Sugar Daddy’s and Foreign Influence
The much disliked Bill has another deeply disturbing aspect. Every Party can appoint a ‘Nominated Entity’ – aka ‘Sugar Daddy’. This group is included in the aggregation of donations – so $4,000 between both Party and Sugar Daddy is the limit for a person or business. The Sugar Daddy must-
* be constitutionally required to support only the Party which has appointed it as ‘Nominated Entity’,
* cannot have any voting power over the Party, but must be able to be voted or controlled by the Party,
Unlike normal donors external to the Party unlimited funds can be transferred between the Party and the ‘Nominated Entity’.
What this does is drive two very large trucks through the stated intention of the Bill – to have a transparent Donation Process and to invite large scale rorting to hide campaign influence.
The ALP has let it be known that Trades Hall will be their Sugar Daddy.
To indulge in some what-ifs –
Case 1 – The ‘Not So Sensible Party’ (NSSP) agrees to appoint the ‘No Poor Widows Association’ (NPWA) as it’s Nominated Entity. Prior to 25th November the NPWA asks all the business and personal supporters of the NSSP to donate to a new fund – the ‘State Account for NSSP’, unless they exceed $12,000 no need to let anyone know about these donations. The NPWA then asks all the Widows groups to empty their bank accounts or even borrow against future income to deliver a large lump sum into the State Account for NSSP. On 24th November the No Poor Widows now have $5,000,000 which they can donate at any rate or even allow income to accumulate. As long as they didn’t say they would repay any loans or advances nothing need be declared to the new legal Registrar of Nominated Entities or the Electoral Commission.
Case 2 – The ‘No Poor Widows Association’ (NPWA) asks all the widows who belong to the various Widows groups to donate $50 from their next fortnightly income, the Widows groups already can deduct membership fees – but sometimes they ask for direct payments , which widows can opt-out. All these donations then can be added to the ‘State Account for Not So Sensible Party’ without any issues, as they are under the limit for having to be included in any donation monitoring, and they are not subscriptions.
If there are 120,000 widows within all the groups, and only 20,000 read their notice about donating and say ‘no’ – 100,000 will have the $50 withdrawn or $500,000 to add to the ‘State Account for Not So Sensible Party’.
One of the key elements of the Electoral reform is to stop unknown and foreign influences – the Bill states that no one who isn’t eligible for Commonwealth Social Security can donate. BUT if the Widows groups simply hoover under $51 donations, no check is made at any point – nor can they be checked by the Electoral Commission at a later date. Did foreign widows get included ? Did foreign business interests just sign up names and pay the money to the Widows groups ? At the Royal Commission into Widows it was revealed that Widows sometimes were signed up without their knowledge, various payments just being parceled between the businesses and the Widows groups.
The other Sugar Daddy is the candidate , be they of a Party or an Independent. The Candidate can spend any sum on their campaign to be elected. No limits, and under the Commonwealth Tax Act it is all 100% deductible.
No names no pack drill – but we have had two Party Leaders since 2010 who have used their personal money to achieve electoral success. In the United State it is the norm – John Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, Al Gore, Mitt Romney and now Donald Trump all used substantial family or personal wealth to beat their opposition.
Get ready for lots more connected candidates, rich candidates and Union Hacks in Victoria if supporters are restrained from donating – only the State Funding per vote (for established Party’s), Trades Hall donations and large personal expenditures will be allowed to battle out our elections.
RIP Egalitarian Victoria
Born 3 December 1854 – Peter Lalor, father
Died 7th June 2018 – at Daniel Andrews hand.
NOTES on Nominated Entities movement of funds between nominated entity and Party or vica versa In section 206(1) of the Electoral Act 2002 but does not include the following— (j) a gift made by a registered political party to the nominated entity of the registered political party or received by a registered political party from the nominated entity of the registered political party;
REGULATIONS Re STATE CAMPAIGN ACCOUNTS 207 F The State Campaign Account (7) The regulations may prescribe— (a) what other amounts of any kind may be paid into a State campaign account; and (b) what other amounts of any kind must not be paid