David talbot

No chinky money for Labour

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The architect behind the chinky names smear from Labour has now been appointed as their campaign chair.

That will be the end of any donations from people with chinky sounding surnames.

Labour MP Phil Twyford has been given a leading role in the party’s election campaign next year.

Twyford has been made Labour’s campaign chairman, which puts him charge of strategy for the election.   Read more »

No, it’s the benefit of having an accurate pollster on the payroll

Karl du Fresne thinks that John Key is on drugs:

I have never met John Key, but like anyone who follows politics I’ve been able to observe him via the media. And after studying him carefully, I think I now realise the explanation for much of his behaviour. He’s on drugs.

Not the illegal kind, I should stress, but the mood-calming type that doctors prescribe. This may sound flippant, but consider the following.

In the 2014 election campaign, Key was subjected to possibly the most sustained media offensive faced by any prime minister in New Zealand history. Day after day he was tackled by an aggressive media pack trying to trap him on dirty politics, illicit surveillance and other touchy issues.

His answers were often unsatisfactory, which served only to ramp up the media frenzy. But through it all, he appeared supernaturally imperturbable. He patiently batted away reporters’ questions and accusations with his familiar bland inscrutability. There were no meltdowns, no hissy fits, no petulant walkouts.

This was downright unnatural. No politician should be that unflappable. He can have achieved it only by the ingestion of large amounts – indeed, industrial quantities – of tranquillisers.

Read more »

How thick are Labour?

Andrew Little has fed a story to their embedded gallery journalist Vernon Small about the requirements for a new chief press secretary.

Expect to see Labour leader Andrew Little in a good light on the 6pm television news – or questions to be asked at the top of his media unit.

Little is advertising for a new chief press secretary to head the party’s media and communications strategy, and the successful applicant is expected to ensure Little appears “in a positive story on the 6pm news at least twice a week”.

Other key targets put emphasis on social media, including 100,000 “likes” for the party’s Facebook page, up from about 38,000 now, and 40,000 “likes” for Little’s Facebook page by the 2017 election. It currently boasts 10,422 “likes”.

Little’s new spin doctor will also be expected to increase Labour’s email contact list to 200,000 by the 2017 general election, from about 87,000 now.

How dumb is that?

This just shows that Labour has learned nothing from the past 6 years. For two elections now they have touted their fantastic ground game, their dominance of social media and even rolled in David Talbot to advise them on this stuff…all to no avail and with results the reverse of what was predicted. How he could even bill Labour for such a losing strategy is beyond me.

What these chumps have not realised is that Facebook likes does NOT equal votes. Slacktivism or Clicktivism is called that for a reason…useless big talking internet warriors who don’t translate the click of their mouse into actions on the ground.    Read more »

Lessons from the US that Labour still hasn’t learned

Throughout 2014 we heard how Labour’s turn out machine had contacted 5 times more voters than it had in 2011, as if tactics trumped strategy and message and leadership.

Labour’s strategy was flawed, its message was awful and its leadership an absolute joke.

Its not just Labour that believed this. The seppo left wingers have the same problem.

3. Even the best turnout machine needs a message.

Democratic operatives earned considerable praise for their turnout operation in 2012, but again the party suffered a midterm thrashing in large part because young and minority voters again stayed home.

“You can’t win on turnout when you have already lost on message,” said Republican pollster Glen Bolger. Referring to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s “Bannock Street Project” turnout operation, he added, “Tactics are important, but if the voters are against you, it doesn’t matter what cool street name you give your turnout project, it’s not going to overcome anger among independents and apathy among your base.”

The funny thing is that Labour brought in a so-called guru, David Talbot, who had worked and developed just these sorts of programs for turning out the vote. The media even lauded him up as the expert…strangely we haven’t boo from him since.

Same goes for Rob Salmond, who was busily calling media polls liars, that he knew that Labour as polling in the mid-thirties because he had seen the data….again strangely silent since the election.

In order to get on the same paddock as National they need strategists and polling experts who don’t stuff up in such spectacular fashion. Both of them were tits, they should be told to STFU, and run out of town on a rail.   Read more »

Did Martyn Martin Bradbury advise the Democrats?

Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury, got all his predictions dead wrong in the last NZ general election.

But it seems he has taken his own particular brand of wrong punditry and been moonlighting with the Democrats in the US.

The Washington Examiner looks at some of the left wing shibboleths and Democratic myths that they clung to, which resulted in their defeat in the mid-term elections.

As Democratic losses mounted in Senate races across the country on election night, some liberal commentators clung to the idea that dissatisfied voters were sending a generally anti-incumbent message, and not specifically repudiating Democratic officeholders. But the facts of the election just don’t support that story.

Voters replaced Democratic senators with Republicans in Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina, Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia and likely in Alaska, and appear on track to do so in a runoff next month in Louisiana. At the same time, voters kept Republicans in GOP seats in heavily contested races in Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky. That is at least 10, and as many as a dozen, tough races, without a single Republican seat changing hands. Tuesday’s voting was a wave alright — a very anti-Democratic wave.

