Tag Archives: Campaign Financing

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart to Barbados: I don’t care about conflicts of interest, Leroy Parris is my long time friend.

Lesson #492 why the DLP won’t pass Integrity Legislation and political financing rules. Ever.

Barbados PM protecting one of the DLP’s prime financial backers.

Like Finance Minister Sinckler, our accidental Prime Minister Freundel Stuart just doesn’t get it or doesn’t care about Integrity Legislation, Conflicts of Interest and the optics of senior Ministers of Government cavorting with someone who at the very least is at the center of a scandal involving billions of dollars missing, and who should be under serious investigation.

But it’s okay because Leroy Parris is “a long-time friend and a one-time client” – not to mention a major financial supporter of the Democratic Labour Party. Oh… Stuart didn’t mention that financial support to the DLP, did he?

Prime Minister Stuart says it doesn’t help the CLICO situation to try to exploit a photograph of Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler talking to Parris (photo above) at the just run Gold Cup horse racing event. Stuart doesn’t mention that the photo was taken at a private little gathering where ordinary folks weren’t invited. He tries to make it like they just bumped into each other on the street.

So according to Prime Minister Stuart, victims and taxpayers should just shut up about CLICO conflicts of interest and if they don’t, the PM will blame the victims when they receive pennies or nothing on their “investments”.

That’s quite a different response than taken by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, that set up a Commission of Enquiry to look into the CL Financial – CLICO debacle: including the examination of how relationships, conflicts of interest and election financing concerns contributed to the collapse.

What is it that causes Mr. Stuart to tell ordinary Barbadians that the relationship between government and Leroy Parris is none of their business?

Is it “honour amongst thieves” and all that? Or is it that Leroy Parris and CLICO funded the DLP election campaign that saw David Thompson made Prime Minister? Is it a combination of factors all working together that causes Mr. Stuart to tell ordinary Barbadians that the relationship between government and Leroy Parris is none of their business?

Ladies and gentlemen of the Democratic Labour Party: please excuse us for bothering you. Please continue to enjoy your champagne, lobster pate and your close relationship with the people who stole our future. Sorry for mentioning it. Truly.

Here’s the latest slap in the face of ordinary Bajans from our Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart. Please read it at The Nation, but as usual we’ll reprint it here because they change history every so often at that newspaper… Continue reading

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‘Dudus’ Coke arrested. Will he live to see trial?

News reports say that Shower Posse gang leader Christopher Dudus Coke was captured at a checkpoint in Jamaica today – apparently on his way to surrender himself either to US Embassy personnel or local “friendly” police.

Some stories say that Coke cut a deal with the US authorities and will not oppose extradition. Some news commentators say that he wants to get out of Jamaica as quickly as possible because there is a wind change in the works that might prove unhealthy as certain Jamaican politicians are worried about what Coke might say at his trial. Continue reading

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Dubai’s Khaleej Times: The difference between “mature” Barbados and Jamaica’s “stalled democracy” is the link between gangs and Jamaican politicians.

Jamaican gang leader Dudus Coke & Clico's Leroy Parris - There are differences, but both these powerful and wealthy men secretly finance their chosen politicians.

Another warning that Barbados must get vigilant about Political Financing

Coming from a similar colonial-slavery background as most of its Caribbean neighbours, Barbados has managed to achieve much greater economic prosperity, peace and political stability. Why is that?

An article in the Khaleei Times looks at the reasons for the differences between Jamaica, Barbados and a few of our neighbours and concludes, among other things, that the cosy relationship between gangs and politicians has much to do with Jamaica’s stalled progress since its independence in 1962.

While I don’t think the article is comprehensive about all the reasons for the differences between Jamaica and Barbados, once again we are reminded that citizens and societies have a vital interest in regulating the money that finances politicians and political parties.

Thanks to both the Barbados Labour Party and the Democratic Labour Party, we in Barbados have no laws, no oversight and no transparency about the millions of dollars received by Barbados politicians for (cough, cough) “campaign financing”.

Simply put, our Bajan democracy is at risk when politicians can secretly receive money from any person or organisation and then secretly spend the money – all without rules, oversight or legal accountability.

And that is exactly the way Bajan politicians and their financiers like it.

Here are a few snippets from the Khaleei Times article…

“For decades (Jamaican) political leaders have used armed local gangs to mobilise voters in their constituencies; the gangs are rewarded with the spoils of power, in particular housing and employment contracts they can dole out. Opposition leaders counter with their own gangs, resulting in chronic violence during election seasons.

These gangs eventually moved into international drug trafficking, with their leaders, called “dons,” becoming ever more powerful. The tables turned quite some time ago, with the politicians becoming dependent on the dons for their survival.”

(snip)

“To see what happens when a country accomplishes both (economic and democratic) transitions, we need only look at the neighbouring Afro-Caribbean island of Barbados. It has a similar colonial past, and became independent just three years after Jamaica.

