Red News Readers,
It is easy to make allegations, and not all of them have to be proven as perception is everything in politics. But the problem for Pauline is that this is not the first time such allegations have been made. In fact she has been to jail over financial irregularities with party money. And here we are again. Pauline is once again being shown for the greedy, grasping, selfish person that she is. It is vile that the media give her celebrity status when she has done so much damage to the fabric of this nation and it is about time that those who supported her in the past realised that they were misled by Pauline and finally move on to someone who can more ably represent them.
Pauline Hanson please explain missing $200,000
By political editor Glenn Milne, Sunday Telegraph
April 27, 2008 12:00am
PAULINE Hanson has been accused of siphoning off more than $200,000 in taxpayers' money from the bank accounts of her own party.
In a recorded telephone call between the former MP and her party treasurer, Ms Hanson admits taking funds because she was not "going to put the money in the hands of anyone else''.
The tape, heard by The Sunday Telegraph, is likely to increase pressure on the Federal Government to crack down on serial campaigners like Ms Hanson.
The $202,440 was paid into the accounts of Ms Hanson's United Australia Party - the vehicle for her Senate candidacy last year.
Bank records, sighted by The Sunday Telegraph, show transfers of Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) funds - out of an account controlled jointly by party officials and Ms Hanson, into another account controlled by Ms Hanson and a close friend.
Citing privacy laws, Suncorp Bank refused to explain how Ms Hanson was able to transfer funds out of an account that required two of the three signatures of the party treasurer, Graham McDonald, his wife Jan and Ms Hanson.
Mr McDonald, a Brisbane businessman, told The Sunday Telegraph he now believed Ms Hanson stood at the election in order to receive public funding.
"I'm so disappointed,'' he said. ``She never really put the effort into the campaign. If she's not going to run (again), what's going to happen to the money?
"You just don't have this money as a gift. I thought she'd changed. I feel just stabbed in the back.
"I feel more sorry for the members. We paid most of the bills.
"So whatever she ran up in expenses, I don't know. But they should have all been done through the party. I should have receipts for them and pay them out.''
Mr McDonald said he hadn't seen one receipt from Ms Hanson. He recalled a "threatening'' visit after the election by Ms Hanson and three men, including her Queensland Senate running mate, David Saville, when they demanded that he hand over all party bank records, membership lists and cheque books.
He refused and told Ms Hanson's ex-adviser, John Pasquarelli, of the visit. Mr Pasquarelli notified Australian Federal Police.
Confronted by The Sunday Telegraph, Ms Hanson claimed she and close friend, Bronwyn Boag, who earlier stood as a Tasmanian One Nation candidate, had put the money into another party account. She refused to say who controlled that account.
She said Ms Boag was the party "designated agent'' with the AEC and the funds had been put into the wrong account by the AEC. Ms Boag had alerted the AEC, which rectified the "mistake''.
An AEC spokesman denied this: "Once the monies have been disbursed in the first instance, the AEC has no further involvement''.
An angry Ms Hanson told The Sunday Telegraph: "Everything's above board. I'm not going to justify myself to you. I'm not going to have discussions with you and the media. You've reported s***. You've given me bloody hell.''
But the taped phone recording reveals Ms Hanson admitting she now has the money
Responding to Mr McDonald's warnings that this is "not the right way'' to do things because the money belongs to the party, Ms Hanson responds: "I've haven't put all this bloody hard work in to hand control over to it (the party).
"I'm not putting the money in the hands of anyone else. I haven't even drawn any money out of the account myself, as yet. My bills are still sitting there.
"There's nothing illegal about it. It's not going to happen to me again. I'm not going to be just out there, just pushing the wheelbarrow for everyone else. I'm sick of all these bloody idiots around me.''
Mr Pasquarelli said: ``The unauthorised removal of the election funding monies from the (party) account is beyond belief, inexcusable and possibly punishable under the criminal law.
"These monies do not belong to Pauline Hanson, but to the party, which is a properly constituted and recognised body. This sorry mess will result in urgent and drastic corrective legislation
Taxpayer funding of elections should be abolished, but the big parties would never agree to this.''