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Look left for conspiracies

Murray McCully MP National Party State Services Spokesman

08 September 2005

Look left for conspiracies

National Party State Services spokesman Murray McCully says the Labour Party is now "hoist by its own petard" over hundreds of thousands of dollars being poured into the Labour Party re-election campaign by trade unions.

"Labour allegations of National links with the Exclusive Brethren has caused the National Party to look at the legality of campaign spending by trade unions.

"As a consequence the National Party will be lodging a formal complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer over the trade union campaign spending which may push the Labour Party campaign past the legal limit.

"The trade unions have been blatantly urging people to vote Labour and the Greens. When they do that they must seek consent from the political parties involved and the cost of the advertising must come off the total Labour/ Greens advertising allocation.

"The trade union movement has been trying to screw the electoral scrum for a number of months," says Mr McCully.

The PPTA spent $373,000 (Nielson Media Research) on press advertising from May to July inclusive. While they were technically legal, other union material has not been so cautious. These include unbranded handbills from Andrew Little (of the Engineers Union), fliers from the SFWU (authorised by Labour candidate Darien Fenton) and an election flier from the Amalgamated Workers Union.

These, and more than a dozen other examples, will form the basis of National's complaint today.

"The $373,000 spent by the PPTA was confiscated from teachers, and used to attack the National Party.

"We are also receiving reports of increased activity from other unions next week in support of the Labour Party.

"At the same time, Labour has been recruiting people to contribute to this union smear campaign against National. It offered bonuses to some public servants who joined unions before the election."

ENDS

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