GREENS IN CRISIS: NSW Greens party Senate candidate defies leader Bob Brown on quit call

bobbrownleerhiannon NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon has been caught out misusing state parliamentary resources in her campaign to become a federal Senator.

Rhiannon was caught after listing her electorate office phone number on a federal campaign related media release but insiders say that her misuse of taxpayer resources is far broader than that. A Labor MP recently had to resign from Parliament and faces prosecution after being accused of misusing her office resources to assist her election campaign. The Greens party now faces the same crisis.

As the lead Senate candidate for the Greens party in the biggest Australian state, Rhiannon is a key member of Senator Bob Brown’s team he’s presenting as a clean alternative to big, bad nasty political parties.

Rhiannon has been a vocal critic of sleaze and impropriety in other parties, regularly accusing both Labor and Liberal of corruption.

BABY BOOMERS WON’T LET GO
Like Brown, she is one of the old Greens party militants, nearly sixty years old, there are a number of Greens insiders who believe she needed to be moved on and should never have been preselected for the Senate. Its predominantly young membership don’t mind Bob Brown but are hoping NSW MPs Ian Cohen (who recently escaped a domestic assault conviction after charges were dropped) and Rhiannon move on to allow for generational change in the Greens.

One scathing internal critic told VEXNEWS – on condition of anonymity – that there are many party members who want her punted:

“Lee is too old. She should have been put out to pasture but she has threatened to take people down with her. Her mother was a Stalinist member of the CPA (Communist Party of Australia) … like mother, like daughter as they say”

This inter-generational tension recently played out in the fierce preselection battle for the lower house seat of Marrickville where old timer and grouchy rich lady Sylvia Hale was rolled by the young councillor Fiona Byrne by one vote. Hale reportedly made many threats and unpleasant grunting noises during the process.

GO NOW SAYS NERVOUS BOB
Brown told journalists that he wanted Rhiannon to quit the upper house state seat she’s got in order to focus on the Senate campaign in light of the corruption allegations against her:

“I think she would be – and I’ve said this to Lee – very wise with Labor and Liberal on the prowl on issues like this… to clear the decks and get into the Senate campaign,” he said.

“Lee has apologised for it…yes, that is an admission [that she did the wrong thing]. If there were more politicians prepared to admit to such mistakes we would all be a lot better off.’’

She has defied her federal leader’s call to hand over to her already preselected successor Cate Faehrmann. When asked whether she should immediately resign to make this transition, Brown said:

“I think she should…”

Rhiannon is having none of it, insisting that the public revelations that she was misusing NSW taxpayer resources on her campaign was purely the result of a typographical error.

Greens party sources tell VEXNEWS Rhiannon had no plans to resign because she needs the salary. Polls suggest the Greens could win the last Senate spot but it is always close, with the extremist anti-Israel fanatic Kerry Nettle losing out in 2007. “It’s a marginal seat and Rhiannon is being asked to quit her safe seat for a chance at winning the marginal seat, without pay, she has previously said she’ll go when the federal election is called and no earlier, her term expires in 2015 and she’s already giving that up” an insider explained.

Brown hinted that Rhiannon had agreed to resign although she appears to have reneged on any such arrangement, telling her Twitter followers:

I’m not about to resign over a few typos. This story is an ALP beat up.

Both Labor and the Liberal opposition have called on her to resign. Political insiders say there’s every chance Rhiannon could be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption for a full investigation of her staff and use of other office resources to campaign for the Senate position.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “GREENS IN CRISIS: NSW Greens party Senate candidate defies leader Bob Brown on quit call

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | GREENS IN CRISIS: NSW Greens party Senate candidate defies leader Bob Brown on quit call -- Topsy.com

  2. Christ on a Bike

    PX, I thought of you during Kevin Rudd’s moving speech after he lost the leadership, when he said “there’s nothing like having a bit of somebody else inside you”. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on this matter.

  3. Pingback: Will Lee Rhiannon bow to pressure to stand down? – StreetCorner | news plus

  4. Pingback: Greens MP in row over campaign funding – The Australian | news plus

  5. Edmund Egg

    “I’m not about to resign over a few typos. This story is an ALP beat up”

    *Groan* The Greens are so full of sh*t

  6. greens not good for you

    The greens is a party run on Stalinist lines. A small clique vet new members. One objection from the local cell and the membership is barred.

    I am not sure any Australian should be lectured by a party that is a Stalinist throw back.

    In Tasmania and Victoria we see power ‘families’ using this system to hang on to power and build power. Genuine greens voters are the main victims of this scam.

    In nsw we have this ugly power play. In wa greens voters were double crossed when the green mp literally got into bed with the liberals.

    The greens party is a sick joke when they manipulate power in thier own ‘mason’ like party but when this spreads to parliament it puts our jobs and nation at danger.

  7. Greens cut down jobs

    The greens want to shut down power and 80% of industry in Victoria. They are jobs wreckers.
    The only jobs they care about are their own which are usually high paid taxpayer funded consultancies that involve lecturing the rest of us about how to live.

