Tag Archives: senator

Joe Bullock refuses to stand down from Labor Senate seat

Labor’s winning candidate Joe Bullock admits he had a campaign ‘shocker’. Photo: Aaron Bunch

The West Australian branch of the Labor Party is on the brink of open warfare over senator-elect Joe Bullock, with outgoing senator Mark Bishop declaring “everyone in WA knew” about a deal between right and left-aligned unions to ensure the controversial Mr Bullock was placed number one on the Senate ballot paper.

Senator Bishop has directly contradicted Mr Bullock’s assertion he had not done a factional deal with the WA Left faction to secure first place on the Labor ticket for himself.

The deal, Senator Bishop claims, involved left wing United Voice WA powerbroker Dave Kelly securing a state seat and Senator Sue Lines taking over from former minister Chris Evans when he retired and created a casual vacancy in March 2013.

The accusation followed Mr Bullock’s rejection on Friday of calls for him to stand aside as Labor’s newest Senator for Western Australia. Mr Bullock said he was disappointed but “unsurprised” that the left wing United Voice union that helped him secure the top Senate spot in WA had since disowned him.


“That’s the cost of standing for something,” Mr Bullock said. “You will have friends and you will have opponents.”

“I am as committed now as I was when I sought pre-selection.”

In the days before the Senate re-run it was revealed Mr Bullock had given a speech last year ridiculing Senator Pratts sexuality, saying he did not always vote Labor and describing some members of his own party as mad.

Mr Bullock said Mr Kelly had supported him because he could trust Mr Bullock and that Mr Kelly’s selection for a WA state seat was not a quid pro quo.

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Joe Bullock refuses to stand down from Labor Senate seat

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Sinodinos: The man least likely

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A NSW corruption inquiry rattled federal politics this week, as Assistant Treasurer senator Arthur Sinodinos has stepped down from his front bench role. Fairfax journalist Kate McClymont explains how a private water company, both Labor and Liberal power brokers and Sinodinos are connected and what lies ahead for the senator.

“It’s Arthur Sinodinos! Of course I was comforted.” That was how one investor felt in May 2010, when Sinodinos was a much admired Liberal icon whose wise counsel had been an essential part of Prime Minister John Howard’s success. At the time, Sinodinos – out of Canberra and back in Sydney – was chairman of Australian Water Holdings and the investor, Rod de Aboitiz, who had put $1 million into the company, was ringing the alarm bells over the company’s spiralling debts and astronomical wage bill. At the Independent Commission Against Corruption this week, de Aboitiz told the hearing Sinodinos had assured him ”the board was on top of it”.

But behind the scenes Sinodinos was under a lot of pressure. He was a man needing to make money, and to make it fast. The Newcastle-born Sinodinos, 57, married late in life. He was in his forties when he met his glamorous bride-to-be Elizabeth, almost two decades younger, at their Greek Orthodox Church. Sinodinos’s sedate, solid world soon disappeared. The couple rented a Rose Bay house with panoramic views of Sydney Harbour for almost $100,000 a year; leased luxury European cars; and three children followed – as did a whirlwind of social engagements.

Sinodinos didn’t need to do the maths to work out that a political career was never going to support this heady lifestyle.

This perhaps explains why the normally cautious Sinodinos ignored warning signs to accept Liberal fundraiser Nick Di Girolamo’s invitation to become a director in a small infrastructure company, Australian Water Holdings, on the handsome salary of $200,000 per year for what turned out to be about two hours’ work a week.


This ill-considered choice has cost Sinodinos dearly. There is no evidence that the Senator has been corrupt but his reputation as a fiscal mastermind and astute manager has been unravelling daily as the ICAC dissects the breathtaking corruption at the heart of a company of which Sinodinos was a director for three years, until he joined federal parliament in 2011.

The first alarm bell should have rung as soon as he arrived in late 2008. On AWH’s payroll was Eddie Obeid jnr, the son of the controversial NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid. Sinodinos claims he was unaware that during his time at AWH the Obeids acquired a 30 per cent stake, using $3 million from another corrupt deal.

Arthur Sinodinos. Photo: Tony Walker

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Sinodinos: The man least likely

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Jerome Sessini/Magnum Photos Wounded protester, Kiev, Ukraine, February 2014 Every time I see a large crowd of people on TV or in a newspaper, demonstrating against some autocratic government, I have mixed feelings: admiration for their willingness and bravery to take a stand, and a foreboding that nothing will come out of the effort. This sad conclusion comes from seeing too many worthy causes and mass movements fizzle out over the years. But even by that grim reality the defeat of democracy movements across the Middle East and North Africa, following protests that brought out millions of people, is staggering

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2014 State of the Net: A TechCrunch Discussion with Senator Rand Paul and Greg Ferenstein – Video

2014 State of the Net: A TechCrunch Discussion with Senator Rand Paul and Greg Ferenstein
From shekels to silver dollars, the medium with which we exchange for goods and services has always been indicative of the times. Today we explore the next e…

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2014 State of the Net: A TechCrunch Discussion with Senator Rand Paul and Greg Ferenstein – Video

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State Senator Delph criticizes GOP leadership – Video

State Senator Delph criticizes GOP leadership
State Senator Mike Delph promised a big announcement at the Statehouse Monday morning regarding the gay marriage debate.


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State Senator Delph criticizes GOP leadership – Video

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The Politics of Hillary Clinton's Marriage

(Corrects Bob Packwood’s party affiliation to Republican in 11th paragraph.)

How responsible is a wife for the betrayal of her husband?

In the case of Hillary Clinton, the answer is, a lot, according to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Senator Rand Paul.

