Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Posted: May 31, 2012 in HSU Saga, Politics

Over the past couple weeks, we have learned a lot about the HSU, Kathy Jackson, Michael Lawler, and seen the type of behaviour and carry on, that we now know we can expect from the Coalition front bench more often.

Unfortunately, what we may have to look forward to as yet, however, is learning about Craig Thomson’s prowess, care of some hooker that A Current Affair has dredged up out of a gutter. A hooker that remembers him from 7 years, and umpteen hundred customers ago. If she is so certain of his face, we will wait and see how her memory stacks up with Craig’s rumored tattoo.

One of the things that I haven’t delved into too much, is the evidence provided by Fairfax regarding the pictured credit card, the transaction slip, the driver’s license, and the sample signature.

Let’s start with the driver’s license. Many people have sent me messages etc querying the license, saying that the picture doesn’t look like Craig. I agree, the picture does have a “not quite right” look to it. However, I hate to disappoint, but it appears the license is legitimate. Craig Thomson has told me directly that he did provide his license during his court case with Fairfax. He had nothing at all to hide, and wanted to be completely transparent, so he volunteered his license in good faith.

Signatures, can alter somewhat each time, and I am not a signature expert. I can assure you my signature differs most times I scrawl it on something. Therefore I think we should not try to claim that there were forged signatures used, as it is too hard to prove either way.

Sorry to all those conspiracy theorist’s out there….

What I do find interesting however, are the handwritten numbers at the top of the credit card slip. On the right hand side is of course the date. However, it is the numbers in the centre that interest me.

Those who have ever used the old clunky credit card receipt thingies, may remember that for larger dollar transactions (usually over $50), the vendor would call the bank and receive a 6 digit authorisation code, that is what the 6 squares on the slip are for. For a transaction the size of the one Thomson is alleged to have made, a authorisation code would have been required, otherwise there may have been no charge.I don’t believe that brothels are the charitable types when it comes to free service… however I am not speaking from experience.

An Old Clunky Credit Card receipt Thingy (technical term)

It is strange then that instead of a 6 digit number, there is a 3 digit number there instead, 211. We thought this may be something to look into. So we did, via the merchant services departments of some of Australia’s major banks.

The 211, is actually a rejection code. Looking at the codes via this web-link, it is quite clear that this transaction for some reason has a rejection code written on it. This is also odd, because if a transaction was rejected, normally the slip would just have been thrown in the bin, not filed and saved. To me this throws a cloud of doubt over the evidence provided by Fairfax, as it all hinges on the authenticity of that slip. The slip with no authorisation code, a rejection code written on it, and a misspelt surname.

Also, it is important to note that there has been an update since our previous article, that we would like to make you aware of in the interests of full disclosure.

In our previous article we made mention of a 2010 Auditors report of the HSU No. 3 branch that stated that Kathy Jackson received a payment of $522,570. I have today contacted the Director of the auditors report, and the Partner who signed off on the report, John Agostinelli in response to an email.

John confirmed the amount was in fact correct, however the wording was not, and should have read that the figure was in fact the total to all employee’s INCLUDING Katherine Jackson.

This makes a considerable difference, her bonus was in fact just over $74,000 according to John. He also stated that there was no updated Auditors report released, and apologised for any misunderstanding as a result of their clerical error.

Still, $522,570, is rather a lot to be paying out as staff bonuses. It is about a third of the membership fee’s taken that year. Whose decision was it to pay out this obscenely excessive amount as bonuses?

I can’t help but wonder how the workers, including some of the lowest wage earners in the country feel about paying for such excessive bonuses.

It is also  worth remembering that Kathy accepted this bonus at the same time, as she stated on the ABC’s 7 30, that she wanted a $100,000 pay cut. This does not make a lot of sense, also considering she also had her hand out for a $63,000 honorarium payment. It certainly fails the Wixxy Smell Test….

It is also interesting to note that none of our other findings have been challenged, or denied in any way.

