Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Money Makes the World of Politics go Around: Property Developers - Hidden Donation -

"Parties are like football clubs – no matter how much money they get, they will spend it and then want more ..."  

     (Cain, John (18 October 2006). "The politics of greed". Melbourne: The Age.     Retrieved26 September 2007.)

*Be careful you don’t accidentally tweet your political opinions from your employer’s Twitter account, especially if you work for the Department of Justice. [Gizmodo]

Money makes the world of politics go around and, as recent scandals afflicting both major political parties have shown, keeping it clean isn’t easy. Our series on Australia’s system of political finance examines its regulation, operation and possible reforms.
Australia trails way behind other nations in regulating political donations

QUEENSLANDERS will be able to see in real-time who is donating (Political_funding_in_Australia) to political parties from 2017.

Two donations worth $30,000 each from MP Stuart Robert’s Fadden Forum were provided to candidates Kristyn Boulton and Felicity Stevenson but were not required to be disclosed to voters before the election. Professional support from LNP-aligned PR lobbyists to some candidates was similarly undisclosed, along with campaign backing on the ground from party members and late funding from rich developers Government announces reporting reforms as inquiry begins on Gold Coast council’s hidden donat

ECQ launch investigation into Gold Coast City Council financial campaign activity

Liberal MP Stuart Robert donated to ex-mayor’s John Brent fund

Periodic disclosures AEC

“As Istanbul’s mayor, Mr. Erdoğan once said: ‘Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.’ Perhaps desperate to find in Turkey proof that Islamism is compatible with democracy, the West has refused to believe what Turks know: Mr. Erdoğan arrived at his stop years ago,” Michael Rubin wrote on “The Roots of the Turkish Uprising” in the Wall Street Journal in 2013

Property Developers would love to deal with only one council (one or very few) at the local government level in NSW (Former Premier Robert Askin and his kingmakers never even dreamt of such a simple way of directing constituents towards his car ... )  

 Council, in Sydney’s prestigious eastern suburbs, has lost the first round in its legal bid to prevent the NSW government merging it with two other councils and has been ordered to pay the government’s costs.

The state government was keen to merge Woollahra with Randwick and Waverley Councils, a move supported by the other two councils but vigorously opposed by Woollahra.

The delegate who ran the public inquiry and wrote a report on the merger, Dr Robert Lang, recommended the merger proposal go ahead.

During the Land and Environment Court case, Woollahra Council argued that it had been denied procedural fairness during the amalgamation process and criticised the public inquiry that accompanied it, asking the court step in and restrain NSW Local Government Minister Paul Toole from attempting the merger.

Woollahra Council also argued that consultancy firm KPMG should not have been analysing proposals because it was not sufficiently independent.
Chief Judge Brian Preston’s concluded: “I find that Woollahra Council has not established any of the grounds of challenge concerning the notice of the holding of the inquiry; the holding of the inquiry; the examination and report by the Delegate of the Departmental Chief Executive; the review of, and comments on, the Delegate’s report by the Boundaries Commission; procedural fairness by the Delegate and the Boundaries Commission; and the alleged misrepresentation that KPMG had provided independent analysis of the proposal.
“The proceedings should be dismissed with costs.”
Woollahra Mayor Toni Zeltzer told 702 ABC Radio earlier today (Wednesday) that she was heartbroken by the court’s decision.
“We’ve found this an abhorrent thing for us to be forced to merge, it will have a huge impact on our community both in cost and in the loss of our community’s interest,” Ms Zeltzer said.
Battle Lost: War Against Gerrymander Ahead - Woollahra Council loses first round of merger fight, pays costs 
Can Politicians Police Themselves? “Taking advantage of a randomized natural experiment embedded in Brazil’s State Audit Courts, we study how variation in the appointment mechanisms for choosing auditors affects political accountability. We show that auditors appointed under few constraints by elected officials punish lawbreaking politicians—particularly co-partisans—at lower rates than bureaucrats insulated from political influence. In addition, we find that even when executives are heavily constrained in their appointment of auditors by meritocratic and professional requirements, auditors still exhibit a pro-politician bias in decision making. Our results suggest that removing bias requires a level of insulation from politics rare among institutions of horizontal accountability.”