Electoral Commission

Hone Harawira thumbs nose at Electoral Commission

You may recall Hone trying to get us all to pay for his election hoardings going pear shaped.  As a result he had to take down all his signs with the Parliamentary crest on them.

Apart from one halfhearted attempt, one reader can’t see any change just yet, in spite of a whole week passing since the issue was exposed by Whaleoil.

qq

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Idiots to the left and Fools to the right in Hawkes Bay

Homewrecker Anna Lorck is upset because Craig Foss had a holiday in Hawaii.

Obviously the memo from David Cunliffe about staying positive and not sledging was on the same courier truck as the Party Vote signs for Napier with David Cunliffe’s photo on them.

Meanwhile, in the neighbouring Tukituki electorate, Labour candidate Anna Lorck said sitting MP Mr Foss’ family holiday in Hawaii last week shows he’s “too relaxed” about the election. Mr Foss denied the claim,but said his family always came first.

Ms Lorck said Mr Foss was “lying back in his deckchair and drinking pina coladas” on the tropical island while she was busy on the campaign trail.

Mr Foss confirmed he had spent “a good week” with his family at Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, up until Wednesday, July 16.

“We had a family holiday.”

However, he denied the holiday showed he was too relaxed about the upcoming election.

“I work hard for Hawke’s Bay families and I am backing the Bay each and every day.

“So much for Labour’s pledge to not be nasty.”

I’m not sure politics is where a homewrecker like Anna Lorck should be. Here she is having her own tropical holiday. Read more »

Greenpeace going to court again pretending they aren’t involved in politics

Greenpeace is suing the Electoral Commission because the Commission has said that their advertising is a political advert and must contain a promoter statement.

Environmental groups are taking the Electoral Commission to court over a ruling on a climate change campaign.

Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, WWF and others launched the Climate Voter initiative last month.

But the Electoral Commission says the campaign counts as an “election advertisement”, and is therefore subject to rules around wording of communications and spending restrictions.

Greenpeace says the ruling could gag grassroots advocacy groups – and the organisations are planning to take a freedom of speech test case to the High Court.

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This is why we need an Independent Commission Against Corruption, 113 cases and not a single prosecution

More than a hundred cases have been referred to the Police for prosecution by the Electoral Commission and not a single one has even been investigated.

These are breaches of our electoral laws and are about as serious as it can be when it comes to protecting democracy, and yet the Police just don’t give a stuff.

The Justice Minister’s been taken by surprise by the number of Electoral Act breaches that have been referred to police over the past three years.

Figures supplied by the Electoral Commission reveal 113 cases have been referred to police for investigation since the beginning of 2011 – not one has resulted in a prosecution.

It’s a figure Justice Minister Judith Collins wasn’t aware of.

Ms Collins doesn’t know the basis on which the Electoral Commission referred the cases to police, and says it’s something she’d have to find out more about before she could express an opinion.

It is outrageous that there are so many breaches, many by the Labour party that remain uninvestigated much less prosecuted.  Read more »

Labour’s donations credibility flushed down the Liu

The Herald on Sunday has managed to get their hands on a signed statement from Donghua Liu and met the challenge issued by David Cunliffe earlier in the week to put up or shut up.

Donghua Liu has put numbers, large numbers, to his claims of donations to the Labour party.

Millionaire businessman Donghua Liu spent more than $150,000 on the previous Labour government, including $100,000 on a bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Helen Clark at a party fundraiser.

The embarrassing revelations are contained in a signed statement from Liu, which the Herald on Sunday has obtained.

They come at the end of a horror week for Labour, already under pressure after the New Zealand Herald revealed that Liu paid $15,000 for a book at the same fundraiser in 2007. Labour has said it had no record of any donations from Liu. And leader David Cunliffe had to fight to keep his job after revelations he wrote a letter for Liu’s residency, despite previous denials.

This is getting serious. Labour still claims to have no knowledge of the donations and it is almost certain now that they have filed false declarations of donations in 2007.

Liu’s signed statement was dated May 3, two days after Williamson’s resignation. It said:

• Liu paid “close to $100,000″ for wine at a 2007 Labour Party fundraiser;

• That he spent $50-60,000 hosting then-labour minister Rick Barker on a cruise on the Yangtze River in China in 2007; and

• That Liu visited Barker in Hawke’s Bay in 2006, having dinner with him at an exclusive lodge and then meeting for breakfast the next morning. Liu said he made a donation to Hawke’s Bay Rowing, which Barker was associated with.

Barker previously told the Herald that he could barely remember having dinner.

Last night Barker, now a regional councillor, said the revelations came “as a surprise and a complete reversal” of Liu’s previous comments.

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Some interesting thoughts on the Banks judgement

This came in via the tipline and provides an interesting take on the judgement against John Banks. The Wylie J judgement reads as a decision of someone trying to justify a predetermined conclusion, but doing so unsuccessfully….


I read “the” judgement, and was left with the sense that Wylie J seemed to work more on a balance of probabilities, than on reaching a verdict “beyond reasonable doubt”. He appears to have ended up using a civil case requirement of standard of proof, where in a criminal case the higher standard should actually have been used.

This also really does seem to be flavoured (aside from Wylie J’s initial assertion that his judgement would not be) with a real sense of a lack of actual innocence until “proven” guilty. I presently believe all that for the following reasons…

Not knowing any more of the facts, than was contained in the .pdf of the judgement, I was surprised that Wylie J accepted the way  campaign finances were run, yet, did not draw the necessary conclusions from that, and other facts which he apparently considers established, yet was able to find Mr Banks guilty.

i) No one disputes that it was a Dotcom staffer, or connected person(s), who made the anonymous drop box deposits in Albany. Amazingly that person has remained anonymous to this date(?), because ..Dotcom’s finance officer of the time certainly did not make the deposits in Queenstown as he had thought.

ii) With the deposits  for Dotcom not showing any name even on a campaign bank statement

iii)Dotcom’s deposits were made some full nine days after a lunch date there with Mrs Banks, again making it even less clear who the anonymous deposits were from.

iv) Wylie J appears to accept that at no relevant point did Mr Banks have the opportunity to read the campaign’s account bank statements, nor to see the bank account online, receive any related oral information from a campaign finance officer, nor seen the table of donations in the final return.

