Money is speech

So here is a funny thing: The Australian Electoral Commission – enforcer of compulsory voting and regulatory agency that maintains the monopoly powers of the major parties is having a spat with the leftist Get-Up. If this were a football match  I’d be hoping for plenty of injuries.

GetUp! is preparing for legal ­action as the AEC considers requests to change its declared status under electoral laws from independent to “associated entity”.

The AEC defines an associated entity as operating “wholly or to a significant extent to the benefit of one or more of the registered political parties”.

GetUp! appears desperate to avoid “associated entity” status because it would be forced to lodge ­financial disclosure returns with much stricter conditions. Source donors would be required to lodge returns as well.

Now I have no doubt that Get-Up is an “associated entity” (if not in a strict legal sense – the courts will answer that question – but in a philosophical sense) of the ALP and the Greens. I have never once doubted that – but so what? Okay, so they have to comply with pesky laws. But the broader issue must be that nobody intelligent could have imagined that Get-Up is an “independent” body.  They are lefties and raise money for lefty causes.

Now this causes a lot of excitement amongst some people who it now appears have managed to sic the AEC onto Get- Up. The better solution is to get up (heh) off your own bums  and establish an organisation that mobilises money and resources for your causes. Of course that would mean that centre-right politicians would have to be a tad more responsive to their own base (a strange concept to be sure), work a tad harder, lose the born-to-rule attitude and  so on.

All up it seems a bit strange that we live in a society where violent protest is protected as political speech but giving money isn’t.

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41 Responses to Money is speech

  1. thefrolickingmole

    Get up originally described themselves as “independent” and have fought hard to try and keep that particular camouflage despite being to the left of the ALP.

    Indeed they still make the same claim.

    Our work is driven by our values, not party politics. GetUp is, and always has been, an independent organisation. GetUp members come from every walk of life and around a shared belief in fairness, compassion and courage. We campaign on issues that our members care about in the fields of Environmental Justice, Human Rights, Economic Fairness and Democracy.

    But like you say, I hope theres plenty of injuries on both sides…

  2. Fisky

    Of course that would mean that centre-right politicians would have to be a tad more responsive to their own base (a strange concept to be sure), work a tad harder, lose the born-to-rule attitude and so on.

    I can’t even.

  3. mh

    Just a comment on homo marriage. If you know any people that still haven’t voted, explain to them that a NO vote would be a huge political setback for both Turnbull and Shorten. Seeing as the popularity of the political mainstream has plunged new depths, why not give the Establishment the middle finger by voting NO?

  4. Chris M

    I have no doubt that Get-Up is an “associated entity”… of the ALP and the Greens.

    At first glance one would think it an erectile dysfunction medication.

  5. John Constantine

    Their soros, chicoms, halal petroslushdollars and the like will just use another deniable weapon to destroy Australia with foreign funded zealots if they lose getup.

    Already heaps of BLM style weapons to fund, just waiting.

  6. Roger

    All up it seems a bit strange that we live in a society where violent protest is protected as political speech…

    I think you’ll find that only pertains in Victoria, Sinc, where you seem to have the most politicised police force in the land.

    …but giving money isn’t.

    Why should it be? Electors have a right to know who is seeking to buy influence from their elected reps.

  7. Is course GetUp is independent, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t fully supporting the Left of politics and social issues. Independence and political bias are quite different issues.

  8. Gavin R Putland

    From the GetUp mission statement:

    Our work is driven by our values, not party politics. GetUp is, and always has been, an independent organisation.

    From the IPA directors’ report of 1987:

    By its Memorandum of Association and pursuant to the provisions of the Corporations Law the Company is a non-profit, policy research and educational organisation having no political affiliation whatsoever.

    Curiously, I haven’t been able to find such a strong statement in more recent IPA publications.

  9. fhb5

    The better solution is to get up (heh) off your own bums and establish an organisation that mobilises money and resources for your causes.

