Where is the money going?
Disendorsed One Nation candidates may get no public money for campaigns
Western Australian Electoral Commission tells candidates only the party can claim their funding entitlement
Courtesy of the Guardian
Friday 17 March 2017 06.08 AEDT Last modified on Friday 17 March 2017 06.10 AEDT
Disendorsed Western Australian One Nation candidates face carrying the cost of defeat alone after the electoral commission warned them the party – rather than the candidates – was eligible to claim their public funding for the election.
Even candidates that remained with the party face being left out of pocket, because the WA candidate agreement, seen by Guardian Australia, only guarantees them 75% of their costs or public funding.
The former One Nation candidate for Thornlie, Sandy Baraiolo, told Guardian Australia she was locked in a dispute to get a reimbursement for her $250 candidate fee and $1,500 of election expenses she incurred for campaign materials.
Baraiolo said she was disendorsed on 22 February for refusing to hand over access to her Facebook after social media posts in which she criticised the One Nation preference deal with the Liberals.
On 3 March, one week out from the election in which One Nation recorded a 4.8% lower house primary vote, the WA Electoral Commission wrote to Baraiolo with information on how to appoint herself as her own agent since she had been disendorsed.
But the email warned that appointment “does not mean that you will be able to receive a reimbursement of your nomination fee or submit a claim for public funding directly from the commission, even if you are eligible to claim those funds”.
“The Electoral Act 1907 stipulates that the nomination fee is to be returned to the person who paid it … and that a claim for public funding is lodged by the party agent.”
In WA candidates are eligible for $1.87 in public funds for every vote if they win over 4% of the first preference vote.
With 81.79% of the vote counted and 1,638 votes so far (7.5%), Baraiolo’s count would entitle her to over $3,000. The count will be finalised on 20 March.
Baraiolo said she was concerned the public funding would go to One Nation. “Not if I can help it – I would donate that money [to the electoral commission or a charity] before I would see it go to One Nation,” she said.
Baraiolo said she would ask the electoral commission not to release the funds to One Nation or consider a legal suit in the small claims division to recover the money from the party if it did.
“I’m entitled to the money – they disendorsed me and misrepresented themselves to the candidates.”
Baraiolo claimed the party had promised candidates it would not do preference deals, and a package of campaign material that was never provided.
One Nation suffered a suite of disendorsements and resignations during the campaign, including Margaret Dodd, Dane Sorensen, Stephen Piper and Ray Gould.
Gould also nominated dishonesty about the preference deal as his reason for quitting.
Candidates who stayed with the party also stand to lose out. The WA One Nation candidate agreements states that the party will reimburse candidates for “75% of your expenses return, capped at $10,000 or 75% of the maximum reimbursement amount, whichever of the above is lesser”.
The terms of the agreement suggest that candidates that fall below 4% of the vote may not be entitled to reimbursement at all.
Before he was disendorsed on 21 February, Sorensen wrote a critique of the candidate agreement, seen by Guardian Australia, in which he said he was “extremely disappointed, and very concerned” about its terms.
Sorensen labeled it “extremely offensive” that the party would take 25% from his reimbursement.
Federal Greens democracy spokeswoman, Lee Rhiannon, who has been approached by One Nation dissidents concerned about the terms of candidates’ engagement, said the agreement is “very controlling”.
“The agreement sets out a high level of central party control in relation to campaign finances and decisions generally,” she said.
“If One Nation keeps 25% of the WA Electoral Commission funding that a candidate receives to cover their expenses then it appears that the One Nation party makes a profit at the expense of its candidates.
“It suggests that people without lots of cash could not afford to be One Nation candidates.”
Guardian Australia contacted the WA One Nation leader, Colin Tincknell, and its candidate liaison officer, Aidan Nagle, for comment.
In an email to candidates sent on Monday, Nagle put a positive spin on the party’s results, noting it had scored 8.1% of the primary vote and it was “confident” it would win two or three upper house seats.
Is it all about the money? Is this what politics really is all about?
all of the media scribes who do not ask Pauline Hanson’s One Nation where the
money has gone, where it is going and to what purpose, I, just a member of the
wide community am doing so now. If the ‘shoot from the hip’ leader of One
Nation believes that I am most impertinent in daring to place this in the public
arena, then let me remind her that it was the Movement that I gave birth to, and
your calibre of henchmen, that you gave your permission to, ... seize to use
its membership to register a political party and then used its meagre financial
kitty to create and launch One Nation on April 11th 1997, then think
Not only did you issue orders that I was not to be invited, but the sick bastards that you were, sat my wife between yourself and Ettridge. Of that trio, it was my wife who never landed in gaol. She was the Secretary of the PHSM.