Yet Barbados’ per capita income is now more than twice that of Jamaica, its standard of living puts it among the developed world and Freedom House places it on a par with Western Europe in terms of the maturity of its democracy. Sure enough, Barbados also has one of the lowest homicide rates in the hemisphere. Barbados, unfortunately, is not typical…”

… read the entire article at the Khaleej Times Jamaica’s bloody democracy

Further Reading at Barbados Free Press

May 24, 2020 – Respected community leader: Some Barbados politicians might be taking payoffs from drug gangs

May 25, 2010 – Barbados roadsign shows support for Jamaica’s Dudus Coke!

May 31, 2010 – Mexico’s drug gangs into politics. Is campaign financing any different where you live?

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Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Freedom Of Information, Jamaica, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

Mexico’s drug gangs into politics. Is campaign financing any different where you live?

The phrase “Heads will roll” has taken a new meaning when vacationing in Mexico!

Tourist city Cancun, Mexico is in need of a new mayor after the current politician was arrested on suspicion of protecting two drug gangs. Gregorio Sanchez is charged with drug trafficking and money laundering. It is alleged that he tipped off and protected the Beltran Leyva and Zetas drug cartels — gangs known for brutal tactics including the beheading of rivals. (eTurbo News: Drug cartels tightening control over Mexico’s most important tourist resort)

Why would a politician do something so against his duty and his country? Hey… that’s easy! Money.

In Barbados we have politicians… and we have drug gangs

We also have NO campaign financing rules about who can give and how much they can give to political parties. There is no requirement for politicians or parties to account for spending or the sources of their money.

If scotch & porn were all voters had to worry about, we wouldn't need campaign financing rules!

Do drug gangs fund some Barbados politicians?

Ha! Does Owen Arthur enjoy single malt scotch? Does the sun rise over Africa? Does Donville Inniss support the porn industry?

You mek sport!

No rules about campaign financing in Barbados.

Isn’t it about time?

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Will Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe attend World Environment Day Parish Walk – Saturday, June 5, 2010?

Why does our Environment Minister shun citizen-organised Environmental events?

Minister Denis Lowe

With his friendly demeanor and large frame Barbados Environment Minister Denis Lowe is easy to spot when he appears in public, but other than his press interviews and carefully-staged talks at schools, political functions and Ministry show-projects, Mr. Lowe remains The Invisible Man to ordinary citizens.

Saturday, June 5, 2010 is World Environment Day (UN WED website here).

Commemorated on 5 June since 1972, World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.

This year, the National Conservation Commission and the Future Centre Trust are jointly holding a World Environment Day Parish Walk from the Eric Holder Centre in St Joseph to Bathsheba.  This event also marks the 40th Anniversary of the NCC.

We wonder if Environment Minister Lowe will attend this citizen-organised walk or if he will limit his participation to taking out one of his famous full page adverts in The Barbados Advocate. In lieu of the full page advert, perhaps he might be planning to do one of his “I am concerned” media interviews while standing in front of government crews cleaning drains. (The Barbados Advocate covers Dr. Lowe’s stand up interviews faithfully but that has nothing to do with the regular full page government advertisements… honest!)

Pardon our cynicism folks, but Dr. Lowe and his Ministry have been no-shows at so many environmental events that we have to wonder. Most recently the Barbados Government, Environment Minister Denis Lowe and the Environment Ministry were invited to participate in the planning and execution of No Plastic Bag Day.

Denis Lowe canceled a scheduled meeting with the Future Centre Trust at the last moment saying he had more important commitments. Lowe sent no stand-in. No Ministry of the Environment personnel responded to invitations either – and no politicians from any party showed up during the planning or on the day of the event. The Barbados DLP Government of Prime Minister David Thompson did do one thing though: the DLP denied a duty waiver on the green shopping bags imported as part of No Plastic Bag Day.

The good Doctor Lowe hasn’t been seen at any beach or gully clean-ups either. He’s also been conspicuously absent from the site of the Shell Oil pipeline spill since he was elected.

“There is no question that Shell Oil bought and paid for two successive Barbados governments. How else can we explain the actions of both the BLP and DLP governments in allowing this negligent and abusive company to walk away free from a major pipeline leak that polluted the water table over hundreds of acres, ruined agricultural land and still threatens our beaches?”

from the BFP article How Much Did It Cost Shell Oil To Buy Two Barbados Governments? Without Election Financing Laws, We’ll Never Know

Prior to the DLP victory in January 2008, Denis Lowe was happy to work with environmentalists and concerned citizens to look for justice for the victims of the Shell Oil pipeline spill. Lowe attended with Adrian Loveridge and others to pull buckets of Shell jet fuel from household water wells and demand that Shell take responsibility and clean up their mess.

That was prior to the DLP forming the government, of course.

Now? We have Shell Oil’s “fixer company” saying they will “ensure government buy-in” to Shell’s position.

Hey… Dr. Lowe, please tell us how much in “campaign donations” that you and the Democratic Labour Party have received from Shell, SOL or associated companies since you lost interest in the Shell Oil pipeline spill?

Does it matter whether or not Environment Minister Lowe shows up for World Environment Day?

At this point? Nope. It doesn’t matter at all. Not a bit.

Barbados Free Press will be there though. See you on Saturday, June 5, 2010 at 5am for a 6am start at the Eric Holder Centre in St Joseph.

(5am? I know, I know! But Clive promises he’ll either get up early or stay up all night. Do we believe him? Sure! 🙂 )

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