    The problem is that conservatives have always and will always be primarily focused on earning a living while Get Up can rely on the “unemployed” to be their foot soldiers. Actually the government should be listed as a contributor to Get Up should they lose their case.

  10. Dr Faustus

    Now I have no doubt that Get-Up is an “associated entity” (if not in a strict legal sense – the courts will answer that question – but in a philosophical sense) of the ALP and the Greens.

    In exactly the same philosophical way as the ABC – in fact Get-Up is an undisguised fundraising and proxy activist arm for the ABC’s philosophical and political struggle against the Coalition Government. And the support is, of course, mutual.

  11. gbees

    GetOut.org is available ….

  12. DD

    Electors have a right to know who is seeking to buy influence from their elected reps.
    Indeed we do.
    All candidates, political parties and donors that receive or make donations must reveal all donations in and out and so ad infinitum. No one should hide their light under a bushel. The right or wrong of foreign political donations is another question but prompt revelation will recast that debate.
    Also, returns must be lodged within 7 days of an election being called and within 30 days of the declaration of the polls.
    Further, all donations greater than, say, $5000 made or received during the intervening election period to be reported within 24 hours.
    All too hard? No, just bloody inconvenient when darkness is your friend.

    Sinclair, to take this one step further, could the blockchain technology run this for the benefit of all, in real time and with no threshold for reporting?

  13. A Lurker

    GetUp’s links to Soros (below is an extract):

    Soros intervenes in elections both in the US, and Australia. In the US he spent $42 million at the High Court of America to ensure that “non political” groups were able to give political donations and agitate for change but not have their donations scrutinised by the various electoral commissions.
    In 2013 Soros bought into Australia’s Channel 9 network—Billionaire investor George Soros is understood to have bought $6 million to $8 million of shares in Nine Entertainment ahead of the company’s $1.9 billion IPO. (2)
    Enter—Move On,GetUp, Emily’s List—these groups have received enormous support from Soros because these are the change agents for elections, in both Australia and the US that can operate outside of Governmental control.
    Australian GetUp was founded by David Madden and Jeremy Heimans, the same week Liberals under Howard won power in the Senate in 2005. These two founders both from America were also involved with another Soros-financed left-wing activist group, MoveOn.org. Public records reveal that between January 2003 and December 2004, Soros contributed $2,500,000 to MoveOn.org.
    Madden and Heimans are also co-founders of the global activist group, Avaaz.org, an organization that the Canadian Minister John Baird in 2008 labelled as “shadowy foreign organization tied to billionaire activist George Soros.”
    AVAAZ is a global online political community of 3.5 million members with a consulting firm called PURPOSE CAMPAIGNS that assists organisations like GetUp on how to build movements and give training to activists…also funded heavily by Soros.
    The pattern of Soros backed activist organisations nurturing others spread to Australia, with Avaaz giving GetUp a total of $195,618. GetUp also recently received $42,961 from its German equivalent, Campact, and $39,060 from Purpose – a total of over $275,000 from overseas-based organisations in two years – despite GetUp endorsing a ban on foreign donations! (The Oberserver)
    The largest donor to GetUp in Australia in 2010 with a donation of $1.1 million is the CFMEU, a coalition of 5 former communist unions.
    Another AVAAZ linked cause to GetUp, namely “Climate Alarmism” in Australia, received an alleged $15 million donation from Soros.
    On GetUp’s original board, members included Australian Workers Union secretary Bill Shorten, Australian Fabian Society Nation Secretary Evan Thornley, Green activist Cate Faehrmann, and left-wing trade union researcher and “community organiser” Amanda Tattersall.

  14. Justin

    I agree with the sentiment that the centre right should get off their backsides and fund an alternative but that will never happen because if nothing else the Liberals and Nationals are gutless wonders that complain about the march through the institutions but do nothing to build up their own. My real objection is the way “charity” has been so debased as to apply to any left wing political activist. Taxpayers are funding political activism not charity. This is a massive rort. If the Liberal’s had brains and guts they would change the definition of charity and reform the not for profit sector to exclude economic / political vandals. Immediately before they should provide a large one off grant to establish a new centre right think tank. Labor did it with Grattan and others. The Liberals do nothing. Worse than nothing they keep funding their enemies. Morons.

