The secret Rudd donation

March 22nd, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Australian reports:

KEVIN Rudd’s growing fears of losing his seat at last year’s federal election led to a fundraising drive among his supporters to pay for targeted polling and a secret $200,000 overseas donation that the party believes may have breached state electoral laws.

Labor’s pollster, Research Australia, yesterday confirmed it had conducted a $200,000 “program of research” in Mr Rudd’s Brisbane electorate of Griffith ahead of the election on September 7.

The donation was received and UMR commissioned to do the research — understood to have included focus groups and “robo” call messages to voters — just days before the election without the knowledge of the national secretariat and state Labor officials.

UMR is now refusing to refund the money to the Queensland ALP, which sent a letter of demand for the $200,000 after a meeting of its administrative committee on Wednesday.

I have to say I’m with UMR on this one. They were commissioned in good faith by the party leader to do research, and they did the research. The fact the party now has to refund the donation that paid for it is the ALP’s problem. Unless there is more to this than meets the eye, I think it is outrageous they are asking their supplier to give them money back. It’s almost akin to the allegations against Countdown.

While Mr Rudd denies any wrongdoing, the committee was given legal advice alleging the donation from the former prime minister’s long-time friend Kung Chin Yuan, a Taiwanese-born businessman, may have breached Queensland electoral rules, as well as internal Labor rules on the limits for branches handling finances. Under Queensland laws, any donation of $100,000 or more has to be disclosed to the Electoral Commission of Queensland within weeks of its receipt. Mr Rudd says all disclosures were the responsibility of the party.

ALP state secretary Anthony Chisholm told the committee that until this month, he was unaware of the donation until it was discovered in an audit of the Griffith branch. The audit found the donation was paid directly by Mr Kung into the Griffith branch bank account from his bank account in Taiwan and withdrawn hours later to cover the UMR bill.

The Queensland ALP is demanding UMR pay back the $200,000 so it can return the donation to Mr Kung, a Labor donor since 1998.

It’s no surprise that Labor broke electoral laws. But the refund is their problem, not UMR’s.

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6 Responses to “The secret Rudd donation”

  1. duggledog (1,559 comments) says:

    Key word: ‘Labour’

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  2. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    CAN ANYONE GUEESS where the

    COMMIE LOVING CAMEL HUMPER

    got his money from is there

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  3. CrazyIvan (90 comments) says:

    Actually, based on this article I have some sympathy for Labor. A candidate solicits a donation paid to his electorate bank account without the party’s knowledge and they’re in the gun for breaking electoral laws. Sounds like Rudd may have deliberately hidden the amount for his own gain. Labor should be chasing him up for the amount, not UMR who were simply paid for a service. Not there problem where the money for their payment came from.

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  4. jackinabox (776 comments) says:

    Sounds a bit like the John Banks case, rich as hell and bent on staying that way.

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  5. Ross12 (1,432 comments) says:

    CrazyIvan is right in that if Labor think they can get it from anyone it has to be Rudd. UMR have nothing to do with it –they just dida job asked of them.
    Having said that unlike Ivan I have no sympathy for Labor –they obviously did not have things under control.

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  6. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    The Labor Party has discovered that breaking electoral laws is no big deal especially on campaign financing. Rudd thought he should just take the risk especially if he is PM and could manipulate things

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