elections

Finally, despite previous denials, Donna Brazile admits she rigged town hall meetings in Clinton’s favour

Donna Brazile
CNN Democratic Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, America – 13 Oct 2015
(Rex Features via AP Images)

During the election campaign, Donna Brazile was confronted with leaked emails about her assisting Hillary Clinton by forewarning her of questions that would be put to candidates at town hall meetings by media.

She worked as a commentator at CNN at the time. She also denied it and suggested the emails were false.

It turns out she was lying like a flat fish and has now recanted her previous statements.

Former interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile admitted Friday that she forwarded Democratic primary town hall questions to members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign – something she had previously denied.

In an essay for Time published Friday, called “Russian DNC Narrative Played Out Exactly As They Hoped,” the Democratic strategist said she had in fact passed on topics, despite saying she had not when her communications with the campaign were leaked by WikiLeaks in October.

“[I]n October, a subsequent release of emails revealed that among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign,” she wrote.   Read more »

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Finally, a sensible election law change

Party political broadcasts are a thing of the past. We will no longer be able to enjoy ads like that above:

MPs voted last night to get rid of the wildly unpopular compulsory party television broadcasts at election time.

Parliament heard the final reading on the Broadcasting and Electoral Amendment Bills yesterday evening, voting 108-12 to axe the messages which air around four weeks out from the election on state-owned networks TVNZ and Radio New Zealand.   Read more »

Some interesting titbits from Auckland Council election returns

Hamish Coleman-Ross should stick to sailing

I’ve been going through the Auckland Council election expense and donation returns over the past few days since they were released on the Auckland Council website.

There are some interesting titbits to digest.

Greg Presland, who is now putting his name in the hat for Labour in New Lynn didn’t declare a single donation or contribution but spent over $40,000 getting himself elected.

If he wins the selection that would seem a total waste of resources. Presumably, he is now spending even more of his own money trying to secure Labour’s selection. Life must be good as a small community law office.

Looking through the returns of failed candidate Calum Penrose was really interesting, particularly on his expenses.   Read more »

Middle ground in swing electorates

Earlier today I commented that the left-wing are missing in action in seats that are considered the middle ground.

We are looking for some middle ground areas in the electorates that are called middle NZ, and need some help from readers to tell us where they think they might be.

To make things a little easier we want to start with the electorates that National has won from Labour in either 2005 and 2008, and are genuinely swing electorates, not anomalies like Auckland Central or Christchurch Central. Seats like Taupo, where boundary changes have resulted in massive National majorities, have also been discounted.

The seats we are looking at are:   Read more »

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Is Trump right about Elections being rigged?

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Is Scott Simpson moonlighting in Timaru?

I learned a great deal of my dirty politics skills assisting Young Nats in Eden electorate like Scott Simpson. One thing we used to do is go around vandalising our own signs so our candidate could get in the local paper about the dreadful vandalism occurring in the election. You can tell the difference between self-vandalism and opposition-vandalism. Opposition vandalism usually entails total destruction whereas self-vandalism is usually witty, drawing moustaches and the like on signs.

Two Timaru District Council candidates have been given a devilish makeover by an artistically-inclined, if somewhat misguided, vandal.

Election signs belonging to candidates Peter Burt and Owen Jackson were vandalised on the corner of Wai-Iti Rd and Wilson St during the weekend.

Each candidate was given a pair of devil horns and a moustache by the orange marker wielding artist.

While the vandalism was frustrating, it was not altogether unexpected, both men said.    Read more »

Should there be a snap election pre-Christmas?

Matthew Hooton thinks there should be a snap election. So does Rob Hosking. Where they differ is the timing.

NBR’s political commentators are squaring off over the merits of a potential snap election being held later this year.

Rob Hosking, NBR’s political editor, says Prime Minister John Key should call an early election,rather than wait until next spring.

“Governments don’t really do a lot in an election year,” he argues.

“We saw that in 2014 and we’re seeing the [effects] of that now as 2014 is when the whole issue of housing supply should have been cranking up but the government effectively spent nine months posing for selfies.”

He says after the local body elections in November would be an ideal time for a central government election.

Political commentator and NBR columnist Matthew Hooton believes waiting until next year would be a better bet for the government.

Although he says there are good economic reasons for the National to call an election at the end of this year, he says there are good political reasons to hold off.   Read more »

Parliamentary Inquiry into last election says cheat away, basically

After every election there is a parliamentary inquiry into the last election. They make recommendations and almost always do nothing. This cycle the inquiry has made a few recommendations but not any really important ones.

Arts, lifestyle and travel blogger, David Farrar, is scathing…or as scathing as he ever gets.

Overall it is barely tepid with no significant changes recommended despite massive problems in the area of enforcement (The Police simply don’t enforce electoral laws, and no one else is able to).

Here’s their major recommendations:

  • Having more advance voting places available over 12 days
  • Enabling voters of Maori descent to change between general and maori rolls every three years instead of every five as present. This is a bad recommendation as boundaries are done every five years and running the Maori option out of sync with the boundaries review means you may get some gerrymandered seats with very low or very high electoral populations. If however they also review boundaries every three years, then it is okay.
  • Considering providing clarification or exemptions to the restrictions on broadcasting election programmes to address satirical, humorous, and creative programmes. (this is good)
  • Prohibiting campaigning and the display of campaign material within, and in the immediate vicinity of, advance voting places. (this is good)   Read more »
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Good, online voting axed

I’m not a fan of online voting.

Local Government minister Louise Upston has axed a plan to have online voting in eight council elections in November .

Councillors in Wellington, Porirua, Masterton, Rotorua, Matamata Piako, Palmerston North,  Whanganui and Selwyn had voted to offer online voting as an option. And Local Government NZ was actively promoting it as a vehicle to boost participation as recently as January. They have now been over-ruled.

It was always pitched as a “trial” – presumably to make it less intimidating from a PR perspective – but it was going to be the real thing: Online votes in November would have been legal and binding. It would have been better termed a pilot.

“Security testing has been planned but has not yet occurred. Without seeing the results of testing we cannot be confident the systems are secure enough, and the trial could not be authorised,” Ms Upston says. The system needs more work, she says.   Read more »

Whaleoil, a shadow of its former self and dying?

I always listen to our critics, because they are the most ruthless in assessing your own performance.  And certainly, after 2014 when we were at the center of everything, 2015 has felt a lot quieter.  But is Whaleoil dying?  Let’s take a look.

(all tables and graphs are page views)

Selection_006

So we lost about 6,000,000 page views since 2014 during a year when we were no longer the story and when everything was pretty boring politically.  There was no high profile scandal, there was no Labour leadership battle, and the whole year was basically just one flag debate with the occasional smattering of crimes in various contexts.

As you can see, the blog peaked during the election – and as a political blog, that’s pretty much to be expected.     Read more »

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