  15. GetUp is as independent as the ABC

  16. Chris

    My real objection is the way “charity” has been so debased as to apply to any left wing political activist. Taxpayers are funding political activism not charity. This is a massive rort. If the Liberal’s had brains and guts they would change the definition of charity and reform the not for profit sector to exclude economic / political vandals.

    This.

  17. Stimpson J. Cat

    Of course that would mean that centre-right politicians would have to be a tad more responsive to their own base (a strange concept to be sure), work a tad harder, lose the born-to-rule attitude and so on.

    Let’s leave Malcolm out of this, shall we?

  18. John Constantine

    Their ABC run tax funded publicity services for getup, providing media expertise and camera and film logistics for getup causes and rallies, always shooting the crowd from angles to make it look as big and successful as possible.

    Then broadcasting the getup infomercial in prime time, cost free.

  19. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Getup is no more independent than testicle’s left testicle. Set them both free I say!

  20. Fibro

    But the broader issue must be that nobody intelligent could have imagined that Get-Up is an “independent” body.

    And therein lies the problem.

  21. John of Mel

    Let’s leave Malcolm out of this, shall we?

    As my teenage daughter would say: “Savage!”

  22. Art Vandelay

    Of course Getup’s not independent. The unions basically own it:

    Bill Shorten was a big union donor to GetUp! when it was ­established, giving about $100,000, possibly more, to the left-leaning activist group.

    Other key donors at GetUp!’s inception included then Unions NSW chief John Robertson. As head of his state’s peak union council, Mr Robertson never made any secret that his organisation contributed $50,000.GetUp! insiders have told The Weekend Australian that wealthy entrepreneur and former Victorian Labor MP Evan Thornley donated more than $100,000 as start-up funds for GetUp!, and private equity investor and former SBS chairman Joe Skrzynski contributed a similar sum.

    During the 2010 election campaign, GetUp! received a record $1.12m donation from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.

  23. True Aussie

    All up it seems a bit strange that we live in a society where violent protest is protected as political speech but giving money isn’t.

    Just because a mistake was made in letting violent protest be protected political speech it does not follow that we need to make another mistake.

  24. vagabond

    You can tell it’s hit a nerve by the reactions of the Getup apparatchiks writing letters to the editor in the Age. Always a source of amusement, they have really worked themselves up into a frenzy on this one. Lots of outrage, non sequiturs, straw men and even one that suggested the Murdoch press was an entity associated with the coalition. Of course there was no insight that it would also mean Fairfax and the ABC are entities associated with the ALP.

    This a real popcorn job. It’s great to see some light shone on that lefty cesspit that is Getup and see the maggots squirming.

  25. Des Deskperson

    Speaking of the IPA, here’s a report of ALP Senators alleging that the Australian Public Service Commissioner, John Lloyd, has given the ‘right wing’ IPA special access to Commission research on APS enterprise agreements:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/apsc-boss-john-lloyd-defends-link-to-rightwing-think-tank-ipa-at-senate-20171023-gz69na.html

    The Senators also raised an email he sent to the institute saying ALP senator Penny Wong had “taken a swipe” at two of the IPA’s former directors.

    The Commissioner is a statutory officer. He is also a member of, and a former employee of, the IPA. The comments about Wong appear to have been made in his own time using his own resources. Still, given his ‘independent’ position, it was a bit injudicious.

    The allegations about the information on EAs being collected and passed to IPA is a little more serious, if, as seems possible from the report, it was done in the taxpayers time using the taxpayer’s money.

  26. Sydney Boy

    I have no doubt that Get-Up is an “associated entity”… of the ALP and the Greens.

