Who is Gregor Robertson's backroom helper?

Is Vision Vancouver executive committee president Michael Magee coaching Vancouver-Fairview NDP MLA Gregor Robertson as a mayoral contender in the 2008 election?

The Straight put the question to Coun. Tim Stevenson, and the Vision Vancouver politician didn't sound surprised at all that this question was even being posed, although he neither confirmed nor denied.

"Mike Magee has been a long-time friend of Gregor," Stevenson responded. "He [Magee] certainly was one of those who had a great deal of influence on him [Robertson] to run provincially in the first place. And, of course, he's our president. He has a direct pipeline to Gregor."

Magee, a political and environmental spin doctor, served as campaign spokesperson for Robertson during the 2005 provincial election.

In April of this year, Tides Canada Foundation and a courier company distributed DVDs of former U.S. vice-president Al Gore's Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth to public high schools in British Columbia as an Earth Day present. The foundation's media release credited Robertson as the one who "had the vision for the project".

Magee, who is a "senior program advisor" of the Tides Canada Foundation, was the media contact identified in the news release.

It was Stevenson who floated the name of Robertson as a potential mayoral candidate in an interview with the Straight on May 4 this year.

In a phone interview on September 28, Stevenson had this to say about Robertson: "Gregor would be an excellent candidate. He's well liked; he's well-respected. He's tall, dark, and handsome. He'll be a formidable opponent to [incumbent NPA mayor Sam] Sullivan."