Tag Archives: Election Financing

Bahamas Member of Parliament gets it wrong about Barbados election financing

Former Bahamas Attorney General probably believed the lies

Bahamas Member of Parliament Alfred Sears is holding up Barbados as an example in his campaign to outlaw secret political contributions.

“Mr. Sears, who was a guest on Love 97’s Sunday talk show, Jones & Company, said in many countries, like Barbados there is legislation against (secret political contributions).”

While we wish Mr. Sears all the success in the world in his quest to bring transparency, integrity and accountability to the political process in the Bahamas, we have to correct his mistaken notion that Barbados is a model to be followed.

  • Barbados has no election financing rules
  • No public disclosure requirements for political donations.
  • No Freedom of Information Act
  • No Integrity Legislation
  • No Conflicts of Interest rules.

Election Financing in Barbados: Anything goes

Barbados politicians are allowed to accept secret donations from any person or company, whether Barbadian or not. There is no limit as to the amount of money they can accept, and no restriction on politicians or their family members from receiving personal gifts or employment from companies that do business with the government or want to do business with the government.

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As an example, if some political supporter wants to give $75,000 to a politician as a “campaign donation”, there is no legal requirement for the politician to reveal the donation publicly or even to place the donation into a designated bank account. ‘Matter a fact, our former Prime Minister Owen $ Arthur was caught out depositing a $75,000 “campaign donation” into his very own personal bank account. (cheque photo above)

Goin’ wid Owen would have gotten away with it except that then Opposition Leader David Thompson got up in Parliament and showed a copy of the cheque. A shamefaced Owen Arthur had to say “oops!” but no laws were broken. And that’s the way Barbados politicians want it!

Opposition MP Dr. William Duguid came right out and said that Barbados politicians would never pass integrity legislation or a Freedom of Information act and he was telling the truth.

Barbados politicians brag about Integrity Legislation and FOI “coming soon” but it never comes.

Bahamas MP Alfred Sears probably went to some conference where some lying Barbados politician told him that we have FOI, Integrity Legislation and Election Financing Laws. It’s happened before to another Caribbean politician as we’ve previously reported. (Clive can you dig up the story please, I’m off to work. M.)

Both the BLP and DLP have promised Integrity Legislation and FOI for decades but they lied. A few bills were proposed but always die before they pass into law. Then the government calls an election and says “We tried but those rotters in the opposition spoiled our efforts! Elect us again and we’ll finish it this time!”

Although Freedom of Information and Integrity Legislation are talked about, NOBODY TALKS ABOUT ELECTION FINANCING LAWS! Oh no… noooooooo way Barbados politicians will even talk about Election Financing limitations and disclosure rules. You mek sport!

So our best wishes to Bahamas Member of Parliament Alfred Sears, and he shouldn’t worry that the Barbados politicians fooled him. Those lying bastards have been fooling Bajans for four decades and we keep believing them – so you can hardly blame Mr. Sears for believing them too.

Further Reading

The Bahama Journal: Outlaw Secret Contributions says MP

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

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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Champagne sipping Barbados Finance Minister pleads against “excessive discourse” about CLICO disaster

Minister Chris Sinckler cautions against a “frenzy”

Oh yes, Minister Sinckler, his friend Leroy Parris and all the other big ups who helped build the CLICO house of cards would love to see limits on public discussion about CLICO.

The Minister of Finance urged “all parties, including the media, not to try whipping up a frenzy”.

We’ve got news for Minister Sinckler: There’s a whole lot of people on this island and throughout the Caribbean who don’t trust Minister Sinckler or the DLP government. The DLP and senior Ministers (including the late Prime Minister Thompson) have an all too close and non-transparent relationship with CLICO, Leroy Parris and the rest of the people who took our money.

Minister Sinckler and the DLP government still have too close a relationship with Mr. Parris.

Here’s a photo (above) published in The Nation last week showing our Minister of Finance socializing with Leroy Parris. It looks like business as usual to us and just about everybody else who saw the photo.

Frankly Minister Sinckler, we’re not interested if you “just happened” to be standing next to Leroy when the photo was taken. It’s a small thing when compared to your party’s long history with Mr. Parris.

Tell us this, Minister Sinckler: How much money did the Democratic Labour Party receive from CLICO and associated companies and people over the years?

Is the DLP going to give that money back to the folks who lost everything?

Minister Sinckler, did the fact that Leroy Parris and CLICO supported the DLP have anything to do with the lack of government oversight about Clico? Did the fact that former Prime Minister David Thompson was CLICO’s lawyer for years and years influence the DLP government’s policies towards CLICO? Does the long term close relationship between CLICO, Parris, the DLP and David Thompson still have any influence on the DLP government?

