Bought and paid for

The idea that Roy Smith’s election to the NSW Legislative Council is a victory for the Shooters Party flies in the face of the facts. The seat belongs to the SSAA, which funded and managed the campaign. The Shooters Party was merely the vehicle it used for the purpose.

An examination of expenditure and votes demonstrates the point.

The Shooters Party has now “won” a LC seat on three occasions: 1995, 2003 and 2007. It failed in 1999. Its campaign budget in 1999 was almost $300,000, with 56,000 votes won. In 2003 the budget was $410,000 with 76,000 votes won. This time 106,000 votes were cast for the party with the budget of at least $850,000.

Direct expenditure was about $710,000 according to a statement by Robert Brown to a SSAA meeting in March. Of that, $220,000 was electoral funding as a result of the victory in 2003. Membership dues and donations from a few clubs probably lifted that to around $270,000. The SSAA contributed the rest.

SSAA NSW donated $250,000 and Sydney branch $100,000. Other branches are understood to have also donated to bring up the total.

‘In-kind’ expenditure by SSAA NSW was substantial. It printed a full colour insert for the monthly magazine, devoted most of the monthly newsletters to promoting the campaign and wrote a personal letter to every NSW member. Each of these involved printing 35,000 copies plus the cost of postage (additional or full).

There was also the use of SSAA staff. Overall campaign manager was Michael Gill, a full time SSAA employee. Adam Leto, SSAA’s full time Communications Officer, wrote much of the campaign material. Alison Newberry, an employee of the SSAA’s indoor range at St Mary’s, coordinated election booth manning. And of course there was Roy himself, who is a full time SSAA employee.

Most of these individuals worked on the campaign for 5-6 months, doing little else from early January. I estimate their combined salary costs during this time to be at least $70-80,000.

The other main campaign participant was Paul McNabb, whose advertising agency produced and ran the radio advertising. McNabb is a volunteer member of the SSAA NSW board and not a member of the Shooters Party. Indeed, Shooters Party personnel were not significantly involved in the campaign.

The cost per vote in 1999 was $5.36, in 2003 it was $5.38 and in 2007 $8.01. The increase in votes between 2003 and 2007 was 30,000, with each extra vote costing $14.67. That far exceeds the expenditure per vote of the major parties.

Such a level of commitment and expenditure is never likely to be repeated. Roy Smith has been central to the SSAA in NSW for over 10 years. Until he was offered the number one ticket position, relations between the SSAA and Shooters Party alternated between tepid and cool. If nothing else, Robert Brown’s strong support for making Game Licences a genuine reason for a firearms licence, which would be devastating to SSAA membership, guarantees he’ll never attract such support in 2011.

Roy Smith has every reason to call himself “the member for SSAA”. His position has been bought and paid for.


16 Responses to Bought and paid for

  1. willy says:

    thats all very well, but you seem to be missing the point, the point that those of us not bound up in office biTch clubs are concerned about,WE HAVE ANOTHER PRO GUN PERSON IN PARLIAMENT.If office politics are more important than maintaining our rights and freedom, Im glad it wasnt you voted in.most of us not intimately involved in the state branch, just want reliable hard working honest people who are prepared to work on our behalf.thats what politicians are supposed to do, the fact that most dont is why we needed the shooters party in the first place.
    If you have a major greivance with an office holder SORT IT OUT IN PRIVATE.In case you hadnt noticed TSP and SSAA joined forces to get a member into nsw parliament, and did a bloody good job in doing, face the enemy or shut your gob and piss off.

  2. Bruce says:

    Following the 2003 election, the head of one of the leading shooting organisations said,”Roy Smith has just bought himself a political party for $20,000, that is a good buy, how long do you think it will be before we see Roy Smith MLC?” That person now has his answer. Now the SSAA has their own member in parliament it remains to be seen whether he works for all shooters or only his green jacket mates.
    The next step is 2011, will the SSAA be given back their money as was the case in 1995 or will the SP keep it? Will the SSAA put up again to re-elect that other person? will the SSAA be so keen to push aside the SP members take over the running or was this a one off? will the great Game Council man go back to the SP members he has alienated and over the next 3 years get them back on side, I think not, he does not have the skills to do so. So ,Willy, in the very short term you are right, we got one in, but you have been to the the SP city based knowledge bank of four people, who do not allow any other opinion than theirs, and anyone who dares to to speak up is told exactly what you have just said, you only have to wait three years to find out the answer which will be, no SSAA candidate as number one, no help, and those who have been told to piss off may not come back.

  3. Redneck says:

    SORT IT OUT IN PRIVATE.In case you hadnt noticed TSP and SSAA joined forces to get a member into nsw parliament, and did a bloody good job in doing, face the enemy or shut your gob and piss off.