  8. I'm a green and I'm OK

    I am green and I’m OK
    Oh I am a green and I’m ok
    I cut down jobs
    I sleep with libs
    I’m here to save the day

    I drive 4 wheel drives
    I preach and moan
    I whinge and groan
    you all pay for my
    frequent flyer ways

    oh I’m a green and I am OK
    I plot all night and sleep day
    I am here to stop your fun
    I love trees and bugs
    it us just people who are in the way

  9. screamin mee mees

    The Greens are nuts but enough with the too old crap.
    Some of the self appointed young experts from both mainstream sides wouldnt know excretia from clay at any age they may attain.

  10. I'm a green and I'm OK

    I am a green and I’m OK
    I cut down jobs
    I sleep with libs
    I’m here to save the day

    I drive 4 wheel drives
    I preach and moan
    I whinge and groan
    you all pay for my
    frequent flyer ways

    oh I’m a green and I am OK
    I plot all night and sleep all day
    I am here to stop your fun
    I love trees and I love bugs
    it’s just people who are in my way
    I love trees and bugs
    it’s just who are in the way
    I love trees and bugs
    it’s just people who are in the way
    I love trees and bugs
    it’s just people who are in the way
    I love trees and bugs
    it us just people who are in the way

  11. People haters

    I am a green and I’m OK
    I cut down jobs
    I sleep with libs
    I’m a green and I am OK
    I cut down jobs
    I sleep with libs
    I’m here to save the day

    I drive 4 wheel drives
    I preach and moan
    I whinge and groan
    you all pay for my
    frequent flyer ways

    oh I’m a green and I am OK
    I plot all night and sleep all day
    I am here to stop your fun
    I love trees and I love bugs
    it’s just people who are in my way

    I love trees and I love bugs
    it’s just people who are in my way

  12. Green life

    I am a green and I’m OK
    I cut down jobs
    I sleep with libs
    I’m here to save the day

    I drive 4 wheel drives
    I preach and moan
    I whinge and groan
    you all pay for my
    frequent flyer ways

    oh I’m a green and I am OK
    I plot all night and sleep all day
    I am here to stop your fun
    I love trees and I love bugs
    it’s just people who are in my way
    I love trees and bugs
    it’s just who are in the way
    I love trees and bugs
    it’s just people who are in the way
    I love trees and bugs
    it’s just people who are in the way
    I love trees and bugs
    it us just people who are in the way

  13. Lite Green

    I say she steps aside for a Green who is the mother of a young liberal…..

  14. Green-for-life

    As usual the ratbag right trot out their anti-Green rubbish. No ‘small clique’ has anything to do with memberships – the diversity of the Greens is vastly greater than that of the extremist Liberal Party, and if there was ever a cabal of internal powerbrokers to be observed, look no further than the NSW ALP. Ms Rhiannon has done nothing wrong, and methinks the ALP will have more serious matters of their own to defend after they are reduced to an electoral rump in March.

  15. Green for job

    Green. Careerist are already jockeying for jobs at state seats of Richmond and Melbourne. Poor darlings do not know deals are done already…

  16. Josh

    They give me the creeps

  17. R.K. Maroon

    Sign the petition to remove Lee Rhiannon from Parliament: http://bit.ly/cbrflr.

    Over 200 signatures so far!

  18. Adrian Jackson

    A taxpayer funded electorate office an not be used as a campaign office in the lead up to an election period.

    Either rent another office, as a campaign office, use a donated office from a supporter or do it from home or a friends home.

    Its only for a month or so once the rits are issues for an election

  19. Adrian Jackson

    A taxpayer funded electorate office can not be used as a campaign office in the lead up to an election period.

    Either rent another office, as a campaign office, use a donated office from a supporter or do it from home or a friends home.

    Its only for a month or so once the rits are issues for an election

  20. Sam Newmaaaaan

    id get on it

  21. Scott R

    The Greens want to open up heroin injecting rooms right across Melbourne.

  22. hughie

    Insofar as these labels can be applied, my understanding is that Bob Brown comes from their version of a “Right” faction in the Greens, and Lee Rhiannon from the “Left”, hence part of the tension between the two. If this dichotomy is accurate, then where does Sylvia Hale fit in? (Not that it matters much anymore)

  23. Wendy

    Scott R, perhaps you should try something novel – like reading non-fiction instead of listening to the tool merchants on talkback radio. It was Labor who implemented safe injection room in Sydney and the Greens support this. Labor in ACT also tried the same thing … but better to be redneck than well read I guess…

  24. BS Detector

    You want the truth on Comrade Lee Rhiannon?

    She was so extreme that she and her mum left the CPA because it wasn’t Stalinist enough and founded the (then) SPA in the 1970’s!

    The Communist Party of Australia was not Communist enough for her liking, but the Greens are OK – what does that tell you about the real agenda of the NSW Greens?

  25. Wendy

    BS, it tells me they are rabid Commies who will take all your possessions away and make you work in the mines .. wait, they’re against mining, so it’ll be the rain forest for the likes of you!! Of course, you’ll be drugged and make to ride a bike to work. And you’ll have to change your name to Karl or Joseph …

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