Hello? Minister Sinckler? Hello? Continue reading

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Barbados has no rules about elections funding. Owen Arthur pretends Mia Mottley did something wrong.

“I don’t want to appear as though I am fighting with Miss Mottley,”

An internal Barbados Labour Party report by former party treasurer Tyrone Barker was leaked to The Nation newspaper, probably by Owen Arthur or one his supporters – but almost certainly with Arthur’s knowledge and approval. It seems that in January 2008 when Mia Mottley took over the party, there were half a million dollars leftover in a “special trust fund” that had been established for the election campaign.

As leader of the party, Mia Mottley used those funds as she saw fit which was to pay for her office and staff for almost three years and to use some of the money for political advertising. By the time that Owen Arthur wanted his party back and pulled the coup in October, 2010, the half a million dollars was down to $143,000. It looks like fundraising for the BLP didn’t go so well in bad economic times and after they got their butts handed to them in the election. I guess the BLP forgot how hard it is to get people to write cheques to the party when it’s not the government anymore and can’t hand out the biscuits like it used to!

So as leader, Mia Mottley used the election funds for salaries because it had to be done.

And like an old dog smelling a little blood coming from a younger opponent, Arthur thought he’d use the occasion to kick Mottley again just to make sure she doesn’t get any ideas of who’s the top dog ’bout this island. He’s in the paper telling the public that he wouldn’t criticize Mottley (No, of course not! LOL!) but that under his leadership of the BLP the fund had been managed by the trustees and always kept separate from the ordinary accounts of the party “for good reasons”.

No way that’s a criticism of Mottley. (Guffaw! Robert has beer running up he nose now!)

Owen Arthur is making like Mia Mottley misused the funds, but it’s not so. Every penny is accounted for, and what were she and the party to do?

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Now we get to the best part.

In chiding Mia over how she spent party funds, Owen Arthur would like the public to forget that when he was Prime Minister, someone gave a $75,000 political donation to the party that went directly into Arthur’s PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT. Those funds never made it to the party coffers until then Opposition Leader David Thompson waved the cheque around and told the story. Then Arthur said “oops” and that was the end of that.

Nothing ever came of Arthur outright misappropriating party funds because this is Barbados and we have no rules about election funding – so no rules were broken.

Our politicians take funds from Cuba, China, USA, Britain, Canada and anyplace else they can. When in power for 14 years, Owen Arthur, Mia Mottley and the BLP made sure there were no rules for politicians. They like it that way.

Now Arthur wants to claim Mottley violated… what rules?

ROTFLMBAO!

Here’s an article sent to us by “Mr. Anonymous”…

Owen Arthur’s hubris: There can be no Barbados without me!

About ten days after running the most disastrous campaign ever ran by any leader of the BLP in St. John, a bitter Owen Arthur who was rejected even by BLP supporter, is seeking to do damage control but succeeds only in destroying Grantley Adams’s party even further. In short, Owen Arthur is a national embarrassment and disgrace, who is obsessed with his public approval rating!  Time was when BLP members and supporters trusted Owen Arthur and his judgment but it is clear that a lot has changed since 2008 and he only has himself to blame. Continue reading

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Clico On Life Support – Will Barbados Prime Minister Thompson Favour His Patron Leroy Parris, Or The People Of Barbados?

barbados_puppeteer.jpg

Corporate Beggar CLICO Says It Is Payback Time For All The Free BizJet Rides!

The government of Trinidad & Tobago is refusing to say how much money it is giving to bail out the CL Financial Group and CLICO, but the estimated liabilities amount to US$16 Billion dollars.

Yes, BILLION with a “B”.

Prime Minister David Thompson of Barbados has yet to make a statement about CLICO’s narrowly averted bankruptcy, but soon (and probably already secretly done) his longtime friend, client and patron Leroy Parris will come asking for addtional concessions from Barbados. That means that CLICO and associated companies will be asking the Prime Minister to give your tax money to a company that has an estimated 100 billion dollars in assets, but has run out of cash.

What Happened To CLICO?

What has happened to CLICO is actually very simple. Let’s say that you bought a number of houses over the years and have rented them out. The rent money comes in and with that cashflow you maintain the houses, pay taxes on them and even buy more houses so at the end of a few decades you own many houses and are very rich.

But then the rent money stops and now you can’t maintain the costs to keep all your houses.

You are in trouble because the people you owe money to are at the doors and you have no money. If you don’t come up with the money, your creditors will petition you into bankruptcy and sell off all your houses at firesale prices.

If you were smart enough to plan for a downturn and not too greedy, you could have sold off a few of your houses beforehand to generate the cash needed to keep the others going, but you didn’t. So now you have to go begging to friends and relatives for help so that you don’t lose all your houses and other assets.

