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Pay the money back Simon

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 1st, 2020 - 33 comments
Categories: election funding, elections, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags:

I cannot believe how inept National’s handling of the $100,000 donation fiasco has been.

It was bad enough that Bridges was involved in the donation which was made in such a way it was not disclosed as it should have been, that he apparently agreed that two Chinese MPs were more valuable than two Indians,  and that the strong impression has been created that financial donations can result in National Party MP list positions.

But what would Crosby Textor say was the most important thing to do once the SFO was involved and charges were flying around?  Surely pay the money back.

There is a precedent.  National managed to hide the Donghua Liu donation and avoid disclosing its existence at a time when it was most vulnerable on the issue by getting Jami-Lee Ross to claim that the donation was an electorate donation for his local campaign.  The money was paid back but still declared in Ross’s electoral return.

Fast forward to yesterday and it appears that National still has the money that was donated as long ago as May 2018.  From Zane Small at Newshub:

Simon Bridges has “no intention of keeping” the $100,000 donation at the centre of a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into the National Party’s donations.

Bridges said he feels “vindicated” that neither he nor his party is included in the SFO’s formal charges laid this week against four individuals related to donations paid into a National Party electorate bank account.

“I feel a sense that, as I’d always said, myself and the National Party had nothing to do with any of this, and that’s sort of where we see it,” Bridges told Magic Talk on Friday.

Magic Talk host Sean Plunket told the Opposition leader the “issue remains” that the National Party received money that may have been illegally mishandled before it reached the party’s accounts. 

Bridges responded: “It’s safe to say that we don’t have the intention of keeping the donation, in fact, we’ve been in communication and written to the Electoral Commission about that, for them to help us and give us advice on what to do with that donation.”

No intention of keeping the money?  Your party has had it for nearly two years.  It does not take that long to repay money.  All you have to do is write a cheque.

And as has been shown by the Donghua Liu donation the repayment and the formal recording of the donation can happen separately.

This incident has shown clearly that Bridges does not have the skills or the ethics to be Prime Minister.  Judith will be grinning on the inside from ear to ear.

 

33 comments on “Pay the money back Simon ”

  1. woodart 1

    possibly a lesson to be learnt by ALL political parties, be very careful with bags of cash from ANY donator . greeks bearing gifts etc…..

  2. Rae 2

    Pay the money back. That's rich, it's been over two years, they have already kept it. Bridges must getting exhausted with his constant dancing on the head of a pin.

  3. peterlepaysan 3

    I wonder what that money has been used for in the last two years?

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    James? Your view is eagerly sought.

  5. Sabine 5

    the paying back does that include the interest or do they get to keep that?

    how about they donate all of the money to some homeless charity ? Maybe a few weeks for a homeless family in a motel should be covered by that?

  6. Jackel 6

    What law school did you say you went to again Soimon?

    • Incognito 6.1

      The School for Young Nats.

      • Jackel 6.1.1

        Oh well, that's nice for you Soimon. That would account for your flexibility with the truth. I'm trying to rack my brains to remember the last decent idea to come out of that particular school.

  7. Incognito 7

    It is (too) easy to focus on the money and for National to say they’ll pay it back but the real issue is the influence that the money bought and which has grown with interest to pay dividend, in political terms. This will not be paid back or undone.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    Excellent quote: "I feel a sense that, as I’d always said, myself and the National Party had nothing to do with any of this, and that’s sort of where we see it."

    Imagine a billboard featuring this during the election campaign, with the media source and date (National Party Leader, 31 Jan 2020 on Magic Talk). Included on the same billboard: the section of the taped conversation where he discusses the donation with JLR and acknowledges discussing it with the donor as well as receipt by the National Party.

    With billboards proving him a liar all over the country, how could the guy possibly lead National to victory???!

    Seems like he’s totally lost the plot. A severe case of Trumpist delusional thinking. I wonder if the msm will notice?

    • Incognito 8.1

      With billboards proving him a liar all over the country, how could the guy possibly lead National to victory???!

      Tribalism is the answer. Simon is just a figurehead and the tribalists will keep voting for the tribe.

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        There won't be enough of them, I suspect. Unless this govt comes a cropper between now & the election, centrists are likely to go with the status quo. Nats currently lack any lever to get them to shift across the line.

        • Incognito 8.1.1.1

          The status quo is what we have now and on that basis one cannot realistically rule out National forming the next Government, IMHO. They campaign to win, at all cost, even if this means driving another party out of Parliament and creating/helping one or a few political minnows across the line. The 5% threshold is a real bastard. Any party that fails to make the cut and fails to win an electorate is a lost/wasted vote of almost 1 in 20. With two parties in this situation, it could approach 1 in 10 of all votes. This would benefit the largest party most.

          • Sacha 8.1.1.1.1

            Any idea why the current govt have not reduced that threshold in the last 2 years?

            • Incognito 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Nope, and I can only assume it is not high enough priority and carries too many risks with not enough benefits compared to status quo. Ideally, it would be a non-partisan exercise but I cannot see that happen any time soon, unfortunately.

