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Whodunnit? Fake Phone Poll Pushing Voters in Marrickville

Marrickville Council supports the global BDS movement, and Mayor Fiona Byrne is standing for the Greens for the state legislature, promising to expand BDS against apartheid Israel there if she gains election. A phony push poll has been discovered aimed at undermining her campaign and BDS.

From the SMH:

Residents were asked questions such as “Did you know Fiona Byrne led a boycott against Israel on council recently?”

A council spokeswoman said no such survey had been commissioned and the calls were being investigated. If necessary, they would be referred to the Federal Police.

Cr Byrne said the calls were a clear case of “push polling”. “Push polling is a manipulative dirty trick, an old style political tactic and people are sick of it,” she said. “The Greens support is growing because we campaign positively on issues that matter to people.”

It is the second instance of alleged push polling in a seat held by a Labor minister. The Coalition accused Labor of push polling in John Robertson’s seat, Blacktown, in February after residents were phoned and asked about fake Liberal policies.

Marrickville resident Gavin Smith said he became suspicious when the interviewer repeatedly mispronounced the mayor’s surname and referred to the council as “Marrickville City Council”.

“I immediately said to the girl ‘Are you representing the Labor Party?’ and she said ‘No no it’s Marrickville City Council’,” he said.

Deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt, who holds the seat by a 7.5 per cent margin, denied the calls came from Labor.

“We have no knowledge of these phone calls and are not responsible for them,” she said.

One resident traced the call to a telephone research company called Australian Fieldwork Solutions. The company confirmed it was carrying out a survey in Marrickville but would not disclose who commissioned it or what the questions were.

From Crikey:

The Greens candidate for Marrickville is the local mayor Fiona Byrne. Last December, the Greens and Labor-dominated council voted 10-2 to cut links with organisations that support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. NSW Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt, the current MP for Marrickville, opposes the boycott?—?as does her husband Anthony Albanese, who represents the area at a federal level.

Byrne said: “This is absolutely and obviously push polling, but misrepresenting itself. I think that misrepresentation is quite insidious. It’s old-style political tactics and I think people are tired of it.”

She said the survey had misled voters by asking whether they would vote for her given she had “instigated” a boycott against Israel.

“I supported a motion that came to council. I as a councillor did not instigate a boycott,” she said.

And from the Australian, it’s reported that zionist groups have attempted a wedge in Marrickville “booking the local town hall for an AFL “peace team” made up of Israeli and Palestinian footballers.”

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies spokesman Peter Wertheim yesterday branded as “total hypocrisy” tonight’s anticipated decision by the Marrickville council to allow the reception for the team, which is visiting for the AFL World Cup in Melbourne in August, to proceed.

“While the proposal to host the AFL peace team is precisely the sort of project we encourage, it is total hypocrisy for a council that has a boycott in place to allow it to occur in their facility,” Mr Wertheim told The Australian.

Fiona Byrne addressed this shonky tactic clearly:

“There is no issue with a local group hiring a hall to host the AFL peace team. The global boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign has to do with council activities, not with what local community groups do when they hire a hall.”

The peace team is co-sponsored by the Peres Peace Centre in Jerusalem and the Al-Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue, a Palestinian non-government organisation.

The Aq-Quds Association for Democracy and Dialogue is partnered by the Peres Peace Centre, and helps the Israeli hasbara campaign to normalise the occupation and Israeli apartheid. Both organisations are members of the Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGOs Forum.

UPDATE

Now two push polls?

Fiona Byrne said two push-polls had been reported to her, including one poll which reportedly claims to be from Marrickville Council. Marrickville Council will follow up with Police to see if a crime has been committed by persons pretending to be from Council.

Crikey records the Liberal candidate’s confirmation of dirty poll calls and reiterates the two poll scenario :

Liberal candidate Rosana Tyler, who opposes Marrickville Council’s boycott, says members of her campaign team had received the call.

“The caller gave their name but not the organisation. They just said they were ringing from a Melbourne-based company. They did say they were ringing on behalf of Marrickville Council. The questions did seem to be manipulative.”

Tyler says the boycott issue is turning “ordinary” voters against the Greens: ”There is consternation in Marrickville that this council has just lost the plot.”

Greens spokesman Mark Riboldi says he believes two “push polls” canvassing the boycott issue have been running in the area. In the first, callers identify themselves as employees of polling firm Australian Fieldwork Solutions. He says this poll is “not illegal, but definitely dirty”. In the second, callers claim to be ringing on behalf of Marrickville Council.

