liar’s supporting cast

Coleridge’s slate email saga was not a solo performance. Nor was his wife the only other player. His tangled tale was made possible by a cast of supporting characters.

In his election campaign he made up a slate of other candidates and labelled it the “Real Estate Slate.” He said the City loaned Bosa money, certain candidates were heavily financed by developers, and others advocated outlandish development schemes. These were all lies; Coleridge made it all up, just like his bizarre stories about the email’s source.

But he’s been a known liar for many years. I’ve heard stories of other dishonourable dealings, but the one for which I have seen documented evidence took place in 1999 and was also an issue of public trust. So, how could he continue to be elected to public office?

That’s a good question. Here’s some for the people who helped him cover up his lies and get re-elected…

Jean Kromm and the CPR executive
Jean Kromm et al played a key role in Coleridge’s 2002 campaign. I suspect she heard the stories of Coleridge’s misdeeds and witnessed some herself. I would be surprised if she didn’t walk out of that experience knowing that he’s a liar. And being active as a council watcher, certainly she must have noticed his disrespectful, truth-twisting antics. So then, how could she endorse him during the 2008 election? Why did she not warn others that he has a track record of lying? Is it that she, like Coleridge, was so desperate to win this election that she turned a blind eye to his untrustworthy behaviour, despite running a campaign to “restore public trust?”

Members of the 1999 City Council
City Council refused to allow Coleridge’s previous ethics entanglements to be disclosed. After being caught attempting to use public funds to coverup a rendezvous with a mistress, he broke down in tears and blamed his moral deficit on stress due to his wife’s miscarriages. Sound familiar? He used the same line in court last week.

This soap opera script has remained locked in confidential documents in City Hall for 10 years. City councillors and city staff have have been sworn to secrecy all this time. Why? Because when City Staff brought it to City Council’s attention, some councillors walked out of the meeting and broke quorum – there wasn’t enough people left in the room to legally allow the meeting to continue, thereby preventing the information from being released to the public. Why did those members (only Doug McLean remains) hide Coleridge’s transgressions?

The Peace Arch News
None of Coleridge’s tall tales are news to the Peace Arch News. They’ve known the stories and had proof of his scams. While they’ve not had a problem printing political damnations from fictitious people and jumping on the James Coleridge bandwagon on numerous issues, they’ve backed away from writing about his own nefarious activities. Why? The excuse given is that there isn’t enough proof. That would make sense if the same test were applied to accusations from Coleridge about other people. It appears there has been a double standard. When Coleridge presents his assumptions about other people’s motivations as fact, the Peace Arch News prints it. But when others point out evidence of Coleridge’s integrity deficit, apparently absolute proof is needed.

Is this wilful blindness, Stockholm syndrome, fuelling controversy in order to guarantee a steady supply of amusing headlines, or a lack of courage to stare down defensive legal threats in search of truth? Whatever the reason, the result is that the local newspaper has enabled Coleridge to continue abusing the public’s trust.

The White Rock electorate
It appears that, for some citizens, the desire to believe Coleridge’s lies was so strong that they chose to ignore the volumes of facts and logic to the contrary. This is exactly how Coleridge rationalized his lies; he knew what he wanted to believe, looked for evidence to support it, and dismissed anything that undermined his belief. Coleridge’s creative truthing should have been obvious to anyone paying attention. How many voters wanted so badly to believe that there is a conspiracy to pillage White Rock that they willingly adopted his delusion, joined the cynical faithful, and became blind to any other explanation?

Coleridge needed a lot of help to get himself elected over and over again despite a growing wake of deceit behind him. Hopefully the community will learn from this experience. The integrity of elected representatives should be a higher priority in the polls. In this election, “listening” was something being demanded from candidates. The election of James Coleridge proves why it is so important for citizens to also be listening, and not just for what they want to hear. Politicians like Coleridge (thankfully, there aren’t very many of them) get elected by plying voters’ emotions to short-circuit critical thinking.

