SST: Nats call in secret donations

Written By: - Date published: 11:29 am, February 4th, 2008 - 40 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

The Sunday Star Times reported yesterday that “The National Party pulled in 11th-hour funding from its secret trusts and anonymous donors in a bid to escape new election campaign finance rules”.

National Party blogger David Farrar dismisses this as “hardly surprising”. It’d be a shame to let transparency get in the way of a bit of cash wouldn’t it?

The SST reports that “last election 90% of National’s funding, or $2 million of $2.2m, was funnelled through secret trusts or donated anonymously.”

President Judy Kirk is apparently denying any last minute appeal but the SST reports that a former major anonymous donor to the National Party claims that he was approached by her late last year in an effort to get donations in before the law kicked in on December 20.

I wonder who’s telling the truth.

40 comments on “SST: Nats call in secret donations”

  1. I’m not sure what your point is. Is it that the National Party has gone to great lengths to comply with the law? As opposed to the Labour Party, which introduces a law punishing everybody else, yet sets up an anti-National Party attack blog, staffed out of the ninth floor of the beehive and the EPMU, which is directly flouting the law?

    I was expecting a post congratulating Clare Curran this morning from the Standard. After all, she did beat EPMU president Don Pryde fair and square in Dunedin South, didn’t she?

    IrishBill says: you’ve obviously not learned from your last ban IP. Continue to make unfounded allegations about the owners of this blog and you will be banned for life.

  2. Gee calls from transparency from an anonymous blogger on a Labour Party sponsored blog, how very hollow.

    Calls from the truth and transparency from you lot are hollow sounding indeed. Especially you all_your_base from your ninth floor eyrie.

    Bwahaha Captcha Mr Withhold

  3. Daveo 3

    IP- You were banned before for disrupting every thread with your lies and you seem intent on getting yourself banned again. Don’t ruin it for the people here who are trying to have a proper discussion.

    You should also read further down the thread before you accuse people of ignoring issues: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=1024

  4. James Kearney 4

    Hey CameronWhale – still stalking John Minto and sexually harassing teenage boys?

  5. Daveo do tell me where IP lied?

    Really it is quite beyond the pale to have anonymous bloggers funded by Labour calling for transparency.

  6. Nice smear James, Tane, you really should remove that post of James Kearney’s before it gets you and others in a spot of trouble for being factually incorrect in all of it’s accusations

  7. Irsihbill, they are hardly unfounded and while you threaten IP you allow far more egregious examples of unfounded accusations to remain from James Kearney.

    Utterly Hollow.

  8. Hey Whale, while we’re talking about transparency perhaps you could tell me if your mate DPF is running Curia’s operations out of National Party HQ? It’s just he says he’s independent from them but one of his staff has claimed otherwise. I note from the companies office that all contact details are Davey’s home details – I’m assuming he doesn’t do his phone-outs from there.

    Oh and while I was at the companies office I noticed you’ve had a company go into liquidation. I guess that makes you a failed businessman as well as a failed political activist…

  9. James Kearney 9

    CameronWhale you need to take responsibility for your actions. You can’t photoshop 15 year old James Sleep’s face onto gay porn and pretend it’s okay. That’s sexual harassment Cameron – it’s not okay.

  10. Michael, be very careful what you say…very careful. Don’t get it wrong. Appearances are very deceptive.

    When selling a company is it very common to change the name so the new owner can have the old one without any baggage, the old company is then of no use so it is liquidated…it doesn’t mean it failed, it means you failed to do your research properly and now you look stupid.

    James you are simply a dickhead. Since when has a bloke in his undies been gay porn?, you guys really come across all prudish for a party that embraces the “Rainbow” member of our community. Sounds like a hollow accusation.

    Is being gay now bad?

  11. IrishBill:

    I apologise unreservedly if my claim that some of the Standard’s authors are employed by Ministerial Services, Parliamentary Services, the Labour Party, or any union affiliated with the Labour Party, was incorrect.

