Jami-Lee Ross – political history

Jami-lee Ross is political history, just about. He may resign from the National Party before he is dumped. He may do the honourable thing and resign from the Botany electorate, or he might hang on in disgrace until the next election.

There is no way he will be nominated to stand for National again. No other party would want to touch him with a 12.19 metre barge pole. His only option would be to set up his own party, but it’s hard to see voters supporting him.

Ross chose politics as a career. He joined the National Party in 2003, aged 17, and was elected to the Manukau City Council a year later. He worked as an electorate secretary for Maurice Williamson in Pakuranga. After unification he was elected to the Auckland City Council in 2010, but dumped that job just a few months later when selected to stand for National in the vacant Botany electorate.

His selection to stand for National was aided by Simon Lusk and Cameron Slater, who (wearing his paid political mercenary hat) promoted Ross on Whale Oil, and attacked and smeared opponents. I think Ross and Slater later stopped dealing with each other.

Ross was re-elected in the very safe Botany seat later in 2011, in 2014 and in 2017. He rose through the National ranks as Third Whip, Junior Whip and then Senior Whip in 2017. He was promoted to the front bench by Bridges.

Ross is still showing on the National website at #7  and as Botany MP, but with no responsibilities (since he took medical leave). But the View Website link redirects to a party sign up page.

I must admit I never liked Ross. He came across as smarmy and shifty looking – his look reminded me of a 1930s US gangster.

Ross has stuffed up big time now. It is just a matter of when he leaves Parliament, and it is unlikely he will ever return given his recent history. He will also struggle to get anywhere in local body politics.

Some people who choose politics as a career from a young age do well – take Jacinda Ardern for example. also Nikki Kaye (she started a bit older). And Chloe Swarbrick looks to have good prospects. So it isn’t generally a bad thing for people to become career politicians. Others, like Todd Barclay, quickly crash and burn.

Ross became a local body councillor at age 18, and an MP at age 26. He rose steadily in the National ranks. But at 33 he has failed badly.

He actually helped Bridges win the leadership earlier this year, but according to his tweets yesterday: “Some months ago I fell out with Simon. I have internally been questioning leadership decisions he was making”.

It now seems very likely that he started deliberately trying to undermine bridges by leaking. The expenses information that was leaked was trivial, about to be officially released anyway. But the act of leaking was serious.

We don’t know whether the subsequent pleading for the inquiry into the leak to be called off because of ‘risks to mental health’ was a genuine albeit poor reaction, or a trumped up ploy.

We do know from yesterday’s actions that Ross is not a fit and proper person to be a Member of Parliament. If he jumps he will be political history, and not flash at that (ironically he looked a bit like a flash harry). If he refuses to budge that will just prolong the period until he is dumped by National as a candidate and becomes an unemployed politician.

 

59 Comments

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      I must admit I never liked Ross. He came across as smarmy and shifty looking

      I nearly posted something similar last night. Whenever I’ve seen him in Question Time he’s caused a gut reaction of instant dislike. But then I realised several of them on both sides of the House generate that reaction so I left it.

      • Gezza

         /  October 16, 2018

        Barry Soper is saying on ZB right now that he’s been told, “on good authority”, that Jami-Lee Ross has decided to announce that he is going to resign.
        10.54am

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          From Parliament.

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Christ. He’s saying Bridges is corrupt and he has the evidence. Is going to the police.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  October 16, 2018

            I suspect he might soon be going to a nursing home instead.

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              thats where the ‘looney’ right…end up Al.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 16, 2018

              Yep. Unfortunately sometimes the loony Left wind up in Government, B, usually with disastrous results for the population.

            • Blazer

               /  October 16, 2018

              Every single piece of progressive legislation that has made your life better has come from the left Al.
              That is indisputable.
              National is status quo…they change their ‘principles’ on a popular rating..basis.
              National win office through slick P.R. and embedding urban myths about their competency.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 16, 2018

              You’ll have to include Rogernomics in that then, B.

