Monday, May 22, 2006

All you've done

David Farrar from Kiwiblog has finished his series on Labour's overspending. Farrar reports that the overall case is damning. In summary:
* Labour were told 17 days before the election that the CEO considered the pledge cards electoral advertisements.

* Labour offered, prior to the election, to include the pledge cards in their election return.

* That offer, was withdrawn after the election. The large cost of the pledge cards makes it difficult to reach any conclusion other than the offer was made with bad faith to stop the CEO referring them pre-election to the Police. In other words they lied to the CEO.

* The overwhelming view of the top electoral and legal authorities, including the Secretary of Justice and the Chief Electoral Officer, was that the pledge cards were very clearly electoral activity and expenses.

* The Police investigation was superficial, and did not even investigate the over-spending charge.

* The Police brought into the view of Heather Simpson that the Parliamentary Service Commission rules over-ride the Electoral Act. This is despite the PSC rules themselves referring to the fact some parliamentary expenditure can be electoral expenses under the Electoral Act

* The Police kept confusing the two issues, right up until after the public release, when the CEO put them right.

* The Police failed to consider that Section 214B offences have strict liability, where intent is not required.( my emphasis)

You can see all the posts here.

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