It does not bother me one iota that you went to gaol, for you were the architect of your folly. You have made an art form of sucking up to those who put you on a pedestal and told you how wonderful you are. It is an aphrodisiac to you and it will be the mechanism that may bring you horrible unstuck. I am also not at phased by the gutless decision of the Court of Appeal to dismiss the case of fraud. In recent time I see that David Ettridge is claiming that he had something to do with the decision to realise both he and Hanson from prison. In reading de Jersey’s statement, it is obvious that he was scathing of the way that the case for both the defence and prosecution was handled. The lying, deception and perjury, that took place was indicative what he was talking about. The membership list, the whole crux of the case was so fabricated to cover arses, that it was dangerous to say for certain where the membership originated. The prosecution said that it was the PHSM, but how would they know? They refused to have anything to do with the ‘material witness’, assuming that it was a Paul Trewartha who was responsible for the creation of the PHSM. He came aboard for the first time the day of the launch of the PHSM, October 28th 1996. What he committed was perjury, and it was on that principally that the case was delivered to a jury. Ettridge and Hanson did not put themselves up for cross examination ...as I understand. I was refused access to the court to place in front of Justice Atkinson all of my evidence to blow out of the water much that was claimed.
been stated may times by the Australian Electoral Commission that money that is
paid out to the agents of political parties is up to them to do what they like
with it. This money is paid out on a given rate when candidates poll more than
4% on first preferences. It is a very healthy sum and can boost the coffers of
party funds, ostensibly to fight future campaigns.
Now Hanson has been a notorious serial candidate in every election in the last twenty years. Eleven times all told. Her firebrand, outlandish statements are in many ways, that of the man in the street, who talks over his beer, at work or barbeques. When I first created the PHSM, it was this gutless trait of the bronze Aussie male that annoyed me. Nobody was prepared to stand up publicly and support Hanson, so as a Kiwi I showed how it could be done. Sadly it was Australians who sold us out.
efforts I was awarded the Ettridge created head of the Order of White Ants, of
which he was able to endow 40 others. . So what happened to the hundreds of
thousands of dollars that made their way into the $2 company One Nation Ltd.
Directors Hanson, Ettridge and Oldfield. What happened to the money, the
books, and the accountability? Well Oldfield and Burston were thrown out of
the party when Pauline demanded to be handed the company records. But no
questions were ever asked and she then drifted into cyclical tilts at the Santa
Clause benevolent society, the taxpayer funded Electoral Commissions. They
presented and the lady had another go. Made no difference whether it was Qld or
NSW, the lower house or upper house down south, … the single chamber in her own
state or the Senate federally. Creativity saw her launch the Pauline’s (what
other name could suffice?) United Australia Party. Scoring a credible 101,400
plus votes saw ‘the party’; bag a handy boost to its bare coffers. So the money
is paid out to the party’s agent, the treasurer. That saw Hanson approach the
treasurer and the secretary and first of all request the handover of the monies
from the AEC. They declined stating that it was for the party to make that
decision. For a second time Hanson went through the same process, this time
with company in tow. She met with the same result and it must be assumed that
she did not want the party to deliberate. The money was then mysteriously
removed leaving a residual of some money in the account. Without any
consultation the party was deregistered.
It is my understanding with no evidence to back me up that the police were called in. Investigations were commenced and then the officer was removed from the case and posted elsewhere.
When I questioned Hanson on her Facebook Page, she did not see it for a day or two, but when she did, she immediately removed it, responded to me leaving her comment in place and barred me from ever writing on her page again. (In more recent times this has been done by Senators Burston and Roberts.)
I am sorry to say Bruce you are confused. I know you started Pauline Hanson's support movement and left when I launched One Nation. You have never forgiven me for not doing it with you but the two Davids. You had your own agenda for me, and you have still tried to push it over the years, even to this day. You are confused because I left the party in Jan 2002 and I was imprisoned in 2003. I de-registered Pauline's United Australia Party years ago. It is time you got on with your life Bruce because you are not in the best of health in your latter years, and I will continue to fight on for what I believe. It's a shame but you could never handle the fact I was and still am my own person. Don't let hate cloud what I might be able to achieve. Kind Regards Pauline Hanson.
I was the
first to be dealt by the Hanson code of ethics and lack of integrity, so I had
nothing to gauge it by. Today I have seen this woman who is so devoid of
principles hurt, and scam dozens of decent honest people who have dared to
believe in her constant playing to the gallery, through radio, television and
press. All have given her an aura of invincibility, but time is fast running
out. I reiterate what she told me twenty years ago. If anyone is going to
destroy One Nation, I will do it. Yes Pauline, you did it with PUAP, you got
away with that. You have left people in WA, disillusioned, destroyed and
shafted ...after they essentially gave you a backdrop to a very questionable
party to spin your prejudices. We, and there are a few of us could see this
happening. I might not like him, for the way he used me, but what One Nation
did to Terry Sharples was to destroy him financially. PH One Nation, PUAP and
PH One Nation Mark 2, have had one common factor. It is time that it was put
under the public microscope and examined with utter impunity.
It is TIME; it is time for a Commission of Inquiry!
Why did Laura's story fall into a void? Is this holy ground that shall not be walked upon?