            • PartisanZ

               /  October 16, 2018

              Interesting comeback Alan …

              Worthy of a topic all its own: Was Rogerednomics the product of a Left-Wing government … or was it the product of global Right-Wing pressure which established a ‘Fake’ Centre-Left government with a decidedly Right-Wing Economics Minister and associated Cabal?

          • PartisanZ

             /  October 16, 2018

            Oh but for a codified Constitution to test stuff like this against in a Court of Law …

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  October 16, 2018

              What difference would that make? Crimes are already tested in court.

            • PartisanZ

               /  October 16, 2018

              This teflon-coated *politishite** won’t go to court … mark my words …

              Although from what Gezza’s written below the repercussions will be pretty gruesome and maybe profound … possibly in all the wrong sorts of ways … e.g. Crusher for Leader …

              * # 181

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Wow – nearly an hour of Jami-Lee giving a shocking expose of Bridges “corruption” over personal / party political donations (one is for $100k). It’s just started repeating on the Herald live link:
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143114

          He claims he didn’t leak the expenses. The communication with the area police commander was about an unrelated matter to do with a particular police constable. The comms with the Speaker was the returning the Speakers call – the Speaker had called him by accident.

          No natural justice given to him to respond to allegations & false conclusion in the report (true).

          Allegations of inappropriate behaviour by him, supposedly from four women, by Paula & Simon are a smear – he was never told who they were or any details and given an opportunity to respond. Knows of nothing he has done that would amount to this.

          Jesus what a mess. He’s gazumped Simon completely. Jami-Lee is definitely where it was at in the Press Conference stakes today.

          Is going to the police tomorrow to lay a complaint about illegal doings by Simon and produce the recording(s). (“I vass only followingk orders”.)

          Will stand as an independent in the by-election.

          That will be a bye-election for Jami-Lee – no wonder Judith said he’s delusional.
          Simon’s not looking at all good. He’s done for too. Just a question of time now.

          • Corky

             /  October 16, 2018

            Excellent. Pity it’s come to this.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  October 16, 2018

          • PartisanZ

             /  October 16, 2018

            No wonder Judith said she was “absolutely behind” her leader …

            That’s all she has to do … Wait in the background.

  1. Blazer

     /  October 16, 2018

    ‘ his look reminded me of a 1930s US gangster.’….thats a winning look for right wing candidates…and very appropriate.

    The rowboat ads have come back to haunt them -great cartoon.

    • Corky

       /  October 16, 2018

      Nonsense, Blazer. Enjoy your little inconsequential victory. The good thing to coming from this issue will be someone doing a political poll. That will give National a heads-up on how they are doing with voters. A bad poll for Labour will be devastating. Bring it on, comrade.

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      interested in the 3rd ..sex…how does this manifest itself in MP’s behaviour?

      • Gezza

         /  October 16, 2018

        Jami-Lee said in his presser that allegations were made of complaints of “inappropriate behaviour” by four women by Paula and Simon. Jami-Lee said when he questioned them by who, and for details, Simon told him he could produce maybe 15 such complaints.

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Correction: Just listened to the video excerpts in the Herald again. JLR says Simon told him he Paul had received complaints from four women, & he had to resign and take leave until next year, when he could return on the back bench – but when JLR demanded details, Simon said he could produce 15 women with harassment complaints against him.

          This is all sooooo messy. Simon’s buggered it all up.

          • Gezza

             /  October 16, 2018

            Grr. *Simon told JLR Paula had received complaints of harrassment…

  2. Alloytoo

     /  October 16, 2018

    JLR is political toast, he has bitten the political hand that has fed him.

    Bridges needs to purge him throughly and parachute a sensible candidate into their safe seat.

    Frankly I think this going to drag down Bridges as well, he’s clearly let this fester longer than in should, and National need to demonstrate better management here than Jacinda.

    • robertguyton

       /  October 16, 2018

      Too late; their “management” has been shocking and now we have the Exclusive Brethren connection back in the news! What next? Has Bridges brokered a sheep deal with some Saudis?

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      I posted this last night. Quite a good summary:

      Power Play – The political career of National’s MP for Botany Jami-Lee Ross is almost certainly over and he’s looking to take leader Simon Bridges down with him.

