A timely reminder of what goes in the shadows during Liberal Party election campaigns......
Thursday, 24 March 2016
The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 March 2016:
The Liberal Party has suspended a campaign director in the 2015 NSW election, after he was charged with electoral crimes in a marginal seat where the Australian Labor Party candidate was anonymously smeared as a paedophile.
The NSW Electoral Commission has taken action under the Parliamentary Electorates and Elections Act against Jim Daniel, who ran the campaign for the seat of East Hills, which MP Glenn Brookes unexpectedly retained by just 628 votes, or 0.8 per cent, in 2015.
During the campaign about 300 posters of ALP candidate Cameron Murphy, a human rights lawyer who has an Order of Australia and is the son of High Court judge Lionel Murphy, were defaced with stickers saying "paedophile lover," "stranger danger" and "our children are not safe".
In 2015 ALP MP Lynda Voltz, under parliamentary privilege, accused Mr Daniel, who is on Bankstown City Council, of organising the defacement of the posters.
At that time Mr Daniel said the accusations were "just another attempt to reheat issues previously raised and dealt with".
The Electoral Commission issued a statement on Friday that it had investigated a number of complaints and served two notices on Mr Daniel to appear at Downing Street Court.
"It will be alleged by the NSWEC that political campaign material distributed in the electorate of East Hills was in contravention of the act."
The NSW division of the Liberal Party said on Sunday that Mr Daniel was suspended and the NSWEC was the right body to investigate any complaints.
PerthNow, 21 March 2016:
EAST Hills Liberal MP Glenn Brookes will stand aside from the Liberal Party and will serve on the crossbench until the outcome of a charge against his campaign manager over an alleged breach of the electoral act involving a paedophile slur is determined.
Mr Brookes will also step aside from his parliamentary committee roles, including serving on Premier Mike Baird’s parliamentary ethics committee until the matter is resolved.
The scandal now threatens to produce a possible by-election.
Labor candidate Cameron Murphy, who was the head of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, lost the seat of East Hills by less than 400 votes — or 0.2 per cent — after the dirty campaign.
In the week before polling day, 300 of Mr Murphy’s posters were defaced with stickers falsely declaring him “a paedophile lover”.
Thousands of anonymous pamphlets were also letterboxed wrongly claiming Mr Murphy, the son of former High Court Judge and Federal Attorney-General Lionel Murphy, had stood up for paedophiles.
The matter is listed for mention at the Downing Centre Local Court on May 3….
The Express, 31 July 2012:
THE Liberal Party has endorsed two south ward candidates for Bankstown Council's election in September. Picnic Point resident Jim Daniel and Revesby's Vanessa Gauci will run on the south ward ticket.
Father-of-two Mr Daniel was preselected to run as number one on the ticket.
"I am honoured by the trust that has been shown in me by so many people who sincerely know that I have what it takes to be a successful south ward councillor on Bankstown Council," Mr Daniel said…..
The Express, 2 October 2012:
East Hills state Liberal MP Glenn Brookes has stepped down from his role on Bankstown Council after eight years.
Mr Brookes stood down from the council at last month's local government elections under new state government laws prohibiting anybody from holding a council and an MP position at the same time. "During my eight years on council more than $288 million has been spent on capital works and I am pleased to say that $26 million has been spent in my South ward," he said. Mr Brookes' heir in South ward is newly minted Liberal councillor Jim Daniel.
The Express, 19 May 2015:
The Bankstown Liberal councillor accused in Parliament of being involved in an election smear campaign has called the accusations "cowardly".
Jim Daniel denies being involved in a smear campaign that wrongly implied East Hills Labor candidate Cameron Murphy was a "paedophile lover".
Mr Daniel, who was the campaign manager for East Hills state Liberal MP Glenn Brookes during the State Election, was named by Labor MP Lynda Voltz in Parliament on Thursday.
Using parliamentary privilege, Ms Voltz said a resident saw Mr Daniel delivering the unauthorised leaflets during the campaign. In one leaflet it states "if a convicted child rapist lived next to you would you want to know?" alongside a photo of Mr Murphy.
East Hills was the tightest seat going into the election.
Despite Mr Murphy being favourite to win the seat back for Labor, Mr Brookes won by 372 votes with a slight swing in his favour.
In Parliament last Thursday, Ms Voltz said copies of the pamphlets were delivered to Padstow, Georges Hall, Revesby and Panania…..
The Express, 15 December 2015:
Mr Daniel, a Bankstown councillor, has denied any involvement. "I've had enough of them trying to belittle me. It's a hard enough job in politics without people crying over spilt milk," Mr Brookes said.
"They can't get over that I won. I told the people from (Liberal Party) hierarchy 'don't write me off'." East Hills had always been a Labor seat until Mr Brookes won in 2011 and he was re-elected in March despite only holding the seat by 0.2 per cent.
"They think they have a God-given right to the (East Hills) area - nobody does," he said.
Mr Brookes challenged Labor to accuse him of involvement in the smear campaign outside parliament. "Have a cheque book ready and have a go," he said.
Canterbury Bankstown Express, 6 May 2014:
Bankstown councillor Jim Daniel says he is "disappointed" he has been forced to defend himself over a business networking event he helped organise in 2012 that has been referred to ICAC due to a connection to former energy minister Chris Hartcher.
Cr Daniel helped his friend, accountant George Germanos, organise the networking meeting for Mr Germanos's Georges River Club at Bankstown Paceway in July 2012.
Mr Hartcher, who is being investigated by ICAC over allegations of a slush fund, was the guest speaker.
Cr Daniel said he asked East Hills state Liberal MP Glenn Brookes, for whom he works as an electorate officer, to invite fellow government members to attend.
"(Mr Brookes) invited a number of prominent people to attend, and it's just our luck that the one MP who did is now being investigated by ICAC," he said.
Cr Daniel said he and Mr Germanos had written to ICAC and the Electoral Funding Commission before the original event in 2012 to make sure there were no irregularities.
Cr Daniel said it was a shame Mr Brookes was now forced to defend himself for "helping out a staffer". He said there had not been enough money raised from the event to continue holding them.