    Is it incorrect? Because if so, I’m happy to give an unqualified apology.

    As for you saying that my claims are “unfounded”, to date we have allegations to that effect by left-wing academic Bryce Edwards, National Deputy Leader Bill English, and a confirmation from Labour Party President Mike Williams that the Standard’s authors are Labour Party activists. So it isn’t as if I’m simply pissing in the wind making unfounded claims.

    This blog post directly related to National’s application of electoral law. The Standard is trying to make an issue of the fact that National complied with the law. So too did Grant Robertson in Wellington Central when he sent out a mass-mailout to Wellington Central voters before the January 1 restricted period. I note that the Standard made no comment on that.

    But as long as the Standard is holding others accountable when those other groups comply with the law, it is perfectly legitimate to hold the Standard to account if it is seen to be breaking that same law. Don’t you agree?

    IrishBill says: IP, your offer of apology is typically backhanded. Take another week off.

  12. James Kearney 12

    When selling a company is it very common to change the name so the new owner can have the old one without any baggage,

    I can see why they wouldn’t want the baggage of having your name attached to it Cameron. So anyway… did it fail or not?

    Is being gay now bad?

    No but bullying a 15 year old kid and putting his face on gay porn is.

  13. outofbed 13

    So back to the subject of the thread
    Yes Judy Kirk is quite capable of telling porkies
    The National party it seems will stop at nothing to get Elected
    It has no priciples as witnessed by the large number of policy U turns that we have seen executed
    Its funny that the” Demi- Goddess” of the Right Thatcher said “this lady is not for turning”
    John Key says what direction do you want me to go ?

  14. sid 14

    Deleted. Dad, try harder.

    [lprent – junk warning – this is probably dad4justice under yet another alias. It is in his usual IP range and with the usual comment type.]

  15. Hey Cameron, very good you managed to answer one question. Now can you tell me about Davey’s operations with similar alacrity?

  16. r0b 16

    and a confirmation from Labour Party President Mike Williams that the Standard’s authors are Labour Party activists

    Don’t like to pick on you IP when you are banned and can’t reply, but I don’t like factual errors (aka lies) like the one above. You are misquoting Mike Williams, and I’m sure that you know it.

    Good luck in your campaign for blogging martyrdom eh.

  17. Benodic 17

    The comments section here has been a lot more readable over the last few weeks with IP gone. I like debating with people I don’t agree with but that guy’s just toxic. I say the more excuses he gives this site to ban him the better.

  18. r0b 18

    Can I respectfully disagree Benodic. IP is an IP, that’s why he chose his name, and he lies and he distorts. But he’s also smart and challenging. It is good exercise for us to counter his arguments. And, while I concede that moderation and week long bans have become necessary here, I still think it will be a bit sad if The Standard has to issue any life bans (the odd state of Dad’s half banning notwithstanding).

  19. Benodic 19

    R0b you’re right that he can be smart and challenging and that’s a good thing, but he just seems to lose it on this blog. I like smart and challenging righties, what I don’t like is seeing every thread ruined by IP’s constant attempts to disript. Maybe he’ll come back next week and be more constructive.

  20. r0b 20

    Benodic, I certainly agree that IP needs to give up his creepy campaign to stalk The Standard’s authors.

  21. Monty 21

    I am struggling to see why you have yet again banned Insolent Prick. He asks some questions and they have still not been answered. If you guys would say who you are, and who you work for then the whole matter could be put to rest.

    On the subject matter of funding I understand and agree what National are doing. Simply working within the Law. Some people simply do not feel they can donate to a political party other than Labour or even speak up against the Labour because of the vindictive nature of this government. If I had a government contract and donated to National then I have no doubt that suddenly the contract would be terminated or not renewed. Labour have politicies the public Service to such an extent that there is no longer the trust that there once was.

    Labour have put in place draconian laws limiting free speech. These soon to be repealed laws did not come into effect until about 20 Dec 2007. In order to act within the law some people who want rid of this vile and corrupt government want to assist, but cannot for the sake of their family and business allow Labour to know who they are.

