DUFFERS: "Charity worker" who had spat with MP is $400-an-hour spin-doctor for pokies

Federal MP Craig Thomson has had a dreadful time of it lately, still living down his tenure at the sometimes toxic Health Services Union, and becoming a target of the ferociously feisty Daily Telegraph.

Ex Tele-editor and student-leftist David Penbethy asserted today:

Thomson is accused of starting a slanging match at the weekend with a female member of one of the most benign organisations on the face of the earth, the Salvation Army. It’s about as classy as getting into a fight with a nun. Thomson was attending a protest meeting against poker machine reform on the Central Coast on Saturday night, after which he clashed with its moderator, Salvation Army worker Louise Duff.

The only trouble with that is that Louise Duff is not a nun and nor is she a “Salvation Army worker.” Some dispute she is a member of the organisation at all. She is the chair of one of the committees that helps with Salvo’s annual fundraising drive for the central coast area. Kudos to her for that but it doesn’t make her a Salvo any more than my regular attendance at Essendon matches makes me centre-half-forward.

The VEXNEWS Investigations Unit can reveal that Duff is in fact a $400-an-hour spin-doctor for a highly successful central coast PR company “Brilliant Logic”.

In fact, she’s the owner and managing director of the PR and marketing firm.

Her site boasts she is “comfortable negotiating seven-figure sponsorships from multi-national organisations”. Her client roster includes the Sydney Roosters, NSW government departments, financial services companies and even the Country Music Association.

Contrary to a misleading impression that Ms Duff has allowed to be created, at the event where Thomson had a go at her, she wasn’t moderating a community function out of any sense of charity. VEXNEWS has learned it was a paying gig, paid for by the organisation representing pubs and clubs who are rightly concerned about federal government meddling with pokies machines. Nothing wrong with taking a lobby group’s money but it ought to be disclosed and Duff has not done that in any reporting we’ve seen on the mini-saga.

And in so doing she appears to have duped even the savviest of scribes, Penbo.

It’s a sleazy effort of the kind that could give the PR racket a bad name.

Yes, Duff is involved with the Salvo’s by doing pro bono PR work for them and has agreed to “chair” the Salvo’s local annual fundraising appeal but calling her a tamberine-tapping charity worker is like calling Bill Gates Mother Teresa.

She should have made that very clear when she had the opportunity.

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23 Comments

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23 responses to “DUFFERS: "Charity worker" who had spat with MP is $400-an-hour spin-doctor for pokies

  1. Giuseppe De Simone

    Bill Gates is a lot like Mother Theresa except he is rich and agnostic and lives in a $60 million mansion by a picturesque lake and she was poor, believed in God and lived with lepers by the vile stench of sewerage.

    Gates does try hard to give away his wealth so he can enhance his reputation and power and be forgiven by the leftist commentariat for his business success.

    Duff appears to be a very successful publicist who can be a chameleon. Good on her. Pity she got caught. Now all she needs to do is a public mea culpa and all will be forgiven – just like the brilliant writers of Absolute Power. Sack cloth and ashes work wonders when you’ve got the Salvos in your pocket. Then again, I can’t see how the Salvos won’t find a conflict between their anti-gambling/anti-drinking stance and pokies clubs. She might be cut loose – wouldn’t that be a shame?

  2. The Insider

    The Sallies have to be careful – they also gave a gig to Pat Daley – another Lib – I understand that he was moved on following some unfortunate comments to the media

  3. Well I am shocked that the Telegraph and the idiots that read it could get this so wrong. They didn’t know the facts, did they?

  4. John Dodd

    Louise Duff is not the only representative of the clubs industry on the CC Red Shield Appeal. The Deputy Chair is a former employee of one of the Central Coast’s largest clubs. One board member is on the board of the same club. Another is the CEO of the same club and on the board of Clubs NSW.

  5. Nomnomnom Kristy Knox

    Alex, Amy! This time round I expect your promise to be fulfilled. I want to be the candidate for Dobell! Far out Amy! I thought the stacking of the Entrance YL’s to make it completley disfunctional was suppose to get me out of clearing out fast food outlets and into parliament?