In addition to demolishing the claim of bipartisan anti-incumbent sentiment, voters also exposed as myths five other ideas dear to the hearts of Democrats in the last few months:

1) The election wouldn’t be a referendum on President Obama. “Barack Obama was on the ballot in 2012 and in 2008,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in late October. “The candidates that are on the ballot are Democratic and Republican candidates for Congress.” Of course, that was true, but Republicans from New Hampshire to Alaska worked tirelessly to put the president figuratively on the ballot. And they succeeded.

Every day on the stump, Republican candidates pressed the point that their Democratic opponents voted for the Obama agenda nearly all the time. “Kay Hagan has voted for President Obama’s failed partisan agenda 95 percent of the time,” said Thom Tillis, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in North Carolina. Mark Pryor “votes with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time,” said Tom Cotton, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Arkansas. “Mark Udall has voted with [Obama] 99 percent of the time,” said Cory Gardner, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in Colorado.

On Election Day, nearly 60 percent of voters told exit pollsters they were dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration. In retrospect, there was no more effective campaign strategy for Republicans running in 2014 than to tie an opponent to the president.

Whoopsy…got that dead wrong.  Read more »

Play or get off the field

As Labour lurches towards utter destruction with David Cunliffe at sixes and sevens there are some out there with good advice.

Lew at Kiwipolitico had this to say about National’s excellence at data-driven campaigns:

I have been criticising Labour, in particular, since at least 2007 on their unwillingness or inability to bring modern data-driven campaign and media strategy to bear in their campaigns — effectively, to embrace The Game and play it to win, rather than regarding it as a regrettable impediment to some pure and glorious ideological victory. Mostly the responses I get from the faithful fall under one or more of the following:

  • National has inherent advantages because the evil old MSM is biased
  • the polls are biased because landlines or something
  • the inherent nature of modern neoliberal society is biased
  • people have a cognitive bias towards the right’s messaging because Maslow
  • it inevitably leads to populist pandering and the death of principle
  • The Game itself devours the immortal soul of anyone who plays ( which forms a handy way to demonise anyone who does play)

But data is not a Ring of Power that puts its users in thrall to the Dark Lord. And, unlike the One Ring, it can’t be thrown into a volcano and the world saved from its pernicious influence. Evidence and strategy are here to stay. Use them, or you’re going to get used. The techniques available to David Farrar and the National party are not magic. They are available to anyone. Whether Labour has poor data or whether they use it poorly I do not know. It looks similar from the outside, and I have heard both from people who ought to know. But it doesn’t really matter. Data is only as good as what you do with it. Whatever they’re doing with it isn’t good enough.

The best example from this campaign isn’t Labour, however — it’s Kim Dotcom. He said on election night that it was only in the past two weeks that he realised how tainted his brand was. He threw $4.5 million at the Internet MANA campaign and it polled less than the Māori Party, who had the same number of incumbent candidates and a tiny fraction of the money and expertise. Had he thought to spend $30,000 on market research* asking questions like those asked by Curia about what New Zealanders think of Kim Dotcom, he could have saved himself the rest of the money, and saved Hone Harawira his seat, Laila Harré her political credibility, and the wider left a severe beating.

That is effective use of data: not asking questions to tell you what you want to hear, but to tell you what you need to know. This electoral bloodletting is an opportunity for the NZ political left to become reality-adjacent, and we can only hope they take it. Because if they don’t, reality is just going to keep winning.

Read more »

The Nasty party thinks a positive hashtag will fool us all

Steven Joyce sums it all up with a simple tweet:

The labour party really are stretching credibility when they are claiming to be “Vote Positive”.

After years of relentless negativity and gotcha politics they are now trying to put positive spin on it all.

Claire Trevett reports:

Labour has unveiled its campaign slogan for the 2014 election will be “Vote Positive.”

Campaign manager David Talbot has also revealed the party’s social media hashtag with be #forabetterNZ.   Read more »

Garner asks if it is time for Cunliffe to stand down

Duncan Garner shares his thoughts about the lack of cut through of David Cunliffe:

He simply hasn’t provided the silver-bullet Labour was looking for; not that such a thing exists in politics. He’s under ten percent in the preferred PM stakes. It’s lower than David Shearer was.

Voters had a look at him to start the year and he was terribly unconvincing. They took the phone off the hook and never returned.

I actually think he has improved somewhat since the start of the year. He appears more relaxed and he’s communicating well. Labour has had some ideas recently and they have been reasonably well sold and received.

But then the Budget came along and knocked him out. Incumbency is powerful and National is using its position in office well.

This leads me to this conclusion: the public appears to have deserted Cunliffe, because they simply don’t like him in comparison to John Key. He knows all this, of course, but he’s hanging on hoping for a three percent swing so he gets the chance to put together a centre left-coalition, just like I have described.    Read more »

Labour Leaks – Explaining David Talbot

WhaleleaksAs you all know, I thought it important that New Zealanders were made aware of the appalling treatment that the Labour Party gave to people’s confidential information through their wide open website.

Google and at least 9 other bots have archived material on the same open Labour site that has been in the news this past week and my post on how this occurred has generated unanimous condemnation of Labour among the IT community.