      Mr Bridges has already been under pressure for his leadership, pressure that will not be alleviated by today’s events.

      MPs will gather at Parliament tomorrow to decide Mr Ross’ fate; Mr Bridges has already put suspension on the table but expulsion from the caucus altogether is a very real possibility.

      There could have been a road back for Mr Ross based on the findings of the report alone but his outburst on Twitter, accusing his leader of forcing him out on medical leave and of unlawful behaviour (which Mr Bridges denies), would make it untenable for him to stay in the caucus under the current leadership.

      The most immediate consequence will be the caucus meeting tomorrow where MPs will decide Mr Ross’s fate, and the indications from senior MPs are already that he will find little mercy in the caucus room.

      MPs are likely to rally around Mr Bridges after such an extraordinary attack on his leadership but once the dust settles there will be further scrutiny of his calling of the inquiry in the first place, and the way he has handled events since then.

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/368728/power-play-jami-lee-ross-looking-to-take-simon-bridges-down-with-him

      I would add that the donations issue just adds at worst question marks about Bridges’ integrity, & at best questions marks about his competence to his list of clangers.

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      Michelle Boag (with the etched permanently surprised eyebrows)opined the Party and Bridges would come out of this stronger and more unified than…ever.
      Bogey even opened with kia ora!!OMG..WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO.

      • Corky

         /  October 16, 2018

        People change…but a nasty Leftie never does, Blazer.

        • Blazer

           /  October 16, 2018

          yes righties change like the weather does..their maxim…’if you don’t like my principles..I do have…others’Groucho.

          • Corky

             /  October 16, 2018

            Oh, I think voters are quite happy with Nationals principles. They may a problem if they change their principles like Labour change their leader

  3. Gezza

     /  October 16, 2018

    I suppose given his willingness to work with Slater that was a fairly strong early indication he’d be a dirty player. I’m not all that au fait with the Mr’s Howick community board affair but, on the face of it, petulance, political viciousness and a disdain for the voters might be a feature of the household.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      *Mrs’s

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  October 16, 2018

        Be fair, he stopped associating with the slater some time ago.

        I must admit that I find it hard to take an adult man called Jami-Lee seriously.

        • Gezza

           /  October 16, 2018

          Blame the parents. Mum was a just kid at the time it seems.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  October 17, 2018

            I heard that he kept it that out of respect for them, but if my parents had landed me with a name like that, I might tweak it a little and call myself Jamie in professional life.

            Some people don’t seem to realise that the baby will be an adult one day and a name that suits a baby won’t suit an adult.

            Imagine a High Court Judge called Tyfanee, Paranoyd or Jaxxon.

  4. phantom snowflake

     /  October 16, 2018

    Interesting piece at Newsroom which details (apparent) past bullying behavior by Jami-Lee Ross:

    One person affected told Newsroom it was clear then that if National Party officials had “acted earlier on what was clearly very serious complaints (intimidation and bullying), they may not be facing this debacle now”.
    _
    The pre-election crisis over Ross stemmed from his bare-knuckles campaigning for his wife Lucy Schwaner to be chair of the Howick Local Board of the Auckland Council. Many on the Howick board are National Party types but the party doesn’t stand candidates directly.

    Those who questioned Schwaner’s suitability to be chair, and who were caught up in her eventual defeat and immediate resignation from her just-elected board seat, felt the force of Ross’ political manoeuvrings. Two report the MP threatening to “go to war” with them and their families over the issue.

    People reported being told to fall in line or else, were singled out and criticised privately and publicly – with one being subsequently issued a trespass notice by Ross’ electorate chair before a National Party event.

    Ross told a public meeting before the parliamentary election last year that it was his wife who had been subjected to nasty and vicious attacks by “personalities that would make her life hell”. He pledged to support her again in the same way if that situation occurred again.

    The local board chair David Collings contacted National’s general manager Greg Hamilton first in October 2016, about Ross’ intimidation and bullying. Complaints over their wellbeing were also made by members to the Auckland Council into last year. Eventually some had a private meeting with the National president, Goodfellow, and regional chair, Andrew Hunt, because the situation was relentless.