    Of course it is. Now how about we also have the following organisations recognised as associated entities:

    The ABC
    The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    The Conversation
    The Project
    The Grattan Institute
    The Guardian Australia
    The Huffington Post Australia
    Crikey
    The Wilderness Society
    The Australian Conservation Foundation

    (feel free to add to the list)

  27. Art Vandelay

    Update: Police launch raids on AWU offices over GetUp! donations

    Australian Federal Police officers have launched raids on the Victorian and national offices of the Australian Workers’ Union.

    Police arrived at the offices in Melbourne and Sydney this afternoon.

    The Australian understands the raids were ordered in relation to a Registered Organisations Commission investigation, which was publicly revealed last week.

    The investigation is probing the AWU Victorian and national branches over whether donations made to GetUp! in 2006 were approved under the AWU’s rules.

  28. A Lurker

    (feel free to add to the list)

    Australian Human Rights Commission

  29. ArthurB

    On Q&A last night, in one of the brief intervals when Magda wasn’t whingeing about being a victim, Snowcone fired a gotcha question at Glenn Davies, the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, about the million dollars that the Anglicans gave to the No side in the SSM ‘debate’. Even for Snowcone, that was a bit rich, when you think of the vast amount of resources and support that the ABC has given to the Yes camp.

    On this topic: I would like to see the AEC investigate whether the ABC should be classed as a political organisation. Labor could never afford to pay the commercial channels for the amount of left wing propaganda that the ABC disseminates.

  30. Tator

    Sydney Boy,
    add the Australia Institute there too, the Ponds Institute founded by the Greens.

  31. Tator

    srr,
    see the usual suspects squealing abuse of authority. What a cack. These muppets never learn.

  32. Ragu

    The Australian Conservation Foundation

    What a joke that joint is. How can organisation can give alms to trees? Blantantly political and without financial top ups from taxpayers and generous benefactors, would never be in the black.

  33. 2dogs

    If GetUp is fighting this, the question must be strongly put to them as to why they are reluctant to being open about their finances. They are not a for-profit business, and have no commercial interests to protect. As such most non-profit community organisations are quite open about their finances, beyond what is legally required.

    What are they hiding?

  34. Mother Lode

    With the raids on the AWU, and the age of your average GetUp! animal, I foresee a run on Depends at supermarkets near government offices.

  35. All up it seems a bit strange that we live in a society where violent protest is protected as political speech but giving money isn’t.

    At the very least we can see violent protests with our eyes and each make our own judgement. Clandestine donations are just that.
    I’d argue that secret donations can be much more harmful than violent protests.

  36. iain russell

    ‘They are Lefties, scumbags and filth’.

  37. EvilElvis

    The better solution is to get up (heh) off your own bums and establish an organisation that mobilises money and resources for your causes.

    Great idea, but as usual, the highly educated miss the point between the centre left and us true conservatives. Most people, more so as you move left, are collectivist and so entities and groups and gangs are their domain. Us conservatives are individualists and don’t do the group thing, believing in personal responsibility and looking after ones house. We’ll never be as organised as the left as it’s not natural to us. On the plus side, once civilisation crashes we’ll be the only ones who are likely to survive, the collectivists are good at helping themselves to others produce but can never fend for themselves.

  38. herodotus

    Gavin Putland on the IPA:
    Curiously, I haven’t been able to find such a strong statement in more recent IPA publications.

    How about close links to the Liberal Party in the form of donations to or from the Libs? Stunts of the sort that GetUp! does at every Midwinter Ball to win auctions of conservative (and I use the term loosely) time and make partisan PR points therefrom?

    Here’s the thing: even former stalwart supporters of the Liberals are distancing themselves from it until it wakes up to itself and re-commits to a more conservative approach. Do we see any similar tendency among Labor or Green supporters wishing their mobs would be a bit less loopy left?

    The attempt at equivalence of GetUp! and IPA is a nothingburger.

  39. Lysander

    On Q&A last night, in one of the brief intervals when Magda wasn’t whingeing

    I think you mean when she wasn’t eating?

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