Questions over Clark Fundraiser

Belinda McCammon has dug up an interesting angle on the Clark fundraiser that I blogged about the other day:

Ms Clark did not return calls asking for comment about whether she had used her travel privileges as an ex-MP to travel to New Zealand.

However, Otago University political scientist Bryce Edwards said he believed most people would be against ex-MPs being able to use travel privileges for party political electioneering and fundraising.

He accused Ms Beaumont of being deliberately evasive.

”It shows how sensitive parties are to political finance scandals and attention.”

He said it was”very disingenuous to claim that a keynote speech by an ex-prime minister at a function involving election fundraising is separate from the business of political donations”.

He said he believed it was extremely unwise for a former prime minister to be connected in any way with party fundraising when she may be travelling on taxpayer-funded resources.

Mr Edwards said if Ms Clark was using taxpayer funded resources she would need to declare to Parliamentary Service that part of her trip was for business purposes.

Of course we can never know the details of any spending because Parliamentary Services is not subject to the OIA. If I was good little reporter I’d be down there at the fund-raiser tomorrow night taking a picture of Helen Clark exiting her taxpayer funded limousine as she heads in to help raise funds for the Labour party.