But another thing I wanted to do in this post, was pass on a big thanks to someone special, Kathy Jackson herself.

Some of you may find that surprising, but allow me to explain.

Yesterday Kathy was kind enough to pay both myself, and Independent Australia a huge compliment. Kathy accused us of mounting a successful smear campaign against her.

Now before I point out the flaws in her accusation, I would just like to thank Kathy for considering us in the “big league” of smear campaigns. I mean for somebody who has been the front person for the last few years in the campaign to smear Craig Thomson,as Kathy has, to consider me as being in her league is quite an honor.

Me, run a smear campaign?

Whilst nobody, including Jackson, has denied, disputed, or rejected any of our findings, the best she can do is label it as smear.

If this is a “Smear Campaign” as Jackson claims, then some things don’t make sense. Smear, in my humble opinion, would be using opinion, as some kind of flimsy evidence, and making false accusations, based on not much more than a hunch.

I could have gone down that route, but chose not to. Instead, I have repeatedly stated that I am not declaring Jackson’s, or anybody else’s, guilt or innocence. I might add here, that this is a statement that Jackson, and certainly Coalition members cannot make.

I am just here to ask questions, questions I feel I am entitled to ask. Judging from the amount of correspondence received by both myself and Independent Australia, there are a great number of people who seek answers to these same questions.

Contrary to being raised by smear, these questions have been raised by evidence. Evidence of transactions, payments, and decisions made by Jackson and Lawler.

Am I to believe that if Jackson truly thinks I am out to smear her, that she believes I have been part of a grand conspiracy that goes back over a decade?

If using her decisions is part of my smear campaign, would that mean I had to have played some sort of sinister part in her making those decisions?

Given that this seems to be her defense currently, I thought it best I give some alibi’s and categorically deny any participation in events, or in any decision-making process that led to these alleged events or actions.

In the late 1990’s I was, in fact, backpacking around the UK and Europe, as the Dept Of Immigration will verify if needed.

Being in Europe, I was in no way responsible for, or had any influence in Kathy’s decision to set up companies such as Koukouvaos Consulting, or Neranto No.10, and then invoice HSU branches for “consultation services” she performed whilst also collecting a wage from the HSU.

Furthermore, I had no connection whatsoever in Kathy’s decision to marry Jeff Jackson, or for Jeff’s alleged decision to visit a brothel and charge it to the Unions credit card.

I can claim no influence on Kathy’s hazy memory when it comes to recalling her ex-husbands apparent use of a brothel and a union credit card. Neither can I claim any part of her shady memory on conversations, such as the heated argument with Craig Thomson, where although Craig and Marco Bellano differ on the details, both have a vivid memory of. Kathy on the other hand, denies the conversation took place.

Although I have attempted in the past to act as a match maker, once successfully I might add, I had no part in matching Kathy with anybody, as I did not know who she was at the time. This means, I had no part in Kathy Jackson becoming the partner of Michael Lawler, Vice President of Fair Work Australia.

I’m not 100% about where I was at this time, but I do recall reading a book about a love triangle, I think it was call Howard’s End, although I’m not positive. It was about a sordid and disturbing love affair, I’m not sure of all the details but I believe the main characters were named John, Janet, and Pru. Dull characters, but it was an interesting story….

I also played no part in Fair Work Australia’s decision not to investigate the HSU Branch that Michael’s partner, and the Coalitions favorite whistle-blower, was secretary of.

I did not request that Kathy Jackson personally collate, organise, and deliver the documentation to the FWA investigator. I also, played no part in Kathy losing some of those documents along the way, many of them crucial.

On this note though, I can confirm that I will not be writing her a reference, or be recommending her for a job as a courier.

I reject any allegation that I in any way encouraged Kathy to claim honorarium payments, Key Management Compensation, huge travel and postage costs, or make payments to child care centre’s she uses, disguised as staff benefits, and staff uniforms where uniforms are not worn.

I can also state, that as much as I would like to have some influence in the Liberal Party, I do not.

