When the PM got ugly the voters got moving
New Zealand's corrupt socialist Prime Minister Helen Clark had a problem. She was caught red-handed illegally using up to $800,000 in taxpayer funds to finance her desparate election campaign. She had a comfortable lead in the polls until the opposition National Party elected political newcomer Don Brash as leader. And then it was tight from that moment on. Clark made all the deals with the devil that she needed to bringing a religious-right party and a anti-immigrant, anti-gay party into her coalition to secure another term --- just barely. She ignored open corruption among her own ranks because if she didn't she'd lose her ability to govern. Anything for power.
When Brash started making noise about the illegal $800,000 in campaign spending the PM went into full dishonesty mode. She claimed she didn't know it was illegal even though she was warned by the official who overlooks such issues that it was. She tried to retroactively change the law legalising her crime after the fact. And she told everyone that the auditor of such matters endorsed her move. He announced he never said any such thing. The heat in parliament got turned up.
So Clark and her Labour minions started trying to smear Don Brash by spreading stories about his marriage. They whispered to the press but got nowhere. They shouted out innuendos in the house while Clark sat there smirking and laughing about them. And they forced Brash to take several days off to spend with his wife to save his marriage from the rumours. And when it started to backlash on Labour Clark denounced her Ministers for spreading the story claiming, falsely, that she never approved of it. She laughed and smiled when it happened and she is a dictatorial type who lets nothing be done without her orders.
And then showing real chutzpah she attacked Brash for supposedly "smearing" her. She tried to claim she was the victim because it was said she was corrupt for the illegal use of the $800,000. In fact New Zealand law says that the use of the funds in the way she used them is a "corrupt practice". And while whining on television that she was the victim of a smear and that personal attacks are not right she launched one of the most vitriolic personal attacks ever seen in Kiwi history. All in the hopes of diverting attention from the $800,000 which she says she will never pay back.
And what did it get her? Before the attacks Labour had support from 43% of the voters and National had the support of 45%. After her smear campaign support for Labour dropped to 38% and support for National rose to 49%. The percentage of the public who approved of the government dropped by six points while disapproval rose by 8 points.
The anything for power problem is so deep she even forged her campaign photos. Not only were they retouched but she had someone else's teeth inserted. The real Helen is on the far left and the fake one is to the right.