St Peters resident Mel McCabe told Crikey she participated in the fake Marrickville Council survey last Friday evening.

“It’s made me angry,” she said. “I’m not aligned with anyone, but I’m really angry that I gave personal insights about my views to give fodder for someone to throw at Fiona. It didn’t sit well.”

She says she was asked whether she would be more or less likely to vote for Byrne given the mayor’s support for the boycott.

Petersham retiree Gavin Smith, a well-known local environmentalist, told Crikey he received a call last Tuesday purportedly on behalf of Marrickville City Council. He said the caller asked whether councils should be involved in foreign affairs.

Related Links

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Danby calls on O’Farrell to block Greens in Marrickville
Danby and Marrickville Preferences
ALP launches dirty tricks campaign
Burqas under your bed
Wacky petition: Reprimand Terrorist-Sympathisers at Marrickville Council
Muslim prayer group targeted
Fear, intolerance and a Muslim prayer group
Media Statement : Slander in Reporting on the Alma Road Community House Petition
Civil rights organisation slams anti-Islam group

Palestine / Israel Links

Call to Save the History, Culture and Heritage of Lifta Village
Former Israeli PM Olmert to be indicted on bribery charges
Models strut in rare West Bank fashion show
Students Against Israeli Apartheid at the University of Toronto and York University Launch Campus Divestment Campaign
Whitewashing Israeli apartheid with literary finesse
Holding the University of Toronto accountable
Why Palestinians will protest on 15 March
End the Division on 15 March: Demonstrate for Palestinian Solidarity
Unbelievable racism, hate-talk, from Prime Minister Sharon’s son
Israeli forces detain over 300 in Awarta
Israeli troops attack Palestinian worshippers at Aqsa Mosque
Please Send Letters of support for BDS at KPFT Houston to the Pacifica National Board
#BDS: Security Company G4S to ‘partially’ cut ties with Israeli Apartheid
#BDS: Palestinians, Israelis, Allies Oppose Exploitation of LGBT Rights at Berlin’s International Tourism Fair
Foreign Office extremely concerned by Israel’s decision on settlements
Committee to Remove the Pacifica Board - blast from the past
Roger Waters Supports Boycott On Israel
Money before morals – another zionist wailing about the success of BDS
Collective blame, revenge, genocidal mentality and concern trolling
End Palestinian game – Op-ed: Israel should make it clear that Abbas will pay heavy price for his two-faced game : loopy logic setting up Abbas as the next unsuitable ‘peace partner’ as part of the eternal Israeli stall
Gaza revolts! day1
After Itamar: Exploring the cynical logic that makes everyone a target – No viable armed faction has taken credit, and Israeli police are even treating Thai workers as suspects.
Itamar: Already, The Aftermath
you are a scoundrel Dimi Reider
IDF continues mass West Bank arrests in wake of Itamar massacre
: According to reports from Palestinian news agencies, the IDF took all men from the West Bank village of Awarta in for questioning.
Israel begins long-fought deportation of foreign workers’ kids on Yishai’s orders
Israel Apartheid Week’s keynote address with Ali Abunimah
Zio-paranoia – Knesset hears claims of YouTube bias against Israel
Palestinians handcuffed, detained for picking wildflowers
Hundreds pour in for Gaza ‘unity’ rally
Geneva conference on Palestinian prisoners’ rights hears shocking testimonies
Chill regional winds blow across Israel

Israel’s lobbying clout in Washington is formidable, but does it out-clout the generals?

As the head of one Israeli strategy think-tank remarked after the Tahrir Square triumph against the Mubarak regime: “Our whole structure of analysis just collapsed.”

‘Itamar killings carried out by foreign worker’

The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an, which is close to the PA leadership, ran a lead news story that claimed that a Thai worker had been arrested by the IDF on suspicion of killing the five members of the Fogel family on Friday night.

The agency did not say how it obtained the information. However, it said that shortly after the killings, Israeli security forces arrested all the Thai workers who were inside the settlement.

Ma’an pointed out that no Palestinian group had claimed responsibility for the attack and that Palestinians were banned from entering settlements.

Another Palestinian news agency, Qudsnet, claimed that an Asian man who used to work for the Fogel family was behind the killings.

Quoting a Palestinian family living in the nearby village of Awarta, the agency said that the family members were slaughtered because the father refused to pay the Asian worker his salary, which is estimated at 10,000 Shekels.

