Dom Post misses the mark on electoral spending

The Dominion Post are running a piece which provides a reasonable overview of what the candidates spent in the 2010 election. The first two paragraphs focus (understandably) on the mayoral contest…

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown spent close to the $60,000 mayoral limit during her successful election campaign – with nearly all of it coming from her own pocket.

Losing incumbent Kerry Prendergast’s campaign cost just over $53,000 but more than $45,000 came from anonymous donations.

It goes on to focus on just how much money Celia spent, and how it was pretty much all her own…

Ms Wade-Brown’s campaign cost $58,262 and all but $4859 of it came from her own funds.

Her campaign adviser, Kent Duston, said that it was a “big modern world” and money had to be spent so the message would get out to voters.

“We were extremely fortunate that Celia was in a position to fund a large part of her campaign herself and it demonstrates the degree she was prepared to back herself. After all she was not only spending her own money but was only standing for the mayoralty. If she hadn’t won, there was no safe council seat for her to pick up.”

Wait a second…

So there were two main competitors for the mayoral race, both spent a lot of money. One of them spent their own money, and the other got most of theirs in anonymous donations – and the story is on the person who spent their own money – not the person with a history of hiding large corporate donors behind a trust controlled by her husband?

I’m sorry, but that is pretty messed up.

Here’s really hoping that the Dom Post really lifts it’s game with regards to covering local body politics this year.


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