Given this fact, I denounce any suggestion that I had anything to do with the providing of free legal services to Jackson by any Lawyer providing free services to James Ashby (when he’s not out on the town with Christopher Pyne). Nor for that matter am I a member of the Liberal think tank HR Nicholls Society, with Peter Reith, where Tony Abbott, Peter Costello, Eric Abetz and many others often contribute, therefore I could have in no way influenced Stuart Woods to also provide free legal services.

In fact, I will go so far as to say, I have not met any of the players in this saga, let alone influenced anything.

At the time those decisions were made, I was attending a rally that calling for equality in marriage, and hoping to have same-sex marriage made legal in Australia. I went to the rally alone, but I did see Tony Abbott’s sister there cheering and chanting with the rest of us, so maybe she can vouch for me…

If publishing facts and asking questions is a smear campaign, then I am guilty as charged.

All I am is a source of information really. Kathy Jackson has made the choice to try to attack the source, rather than dispute the facts. In my humble opinion, the more one attacks the source, the more one endorses the facts….

Who I am makes no difference at all, the facts speak for themselves. The facts don’t have any bias, the facts don’t lean in any direction, the facts don’t need a legal team, but the facts need to be known. That is where I have come in.

I should also add, I don’t know Michael Williamson, have never met him, or spoken to him, let alone conspired with him….

A smear campaign… really, is that your best shot??

Attacking me, or Independent Australia will not make these facts go away. In fact, it just leads to another question…

What are you trying to hide Ms Jackson?

Comments
  1. Marilyn says:

    It’s for an invalid code number for the credit card, which means the credit card is bogus.

    Thank you.

    But the signatures are utterly different.

  2. wrb330 says:

    What can I say.. lovely, well articulated and very relevant.

    Nice job Wixxy.

  3. Catching up says:

    Well it is Thursday afternoon and the PM is still there. They seem to have lost the smoking gun. It is Abbott that is run run running. Can he hide. The PM believes not.

    Mr Thomson has made a speech, talking up Medicare Locals on the coast. I assume, he is laughing at the cockatoos, are they galahs, that Abbott has posted, to protected him from that tainted vote.

  4. marcelles wallace says:

    Awesome Wixxy! Nothing beats reading a great report built on some solid and verifiable investigative work thrown together with a pinch of sarcasm and dry humour. It’s gold mate.

    Having said that, I’m left feeling empty. I can’t help but feel like I’m in one of those Hollywood “evil government guys team up with evil media guys to subvert the course of justice” type movies. When will the good media hero (or heroine) swing in on a rope and take the evidence direct to the editor of the only uncorrupted media outlet?. Once upon a time, this would have been a 4 Corners exclusive or even, heavens forbid, the lead report on 60 Minutes. Not even Andrew Crook at Crkiey can be bothered taking a second look at it. What’s going on here Main Stream Media? We wont laugh at you for getting it wrong (well, OK, maybe we will a little bit).

    Why has this story not grabbed a headline? It’s not as if it won’t sell papers.

    I guess we can only watch this space.

    Cheers
    Drinky

  5. When did KJ accuse you of smearing her?

    And I checked 7:30’s list of stories for tonight. Not your night again, it seems.

  6. debbiep says:

    I have always been told to view, question and listen to other sides of a story. In this case- to me -that is exactly just what YOU are doing.
    Because, after all, isn’t that what SHOULD be done?

  7. MarkH says:

    Just passing on some support for the effort you’ve gone to for the FACTS over these matter Peter. Great to read….you must know you’ve reached people when they start the ‘smear’s defense garbage too. 😀
    Thanks for the great reads.

  8. james m says:

    What a great job you’ve done with this story. It buggers imagination, as Drinky says, that the mainstream media is asleep at the wheel. It once again illustrates the great John Kenneth Galbraith’s observation: ‘Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.’
    Keep up the good work!