    If you want transparency then surely the best place to start is with a fully disclosure of the authors and financers of this blog. Anything less and you expose yourselves to the risk of being called a hypocrite.

  22. infused 22

    Oh the irony. Keep it up.

  23. Tane 23

    Monty, the person ‘behind’ this blog is called Lynn Prentice. You can find his details via whois. The identity and place of employment of each author is their own business. They don’t write on behalf of any employer and their views are entirely their own. We do this in our spare time, which is why, for example, I’ve only managed one post over the past week and just a handful since last year.

    There are a few reasons we remain anonymous. Some of us have professional reasons for doing so, others would rather not have themselves and their families made targets of the kind of abuse and threats that dominate parts of the NZ political blogosphere. It’s all explained in our ‘about’ section. What we won’t tolerate is people like Insolent Prick ruining every thread with wild accusations. It’s not constructive and it’s not conducive to intelligent debate.

  24. r0b 24

    If you want transparency then surely the best place to start is with a fully disclosure of the authors and financers of this blog. Anything less and you expose yourselves to the risk of being called a hypocrite

    Is the irony of this post utterly lost on you “Monty”? For truly, you have created a self-referential gotcha that is a thing of beauty.

  25. Billy 25

    Tane: “It’s all explained in our ‘about’ section.”

    Wow. When did that happen?

  26. Tane 26

    About a week ago from memory.

  27. Phil 27

    So, let me get this straight;

    It’s OK for the authors of The Standard to continue to campaign, and remain anonymous, because they do not want to blur the lines between their professional interest and personal political viewpoint.

    But, it’s NOT OK for a business-person to donate to the National party anonymously, because they equally do not want to blur the lines between their professional interest and personal political viewpoint.

    Is that the stand you’re taking?

    [lprent – why ask us – read the law Electoral Finance Act]

  28. r0b 28

    Is that the stand you’re taking?

    Speaking only for myself – more or less. It’s a question of at what level support becomes “significant”. Chatting on a blog is below the threshold (and I don’t think you would want to argue that the EFA should cover blogs would you?). Contributing substantial amounts of money to a political party is above the threshold.

    Is that really so hard to understand? Laws with similar intent are in force in most democracies, and have been in force in NZ for quite some time (since at least 1993).

  29. r0b 29

    Is that the stand you’re taking?

    Speaking only for myself – more or less. It’s a question of at what level support becomes “significant”. Chatting on a blog is below the threshold (and I don’t think you would want to argue that the EFA should cover blogs would you?). Contributing substantial amounts of money to a political party is above the threshold.

    Is that really so hard to understand? Laws with similar intent are in force in most democracies, and have been in force in NZ for quite some time (since at least 1993).

  30. r0b 30

    Beg your pardon, mucked up the tags, and for some reason it also double posted. Should read:

    Is that the stand you’re taking?

    Speaking only for myself – more or less. It’s a question of at what level support becomes “significant’. Chatting on a blog is below the threshold (and I don’t think you would want to argue that the EFA should cover blogs would you?). Contributing substantial amounts of money to a political party is above the threshold.

    Is that really so hard to understand? Laws with similar intent are in force in most democracies, and have been in force in NZ for quite some time (since at least 1993).

  31. milo 31

    So, seeing as The Standard is so keen on the EFA as a protection against corruption, do you have a view on the news that the Australian elections were bought outright by the union movement? Is that wrong, or do the principles not apply to your friends?

    My question are serious test: Is this a blog with a serious contribution to make to policy? Or is it only seek to make serious contribution to propaganda?

  32. milo 32

    That link isn’t working, and when I try to post the link separately, it keeps disappearing, despite the Captcha being correct. Here is the link again

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/unions-spent-10m-backing-rudd-campaign/2008/02/01/1201801034920.html

  33. outofbed 33

    I thought that the labour party was the political wing of the Trade Union Movement ?

