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Business Roundtable member behind attack on reform

Business Roundtable member behind attack on campaign finance reform

Green Media Release 4th December 2007

A member of the Business Roundtable is behind the marches against campaign finance reform says the Green Party. The man paying an organiser to run the marches against the Electoral Finance Bill, John Boscawen, is a member of the Business Roundtable, as well as a former Act Party fundraiser.

“It is no surprise that a member of the Business Roundtable would pay someone to organise marches against campaign finance reform. Around the world, far right business groups oppose campaign finance reform because they want to be able to spend a lot of money to influence government policy,” says Dr. Russel Norman, green Party Co-leader.

“According to Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men, leading members of the Business Roundtable were secret donors to the National Party in the last election campaign.

Hager identifies Business Roundtable members Alan Gibbs, David Richwhite, Doug Myers, Peter Shirtcliffe as amongst the secret donors.

“National hid the true identity of their funders behind secretive trusts like the Waitemata Trust. National knows who gave them money but the public does not.

“It is no surprise that Business Roundtable members are attacking campaign finance reform when it was Business Roundtable members who gave secret donations to National.

“The attacks on campaign finance reform around the world are always done under the guise of protecting free speech. But free speech is still alive and well in Canada and the UK, which both have adopted more stringent rules than those proposed in the Electoral Finance Bill. This is because money is not free speech.

“The Electoral Finance Bill is far from perfect. But if you want to know why you should support campaign finance reform, look at the people who are behind the attacks on the Electoral Finance Bill.”

ENDS

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