About trusts

04/03/2014

It took a while but David Cunliffe has realised, or been persuaded, that he should come clean about the donations to a trust which funded his leadership campaign:

Labour leader David Cunliffe has come clean about the trust set up to handle his donations during the leadership contest last year, naming three donors but saying two others were not willing to be named so their donations would be returned.

Mr Cunliffe has also said that using the trust for the campaign was a lapse in judgement.

He said the three donors willing to be named were Selwyn Pellett, Perry Keenan and Tony Gibbs, who gave a combined total of $9,500. Mr Pellett, a businessman, is a longstanding Labour supporter who has donated to the party and Mr Cunliffe in the past. . .

He said other donors had given a total of $8,300 but were not willing to be named. “That is their legal right. I respect their decision and can’t control it. In their case, the trust will be returning their donations to them.” He said he did not know who those donors were, or whether they were individuals or corporates.

Mr Cunliffe said it was an error of judgement to use the trust. It had meant he did not have to disclose donations in the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

“I don’t think in hindsight that a trust structure fully represented the values I would like to bring to this leadership. Decisions that were made to set up the trust could have been better. I have learned form that and am now making sure I do whatever I can to ensure transparency.”

He said if returning those donations left any shortfall in his campaign funding, he would cover the amount out of his own pocket. He estimated his campaign cost about $20,000. . .

No Right Turn doesn’t buy this:

. . . Which is just sociopathic “sorry I got caught” bullshit. The thing about values is that you live them, and they’re instinctive. Cunliffe’s aren’t. When faced with a choice between transparency and corruption-enabling secrecy, he chose the latter, and then tried to cling to that choice when it was questioned. These are not the actions of an ethical man who believes in open politics – they are the actions of someone trying to get away with something they know is wrong. And actions like this are yet another example of why the New Zealand public thinks all politicians are liars, cheats and scoundrels. . .

The best of people make mistakes, but ethical people do live by their values and this is the third gaffe in three months:

The slip over the baby bonus, by failing to disclose in his speech that it would not be paid on top of parental leave, took much of the wind out of his January sails.

It also deflected attention from a $500 million spending pledge that Labour had hoped would set the agenda.

No sooner was the House back in February than the $2.5m property-owning man was attacking Prime Minister John Key for living in a leafy suburb and defining his own mansion as a doer-upper and his own situation as middle of the road.

The climb-down came at the weekend.

This morning he has admitted it had been wrong to set up a trust for donations to his leadership bid. (If the cost was about $20,000 for his leadership campaign, why seek donations at all?) . . .

Every election is about trust but Cunliffe has also made it about trusts.

He was foist upon the caucus by the unions and party and he’s surrounded by people whose will to return to government is in strong conflict with their wish for another leader.

With every slip he makes, that wish will intensify.

P.S. Liberation has top tweets on the trust which include:

Rob Hosking ‏@robhosking  

Meanwhile, in Matt McCarten’s office …..http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view5/2320932/blackadder-headdesk-

 Graeme Edgeler ‏@GraemeEdgeler  

How can you return the money if you don’t know who the donors were?

Vernon Small ‏@VernonSmall  

Respectfully suggest if your household income is north of $500,000 and a leadership contest costs $20,000 …. pay for it yourself.

Toby Manhire ‏@toby_etc  

Of Trusts Regretted and Accounts Forgotten: a short history of NZ Labour leadership since 2012.

 

Matthew Hooton ‏@MatthewHootonNZ  

Congrats to @GregPresland for getting Tony Gibbs,@SelwynPellett, Perry Keenan etc to donate to trust w/out @DavidCunliffeMP knowing about it

 

michael fletcher ‏@fletchermj  

@nzdodo You can have an election Trust or the electors’ trust – but not both

 

Jolisa Gracewood ‏@nzdodo  

And now we’re all saying “trust” like it’s a bad thing. #newspeak

Marcus Cook ‏@MarcusDCook  

Would Cunliffe be happy if the Rena’s owners paid the entire amount anonymously through a trust?

 

Michael Woodhouse MP ‏@WoodhouseMP  

Mr Cunliffe and the word trust in the same news article. Not in quite the way he was hoping…

Nick Cross ‏@NW_Cross  

“I didn’t know the money came from Dotcom – Cunliffe” – Predicted headline ~6 weeks from now

 

David Farrar ‏@dpfdpf  

Trying to decide who is happier over the Cunliffe secret trust for his donations story – @grantrobertson1 or @matuashane or @johnkeypm

 


Another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes

16/01/2014

The Internet Party hasn’t even been launched and it’s already getting headlines for all the wrong reasons – Whaleoil has a scoop revealing its strategy:

The strategy paper (below) reveals that Martyn Bradbury is working for Kim Dotcom and is charging him $8000 per month plus GST for political strategy, on top of a $5000 payment to allow him to upgrade his computer, cellphone and tablet devices. . .

Further, the strategy document, which Trotter so clearly expands upon, shows that Martyn Bradbury intends to stand in Auckland Central as the Internet Party candidate, and be paid for the privilege of doing so. His strategy document outlines the need to establish an office.

The media compromise:

However the subterfuge is deeper than that. Sources have revealed that Scoop Media’s General Manager Alistair Thompson is to be the Party Secretary and has already registered the domain names under the Scoop Media banner. Scoop Media is also the name server registrant for the domain name and also that of internetparty.co.nz . . .

Summary:

  • Martyn Bradbury to stand in Auckland Central
  • Martyn Bradbury on payroll for $8000 per month plus $5000 advance payment for technology upgrades
  • Graeme Edgeler produced a report, allegedly for $3000
  • Plans for so far unnamed candidate in Upper Harbour, reputedly a broadcaster.
  • Focus on Auckland Central and Upper Harbour
  • Plans to win at least 3 seats

If I was drawing up a long list of people to attract votes from the right in general and National in particular, Bradbury’s name wouldn’t be on it.

If he stands and gets any votes he’ll be getting them from the left.

This isn’t a party that is likely to threaten the right, it’s another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes.

It’s also one that can’t even get it’s launch right:

Presumably someone told Dotcom about that the party to launch his party would be considered treating which is an offence under electoral law.

The scoop though, is great for Whaleoil who has already  collected another scalp with it:

Journalist Alastair Thompson has resigned from internet-based news service Scoop this afternoon in the wake of claims he was to be Internet Party general-secretary and had registered a domain name.

Scoop’s controlling shareholder, Selwyn Pellett, confirmed he had not previously been aware of the extent of Thompson’s involvement with the party.

After the blog became public, Thompson tendered his resignation.

Pellett said that while he understood Thompson’s passion for internet freedom, there was a clear conflict of interest with his journalism. . . .

Cameron Slater is defending a judgement that he isn’t a journalist and therefore doesn’t have the protection journalists do in not revealing sources.

If publishing a scoop like this isn’t journalism, what is it?

Update: – tweet of the day on this issue:


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