Netanyahu’s exploitation of the murders at Itamar
Netanyahu is ignoring Abbas’ efforts to end Palestinian incitement
Blackshirt ziocolonists : Days and Nights of Rage
Three injured as Israeli army attacks Awarta – Israel engages in fascist reprisals
The writing is on the wall – Ian McEwan’s contemptible collusion with Israeli apartheid
March 21st KEY Date in Human Rights Council for Gaza Conflict Victims

Iraq Links

Monday: 19 Iraqis Killed, 43 Wounded
THE MURDER OF THE IRAQI EDUCATION INDITED INTERNATIONALLY IN GHENT

Japan Links

Worst Nightmare? Nuclear meltdown threat as Fukushima fuel rods ‘fully exposed’
Live Feed from Japan
The Idiocy and Hubris of Engineers: Will GE Get Whacked for the Catastrophic Failure of its Nuk Plants in Fukushira?
Japan Faces Prospect of Nuclear Catastrophe as Workers Leave Plant

Libya Links

Erdo?an discusses alternatives with Gaddafi to end crisis
The clarifying Manning/Crowley controversy

Wikileaks Links

West Asia policy hostage to ‘Muslim vote’ – US imperialism in full view –

‘Communications to Washington from senior American diplomats in the New Delhi Embassy constantly portray India’s West Asia policy as being hostage to the Muslim factor in domestic politics. In its bid not to antagonise Muslim voters, the cables explained, the government was forced to play down its “strategic relationship” with Israel. ‘

The ABC lined up Julian Assange for Gillard on Q & A last night, but denies there was an ambush

3 comments to Whodunnit? Fake Phone Poll Pushing Voters in Marrickville

  • […] Malevolent Marrickville Machinations Father Dave speaks in support of BDS at Marrickville Council Whodunnit? Fake Phone Poll Pushing Voters in Marrickville Boycotting Israeli Apartheid in […]

  • […] links, where Greens candidate and Council Mayor Fiona Byrne was targeted with a reprehensible volley of smears and dirty campaign targets prior to the election in order to hijack both the Greens and the principled BDS resolution passed […]

  • Company denies push polling against Greens :

    A company conducting telephone surveys about Marrickville Council in the lead up to the election has denied it is “push polling” against the Greens candidate and Mayor Fiona Byrne over her support for a council boycott of Israel.

    On Monday the council announced it was investigating four complaints from residents about phone calls drawing their attention to the boycott of Israel, conducted by interviewers who directly or indirectly suggested they were working for the council.

    The council has since met with representatives from one telephone research company which is conducting a survey of rate-payers, who strenuously denies its survey is “push polling”.
    Advertisement: Story continues below

    The survey, by Australian Fieldwork Solutions and Vivid, begins with the following preamble:

    “Hello, my name is — calling from AFS.

    “We’re conducting a short five minute study about your views and opinions of the Marrickville City (sic) Council.”

    A company spokesman said at no point were respondents deceived or intentionally made to believe that interviewers were from Marrickville Council.

    “We completely reject claims that any questions in the survey were examples of ‘push polling’,” he said.

    The companies would not reveal who had commissioned the survey. Sitting Labor MP for Marrickville, Carmel Tebbutt, said Labor was not responsible.

    Cr Byrne said the companies involved needed to take responsibility for the effect of the survey.

    “Members of the community have made it clear that the last question asked is about myself and the state election,” she said.

    “At the end of the day, such a question reveals the true intention of this survey, which is to influence the outcome of the state election campaign.”

    A Greens spokesman said it was likely there was more than one phone poll being conducted in Marrickville, which is held by Labor by a magin of 7.5 per cent.

    Liberal candidate Rosana Tyler said yesterday several members of her own party had also taken part in a recent phone survey, believing it to be from council.

    “The way the questions were framed it would appear that it was a council survey,” she said.

    Marrickville Council said yesterday it had put a notice on its website telling residents it was not conducting any survey of its own.

    “The council has asked Australian Fieldwork Solutions to direct their call centre staff to clearly state on whose behalf the poll is being conducted so as to avoid any notion of misrepresentation,” said a council spokeswoman.

    “Should further complaints be received the council will contemplate referring the matter to the appropriate authorities for investigation.”

    At least one complainant to the council said the interviewer in a survey they had participated in insisted they were from council when asked.

    Marrickville resident Gavin Smith said he became suspicious when an interviewer in a poll he particpated in repeatedly mispronounced the mayor’s surname and referred to the council as “Marrickville City Council”.

    “I immediately said to the girl ‘Are you representing the Labor Party?’ and she said ‘No no it’s Marrickville City Council’,” he said.