Libs misfire with retiree attack ad
The Liberals have been caught red-handed using one of their own spin doctors in an attack ad on Labor’s policy to end cash refunds for franking credits.
The ad stars ‘Jim’ who poses as an ordinary voter worried about Labor’s plan. But The Age reports that the man in the advertisement is Jim Bonner, a devoted servant of the Liberal Party for over 40 years.
Mr Bonner's history with the Liberal Party stretches back to his stint as a press secretary for prime minister Malcolm Fraser in the early 1980s. He went on to hold senior positions with the ABC before returning to Liberal ranks, eventually becoming South Australia state director of the party from 1998 to 2001.
His other roles have included press secretary for South Australian premier Dean Brown and federal defence minister Ian McLachlan in the 1990s, media liaison for multiple federal Coalition election campaigns and, recently, as a staffer for Liberal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham.
The Liberals are continuing to be hurt by their attacks on Labor’s policy after it was recently revealed that a lobby group posing as a grassroots organisation campaigning against the policy was actually a network of professional lobbyists involved with the Liberal Party.
Liberal MP Tim Wilson has also faced criticism for holding tax-payer funded inquiries into the policy that do not follow parliamentary rules.