Kevin Rudd's greatest hits! Government advertising campaigns are a sick cancer on our system. I won't let it happen, I'll resign over the issue, you have my 100% guarantee on that.
Remember abstemious protector of the people's money Kevin. The fiscal conservative, Presbyterian Kev. This was Kev in The Age in May 2007.
Political ads an abuse: Rudd
SAYING he is disgusted at the Howard Government's use of taxpayer money to pay for big advertising campaigns, Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has promised to introduce new laws to stop political abuse of public money.
Mr Rudd said the Howard Government had spent a total of $1.7 billion in taxpayers' funds over the past 10 years to pay for Government ads.
"Make no mistake, the purpose of these advertisements was to re-elect the Howard Government," Mr Rudd said yesterday.
"Governments are entrusted to spend taxpayers' money to provide essential services — not to use them as a re-election war chest."
With the Howard Government planning a new wave of TV ads, including a second campaign on its unpopular workplace laws, Mr Rudd said Labor would impose strict new conditions on government ads if elected.
For any campaign costing more than $250,000, the Government would submit its ads to the Commonwealth Auditor-General for vetting.
The Auditor-General would "independently apply criteria which limit public advertising to essential requirements for public information", according to Mr Rudd.
Labor would publish details of these criteria before the election, expected in November.
Further, Mr Rudd said he would seek to apply these constraints to state governments as well. State Labor governments, and former federal Labor governments, stand accused of abusing funds in the same way.
Mr Rudd signalled a break with past practice: "The abuse of taxpayer funds for activities like government advertising undermines basic principles of democracy."
KEVIN RUDD (October, 2007): I believe this is a sick cancer within our system. It's a cancer on democracy.
SABRA LANE: And he said if he became the Prime Minister, he'd put his job on line, saying he'd ensure the auditor general had the power to scrutinise government ad campaigns worth more than a quarter of a million dollars before they were aired, to check their veracity, and make sure they weren't straight political ads.
KEVIN RUDD (November 2007): I can guarantee that we will have a process in place, run by the auditor general.
REPORTER: Would you resign if you didn't deliver that within say the first term?
KEVIN RUDD: In terms of establishing the office of the auditor general with clear cut guidelines to whom every television campaign is submitted for approval before that television campaign is implemented, you have my absolute 100 per cent guarantee that that will occur; 100 per cent guarantee and each one of you here can hold me accountable for that.
Rudd backflips on political advertising
The Federal Government has ignored advice from one of the nation's top public servants and backed away from a 2007 election promise on political advertising.
Before the last election, then-opposition leader Kevin Rudd hit out at what he said was politically motivated Howard government advertising.
"I believe this is a sick cancer within our system," he said.
Mr Rudd kept his promise and had the Auditor-General scrutinise all government advertising campaigns over $250,000.
But less than two years since it was enacted, there has been a backflip and the Audit Office has lost that role.
And thank God for the backflip, otherwise the cinematographic record of human artistic endeavour would have been denied those beautiful powerpoint ads that Kevin's government made. I can't find any of them at youtube now, but as it happened, the Government didn't need to have their own ads, they had Paul Howes and the AWU to help demonise Twiggy et al.