I have decided to withhold the vast bulk of material that I found, because I absolutely agree that as the law stands,  everyday New Zealanders should be free to contribute to political parties without fear of their name being made public.

I have revealed only a couple of names in total. But I have already said I will reveal hypocrisy and lies if and when I see them.

The first name I revealed was Cactus Kate.  I asked her permission before publishing the details about the donation she made to Labour. [This surely is worse than any previous Saturday morning walk of shame she has experienced. I shudder to think of her reception at the next BRT function attends.]

She said that she won’t complain to the privacy commissioner about Labour’s cavalier approach to private information. I think her shame has addled her mid, I thought she was harder than this.

The second name I revealed from the lists I legally accessed was that of a Parliamentary staffer.  In hindsight that was probably a mistake.

I absolutely accept that David Talbot is employed on a part-time basis by the Labour Leader’s office and divides his time between Parliamentary Services (taxpayer funding) and the seperately paid work he does for the Labour Party (covered by their incredibly tiny donations).

Nothing wrong with that at all.

I thank Annette King for clarifying this.

So, one last question to close off this part of my file.

Perhaps she could explain why Mr Talbot was using a taxpayer-funded .govt.nz email address to process and test credit card transactions for the Labour Party.  This is a Parliamentary funded address, and to me this suggests he might be processing donations out of the Labour Leader’s office.  This would be against the rules.

From the transaction logs he also has a @labour.org.nz address. He processed some test transactions from that address so perhaps that was his part time work, but it is incredibly diffuclt to reconicle Annette King’s statement with the electronic evidence.

Sure it’s not the crime of the century – but I’m curious – and I think Parliamentary Services might be too.
David Talbot processing Labour Party transactions

Labour Leaks – Online Donations

There are three rules anyone who runs a website handling credit cards lives by:

  1. PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMER’S INFORMATION
  2. PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMER’S INFORMATION
  3. PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMER’S INFORMATION

These are the only three rules to running any website that accepts credit card information in exchange for goods or a service.

On this score the New Zealand Labour Party has failed appallingly.

Trevor Mallard made much of their vaunted donations that were pouring in on Red Alert and their asset sales campaign.

Trevor Mallard says:

Thanks guys for your support – and no not everyone of the 200k views or 10k viewers have donated. But hundreds are and even if it only $10 or $20 that is useful because it has meant that the campaign has more cash for investment in later phases. Most friends or even right wingers don’t want to sell assets and have been prepared to support this campaign.

So how much cash have they gathered?

Records obtained from Labour sources show that they have raised just $11,831.50 online. Looks like Labour’s kitty is going to be pretty empty come the election. As I showed yesterday Labour North are not in any better shape having just over $5000 in the bank.

During Labour’s asset sales push Trevor Mallard was also mounting an attack on me and donations to my legal fund. He even made a special post about it. To show him how generous the VRWC is Cactus Kate made an online donation to Labour of $10.00. She mocked Trevor for it mercilessly at the time.

Cactus Kate mocks MallardIf anyone is in any doubt that the transactions that I have obtained are fake, test or development then doubt no more. Here is that transaction that she commented on.

Cactus Kate Donation to Labour

Her donation is one of nearly 500 for signs, and membership renewals. I expect to reveal examples of those transactions later today.

The total online donations and membership renewals total just $11,831.50. Labour are broken-arsed, despite brave claims by Trevor Mallard in his posts about the success of the campaign. If Mallard thinks $11,000 in donations is spectacular success it says a great deal about where he’s taking Labour.

What is even more hilarious is that if in the unlikely even that Trevor Mallard beats me in the infamous Whale vs Duck cycle race then Cactus Kate will become Labour’s biggest donor with $1000 going in the kitty. She will have contributed 9% of their campaign fund.

These donation lists have been public for months and I reject any claim that I am a thief or a bludger (Eddie/Jenny Michie, I’m not reposting your link).

Labour makes a great deal of fuss about political donations, in fact they even passed the odious Electoral Finance Act to shed sunlight upon donations. Likewise the Greens have made representations on electoral law reform that suggests that all donations be made public.

Accordingly in line with their previous assertions Labour has made about donors and donations,  I think sunlight is the best disinfectant here and so their online donations will be published. They have been public anyway for at least the three months I have been looking at them.

One of the most startling things I noticed from these transactions, is that some are being processed by parliamentary services staff. Through out the files you can see transactions processed by David Talbot. He is a staffer, paid by parliamentary services who works in Phil Goff’s office.

This is a huge conflict, and raises questions about how the Labour party is handling its affairs.

Why would a Labour Party Leaders Office staffer be handling credit card transactions?

Before anyone gets uppity, if other parties are doing this and I suspect they are, and I am given proof I will out them too.

Sadly for Phil Goff, slack security means that there are hundreds of pages of names and membership details that Labour itself has published for us to examine.

I remain confident that as we examine these names – we will all feel more informed about the political process in this country.

Should any of these names ring alarm bells for you – give me a yell on the tipline.

Keep an eye out at 2 o’clock today.