Jordan Williams has posted about the Mojo Mathers story. He writes:
The Taxpayers’ Union did not seek media attention on this story. There is no associated press release. The Herald called yesterday evening asking for comment, as happens often.
Here’s how I’m guessing this works. The (taxpayer funded) opposition researchers in the National Party find a smear story they like. They pitch it to an editor at the Herald and – because they can’t provide comment themselves for obvious reasons, such as John Key’s taxpayer funded golf game – they say, ‘Call Jordan Williams at the Taxpayers’ Union and he’ll give you comment.’
So, that’s sort-of how political media works. All political parties come up with stories and pitch them to journalists. And I’m guessing that when we see some unionist endorsing the Labour Party line or some environmental organisation endorsing the Green Party line its because they’ve been supplied to the journalist by the party pitching the story.
The important difference, I think, is that groups like the CTU or Greenpeace are actual groups with members and values that might coincide with those of a political party in some areas, while the Taxpayers’ Union is basically just a scam that ACT and the National Party have set up. It’s not a union. You can donate to it but you can’t join it. You can’t vote for the leaders or have any input into its actions. It’s a web-site and a bunch of National/ACT activists pretending to speak for ‘the taxpayers’. So a Green MP spending $550 on travel is of huge concern to them. Items not of concern to the Taxpayers’ Union in recent weeks:
- The National government paying Paula Rebstock $290,000 for her failed inquiry
- Gerry Brownlee spending $1500 to lease an SUV while watching the America’s Cup race in San Francisco.
- Tim Groser and a private secretary spending over $8500 to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington for a week, during a month in which Groser spent $18,200.
- John Key, DPS bodyguards and staffers flying down to Queenstown for the New Zealand golf open, at an as-yet unknown cost.
You get the picture. There are hundreds more examples. Patrick Gower actually sought a comment about the Rebstock inquiry from Jordan Williams on twitter and Williams replied that he was too busy to look into it. $290,000.
I remember when the Taxpayers’ Union was set up. There was general hilarity at the idea of a bunch of ACT Party activists and National staffers setting up a ‘non-partisan union’ because they were SO worried about taxpayer waste, while simultaneously stuffing their own pockets with taxpayer funds. Who would be dumb enough to take such an obvious scam at face value?