Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Libertas, Declan Ganley and transparency

When Libertas say they are the party of transparency what do they really mean?
Here is an example of Libertas founder Declan Ganley's transparency when he was confronted with questions about funding for the Lisbon referendum in Ireland.

On 11 June 2008 the Irish Independent reported that Ganley had " reacted angrily yesterday to questions about the financing of his Libertas group."
He went on , no doubt angrily. that he had only spent €6,500 personally on the campaign and that he remainder of Libertas' (alleged) €1.3m budget coming from donations. Furthermore he asserted that it was untrue to say he had invested this money. Ganley in fact said:

This is the thing, it's untrue to say I have invested this money. We're getting donations in every day from business, from taxi drivers, from all sorts of people

By 19 September 2008 Ganley told the Irish Times that he had in fact made a least one loan of 200,000 Euro to Libertas and his employees say that this was a a commercial rate of interest. He also admitted that other people had also provided loans This claim was made in order to assert that Libertas had acted within Irish law when Ganley funded huge amounts of their anti Lisbon campaign. However the fact that in June he said that all the money bar his own donation of 6,500 came from donations was false. The fact that he admitted his own huge loan and other loans in September means that his "angry" statements were pure bluster and were NOT transparent.

Whereas it may be argued that such carry on is typical in politics there is no way to argue that his "angry" June statements prior to the election were transparent or truthful.

Ganley today backed down from a legal challenge he had brought against the Village magazine .
The article included the following quotation about Mr. Ganley " “He’s a liar, a self-mythologiser, a snake-oil salesman”"

Whatever the case may be about his sales of snake oil to the Irish it is abundantly clear that he deliberately misled the Irish electorate with his "angry" statements to The Irish Independent last June just days before the Lisbon referendum.

Irish voters will have the opportunity to cast their vote on Mr. Ganley in on June 5.
If in doubt keep him out and vote for any other candidate except a Libertas candidate.


Libertas founder says he only donated €6,500 to group

By Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

Wednesday June 11 2008

ANTI-treaty campaigner Declan Ganley reacted angrily yesterday to questions about the financing of his Libertas group.

He said he had personally spent just under €6,500 -- the maximum personal donation allowable -- with the remainder of Libertas' €1.3m budget coming from donations from the public.

"This is the thing, it's untrue to say I have invested this money. We're getting donations in every day from business, from taxi drivers, from all sorts of people," he said.

In his final news conference in Dublin, he said the 'Yes' side was finding it very uncomfortable to see the people of Ireland rising up and saying 'No' to a treaty that was "clearly a bad deal for the people of Ireland and for all of the people of Europe".

"These people (the Libertas volunteers) are here of their own free will, they're not being paid, they're out there and we've got hundreds of people across this country campaigning for a 'No' vote because it's in the interest of our country and of all the citizens.

Mr Ganley then said: "Thank you" to reporters and walked off abruptly to the black-coloured 'Vote No to Lisbon' bus parked on Merrion Square.

His group's €1.3m budget is greater than the combined budgets of all the major political parties. Fianna Fail is spending €600,000, Fine Gael is spending €500,000 and Labour is spending about €200,000.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen attacked Libertas yesterday, saying the group was spending more money than all the political parties put together "and nobody knows where their money comes from".

Fine Gael European Affairs spokeswoman Lucinda Creighton called on the group to "come clean" on the source of its funding.

"It is extremely disturbing that a group that is outspending Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Labour put together will not disclose the sources of its funding," she said.

Mr Ganley said his group would provide full disclosure of its donations in accordance with the rules of the Standards in Public Office commission.

He accused the 'Yes' side of trying to bully potential 'No' voters -- trying to scare them. into changing their mind.

"Look at the French Foreign Minister (Bernard Kouchner) saying the first victims of a 'No' vote would be the Irish," he said.

- Michael Brennan Political Correspondent

Ganley says he gave €200,000 loan to Libertas


THE FOUNDER of Libertas, business man Declan Ganley, says he gave a personal loan of €200,000 to help fund its campaign against the Lisbon Treaty.

Speaking to The Irish Times Mr Ganley said the organisation's spend on the campaign was "about €800,000". He said a number of people provided loans but he did not have a total figure for the amount lent. The money that did not come from loans came from donations from Irish people and companies, he said. "All of the money was raised in Ireland."

On Today FM's The Last Word Mr Ganley said: "The first loan that I gave was in the region of about €200,000." He later said this was the only loan.

During the Lisbon campaign the communications director for Libertas John McGuirk indicated it had a budget of €1.3 million. The law limits the amount an individual donor can give to a group such as Libertas in any one year to € 6,348.69. However, loans can be made as long as they are "bona fide", according to the Standards in Public Office Commission.

The Libertas website currently invites people to make donations, whether over the internet, by electronic transfer to its account in Tuam, Co Galway, or by cheque.

The leader of Fine Gael, Enda Kenny, and a spokesman for Minister for the Environment John Gormley, both said yesterday that the law on political fund-raising might have to be changed to increase transparency.

Asked yesterday if Libertas intended becoming involved in politics, Mr Ganley said that depended on whether Brussels and the Irish Government "respect the referendum result, the democratically expressed will of the people".

Speaking on RTÉ radio's News At One yesterday Mr Ganley said there was a need for "fresh blood" in Irish politics. "There is a need to grip the reins and take control of this mess that people like Dick Roche have got us into. Something needs to be done," he said. He was responding to Mr Roche who called Mr Ganley a "grade A hypocrite". Mr Roche said Mr Ganley had been saying there was a lack of transparency in Europe but his company, Rivada Networks, had secured substantial US government contracts using arrangements instituted to assist tribal corporations in Alaska. "I think anyone who reads into the arrangement of these contracts would see that they are quite bizarre."

Mr Ganley said if people like Mr Roche "had properly nurtured entrepreneurship instead of a stamp duty collecting, property inflating, bubble producing, economic process, we wouldn't find ourselves in the situation economically we are in now."

Mr Ganley is chief executive of a US company called Rivada Networks, which has a joint venture with an Alaskan native corporation, Nana Pacific. The joint venture, Rivada Pacific, has secured communications contracts worth $37 million in recent years from the US military, according to the website, www.fedspending.org. It's largest customer is the US Northern Command. Because of the involvement of the native Alaskan corporation, the joint venture is not subject to US procurement rules that would otherwise apply.

Mr Ganley told The Irish Times last night that Rivada didn't decide how the US authorities ran their tenders and he would not apologise to Mr Roche for his firm winning communications contracts.

"This has nothing to do with my business . . . Mr Roche won't abide by the will of the people . . . to say no to the Lisbon treaty. . ." he said.

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