Citizen Journalism

Cory and friends (not Abbott) respond to Investigative Journalist Jessica Wright

In Astroturfing, Margo Kingston on January 28, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Cory Bernardi

Cory Bernardi

Jessia Wright had a massive scoop on Abbott’s man Cory Bernardi who is now under fire over his extreme right lobbying.

Extract:

TONY Abbott’s handpicked former parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi has apparently breached strict rules by failing to declare his ties to a right-wing, pro-tobacco group fighting gun controls.
The organisation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, was involved in a High Court challenge against the Gillard government last year and has financial ties with big tobacco.
The US-based council is working with the National Rifle Association to block President Barack Obama’s guns crackdown after the Newtown school massacre.
Cory Bernardi has been an ALEC member since 2009.

Senator Bernardi’s apparent non-disclosure on his register of pecuniary interests comes as he has claimed his party’s first pick on the South Australian Senate ticket at this year’s election, virtually guaranteeing him another term. The register aims to ensure the public understands politicians’ financial interests and other benefits, including sponsored travel. Senator Bernardi is chairman of the Senate committee that polices declarations.

Cory and friends respond to Jessica.


Jessia Wright responds: Bernardi denies pro-tobacco ties breach rules

Extract:

THE Liberal senator Cory Bernardi denies he has breached parliamentary disclosure rules by failing to declare his links to a right-wing pro-tobacco group fighting gun controls.
Senator Bernardi insisted he did not have to declare his involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council because he did not believe it posed a conflict of interest.
Labor and the Greens called for him to be stood down as chairman of the senators’ interests committee, which polices declarations.

However, the rules say senators are required to disclose ”any other interests where a conflict of interest with a senator’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise”.
The Greens senator Richard Di Natale said Senator Bernardi was ”unfit to chair” the senators’ interests committee.

In a letter circulated on Sunday, Senator Bernardi claimed he was not contacted by Fairfax Media before the story was published.

But Fairfax Media did contact his office and stands by its story.

Mr Abbott is yet to comment.

Update: Mr Abbott has been asked a question about Cory Bernardi in his doorstop with Campbell Newman

QUESTION:
 
Mr Abbott, have you had a chance to speak to Cory Bernardi about his parliamentary disclosure?
 
TONY ABBOTT:
I have been in contact, my office has been in contact with Cory Bernardi and he is adamant that there has been no breach of the disclosure requirements.

He has form on not responding to questions and walking out on the media.

And he gets away with it. It seems only the light entertainment show the ProjectTV reports on this.


Bernardi unfit to chair committee, say Labor and Greens

ALEC is also a major financial backer of the Tea Party during last year’s US elections. It has spread its conservative agenda across the globe, especially on plain packaging of tobacco.

The chairwoman of the taskforce is Philip Morris International executive Brandie Davis, who drafted two letters sent to the Gillard government in 2010 and 2011, demanding Australia abandon its efforts to force all tobacco products to be sold in uniform drab packaging.

British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Philip Morris, a major supporter of ALEC, last year launched an unsuccessful High Court challenge against the Australian laws.


Some background on Cory Bernardi by Mike Seccombe: If You Like Sarah Palin, You’ll Absolutely Love Cory Bernardi


Some background on ALECAmerican Legislative Exchange Council:

ALEC’s major funders include Exxon Mobil, the Scaife family (Allegheny Foundation and the Scaife Family Foundation), the Coors family (Castle Rock Foundation), Charles Koch (Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation), the Bradley family (The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation) and the Olin family (John M. Olin Foundation).2 These organizations consistently finance right-wing think tanks and political groups.

Members of ALEC’s board represent major corporations such as Altria, AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Koch Industries, PhRMA, Peabody Energy, and State Farm. Such corporations represent just a fraction of ALEC’s approximately three hundred corporate partners.3 According to the Center For Media and Democracy, over 98% of ALEC’s funding comes from corporations, special interests, and sources other than legislative dues (which run $50 per year for legislators).4

ALEC’s activities reflect its founding, funding, and control by corporate interests. After paying to get a seat at the table, corporations are able to introduce bills at ALEC conferences that are written by corporate law firms, and that are specifically designed to benefit their industries. Many of these ALEC bills are written by corporate lawyers at defense firms like Shook Hardy & Bacon.

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  1. Bernardi makes this statement;
    Her ‘exclusive’ report neglects to mention that Senators are required to disclose officeholder positions, organisations where financial contributions of more than$300 aremade or where membership is likely to result in a conflict of interest in discharging their duties as a senator. None of which apply to my status with ALEC, whose international membership supports federation, freemarkets and limited government.

    There is disingenuous tenor to this statement.
    If you visit this webpage –
    http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed
    you will will see the many “model bills” that corporate lobbyist have written for the American Legislative Exchange Council – that apply to his discharging his duties.

    A list of some of the corporations that fund ALEC can be found on that page also. I am sure you will see familiar companies.

    Being that these meetings are held behind closed doors – in secret – with no public scrutiny, it is difficult to even imagine what US and international legislators are authoring with the help of corporate lobbyists.

  2. Bernardi and his mentor Phoney Tony Abbott represent a clear and present danger to Australia’s democracy!
    The country can well do without this extremist Tea Party ultra conservative views.

  3. The nasty American corporate right wing cancer spreading in the Liberal Party body.

    Note Bernardi’s relationship to Tony Abbott.

    Note Abbott is also a corporate front man – he has 10s of millions of mining industry ad dollars to repay in political kind – but is the human face of it, despite it being in itself a sinister face.

    Note the usual silence from the usual suspects on this – ABC, News etc.

    Note the danger we are in when the loony right controls the LNP. The Shooters and Fishers Party dictating to the government in NSW seems mild in comparison.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  4. I think Beast Nasty is Right….the Far Far right..And he supports free markets all Right, yeah for automatic assault weapons whilst smoking tobacco.

  5. Appears “Slick” Abbott has stopped Corey Bernadi from appearing with Geert Wilders.

    “Slick” Abbott just has to bide his time for a free ride into the P.Ms. office.

    Unless people “Comment” in MSM and slip the names of Australians for Honest Politics, Independent Australia, The Global Mail, New Matilda and other informative sites into their “Comments” …. that’s how I have discovered these sites.

    Go back to the MSM and fight “Slick” Abbott and his cheer squad, and slip these sites in , there are Moderators who will let them through.

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