Gareth Morgan resigns from The Opportunities Party

Gareth Morgan has resigned from The Opportunities Party (TOP), withdrawing from all involvement.

He had already distanced himself substantially from the workings of the party he founded, financed and led in the last election campaign. He stepped down as leader after the 2017 election. He had threatened to not provide any more funding unless his preferred candidate won the party leadership contest.

Last November:  Gareth Morgan backs newbie Amy Stevens over Geoff Simmons in The Opportunities Party’s leadership race, saying he’ll put his money where his mouth is

The Opportunities Party’s (TOP), Gareth Morgan, is backing a fresh face to lead the party over its former leader and one of its key policy writers, Geoff Simmons.

Morgan says he’s voting for Amy Stevens in the party’s leadership election and is willing to put his money where his mouth is.

Speaking to interest.co.nz, Morgan says he’ll “totally” alter the amount he donates to the party based on who’s in its leadership team.

He wouldn’t say how much he’d donate if Stevens was elected versus Simmons, but says it comes down to the whole package of people playing key roles in the party.

“The less enthusiastic I am about the prospects of success, then the less I’m going to fund it… If I get excited by it, I’ll put more money in it,” he says.

This sort of financial coercion was bad democracy and should have made his position in the party in the party untenable. Simmons ended up winning the leadership – think it’s likely he was helped by Morgan’s dictatorial approach in backing a different candidate.

Several months later The Opportunities Party founder Gareth Morgan resigns

The founder of The Opportunities Party, Gareth Morgan, has resigned from the party.

He has been chairperson of the policy board for The Opportunities Party (TOP), since stepping down as leader in 2017.

Dr Morgan’s resignation means he will not fund the party’s next election campaign.

That’s his choice, but reinforces the impression that Morgan used his money to try to get what he wanted, and without that he wasn’t going to play at all.

Mr Simmons has been travelling the country in the past month, talking to members and getting a fundraising campaign going.

“Our members are generously funding the party at the moment,” Mr Simmons said.

“I’m also talking to a lot of businesses, and they’re pleasantly surprised at our economic and business policy, so I’m hoping they’re going to contribute to our 2020 campaign as well.”

He is confident there will be enough funds to lead a strong campaign.

The party’s support in the last election was gathered through social media and it did not require a lot of money to run a grass roots campaign, he said.

People appreciated the fact the party called a spade a spade and spoke to the truth, which would continue, even without Dr Morgan in the fold, Mr Simmons said.

“We want to keep the truth and cheekiness, but more cheek, and less arse,” he said.

What an odd comment.

Simmons and TOP are going to finds it tough now. That lack of a lot of Morgan money is one factor – although their lack of success last election showed again that millionaires throwing money at elections doesn’t guarantee success, as Kim Dotcom and Colin Craig found out. All three attracted plenty of fee media publicity, but much of that ended up being detrimental to their political goals. They were all flawed characters.

Money is not power in politics in New Zealand.

However media exposure is essential, and Simmons seems to lack the pulling power. Journalists and news media have not taken to him. Some support can come from cheap and free social media publicity, but I think that mainstream media still holds crucial power in how they choose losers by ignoring them or writing their chances off.

And how they substantially improve the chances of some politicians. Winston Peters has been adept at playing the media for publicity purposes, and they have kept delivering for him.

The TOP website is heavy on policy and light on personalities – the mainstream media love to play personality politics, so are unlikely to be enthused by that.

Simmons and TOP have to find a different social media formula that somehow finds popular appeal.

 

 

Russell McVeagh partner resigns

Some change at Russell McVeagh after an investigation confirmed bad behaviour of one of their partners.

RNZ:  Russell McVeagh partner quits after complaints upheld (audio)

The law firm Russell McVeagh has lost one of its partners, after an independent investigation upheld complaints about the man’s drunken behaviour at a client function. Yesterday the law firm’s board chair Malcolm Crotty confirmed a partner – who isn’t named – had resigned. The firm, which provides services to the government, has been in damage control because of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by senior lawyers in 2015 and 2016.

Attitudes and actions are finally changing. Good.

Wasserman Schultz’s resignation

Just before the Democrat convention that presumably would have tried to show they were less of a circus than the Republicans the Democrat National Committee ringmaster has resigned, in part due to embarrassing emails leaked by Wikileaks, but some feel this was just the last straw.

Jim Manley at The Wall Street Journal: Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s DNC Resignation and Headlines the Clinton Campaign Doesn’t Want During Convention

A few days ago I thought the Democratic convention in Philadelphia would be a boring and news-less event–a prediction blown apart by the fight over Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the announcement Sunday that she would resign as chair of the Democratic National Committee at the end of the convention.

With Democrats desperate to show a more united front than the circus on display at last week’s Republican convention, this could not be happening at a worse time. The congresswoman’s departure was forced by the WikiLeaks site’s release of more than 19,000 emails, some of which disclosed discussion and behavior of party staffers that appeared aimed at undermining the presidential campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as he competed for months against former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s decision to step down and try to avoid fanning the flames was the right one–but a day late and a dollar short.

Sanders has said he still fully supports Clinton, who says she knew nothing about the one sided campaigning by Wasserman Schultz, but this all suggests the Democrats have their share of internal problems.

To many Democrats, some of Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s actions seemed to reflect her personal objectives rather than party goals. The leaked emails were not themselves decisive–politics is a blood sport–but for many they were the last straw.

After months of tensions, Ms. Wasserman Schultz has come to embody what some see as establishment efforts to undermine the Sanders campaign and ensure that Mrs. Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination.

With Sanders supporters sensitive to slights of their candidate and his agenda, allowing her to stay on through the convention and to address the hall is likely to be a bad decision. The Sanders folks smell blood in the water–they are all but certain to make her time at the podium a living hell.

While Sanders will presumably put party interests first many of his supporters have been very negative about Clinton already, and may now make their displeasure known at the convention.

What’s the chances of Gary Johnson being given a serious shot at the presidency by media? Probably bugger all.

But there must be an opportunity begging for an ‘A Pox on Both Parties’ campaign.

Breaking news, Key resigns

First, the breaking news.

It started last night at the top of the TV3 news bulletin, where they revealed a video clip of Key speaking in 2008, before he was elected Prime Minister. Duncan Garner claimed that Key has been misleading New Zealand over the past four years with this speech that no one knew about.

Highlights from Key’s 2008 ‘no job cuts’ speech

This news breaks new ground in a suspiciously timed rehash of something from the term before last.

Surreality TV at it’s finest, but is the news model broken?

And from The Standard, in an unprecedented (since the previous day) plea  – in a post so impassioned it would make a wolf cry – ‘Eddie calls on John Key to resign.

Key’s laundry list of broken promises

Written By: – Date published: 10:58 pm, March 14th, 2012

He must resign. Surely. Here is Key, speaking to the PSA in 2008, making very specific promises about public service jobs, tax cuts, and asset sales that helped him get elected. Promises he has since broken. There’s no excuse. He wasn’t blind-sided by events. He made these promises never intending to keep them.

Key is refusing to comment but if the man has any ethics he’ll resign.

Comments echo. Sayeth the baying bitches of blogs.

So John Key resigns, he resigns himself to having to put up with occasional dramatic society sideshows while he works on perfecting his grin of gratitude – to the media that diverts from the serious stuff, again.