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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Pork sale details hard to find

Not only were yesterday's political donations disclosures so long after the event as to be laughable, but the gory detail of large contributions to oil the wheels of democracy by foreign casino operators, developers, unions, ethanol manufacturers, clubs and others reported in today's press still don't add up, according to Malcolm Knox:
"Attempts to make the political donations process more transparent have been hampered by startling discrepancies between donor and recipient declarations in the latest Australian Electoral Commission figures. Of the top 20 donations to the major parties, more than half show inconsistencies between what the donors and recipients say. With the ALP's top corporate donor, the Hong Kong casino billionaire Stanley Ho and his associated companies, the discrepancy is the largest. Dr Ho signed a declaration saying he had given $200,000 to the ALP in NSW on May 29 last year. In the party's declaration, however, ALP official Brendan Kavanagh signed documents saying Dr Ho gave $400,000 on October 31, 2007. With other donations by Ho-related entities tallying up to $700,000, it is unclear whether Dr Ho gave the party $900,000 or $1.1 million. Eight of the Labor Party's top 10 corporate donations and five of the Coalition's top 10 fail to add up. The largest discrepancy was on the Coalition side: Iain Thompson, the company secretary of Brickworks, declared it made three donations totalling $265,000 to the Liberals in the months leading up to the 2007 federal election. But in the Liberals' declaration, there was no sign of Brickworks - or any donation from it."

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