It’s a pretty major allegation about the National Government – that it is accepting free election advertising on a radio station as a quid pro quo for a financial favour to the owners of the broadcaster. This is the escalated state of the saga/scandal over John Key’s so-called ‘election-free zone’ one-off broadcast on Radio Live last Friday. Official complaints have been lodged by the Labour Party with the Electoral Commission and Broadcasting Standards Authority – see: Goff's accusations over Key DJ segment rejected and BSA considers complaint against Key radio show. Useful contributions to the debate are also put forward in Simon Cunliffe’s Key's radio spot wasn't political - yeah right and John Pagani’s Radio Live keeps digging.
All of this shows that issues of political finance and electoral rules continue to dog New Zealand parliamentary politics, especially at election time. Ever since the 2005 general election, when two major political finance scandals broke – the Exclusive Brethren campaign that favoured National, and the Labour Party’s breach of the spending limits via use of taxpayer funded election pamphlets – all the parties have bickered and moaned about each others’ electoral activities and funding. The controversy of the Electoral Finance Act 2007 was the pinnacle of this struggle. Although issues of political finance and electoral law were meant to all be resolved by the National Government’s supposedly consensus-oriented replacement legislation, this was never going to happen. The replacement ‘solution’ was mostly as bad as the original, and the same problematic issues remain in terms of the attempt to define what an ‘election advertisement’ is, and how to properly regulate them. Of course none of the debates about political finance and electoral rules are likely to go away for the very reason that such allegations and counter-allegations are such useful electoral weapons. And in the current stoush, Labour seems to have the upper hand because regardless of the truth or otherwise of the corruption allegations, and regardless of whether Key’s appearance was an ‘election advertisement’, the whole affair now looks unwise.
The ‘game of politics’ has changed with the arrival at centre stage of ‘scandal politics’ and allegations about political finance and corruption. Hence it’s not surprising that there are plenty of other stories around today that relate to this broad topic: the Herald’s SFO's bubbly an error of judgment, Fran O’Sullivan’s More than a storm in a champagne flute, Stuff’s John Key: Authority to handle MPs' entitlements, Clio Francis’ Taito Phillip Field granted parole, and Claire Trevett’s Greens reject cash from energy firm. All of these stories relate to the fascination and concern with issues of political finance and corruption.
Other important items today include: Steven Price’s Staggering bunk from Collins over surveillance bill, Dene Mackenzie’s Key Nats' ace; Goff sidelined, Claire Trevett and Nick Tolerton’s MPs scramble to get photos with Mad Butcher, Bill Rosenberg’s Judge the Govt by things that matter, Danya Levy’s Treasury 'didn't have power to stop finance companies', Adam Bennett’s Cunliffe questions Govt 'failure' to monitor scheme, and Duncan Garner’s two items, Greens polling at record high - is Nat coalition likely? and Poll reveals how voters feel about Key's term.[Continue reading below for a full list of the highlights of NZ Politics Daily]
John Key’s Radiolive show
Amelia Romanos (NZH): Goff's accusations over Key DJ segment rejected
Danya Levy (Stuff): BSA considers complaint against Key radio show
Lloyd Burr and James Murray (TV3): RadioLIVE deny Goff's suggestion of bias
Alex Walls (NBR): PM's hour not electioneering – Mediaworks
Simon Cunliffe (ODT): Key's radio spot wasn't political - yeah right
John Pagani: Radio Live keeps digging
Clare Curran (Red alert): Crossing the line
Editorial (NZH): SFO's bubbly an error of judgment
Fran O’Sullivan (NZH): More than a storm in a champagne flute
William Mace (Stuff): Receivers might have binned champagne
Claire Trevett (NZH): Greens reject cash from energy firm
Duncan Garner (TV3): Greens polling at record high - is Nat coalition likely?
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Green voters say Greens should accept a coalition with National
Government management of bank deposit scheme
Danya Levy (Stuff): Treasury 'didn't have power to stop finance companies'
Adam Bennett (NZH): Cunliffe questions Govt 'failure' to monitor scheme
Dene Mackenzie (ODT): Govt forced on to back foot
John Hartevelt (Dom Post): Nats consider boost to KiwiSaver
Felix Marwick (NewstalkZB): English says credit downgrades not so bad
Bill Rosenberg (Stuff): Judge the Govt by things that matter
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): PM admits minimum wage tough to live on
Kate Chapman (Stuff): John Key's cleaner campaigns for better wages
Taranaki Daily News: Editorial - Dealing with an age-old problem
Danya Levy (Stuff): Treasury spent $13.8m on consultants - Greens
Police covert video surveillance
Steven Price (Media Law Journal): Staggering bunk from Collins over surveillance bill
Chris Trotter (Press): Majority rule versus the Supreme Court
Barry Soper (Newstalk ZB): Political Report for October 5
Andrew Geddis (Pundit): Some praise for Parliament, rare though that may be
Dean Knight (Laws 179): Covert surveillance: post-Select Committee and pre-Hamed
Lyndon Hood (Scoop): Crown vs Gown: PM On Police Surveillance
Richard Swainson (Waikato Times): So it’s OK for cops to break the law?
Duncan Garner (TV3): Poll reveals how voters feel about Key's term
Dene Mackenzie (ODT): Key Nats' ace; Goff sidelined
Claire Trevett and Nick Tolerton (NZH): MPs scramble to get photos with Mad Butcher
Rawiri Taonu: Harawira's Mana a wildcard for Maori and Labour parties
Adam Bennett (NZH): Peachey's health may force National to pick new Tamaki candidate
John Hartevelt (Stuff): National's Allan Peachey steps down
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Anderton's persistence led to Kiwibank
John Pagani: Jim's valedictory
John Hartevelt (Stuff): McCully rejects critics over Rugby World Cup
Hamish Rutherford (Stuff): RWC economic fillip 'just tiny'
Whaleoil: Questions over Pagani
Clio Francis (Stuff): Taito Phillip Field granted parole
Paloma Migone (Stuff): More solo dads on DPB
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Child witnesses benefit from justice reforms
Press: Editorial - Crime figures
Katie Bradford-Crozier (Newstalk ZB): Outgoing Power sees legislation passed
Brian Rudman (NZH): Insurance worries from on high
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Leaky home owners get $23m
Lloyd Burr (TV3): Gower loses to Greens, sings mangled Star-Spangled Banner
Dom Post: Politics briefs: Wednesday, October 5th