First, it’s nice to be pleasantly surprised by a tory. Turns out Tony Friedlander’s Road Transport Trust is not just donating to National. As well as $30K to the Nats, Labour got $20K and other parties will get something as well to help the democratic process. Can’t help but notice National got the most though. And good to see questions asked about the donations of parties other than NZF*
Second compliment goes to the NBR (I know!). The articles that Ben Thomas is putting out are an example of political journalism as it should be – focused on the issues, questioning of both sides, well-researched. It shows that even a partisan outfit like the NBR can, and ought to, demand good arguments and good policy from its on side as well as its opponents.
*[here’s a tip for anyone wanting to do some investigation – ACT declared just $32,000 in donations from 2003 to 2005 but spent $996,000 at the 2005 election. By comparison, the Greens declared $392,000 and spent $586,000. Not all donations have to be declared, only those over $10,000 but how could just 3% of ACT’s expenses come from donations over $10,000? Other parties, even the poor hippy Greens, received 30-100% of their expenses from donations over $10,000. Only NZF claims as low a percentage of large donations, and we know how that turned out. So, where is the rest of ACT’s money coming from and how is it being hidden? Remember in the late-90s ACT announced an official policy of avoiding declaring donations by taking $9,999 donations and splitting one source of money between multiple donors. And could this link into ACT leader Rodney Hide’s comment that ACT used secret trusts, even though no donation from a trust ever appears in their declarations? And how does Sensible Sentencing tie into all this?]