3 Responses to “liar’s supporting cast”

  1. ld Says:

    Visit ld

    Dude- seriously – you’re scaring me now because there may be things which have been disclosed in this post which may not be appropriate due to the time/disclosure thingy. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, RETHINK…what you have written and the ramifications of words.

    My wish for you is still the same, and I respect your decision not to run for council again. No harm no foul. Your future happiness is what is important. You couldn’t pay me enough to run for office in White Rock or anywhere else after this experience. I am rethinking a lot of things.

    I do not pretend to know about whatever documents you have signed off on, regarding disclosure and time periods-from previous roles I have held, I have signed off on things which have required abstaining for specific time periods- participating in activities due to the nature of the business.

    I don’t disagree with some of the sentiments, I too contacted a member of the CPR executive during the campaign before the election, and asked that they conduct a third party investigation VIA UBC or SFU computer science dept, to verify for themselves, the IP address thingy, like what you initiated and proved via the BCIT analysis, that the IP addresses were the same. As we found out in court, first hand from the horses mouth, the CPR was aware of the situation and chose to believe verbal words over third party evidence. Insert swear words here for what I really think!

    This caused me great distress because they (the CPR) were aware of the problem and chose to pay for advertisements in the press celebrating the win(s) of the candidates they endorsed. The end result was more important than the journey, the integrity, and the ethics, or our future. Insert swear words here for what I really think!

    Perhaps I’m just not old enough to know better and shut up; or not experienced enough to shut up, and disbelieve that that laws exist to protect the voters from fraud, or not life experienced enough to think that there should be some sort of threshold towards election conduct as per the law, which should be followed to protect us, the voters…. whatever! This was very wrong – the whole situation.

    Never again, civically, provincially, or federally anywhere in Canada. How can we as Canadians proudly hold our heads up when other countries knock on our door for lessons on fair democratic process? ya I’m looking at the whole forest, not just the trees here.

    What caused me the most distress from the court testimony, was that “evidence” to support a real estate slate was created first based upon innuendo / false pretenses, then there was a review of who was running for council, then the finger pointing to whoever might fit the bill based upon the false accusations, in order to package the “whole program” of a real estate slate in a “marketing program”… as a marketer/pr person this was insulting because we have organizational/ethical boundaries which we must adhere to and this totally crossed those boundaries. I was stunned by what I heard in court, I mean absolutely silenced! by the audacity.

    What I learned was:
    never sign your name to any public document indicating you have attended a public meeting because you will be implicated in something which may or may not reflect your opinion or stand on the subject matter of the meeting. How sad is that – someone may use against you, you attendance of a public meeting to portray a picture which may not be accurate of your thoughts or beliefs.

    I returned from Europe at the beginning of Nov, after learning about my great grandfather in WW1 and what/why he did/sacrificed; and my grandfather/grandmother in WW2, and what they did/what they sacrificed, I was very sensitive to liberty and democracy upon returning to White Rpcl tp find this sh#t going on in little old white rock!!!!

    Maybe it’s just the brandy speaking but the whole situation is f@cked up. I still stand by my assumption: never again, civically, provincially or federally anywhere in Canada. We are Canadians and the whole world deserves better than this.

  2. Matt Todd Says:

    Visit Matt Todd

    I refuse to continue to allow Coleridge to abuse the confidentiality rules to cover up his lies. I assumed he would either learn from his mistakes or the stories would find their way out into public and people would be willing to recognize the truth of his character. But neither has happened. I say, it’s time.

  3. ld Says:

    Visit ld

    well ok then – just because the CPR has publically withdrawn their support, does not mean the phone tree has been cut down….if the 4 areas were met with the correct weights based in legal argument, and the judge decides to remove him from council, and a by-election is called… do what you need to do.

    you know what I am doing…. oh and by the way….I’m donating a copy of the digitally recorded -word for word-, written transcript of the entire case to the White Rock Library for their reference section. This is the 3rd time in BC that election fraud has been challenged under section 152 and it’s always nice to be able to have a piece of local history available locally for anyone who may be interested in persuing a legal career in the future. Perhaps this will inspire youth or the young at heart, in this city.

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