By Wayne Jansson,
10 August, 2013
People who have been reading my posts from the seat of Indi will be aware I have been trying to catch up with Sophie Mirabella for some time now. I first contacted Adam Wyldeck (her media adviser) on July 9. He asked me to email my request and said he’d get back to me. I emailed him the next day with my interview request. After a couple of weeks I had not heard back, so I gave him a call. He told me Mirabella was extremely busy, but he would see what he could do and get back to me. Still waiting. Since then I have called numerous times (Adam’s never there) and sent another interview request via email. Still no interview after a month.
On August 6, the day before the candidates’ forum in Mansfield. I was informed by one of the other candidates that Mirabella had committed to attend. Great, I thought, an opportunity to bypass her media minder and ask her directly for an interview at a later date. I waited until the end of the night and approached her. I got the words out – “I’m Wayne with No Fibs” - and I was abruptly and some what rudely stopped in my tracks. I was informed in no uncertain terms she was there for her constituents only and had no time for me. Not wanting to make a scene because it had been a pleasant evening and country folk like it that way, I cut her tirade short, saying: I will contact your office and arrange it” – like that’s worked so far. I walked away shaking my head. What I should have said was, “Sophie, I am one of your constituents and your constituents are reading my posts.”
I dropped into Mirabella’s office on Friday afternoon hoping to pin down Adam Wyldeck to finally set a date. The nice lady at the front desk went out the back for a couple of minutes. When she returned I was told he had left for the afternoon.
Sophie has time to be interviewed by Neoskosmos.com in Melbourne. Note to Sophie: Indi is where you need the votes. Hope to chat soon :-)
On my way home on Friday I dropped by a friend’s house. Bemused and muttering “two million jobs, where the hell are they coming from?” he thrust a letter into my hands. A letter from Sophie.
I find a couple of claims odd, to say the least. The first being “keep income tax cuts”. I might be wrong, but the last I heard the Liberals were going to repeal the tripling of the tax-free threshold. Isn’t that the opposite of keeping a tax cut? The other is “free you from the world’s biggest carbon tax”. Didn’t the Liberals just spend the past three years telling us Australia was going it alone in pricing carbon? If that’s the case shouldn’t it read, free us from the world’s only carbon tax? It’s got a nice letterhead. Don’t know about the rules, but it feels wrong to see it used for election campaigning. I’m guessing others do it. Sophie’s letter is below.
Meanwhile, something that’s increasingly concerning me about Cathy McGowan’s campaign is her mixed messages and unwillingness to state a position on certain vexed or controversial issues, including climate change. In her No Fibs interview she stated, “It depends on who is the government of the day and what the policies are.” I can appreciate no one knows what the makeup of the government might be, but on these big issues, I want to know where the candidates stand. If they win, what will they support and what they will not support, and when they have to negotiate, what they are negotiating towards. Knowing where candidates stand before we vote is central to our democracy. Hopefully McGowan will start articulating a position on some of these issues she’s currently avoiding.
The Border Mail ran a story on Friday with the headline “cash rolling in for McGowan from afar”. I can’t link to it because at the time of writing this post I couldn’t find it online. McGowan is quoted as claiming $42,200 of a $75,000 target has been reached with cash from across the country including Perth and Queensland. Well-known playwright and tweeter Van Badham (@vanbadham) was mentioned after she took to Twitter calling for people to give money to McGowan’s campaign. Steven Mayne (@MayneReport), the journalist and Melbourne City councillor was quoted as saying Mirabella’s “unpleasant disposition” had stirred people’s attention. He also claimed McGowan was polling in the 20’s via Twitter.
Hearing that former Lib staffer turned independent @Indigocathy is polling in the 20s. A good show to knock off Sophie Mirabella in Indi.
— Stephen Mayne (@MayneReport) August 7, 2013
Coming soon: a wrap-up from the candidates forum in Mansfield and an interview with Jenny O’Connor of The Greens.