              The Greens are keen though and they have a Menber’s Bill that includes it: https://www.greens.org.nz/strengthening_democracy

    • Sacha 8.2

      I feel a sense that

      .. is the important phrase. They are carefully copying from the US playbook by elevating belief/emotion to replace intellectual knowledge. Seen a couple of other examples from his speechwriters recently in passing.

      Combined with the gutless ASA ruling, we are in for a deluge of feral truthiness.

    • Rae 8.3

      And also posted somewhere on that billboard "IS THIS TRUE, OR SOMETHING SIMON BRIDGES SAID"

  9. Chris T 9

    Have no doubt some of the senior Nats would have known, but JLR is the dumbarse.

    Dodgy stuff like this has happened on both sides for decades.

    • Muttonbird 9.1

      Why is it when Labour has a problem it's Labour's problem, and when National has a problem they all do it?

      • Climaction 9.1.1

        Because of posts like this, where labour supporters very quickly get holier than thou and try and throw allegation of big money = corruption without checking to see whether they’re in the glass house first…. And that labour are NZ1 allies. Something something about the company they keep etc

        • Muttonbird 9.1.1.1

          Incredibly you have reinforced my point.

          I asked why Nats generalise and blame everyone when they are at fault, but specifies when Labour makes a mistake.

          You then called me holier-than-thou and proceeded to specifies again by equating Labour and NZ First.

          I threw no allegation about corruption within the National Party but you were quick to say I did.

          Sensitive much?

    • I Feel Love 9.2

      I've no doubt dodgy stuff has happened on all sides, but this is particular to National, right now, if anything it just shows how stupid, arrogant and corrupt the National Party are, right now. So own it.

  10. JustMe 10

    Out of all this it has become clear that the NZ National Party is capable and open of being 'bought' by whomever wants say Instant Kiwi citizenship in NZ.

    All that is needed is for enough of a donation to be made to the NZ National Party and normally closed doors(for the ordinary people wanting to enter NZ)magically open and the NZ National Party 'accepts' the Instant Kiwi with open arms and a bank account number.

    Perhaps the $100,000 that Bridges claims National will not be keeping could be donated to say Lifeline as that is the charity Bill English cut funding to whilst he was temp prime minister of New Zealand. Not too long afterwards English then increased funding to a Board his wife just so happened to be on. All rather convenient isn't it???!!!!! I am sure $100,000 would help Lifeline alot. Besides National can then claim back the donation in its tax claim for the financial year!

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/08/02/hold-on-national-cut-suicide-helpline-to-give-contract-to-bill-englishs-wife/

    To date it appears ONLY $100,000 has been 'donated' but I am sure the figure is much higher than that. Where is the rest of the money that National received in 'obscure donations' over say the past 12 years i.e from 2008 through to today?

    • Sacha 10.1

      In the pockets of useful tools like Farrar. That’s my honestly-held belief which I’m quite prepared to adjust when he or his paymasters front with evidence to the contrary.

  11. JustMe 11

    I remember hearing about the political donations to the NZ National Party in the early 80s during the Muldoon government.

    A certain MP and one of Muldoon's drinking buddies was once at an event where booze was consumed in great quantities.

    The MP got drunk and started mouthing off about political donations.

    He said to my father's boss and others around him that Carter Holt Harvey will never ever get any contracts(jobs)because they do not donate to the NZ National Party. He(the National MP)said that the company my father worked for would get government contracts because they donated to National.

    So it wouldn't surprise me that companies like say Fletchers that have donated to National will have received building contracts etc even almost 40 years since that National MP said those things.

    And that countries like China that have a huge number of multi-millionaires would encourage its citizens to donate to the NZ National Party in return for 'favours' from National.

    Now I am not saying that Labour, The Greens and NZ First are the perfect political parties in existence. It just shows to me that National appear to be more inclined to accept donations no matter where that money came from and its origins.

    National come across as being the Money Obsessed for Itself Political Party.

  12. Fireblade 12

    Simon can pay back the $100k using the dodgy money he got from the Mongolian horse riders.

  13. mary_a 13

    Simon Bridges now tells us …

    "I feel a sense that, as I’d always said, myself and the National Party had nothing to do with any of this, and that’s sort of where we see it." (my bold).

    So despite acknowledging receipt of the said donation and planning its use to benefit National as per phone converstaion with then National MP Jami Lee Ross, Simon and National's hands are clean, leaving them innocent of having anything to do with this donation? If this is the case, then why is Simon waiting advice from the Electoral Commission as to what to do with the money, which according to him, was never intended to be used because it was going to be handed back, despite "resting" in a Nat bank account for almost two years? WTF Simon!

  14. Muttonbird 14

    Let's not forget what Soimon had earmarked the money for – dodgy attack ads.

    They proceeded to publish dodgy attack adds so they have indeed already spent the money with Topham Guerin or similar.

    That they might pay it back is irrelevant because the purpose for which this dodgy money was procured as already been realised.

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