    Willy, suck it up. Shining a light into dark corners catches the cockroaches.

    SP politicians are still politicians. It’s important to know who paid for them, cos that’s who owns them.

  4. Bruce says:

    “Thats who owns them” you said it all. SSAA party, stuff everyone else.

  5. Belle Star says:

    Gee this polotic game is serious with you guys, nothing will happen, only a heep of hot air and business as before unless they let Roy loose.
    This is a game of numbers, and it appears that the greens v the shooters & christans has evened the seesaw at 4 all, should be a good fight

  6. fishfinger says:

    I joined the SP as a reaction to Bob Carr’s banning of duck hunting. I’ve never hunted ducks but believe I should be able to if the conditions and my desire to do so coincide.
    Since that time, as a SSAA member, I’ve had occasional contact with Roy Smith and found him to be a very helpful, genuine bloke.
    I think you’ll find his service as an MLC will be for the benefit of ALL shooters… not just SSAA or SP members.
    Would it be too hard to wait and see what he’ll do for us over the next few years before the whinging about him starts?

  7. Would it be too hard to wait and see what he’ll do for us over the next few years before the whinging about him starts?

    Fishfinger, I don’t see any whinging about Roy here. What are you referring to?

  8. pete2whelan says:

    What I was concerned about was having my comments rejected from The Shooters Party web site “Forum”! After having been a member for as long as I can remember (early 90s), provided generous financial support, manned booths and recruited others to hand out HTVs, in several past elections, that was indeed an insult. I had to register on the Forum several times in the hope of putting forward comments and suggestions on the March election campaign. My comments were then deleted and then I got a “User name rejected” message.
    I predict that support for shooters, now that TSP has two members in the Upper House, will be very selective, perhaps aimed at feathering the nests of only a select group of friends. (It is interesting to observe the arrogance of those who, having acheived power, trample on those who helped them get there.)
    Perhaps funding to go only to SSAA ranges?
    Anyway, I have always found Roy Smith to be very helpful on shooting matters, so will be writing in with a couple of specific requests and await the action (or not) with interest.

  9. Bruce says:

    Pete Whelan, the truth, I have seen some of my mates down this part of the state wear themselves out working for the SP.
    They are then cast out like an old rag for not being totally obedient.

  10. fishfinger says:

    I was reading between the lines and regarded the whinging about Roy to be an indirect shot at the SSAA. I don’t believe I misread between the lines?

    “Roy Smith has every reason to call himself “the member for SSAA”. His position has been bought and paid for.”

  11. Phil says:

    Guys. Please don’t try and colour a win as a loss. Some of you act like you wouldn’t have minded if a 2nd pro-shooter MLC didn’t ‘get in’. Be realistic. It’s a win, a plus, and can only be positive. That some are posting negative things simply demonstrates the clanishness within the shooting fraternity which has worked for our opponents and against ourselves so often in the past.

    SP and SSA worked together – GOOD.
    A pro-shooters rights person got in to the NSW MLC – GREAT!
    In doing so, someone who may be very much AGAINST our interests didn’t – BLOODY FANTASTIC!

    I view Roy getting into the MLC as very positive for us. I’l go so far as to say I hope the SP and SSAA work together again in 2011 and hopefully get enough votes for TWO more friendly MLCs – I’ll even put some dollars towards that!

  12. I was reading between the lines and regarded the whinging about Roy to be an indirect shot at the SSAA.

    Whinge: to complain fretfully, whine.

    Discussing who paid for the campaign sure doesn’t fit that definition.

  13. fishfinger says:

    I think Phil has said it best and I completely agree with him.
    Obviously I’m having trouble expressing myself lucidly enough for you. Sorry.
    But trust me… we’re on the same side.

  14. Bill Black says:

    A little jealous raising its ugly head perhaps?

    Anyone trying to fracture the successful political alliance among firearm owners groups is as much an enemy as Alpers.

    Grow up.

  15. Bill says:

    Grow up.

    Your point is what? That these things should be swept under the carpet?

    Dishonesty and corruption thrive when there is no transparency or accountability. I’m a SSAA member and I’ve a right to know where my money goes and what I got for it. I’m also entitled to discuss it. Comparing that to Alpers is really juvenile.

  16. Bill Black says:

    Give me strength…

    We had the absolute strategic necessity of throwing as much money as possible at the NSW election in the hope of getting 2 pro firearms members up in the LC.

    Well done us.

    Then and now we have unsophisticated…try dumbarse… SSAA members thinking they have a handle on how all this works….most of them wanted the election money spent on improved range toilets and painting the benches.

    Grow up.

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