They got delicious material to use in their effort from exchanges between Clinton and her best friend Diane Blair. Blair died at 61 in 2000. Her husband donated her papers to the University of Arkansas, where they were reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website.

The charge against Hillary is that she was an enabler, not a victim, of her husband’s extramarital affairs, a long string of which culminated in the White House encounters with Monica Lewinsky.

Recalling a 1998 conversation, Blair wrote: HRC insists, no matter what people say, it was gross inappropriate behavior but it was consensual (was not a power relationship) and was not sex within real meaning.

As engrossing as it is to get inside Hillary’s mind, to use Bill Clinton’s behavior against Hillary requires that you think she let the philandering happen, that she somehow deserved it (she’s often portrayed as cold and withholding), that she did nothing to stop it, blamed the other woman, and through it all, didn’t suffer.

Her first reaction about Monica was the one many of us would have: This can’t be true; surely, not in the Oval Office (or the adjoining study), surely not with an employee; surely not someone young enough to be his daughter. Then came the second thought: How do I protect Chelsea, calm the rabble hounding us on the front lawn night and day, keep our enemies from using it?

What she didn’t do was leave. But since when do we punish people for NOT breaking up their marriages? Aren’t Republicans the family values folks? And her instinct was to believe her husband above the women with whom he strayed. Who wouldn’t?

Still these remembrances from Blair show Hillary to be ready to attack women to defend her husband, guilty to all but her. She believed too long, defended too strenuously, and lined up with women’s groups who wouldn’t ordinarily be siding with a public official who treated women so badly.

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The Politics of Hillary Clinton's Marriage

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Group works to keep the A’s in Oakland with waterfront ballpark

OAKLAND, Calif. It’s a move that could put the City of Oakland one step closer to getting a waterfront ballpark for the Oakland A’s and keep the home team in town.

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Group works to keep the A’s in Oakland with waterfront ballpark

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Despicable race gambit: What the GOP really wants to achieve by talking about poverty

Wednesday brought the 50th anniversary of President Johnsons speech announcing a War on Poverty, and with it a speech from Senator Marco Rubio declaring that war an expensive failure. The same day, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave an address contending, School choice is the surest way to break this vicious cycle of poverty Those high-profile Republicans were followed by Congressman Paul Ryan, who argued Thursday against dumping money into programs we know wont work. For a different view, Salon spoke last week with Frances Fox Piven, the veteran scholar of poor peoples movements who drew a new round of notoriety when she became a top target of Glenn Beck (Maybe they thought I was dead, so that they would have a mythical villain, Piven told Salon last year).

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Despicable race gambit: What the GOP really wants to achieve by talking about poverty

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Liberal senator Cory Bernardi under more fire from within party

Jan. 9, 2014, 8:09 a.m.

Senator Sue Boyce has become the latest Liberal to criticise colleague Cory Bernardi, accusing him of lacking compassion and ”genuine Christianity” after his comments on ”non-traditional” families and women who have abortions.

Senator Sue Boyce has become the latest Liberal to criticise colleague Cory Bernardi, accusing him of lacking compassion and ”genuine Christianity” after his comments on ”non-traditional” families and women who have abortions.

In a new book Senator Bernardi accuses some women of using abortion as ”an abhorrent form of birth control” and rails against ”non-traditional” arrangements such as step-families, single-parent families and families with same-sex parents.

Senator Boyce said given Senator Bernardi’s views on Islam, which he has described as ”a totalitarian political and religious ideology,” it was interesting that most conservative Muslims would agree with his views on issues such as abortion and same-sex relationships.

”I hope he finds some solace in that,” Senator Boyce said.

In his book Senator Bernardi labels those who advocate for abortion to be available as ”pro-death”.

Senator Boyce, who described herself as ”pro-choice,” said his views exposed a ”lack of compassion, a lack of genuine Christianity”.

”I find it immoral to pontificate on the topic of abortion without looking at some of the reasons behind why a woman might seek to have an abortion,” she said.

Senator Boyce said Senator Bernardi was not representative of the majority of the party, but was entitled to his view.

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Liberal senator Cory Bernardi under more fire from within party

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Group wants gay marriage ban on ballots

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Indiana General Assembly is back in session and some political interest groups will be looking to lawmakers to decide on the constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Advance America has released two television ads in the Indianapolis and Fort Wayne markets urging lawmakers to give the voters the right to vote on House Joint Resolution six, also known as HJR-6. This bill, if presented and approved by voters, will amend the Indiana’s constitution to only allow marriage between a man and a woman. State Senator Tom Wysssaid it’s hard to tell what legislators may do on this issue.

“To say what’s going to happen this year, no one really knows what’s exactly going to happen because there are so many variables,” he said.

State Sen. Wyss said some legislators want to focus on other topics beside this one. He said there won’t be any major push in the General Assembly because no one wants to play the “blame game” on this sensitive topic.

“If a majority of those members want this issue put on the table, that’s what’s going to be done, but it’s not something that President Pro-Tem Long or Speaker Bosma are going to control by themselves,” said Wyss.

Andy Downs, Director of Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, said he believes lawmakers will narrowly pass the measure to bring before voters.

“There are actual members of the General Assembly who are saying I’m not saying I’m for it or against it, but I’m saying that you the people should decide,” Downs said.

Downs believes some in the public may feel this topic has been talked about long enough, but interest groups are keeping it in the forefront to force the state to take a stand.

“It’s the one issue that everyone knows that we’re going to have to talk about, and we’re going to do something about it, but there are these other things we like to do,” Downs said.

Downs said if there’s a constitutional ban, it’s likely it will go before the courts.

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Group wants gay marriage ban on ballots

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