Clayton Cosgrove is in a spot of bother over the coincidence of a donation to his election campaign and a bill he drafted that would benefit the donor, Independent Fisheries.
He says there is nothing untoward in that, the donations were declared as required, and Independent Fisheries say there was no connection between the bill and the donation.
I accept their words on that.
What I do find strange is that a single donor gave $17,500 towards a campaign which has a legal limit of $25,000, including GST.
It is possible he got a lot more money and that is salted away for the next campaign. But if there wasn’t much more money from other sources it could help explain why he lost the seat to National MP Kate Wilkinson.
Raising money for campaigns is never easy but popular MPs and their campaign teams usually get most of their funds from lots of donations and various fundraising efforts. It would be most unusual for around two-thirds of the campaign maximum to come from just one source.
Coincidences happen and I accept the assurances there’s nothing fishy in the donation.
But accepting so much from a potential beneficiary of legislation he was promoting was unwise and does a raise question over the number of supporters he had in his former electorate.