And so, Wylie J initially to me at least, appears to fail to identify – where did his supposed information come from – that Mr Banks had knowledge that Dotcom or related, had actually made any donation(s) to his campaign at all?

v) On the facts supplied by Wylie J in his judgement – in the trial,  the only source “recorded” for Mr Banks to have any possible knowledge of any donation Dotcom actually might have eventually actually made, was inadequately from Dotcom having  asked Mr Banks twice, on his behalf – had Mr Banks cleared the cheque(s)?   Read more »

Face of the day

I love satire especially when it is done well. I love a good joke and laughter really is the best medicine.

I have really enjoyed a number of posts on the Satirical blog The Civilian but recently the laughter stopped. I am not laughing any more. Not only am I not laughing I am angry. Ben has taken the step too far. He has gone beyond the joke. It is one thing to take the piss, it is another to take money that is meant for serious political parties.

It is true that he could not rort the system without the assistance of the  Electoral Commission and by funding Ben to the tune of $33,000 they have made a joke of our democratic system.

Satirical writer of The Civilian, Ben Uffindell

Satirical writer of The Civilian, Ben Uffindell.- 3 News

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Mike Smith – On Labour’s Mantra of Misery

There is trouble inside Labour.

Former General Secretary, Mike Smith, the guy who lied to Police and the Electoral Commission over the pledge card, is being very vocal now about how dreadful David Cunliffe is.

David Cunliffe badly needs a new stump speech. On Thursday in Whanganui I heard him depress a large and sympathetic audience for ten minutes with tales of national woe, then promise a positive campaign but give no details. It is good to know that a positive campaign is proposed. Labour has promised an economic upgrade; it also needs a communications upgrade, and besides being positive it must be relevant. That could shift the polls.

The policy bones are all there – they’re just not connected in a narrative that relates to voters. Because they are not connected they can’t be repeated, so too much communication is undisciplined and unfocussed, as we saw last week from several players. Focussed and disciplined communications are necessary for voters to have a clear idea of what is on offer, how it relates to them, and why Labour’s alternative is best for them and for the country.

It is the mantra of misery and it besets everything that Labour says and does.

Message relevance is critical; this was key to Labour’s late communication in 2005, described to some extent by Mike Williams in today’s Herald. Relevant communication to non-voters was critical to Labour coming from behind to lead on election day. Don Brash is still crying in the beer about it. And while I’m on 2005, getting Labour’s numbers up is also critical to post-election decisions. The lead party will have first crack at forming a government, and much will depend on the numbers on the day.   Read more »

Why won’t the Police act with complaints from the Electoral Commission?

Back when I was editor of Truth I OIAd the Electoral Commission about outstanding complaints they had sent to the Police for prosecution.

To date nothing has happened with those complaints.

Here is what I wrote back then. The sentiments and facts remain the same:

In our January 3rd issue we reported the following story. This has since been picked up by other media agencies, so we thought we would refresh your memories on how you heard it first at Truth.

Police are sitting on more than twenty open investigations referred to them for prosecution under the Electoral Act by the Electoral Commission.

Truth has obtained details under the Official Information Act that reveal Police seem to have no interest in prosecuting offences and breaches of the Electoral Act.

Of the 32 cases referred, 6 have lapsed because the prosecution time limit has expired.

62 dual vote referrals remain open and un-prosecuted.

Headline cases referred by the Electoral Commission that remain open with little or no progress are the Green party worker Jolyon White’s alleged vandalism of National’s signs at the 2011 election, several of Labour’s flyers including their ‘Stop Asset Sales’, ‘Prices are Rising faster than wages’ and ‘Ohariu Census’ pamphlets.

Only 3 cases have been closed, with no action or prosecution resulting.

The Electoral Act is the governing act to keep checks on political parties and candidates. The Police do not appear to be interested in prosecuting these cases.

The new electoral cycle begins again this year with local body elections held in November and 2014 will see the next general election held

So far it appears that those referred by the Electoral Commission to the Police for prosecution have gotten away scot-free.    Read more »

Andrew Little just drew a great big target on thge backs of his Labour pals

Andrew Little has called for an inquiry into the Police not investigating political complaints. This is good stuff, the Police have ignored complaints from the Electoral Commission for far too long.

The other phrase that we grew used to hearing last time LAbour was in power was the Police saying that something “wasn’t in the public interests to prosecute” usually when it related to an investigation over a Labour politician…like Helen Clark’s forgery and fraud with a painting, and Darren Hughes and his grooming activities, and numerous other complaints.

In terms of electoral complaints the Police just simply ignore them. There is more than 50 complaints that have never been investigated, most of them Labour politicians breaking the law.

So I agree with Andrew Little…let’s have at it.

Labour is calling for “high powered” independent inquiry into the way politically-charged cases are handled, saying the police decision not to prosecute John Banks needed to be investigated.

The call comes after the Act MP was found guilty last week of filing a false electoral return following a private prosecution by retired accountant Graham McCready, launched after the police claimed in 2012 there was not enough evidence to prosecute.

Labour’s justice spokesperson Andrew Little said the Government should launch an inquiry into why the police failed to prosecute, as well as into the way previous politically-charged cases had been handled, in order to ensure the integrity of the electoral system.”

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