  34. r0b 34

    Milo: So, seeing as The Standard is so keen on the EFA as a protection against corruption, do you have a view on the news that the Australian elections were bought outright by the union movement? Is that wrong, or do the principles not apply to your friends?

    Calm down Milo! Didn’t you get the memo? Elections can’t be bought, it’s nonsense. So sayth this well known NZ political pundit:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2007/04/spending_and_votes.html

    So while there is a case for overall spending limits, any nonsense about buying elections is just that – nonsense. The last four elections stand testament to this. The impact of money on elections is relatively insignificant compared to policies, party reputation, leadership and media treatment.

    As you were then.

    Or, if you want a serious reply, sorry, I’m going to “fail” your “test” by not having enough knowledge to comment. I have a hard enough time keeping up with NZ politics let alone Oz. If the union spending was all conducted within the law, and if Australians feel that the spending was still wrong in some way, then I guess they’d better get on with changing their laws. If Australians want union spending on elections constrained, then good for them I say.

  35. milo 35

    Oh r0b, I agree with you. Money has an influence, but it’s not that big. But that hasn’t been the consistent message from The Standard.

    So do you now agree that the EFA was based on fearmongering? Or was the election in Australia bought by the unions? I don’t see how you can have it both ways.

  36. r0b 36

    milo 1: the Australian elections were bought outright by the union movement

    milo 2: Money has an influence, but it’s not that big.

    Speaking of having it both ways, I think you should go first, and try and reconcile the above?

  37. r0b 37

    Take your time Milo, Goodnight…

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    Maybe Unions are far smarter, and don’t advertise like idiots (see whale’s FSC efforts for an example, or check out the anti-union ads they played in Australia) so their money wins elections, while the right simply pisses money away because they don’t know what to do with it all 😉

    Milo, I was in Australia not long before hte elections. Pissed down, and ended up watching far more telly that one would expect for a “gold coast” (my ass) holiday.

    I didn’t see a single example of union advertising, but there were anti-union ads run so frequently, and were so crude, I imagine they would have turned a lot of people against Workplace Choices and ran them into the arms of the unions.

    Just running an ad isn’t enough – if it’s a piece of shit (as these were – big evil stonewash denim-clad hairy Union Bully-Boys – what a bloody pathetic attempt at stereotyping) or the message is wrong, it may just counteract your cause.

    In response to your questions to r0b Milo, let’s say the Union advertising was $10 million in AU. I’d estimate the campaign I saw, if it was nationwide, was about the same. Thus, you’ve just blown $20m to get nowhere. Your article doesn’t mention the ads I saw at all, which is a bit of a shocker. It was a business coalition out of Canberra but I’m struggling to recall the title.

    Perhaps something like the EFA can stop an election degenerating into a spend-fest on advertising and allowing it to focus on the issues and policies that are important to people. I suggest this is more likely than the two ideas you presented, you don’t need to have it either way you suggested when they’re both wrong!

  39. milo 39

    Thanks for the comment Matthew. My main objection is that the EFA was passed in a partisan atmosphere, rather than one of genuine electoral reform

  40. AncientGeek 40

    milo:
    I’d argue that most of these issues have been around since the 1986 commission on electoral reform recommendations. They were raised again when the 1993 Electoral Act was being debated, but were dropped because they were too ‘partisan’.

    The precursors to the EFB were around since early in the second term. I understand that the Nats were doing their best to obstruct debate on it then. After the ‘Hollow Men’ it is pretty obvious why.

    I doubt that this could EVER have been a non-partisan debate at any time or in any form – at least not if politicians were involved.

    As it was, I was surprised at the level of support in parliament and the lack of any major debate amongst the public (ie ignoring the media, and just listening to people talking). Both were the result of modifications in select committee, and the input of parties, other than the Nats.

    Seems to me that it was a pretty good act in the end. It probably isn’t perfect because the horse trading causes a lack of coherence. But thats what the courts are for – to find unworkable holes. However since the final result was close to the Electoral Act 1993 (which has been tested) in structure, I think that the courts will be reasonably happy with it.

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