore, the total value of individually reportable contributions plummetted from $121,300.00, to $32,689.12, and of the $32,689.12, only $17,045.00 was cash (the remaining $15,644.12 was comprised of "valued contributions"). Given that there were no valued contributions in the 2004 Statement, the Alliance actually realized a total drop in reportable cash contributions of 86% between 2004 and 2005.


The Alberta Alliance is clearly having financial problems, and it looks like their main rainmaker has decided to cut his losses. As such, the financial problems will continue to grow and multiply, and will persist in causing stresses inside the party.

And you can read about it all right here, at Alberta Alliance Watch.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa comes early for Alberta Alliance members

Great news AAP members! Ipsos Reid has released a new poll, and it shows that support for the Alberta Alliance has increased by a whopping 50% - rising from 2% to 3%:

Click for original

Now, for the bad news (I always have some). This result is within the margin of error of the Leger Marketing poll I blogged about here, so this Ipsos Reid poll in fact confirms, beyond all doubt, that the Alliance is at historic, pitiful lows in public opinion.

Any argument that the 2% finding of Leger Marketing was an outlier is now difficult to maintain.

I look forward to blogging about how you Alberta Alliance members deal with this issue during 2007. The ball is clearly in your court now.

Source: Ipsos-Reid
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 800 adult Albertans, conducted from Dec. 13 to Dec. 19, 2006. Margin of error is 3.5 per cent.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Alberta Alliance runs another deficit in 2005

Regular readers of this blog may recall that I previously broke the story of the incredible debt burden being carried by the Alberta Alliance at the end of the 2004 election. Well, I have just reviewed the Financial Statement for 2005, and the river of red ink continues to flow unabated.

Here is a summary of the salient points from the filed statement:

  • on Dec. 31, 2005, the AAP had total cash assets of $18,185.00, and total debts of $402,518.00, for a net debt of $384,333.00;
  • during the year ending Dec. 31, 2005, the AAP had incoming revenues of $108,578.99, and expenses of $112,810.00, for a net deficit of $4,232.00;
  • the AAP revenues included $20,000.00 for leadership candidate fees (4 candidates at $5,000.00 each);
  • the AAP had no income from fund-raising functions whatsoever.

There is an additional observation from this filing that strikes me as particularly important:

When one looks at the liabilities of the Alberta Alliance listed on their Financial Statement for 2004, there are two line items: a loan of $115,000.00, and accounts payable of $280,432.00. In 2005, the liabilities are almost identical - a loan of $115,000.00, and accounts payable of $287,518.00.


If you look at note 6 to the draft 2004 statement, it would appear that the $115,000.00 loan is non-interest bearing, so that would explain why that figure isn't changing - the Alliance has decided not to make a payment on it. But how does one explain the high accounts payable figures? Usually accounts payable are interest bearing after 30 days, and the interest rates are usually pretty high. Why is the Alliance carrying such high accounts payable?

Keep in mind that the Alberta Alliance recently changed (i) the location of its office, (ii) the hosting of its website, and (iii) the job description of their Office Administrator.

Were these changes made in order to cut costs?

Are creditors being paid?

I don't know the answers to these questions ... yet. But, I do think there is a story here, and I will be pursuing it.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 22, 2006


I hate to be the one to deliver a lump of coal to the stockings of Alberta Alliance members, but I really must make mention of the results of the latest Leger Marketing poll published by Angus Reid Global Monitor on November 9, 2006, in an article entitled Alberta Tories Remain Well Ahead.

If you scroll down the page half way, you will see this table:

Click for original

The Alberta Alliance polled at 2% amongst Albertans in October, 2006.

Two percent.

This number is obviously unacceptable, even by rump party standards. The Alberta Allance received 9% of the vote in the provincial general election in November, 2004. The party has lost over 75% of the support earned under the leadership of Randy Thorsteinson.

Paul Hinman has cratered the party. When will you Alberta Alliance members stop living in denial and face up to this self-evident truth?

Source: Leger Marketing
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 900 Albertan adults, conducted from Oct. 23 to Oct. 30, 2006. Margin of error is 3.3 per cent.

Migration completed

The migration to the new version of blogger has been completed. It should be noted that:

  • the permalinks for all posts are now different;
  • the comments feature, which was not heavily used, has been turned off by default. There were some anonymous personal attacks against Craig Chandler on one post, that I could not delete. It is my intention in future to allow moderated comments on a post by post basis;
  • a new "Labels" feature has been added so that you can search by name or by topic.
I will be putting up a couple of new posts on the Alberta Alliance in the next day or so.