    Their repeated appeals for the MP to be reined in produced an unsatisfactory result but they were clear the party knew what they were dealing with in terms of Ross.

    The latest crisis at the national level has patterns that seem familiar to those who complained.

    Collings told Newsroom: “If National Party officials had listened and nipped it in the bud and acted earlier on what was clearly very serious complaints (intimidation and bullying), they may not be facing this debacle now.”

    He said, from personal experience: “Jami-Lee is like moving fireworks, it was just a matter of time before he was going to ignite and go rogue.”
    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/15/277466/for-jami-lee-ross-the-charge-sheet-is-long

  5. PartisanZ

     /  October 16, 2018

    Perfect National Party material if you ask me … only he exposed it’s ‘reality’ …

  6. High Flying Duck

     /  October 16, 2018

  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 16, 2018

    Gone by lunch-time as I forecast.

    • Gezza

       /  October 16, 2018

      Jesus – are you listening to Ross on the Herald live link?
      Bridges could be deep in the grotney pudding over mutliple hidden donations.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  October 16, 2018

        If there is any evidence – JLR seems a little unhinged at the moment.
        Either he is mentally ill or he has disgracefully pretended to be to elicit sympathy and avoid scrutiny.
        He does seem intent on taking the captain down with him though – it will be interesting to see how this plays out, but he’s basically friendless after his antics of the last 24 – 48 hours.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  October 16, 2018

            Simon is either toast or far more empowered depending on which way this goes. If the JLR implosion is all sound and no fury the investigation and his call about JLS issue being “embarrassing” are justified and vindicated. A traitor will be forcefully expelled putting pressure on others who may be wavering to fall into line.
            Or if JLR has the goods, Simon is apparently possibly up for jail time and would be expelled from parliament:

            • Gezza

               /  October 16, 2018

              It was a very slick Press Conference by Ross. He had answers for every question and the reporters had tons.

            • Gezza

               /  October 16, 2018

              But he’s obviously still very screwed up in the head with his obvious delusion that – despite his admitting he broke the law himself under direction, and that after confessing that, and screwing the party leader & party pres over the donations (recordings of both conversations I think), and by leaking the text, and with all the rest of the white-anting carry-on he’s been involved with that’s now described in his press conference – the good folk of the shire of Botany will leap at the chance to return him to Parliament as an independent member with the integrity to represent their best interests.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  October 16, 2018

              Perhaps, but he has gone from having mental health issues, to not having any issues at all and it was a smear, to having a breakdown because of Simon, to being “cleared by his doctor” and well enough to stand again in Botany.
              And as per below – he admitted he leaked a text from the leaker, but “is not the leaker”…

            • Gezza

               /  October 16, 2018

              [Jami-Lee] alleged Todd McClay was also aware of the $100,000 donation, and National Party general manager Greg Hamilton also knew about it.

              Sorry – I said above he’d screwed the party pres, but it’s actually their GM he’s pulled into his sewer.

        • robertguyton

           /  October 16, 2018

          Hugely damaging.

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      uncanny!

  8. Zedd

     /  October 16, 2018

    lets do this… 😀

  9. High Flying Duck

     /  October 16, 2018

    Just bizarre. He wasn’t the leaker, but he leaked a text from the leaker:

    • Blazer

       /  October 16, 2018

      so not only did the Police know who the leaker was…so did Ross.

      What a dastardly plan Simon hatched…to spend money to find out who leaked information ,that would be public in a matter of…days.

      As Hosking would say…’happy….daze’! 🙂

  10. Gezza

     /  October 16, 2018

    Quite weird sounding: at the end of Question Time Hipkins moved a motion to extend sitting times – no doubt for some nefarious purpose – and a party vote was called for owing to National’s ritual refusal to agree. Party votes were called for from National, Labour, NZ First, Green (/Feminist), ACT and … “Jami-Lee Ross”. I don’t think he was there, I never heard him call a vote or anyone cast one on his behalf.

  11. Zedd

     /  October 16, 2018

    sounds like more cracks are appearing in ‘the TORIES’.. opposition Natl pty

  1. Jami-Lee Ross – political history — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition