The Greens candidate for Newcastle, John Sutton, today called on other Newcastle candidates to publicly disclose donations made to their election campaigns so voters could see who was funding their campaigns before they vote.
“Many candidates hide behind the minimum legal requirements for disclosing donations, so that voters don’t know who has funded their campaigns until well after election day,” Mr Sutton said.
“In an era where candidates are able to post this information on websites almost immediately, this is unacceptable,” he said
“The Greens support continuous disclosure of election campaign donations, and we make this information available as soon as practicable on the relevant websites,” he said.
Donations made to the local Greens campaigns for Newcastle and Wallsend can be found on the Newcastle Greens website (at: http://www.newcastlegreens.org.au/donations/). Donations to the NSW statewide campaign can be found on The Greens NSW website (at: http://nsw.greens.org.au/content/2011-state-election-continuous-disclosure-donations.
“Continuous disclosure should be a legal requirement, and should be facilitated by the NSW State Electoral Office,” Mr Sutton said.
“In the absence of such a system, Newcastle candidates should do this voluntarily.
“This is particularly important for the main independent candidate, Cr Tate, who has been subject to adverse findings in council code of conduct proceedings in relation to his handling of political donations,” Mr Sutton said.
Mr Sutton said that concerns raised in an article by prominent journalists Wendy Bacon and Nicole Gooch today in New Matilda (http://newmatilda.com/2011/03/24/newcastle-business-lobby-targets-labor-mp) also raised concerns about the role of local third party campaign organisations such as the Newcastle Alliance, which had spent a significant amount of money effectively advocating a vote for the Liberal Party in Newcastle.
For further information or comment, please contact John Sutton (Greens candidate for Newcastle), on 4969 2668 or 0411 154 004.
John Sutton’s campaign blog is at: http://newcastle2011.blogspot.com