  9. Marilyn says:

    And ASIC is fining Andrew Lindberg just $100,000 for his part in the AWB scam to pay Saddam Hussein $300 million so let’s get some perspective on what the trolls think could happen to Thomson over nothing at all.

  10. Can I just add something else.

    The handwriting on the credit card imprint is in two different handwriting styles (colours as well).

    Specifically, the 2, 4 and 5 are all different.

    In other words, two different people have written on the credit card imprint.

    Why?

    Believe it or not, I sent a Fairfax “senior journalist” the information you’ve outlined, as well as the different handwriting pointing out the 2, 4 and 5 are all different.

    She wasn’t interested.

    Instead she referred me to go read the HSU report.

    Nice.

  11. Marilyn says:

    yes well the stupid Herald journo has to maintain the lies.

    the HSU report doesn’t actually say anything, she clearly couldn’t be any more bothered to read the reasoning behind the so-called findings than anyone else.

    But they all said there were no rules, he broke them.

    There are no penalties at all attached to the use of the credit cards and now they are just a bunch of hurt, whiney lying snakes.

    I noticed the numbers are different as well.

  12. Congratulations Peter on a well written piece. What I don’t understand is with all the investigations by State (NSW and Vic), Federal Police forces as well as FWA, the latter appearing to be already compromised, and the AEC, over such a longer than usual period of time, I would have thought that if he could be charged with anything at all, he would have been.

  13. joe carli. says:

    I notice the No. 7 with the horizontal stroke ,on the docket, is of a style more often used by someone from southern Europe.

  14. sal says:

    Curiouser and curiouser…

  15. Marilyn says:

    Pyne has a letter in the AFR today claiming Thomson is charged with stealing $500,000 from the union, which is what happens when smart arsed dickheads like Tony
    Wright invent a big number and don’t read anything.

    Thomson has not been charged with anything and no-one claimed he stole anything.

    And Kathy Jackson fresh from dining with Pyne is demanding the HSU board all be sacked except her.

  16. Marilyn says:

    Thomson set to work unifying and rebranding the union, and, according to some who worked closely with him, he enjoyed considerable success. Certainly, the union became a more effective lobbying machine. But the internecine warfare continued.

    At the HSU’s head office in Victoria, Thomson shared office space with Jeff and Kathy Jackson, a pair who, though divorced, remained political allies, determined to seize and hold control of the powerful Victorian No. 1 branch for their right-wing faction.

    Thomson might have known he was heading into murky water. As far back as 1998 it had been reported that Jeff Jackson, the union’s national liaison officer, had accused the then secretary, left winger Jan Armstrong, of misusing union funds and financial mismanagement. She denied the allegations.

    In 2007, Thomson left the union and returned to NSW to contest and win the federal seat of Dobell on the state’s central coast. The following year the union’s power struggles became public.

    In November 2008, HSU president Pauline Feg

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/a-saga-years-in-the-making-20110826-1jehz.html#ixzz1wTibOZ4M

  17. deknarf says:

    Give em heaps Wixxy. Maybe 4 Corners will do an examination of all the evidence.

  18. 2353 says:

    Geez Wixxy, you’ll get a gig on TV at this rate. Greg Jerico did for writing a blog that pointed out some inconveinent truths durign the last Federal Election. Well done and keep up the good work.

  19. Eve says:

    Great article. Nice to see a person writing with reference to fact checking and posing difficult questions about what is presented as ‘truth’ in mainstream media. There certainly is enough fodder here for a telemovie, it has all the ingredients, intrigue, corruption, finger-pointing, romantic relationships and connections, certainly enough twists and turn for any thriller enthusiast.

    Having worked in the APS for a number of years it is naive to think that political pressures (as well as incompetencies, resources pressure) do not play a part in these outcomes. That does not mean that Thomson is not guilty of misleading Parliament or of fraud, the Courts should decide the latter, but there are certainly many gaps that need further investigation.

    Thanks for shining the light.

