Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Brash's predictable fall from moral high ground

20 October 2006

Brash's predictable fall from moral high ground

Don Brash's credibility and judgement are yet again in doubt after his admission today that he used his Parliamentary Leader's Budget to pay for electioneering, Labour Strategist Pete Hodgson said.

Dr Brash's admission on Radio Live that he did in fact pay campaign operative Bryan Sinclair with taxpayers' money follows a week of denials and evasion on the issue, including a denial of the claim just this morning in the Otago Daily Times.

Pete Hodgson said Brash should have listened to commentators' warnings about the dangers of claiming the moral high ground on the election spending debate before using the Auditor General's report to wage a self-righteous attack on the Labour Party.

"Hypocrisy is a word Parliamentarians don't often use, but there is nothing else to describe Don Brash's behaviour," Pete Hodgson said. "When all other parties in Parliament expressed genuine surprise that the Auditor General had adopted a broad definition of electioneering, Brash climbed onto the moral high ground in a cynical move to bolster his flagging leadership.

"A journalist was finally able to extract the truth from Brash today – he too used his taxpayer-funded leadership budget for 'electioneering'. Bryan Sinclair was Brash's top campaign aide, seen by his side constantly in the three months before election day.

"Sinclair is a high-priced, Australian-based political consultant. On his website he states that he has been involved in many election campaigns and that he was Brash's "special advisor". Don Brash needs to come clean on how much taxpayers' funding was spent on Sinclair and state if he will follow his own advice to other political parties and 'pay it back.'"

Pete Hodgson said Dr Brash also needed to stop lying about the Auditor General's approval of National's electioneering expenses.

"Brash has claimed today that the Auditor General approved National's campaign accounts and has even implied that the AG signed off on the use of taxpayers' money to pay for Sinclair's election advice.

"That's a lie and Brash knows it. The Auditor General only looked at campaign advertising, not other electioneering expenses. Don Brash may not have used his leader's budget to pay for pamphlets, but he did use it to bring Brian Sinclair to New Zealand for the sole purpose of winning the election.

"The Auditor General would absolutely define that as electioneering. It's ironic that the validating legislation National has attacked all week means that Brash's hiring of Sinclair is no longer deemed to be illegal."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On Gaza And Burning The Israeli Flag

One of the selling points in New Zealand’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council is that we have a pluckily independent voice to offer on international conflicts.

This image is not entirely self-delusional. When we did occupy a temporary UN Security Council seat in the 1990s, New Zealand was forthright about the need for the international community to actively respond to the Rwanda genocide. On April 14, 1994, New Zealand, Nigeria and the Czech Republic were the only nations to call for a forceful UN intervention to halt the killings. It was a proud moment in the diplomatic record of the Bolger government.

What then, is the current National government doing with respect to the slaughter in Gaza? More>>

 

Parliament Today:

TAIC Report: Urgent Recommendations After Melling Rail Accident

The Transport Accident Investigation Commission has made four urgent recommendations to KiwiRail following the accident two months ago (27 May) when a Matangi passenger train collided with a stop block at Melling Station, Lower Hutt. More>>

ALSO:

Red Tape: Local Regulations Go Under Microscope

The Government says it is accepting nearly all of the recommendations the Productivity Commission has made on ways to improve local regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Spending Questions: Claudette Hauiti To Step Aside At Election

National Party President Peter Goodfellow confirms that he has received notification from List MP Claudette Hauiti that she plans to step aside at the 20 September election. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Board Of Inquiry Rejects Basin Flyover By Majority Of 3 To 1

The independent Board of Inquiry delegated to decide on the Basin Bridge Proposal has, by a majority decision (3 to 1), cancelled the Transport Agency’s Notice of Requirement and declined its resource consent applications for the construction, operation and maintenance of a flyover on State Highway 1 in Wellington City... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Non-Apology To Tania Billingsley

The refusal by Prime Minister John Key to issue a personal apology to Tania Billingsley has been accompanied by an array of excuses... Yesterday though, Key’s choice of words indicated that an apology was the last thing on his mind. More>>

ALSO:

Conventions: Winston Peters On The Nation

Winston Peters opens door to standing in East Coast Bays electorate, says it's an "exciting point" and he's thinking about it. "I’ve had a whole lot of people writing to me and calling up and saying ‘why don’t you have a go in East Coast Bays’." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news