And that, my friends, is exactly what has happened to the CLICO, CL Financial family of companies.

“Here Is A Ten Dollar Gift For You – Now, Can I Borrow A Hundred Million Dollars?”

A few days before the CLICO crisis was announced, newspaper accounts say that CLICO “gave” land for a daycare centre and a school to Barbados – although the Nation article is ambiguous about whether CLICO is giving the land and doing the construction too. Pardon us for being a bit cynical if we point out that this “gift to the people” came only two days before Parrish and company announced that they were the recipients of taxpayer bailouts and guarantees that probably total hundreds of millions if not more.

How much will Barbadian taxpayers eventually be on the hook for? Good luck finding out the truth because the amount of taxpayer money and concessions being given by Trinidad, Barbados and other countries is being kept secret from the taxpayers.

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

CLICO Connection Harming Graeme Hall National Park

According to more than a few of our sources, CLICO owns about 10 acres of land in the middle of the proposed Graeme Hall National Park. Our sources also say that the government’s refusal to declare a national park at Graeme Hall is partially about pressure from Leroy Parris and CLICO who have big plans to develop the land in the Graeme Hall watershed.

OK, Prime Minister Thompson, here is where you have to choose between your friendship with Mr. Parris and your duty to the people of Barbados.

If CLICO wants our taxpayer dollars either directly or in the form of concessions, then part of the deal should include turning over the ten acres at Graeme Hall for a national park.

Your choice, Mr. Prime Minister…

Who will you favour? Leroy Parris and CLICO building condos in the Graeme Hall watershed… or saving the area for the long term good of future generations?

Your choice, Prime Minister Thompson – and all the people are watching.

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

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

So-Called "Clean-Up" By Shell Oil In Barbados

Fifteen Years Of Shell Pollution + Fifteen Years Of Shell Campaign Donations = Environmental Rape

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?

shell-oil-pollution.gifFor the last fifteen years, since 1994,  Shell Oil has been avoiding responsibility for a pipeline leak that spilled at least a half a million gallons of jet fuel into the water table. This jet fuel has not gone away and even last year water wells within a few hundred feet of a beach were still filled with almost pure kerosene jet fuel. Shell Oil’s response has been to offer Barbados farmers less than one hour of Shell’s profits. Barbados farmers were offered US$2 million in total to be spread among the victims. Shell makes approximately US$3 million per hour.

Both the BLP Government of Owen Arthur and Mia Motley and the current DLP government of David Thompson have failed to hold Shell Oil accountable. Besides the farmers who lost the use and value of their lands, there has been vast amounts of damage to Barbados as a country and our beaches are still at risk from the pipeline spill. But neither the DLP nor the BLP governments implemented any laws that would penalise polluters and make them pay to clean up their mess.

Neither the DLP nor the BLP government even passed a simple law compelling pipeline owners to make daily measurements and to report any leakage to the government!

Think about that, friends. In the 15 years since half a million gallons of jet fuel polluted wells and agricultural land on the south coast because the criminals at Shell Oil didn’t even realise the leakage was happening, your useless do-nothing governments haven’t even been able to pass a law requiring Shell Oil to monitor for leaks daily and to report leaks to the government.

How Much Money Did Shell Oil Contribute To Barbados Political Parties In The Last 15 Years?

bribery.jpgOne of the features of our so-called “democracy” is that Barbados has no laws regulating how much money corporations and individuals can contribute to “election campaigns”. We have no laws requiring public disclosure of large amounts of cash. And even when our former Prime Minister Owen Arthur was caught red-handed depositing so-called “election donations” into his personal bank account, David Thompson did not have the courage and integrity to prosecute him. This is because Thompson and his DLP party regularly engage in similar unethical activities with election funds and they don’t want to start that kind of a war with the BLP. Much too dangerous.

Prime Minister Thompson, we citizens want to know how much money the DLP received from Shell Oil or any of its associated companies or persons in the last 15 years. Opposition Leader Mia Motley, we citizens want to know how much money the BLP received from Shell Oil or any of its associated companies or persons in the last 15 years.

For 15 years our governments have allowed Shell oil to get away with environmental rape of our land, our water and our beaches. Is it any wonder that the majority of citizens have so little faith in our elected and appointed government officials?

Further Reading

BFP – Jan 5, 2008 – Shell Oil and the Barbados BLP Government – Together, THIS Is What They Achieved…

BFP – Feb 6, 2007 – Shell 2006 Profits: US$2.9 Million Dollars PER HOUR! – Offers Barbados Farmers Less Than One Hour’s Profits For A Decade Of Pollution And A Deadly Future

BFP – Aug 23, 2006 – Shell Barbados Pipeline Leaks Still Not Cleaned Up

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