  6. Norman Hanscombe

    If you believe ad hominem attacks on the woman in question are the only possible defenses of Craig you can mount, wouldn’t it be far better for you to say nothing?

  7. Glad to see

    Well Done Andrew – independent media has an obligation to expose the lows the majors will stoop to (also)

    The media’s portrayal of Craig Thomson is a pretty persuasive deterrent to anyone else who could legitimately seek to sue a major news editor for defamation.

  8. cohenite

    People who support same-sex marriage should have to watch Arnold Schwarzengger in Junior with their eyes glued open.

  9. cohenite

    Test: Donald Duck is a duck.

  10. Shambles

    I am a respected political strategist.

    Mr Thomson has me to thank for him retaining his seat in 2010.

    He couldn’t have done it without me.

  11. Cardinal Pell

    Don’t forget Brother Abbott we are required at St Chesters at Evening Song on Sunday to assist the Choir Boys in the ch,ange rooms.

  12. Craigy Thommo

    Gee… $400 an hour sounds a bit expensive.

  13. CSM

    Helping circle the wagons around Thommo aren’t you Andrew?

    Such a tribal warrior, still carrying around the old spear for Labor when objectively, even you can see this guy is a weed.

  14. Anon

    What is it about guys called Craig, the ALP and pros?

  15. Giuseppe De Simone

    I love to rock the ALP boat every now and then and hope it sinks.

    However, I believe in honest and open political discourse and not in stunts and dirty tricks.

    The member for Dobell is under investigation and it is not appropriate to pass judgment until the proper enquiries are concluded.

    I don’t believe the gambling lobby is doing itself any favours by being associated with falsehoods about the true pedigree of its hired gun. This was always going to come unstuck for them even if it gave them some fleeting good publicity. The people who matter in this decision about gambling regulation (the Federal Greens and the ALP) will not be impressed by the tactic and it has back-fired badly as it will be seen by these socialists as yet another example of corporate wrong-doing.

  16. Byron in Wahroonga

    ***the Sallies have to be careful – they also gave a gig to Pat Daley – another Lib***

    LOL, typical leftie hack. Think your veiled threats worry the Salvos? Maybe if lefties ever volunteered for any constructive community group – like, the bushfire brigade – you’d have cause for complaint.

  17. Byron in Wahroonga

    Thomson’s seat of Dobell almost adjoins Orkopoulos’ seat of Swansea. Just sayin’.

  18. BJ

    come on Andrew give us an Op on Hooker gate?

  19. Giuseppe De Simone

    Is Thomson the ALP’s Weiner? Please provide the photographic evidence!

    I feel sorry for the guy. It seems he is being “supported” by people who would normally hate his guts within the ALP because the bruvvers (and sisterhood) have no choice.

    I suspect at some point the ever so moral Greens and the Independents will decide to pull the pin (the hand grenade pin) on this issue and demand a parliamentary privileges hearing and force a by-election. Of course not!

    However, I know where I would be applying the pressure – on the 4 lower house members that keep the ALP in power. They will squirm and be uncomfortable as they know their position is indefensible.

  20. Bilbo

    Craig Thomson is a shining example of what the ALP stands for and Vexnews is quite right in aligning their moral compass with a person of his superior judgement. I look forward to your article supporting Gaddafi against those ungrateful freedom fighters up north.

  21. dovif

    Thomson went to a anti-pokies legislation demonstration and found someone who is against the pokies legislation. Then gave her the Belinda Neal treatment

    Well he is a genius

  22. princess

    wow, I don’t support the salvo cos I know the poor got .05% if they lucky and the big fish will take it all 99.5%, for themselves and their mates. what happen to the good old days love the poor and work for nothing. Please if you want to give to the homeless people and the poor you can find them in the city, give it to them yourself, cos if you give to the community groups etc…. the greedy will take it all. cao

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