Friday, March 13, 2009

Declan Ganley and Libertas fail to answer Irish official body over their funding for Lisbon. SIPO report released

The Irish statutory body that oversees election funding has found that Libertas did not comply with requests for information on the funding of their campaign in Ireland against the Lisbon Treaty. Scandal plagued Ganley and Libertas failed to provide the information required under Irish law. This evasion sheds light on Libertas and Ganley's complete hypocrisy when they demand transparency of others while they will not comply with the laws covering transparency in funding political campaigns.

How can Ganley continue his charade of "politics". His soundbites are all well and good, but he has no record of being democratic or transparent. Indeed the reality of Libertas and ganley proves his complete diregard for his own catch phrases. He is the self appointed leader of a private political party. He is appointing employees to run as candidates. He will not comply withIrish law as regards declarations re funding, he refuses to clarify the truth behind his Anglo Adriatic Investment Fund and his invovlment in the Iraq war. Ganley's Tigris Staffing firm operated in Bagdhad in the months after the 2003 invasion, Ganley has just appointed the man who led that invasion Gen ricahrad Myers to the board of Rivada Networks.. He was also collaborating with Ted Stevens the disgraced Alaksan senator who helped ganley get sweetheart deals from the US military..

As SIPO note the fact that Ganley's Rivada networks defence contracting firm actually employed Libertas staff while they ran Libertas in 2007 and 2008 has not been explained to the office. these staff included David Cochrane owner of the site which is a highly popular political chat room moderated by Libertas staff. Ganley also has links to the former UKIP site British democracy forum in the UK. This use of political chatrooms in the run up to their launch has enabled Libertas to test the pulse and attempt to head off the concerns widely expressed about Ganley, his character and his unexplained claimed fortune.
Libertas have as yet not issued policies and according to one source they have postponed launching policies until even later than the promised 25 March.

The Standards Commission wrote to four of the registered third parties
regarding the provision of loans - Libertas, CÓIR, Campaign Against EU
Constitution and Irish Alliance for Europe. These groups were selected on
the basis that they intended to incur expenditure of €10,000 or above at the
referendum. The Irish Alliance for Europe, CÓIR and Campaign Against EU
Constitution informed the Standards Commission that they had not received any
loans to finance their referendum campaigns. Libertas had already informed the
Standards Commission of a loan provided by Mr Declan Ganley. The letter to
Libertas asked whether other loans had been provided to fund the referendum
campaign. At the time of writing this report, and despite a number of written
and telephone reminders to Libertas, it has failed to provide the required
information to the Standards Commission.

Further correspondence
with Libertas
The "responsible person" of Libertas, Mr Naoise Nunn informed
the Standards Commission on 30 September 2008 that he had resigned from Libertas
with effect from 19 September 2008. In addition to furnishing a
Certificate and bank statement in respect of the third party's political
donations account, the responsible person must also ensure that any prohibited
donations which might be received by the third party are returned to the donor
or remitted to the Standards Commission. The Standards Commission wrote,
therefore, to Libertas requesting it to provide details of the person who had
replaced Mr Nunn as responsible person for Libertas. At the time of
writing this report, Libertas has not provided this information to the Standards

Referendum campaign funding by Libertas
media reports, the Standards Commission decided to make certain enquiries with
Libertas in order to ensure that it complied with its obligations under the Act
regarding the opening and maintenance of a political donations account and the
non-acceptance of prohibited donations. In that regard the Standards
Commission made the following enquiries with

a) Employees of Rivada
Networks Ltd
It was suggested that persons employed by Rivada may have been
paid by that company while working for Libertas on its referendum
campaign. If this was the case it could be regarded as a donation to
Libertas from Rivada. If the total value of the services provided exceeded
€6,348.69 in any year, Libertas would be required to refund the excess donation
to Rivada.

Libertas confirmed that Rivada employees "who worked on
the Libertas project did so in their spare time and on a voluntary

On 11 September 2008 the Standards Commission asked
Libertas to provide further details of the employees who worked on the
referendum campaign. At the time of writing this report, Libertas has not
provided this information to the Standards

b) Use of "The Lisbon
Treaty: the Readable
The Standards
Commission was aware that Libertas had distributed a book - "The Lisbon Treaty:
the Readable Version" - as part of its referendum campaign. It was
reported that the book "sells for €20" and that 35,000 copies of the book had
been given to Libertas by another organisation, the Foundation for European
Democracy. A donation is defined in the Act as a contribution given for
political purposes. This includes the free or below cost provision of
goods, property or services. If the books were given for the purpose of
assisting Libertas in its referendum campaign and if the total value of the
books provided to Libertas exceeded €6,348.69 in any year, Libertas would be
required to refund the excess donation to the Foundation for European
Democracy. The Standards Commission requested Libertas to clarify the
position with regard to the use of these books, whether they were provided free
or below commercial cost, and querying why the provision of these books should
not be regarded as a donation to

On 13
August 2008 Libertas confirmed that it had received a number of copies of this
book from "the EU Democrats". Libertas stated that the books did not
contain any political messaging and that they were distributed free of
charge. The Standards Commission considered that this response was not
entirely relevant in determining whether provision of the books constituted a
donation to Libertas. The Standards Commission wrote again to Libertas
advising it that if the books were provided free of charge (where a charge
normally applies) and were given for the purposes of seeking to influence the
outcome of the referendum it would be regarded as a donation to Libertas.
Libertas was asked for its further comments as to why the provision of these
books should not be regarded as a donation. At the time of writing this report,
Libertas has still not provided any further comments on this matter to the
Standards Commission.

read full report here
Loans provided to Libertas

The Standards Commission's position on the issuing and repayment of loans is set
out in Part 4 of its guidelines for political parties (published in December
2006). The same position applies to loans to third parties. The
guidelines state that where an individual or body, who or which is not a
financial institution, gives a loan to a person who is covered by the Act, it
must be evident that the loan offered is a bona fide loan and that the interest
chargeable on the loan reflects interest charged by financial institutions on
loans of similar amount and duration. The Standards Commission wrote to
Libertas on 19 June 2008 requesting details of any loans provided to it from a
financial institution or other person for the purposes of funding its referendum

Ganley replied on 13 August 2008 confirming that Libertas had received a
personal loan from him "in respect of which a detailed legal agreement and
repayment plan in accordance with commercial lending norms" had been
agreed. In its guidelines for political parties the Standards Commission
advises that it may require sight of the terms and conditions, including the
interest charge, applying to a loan provided by a person who or which is not a
financial institution. The Standards Commission wrote to Mr Ganley on 22
August and requested a copy of the legal agreement and repayment plan for the
loan made to

In spite
of subsequent correspondence with Mr Ganley and his legal representatives, the
information requested by the Standards Commission has not been provided by
Libertas at the time of writing this report.

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