People want Obeid’s support like they want cancer

Dodgy ALP ratbag Eddie Obeid is still trying to throw his weight around, despite corruption allegation. However the locals are having non of it rejecting endorsement they previously would have loved to have had.

Labor exile Eddie Obeid has thrown his support behind Matt Thistlethwaite in the battle to replace outgoing minister Peter Garrett in the seat of Kingsford Smith.

Mr Obeid, who is waiting on a decision in his hearing at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, said Senator Thistlethwaite had a stronger claim to the eastern beaches seat than his opponent, Tony Bowen.

But Senator Thistlethwaite immediately rejected Mr Obeid’s blessing, saying it was unwanted mischief-making and the ALP branches in Kingsford Smith would decide his fate, not a disgraced powerbroker.

Mr Obeid’s diaries, made public by ICAC, record 15 private meetings with Senator Thistlethwaite between October 2008 and September 2009, when he was Labor general-secretary. Four of those were with Mr Obeid’s fellow powerbroker Joe Tripodi. But they fell out in November 2009, when Senator Thistlethwaite backed then premier Nathan Rees in sacking Mr Tripodi and Ian Macdonald.

Despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s pledge to clean up NSW Labor, a ballot of 300 rank-and-file members scheduled for Saturday has been marred by claims of branch stacking.

Party bosses have been working to ensure Senator Thistlethwaite succeeds. Labor sources said Mr Obeid had not helped his cause.

Mr Obeid said: ”Matt Thistlethwaite has the credentials. He is a genuine local, he has worked the branches. He got knocked off in favour of Peter Garrett [who was parachuted into Kingsford Smith in 2004] and he deserves his shot.”

Senator Thistlethwaite said: ”When I was general-secretary, I supported Nathan Rees dumping Ian Macdonald from cabinet against Eddie Obeid’s wishes. I refused to take Eddie Obeid’s advice and he has been trying to undermine me ever since. History proves I was right. Thankfully, he is no longer in our party and the members will determine who they want to stand for Kingsford Smith this weekend.”