  20. billie says:

    Previous comments on the credit card voucher have said that the Driving License was used to verify ID as point of sale. The license expires in 2014 and I believe that NSW issues licenses for 1, 3, or 5 years. So the credit voucher montage published on the SMH front page was assembled after the event to impugn guilt – isn’t that defamation?

    • wixxy says:

      We looked into that. The license was provided by Craig at the trial for the purpose of signature verification, and in the spirit of transparency. The date on the license is not part of the evidence, as he volunteered the license years after the alleged event, hence the 2014 date.
      Well spotted though

  21. Savetherange says:

    3 degrees of separation to find some balance and logic. It was a fb friend’s link to a blogger who printed an article of yours that brought me here. The drivers license picture, the credit card slip name and numbers, ACA backdown, senior investigator of FWA on long leave and Thomson’s own contention that on three occasions he was supposed to have used the credit card in Sydney he can prove he was not in Sydney is quite a good list to balance the argument. Well done, I look forward to more truth and balance.

  22. Sue says:

    2353
    Please don’t wish for Wixxy to be absorbed into the ABC as happened to Greg Jericho.
    We once had an insightful blog particularly when Parliament is sitting, now we get an occasional piece on the Drum.
    Grog exposed the lack of political insight by the supposed Insiders. So sorry Wixxy but please don’t let the b@stards buy you out, your work is important.

    • Duncan says:

      Grog is writing a book, thats why he only posts once a week.

      • Sue says:

        Yes I know Grog is writing a book and great that he has the job with the ABC. But I still miss his observations on parliament.

  23. Sue says:

    Wixxy
    I have just read 8

    It is the best so far, Lawler’s sons!!!!!!!!

  24. debbiep says:

    If this doesnt get reported in the MSM ( eventho I feel it will , given time) you would have to conclude that this whole Thomson affair wasn’t about the rorting and miss use of funds from HSU. Or helping the members and workers being ripped off.
    Its was about bring Thomson down. So then you have to question why is that and what was the behind that reason?

  25. debbiep says:

    Correction;
    Its was about *bringing Thomson down.

  26. Oscar says:

    211 : Invalid card verification number.
    So we have an invalid credit card number in the name of a Craig ThomPson and yet not one, not one single hack including crikey or Kate McClymont has bothered to query this.

    Court cases crumble on facts like these.

  27. Marilyn says:

    Because Oscar McClymont can’t bear to be wrong. Note she has as a sympathetic piece today about Belinda Neale.

  28. Marilyn says:

    I wonder though how Kathy Jackson is enjoying having her lies publically exposed after her decades of abuse of her co-workers.

  29. Baraholka says:

    Wixxy,

    Has Thomson drawn attention to the rejection code on the slip and the misspelling of his surname on the Credit Card ?

    If not, why not?

    I understand the ALP is encouraging Thomson to not give interviews. Nevertheless the rejection code/wrong name are just the things to foster reasonable doubt.

    I would postulate that Thomson/ALP know that the general public have decided he is guilty and protestations of innocence will just annoy them. Hence better to shut up and minimize damage. Its probably better for the ALP to let the supposedly impartial Senate Committee point out these things rather than the compromised Thomson.

    I am far from convinced that Jackson was after Thomson because Thomson was supposedly cleaning up the Union. No, even Thomson says the accountability measures he introduced were minimal.

    So what is Jackson’s motive ? What threat did Thomson pose to Jackson ?

  30. kazann says:

    Read the article you refer to and a few of the comments by their readers. Interestingly what you know to be a validation of your investigation into the HSU and the FWA findings is seen by the Oz’s readers as a validation of their beliief that Julia’s baby the FWA dragged it’s feet on the Thompson investigation to protect the government. Their comments also seem to show the “most thinking Australilan’s” (don’t you just love that term) believe that FWA is solely a creation of Julia Gillard rather than the former Industrial Relation Comission stripped of the worst of WorkChoices.
    The Oz may be attempting to report on what is being said, but they certainly are not delving into why it needed to be said in the first place. Maybe they just put all their investigative budget into that other story that is now the subject of a court case.

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