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DUMMY-SPITS: The Age’s Clay Lucas secret Labor right-winger shame exposed

ClaylucasClay Lucas, pictured here in an artistic compilation designed to provoke the exposé of greater truths, is one of many Age tabloid journalists with a very dirty secret he’d prefer to keep to himself. The VEXNEWS Investigations Unit, whose vast resources extend into even the dirtiest and darkest of corners, can stunningly reveal that “workplace” reporter Clay Lucas:

■ Was a member of the Australian Labor Party in its notorious Darebin region, in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, a popular hub for multiple recruitment during the 1990s;

■ Was a regular volunteer in then Labor Right MP Michael Leighton’s electorate office in Preston during that time, even assisting with the logistics of multiple recruitment from a Middle-Eastern ethnic community. Leighton was the mentor of Robin Scott, the current member for the seat;

■ Was recruited to the party by Labor right-wing power-broker and righteous facilitator of large-scale multiple ALP membership recruiting, the occasionally deep-thinking current state member for Preston, Robin Scott, who has since gone on to forge an alliance with the conservative-leaning Shop Assistants Union, despite not agreeing with them on much other than a few mutual hatreds; and

■ Ran as a – wait for it – dummy candidate for Labor Right stalwart and patriot Alison Donohue in the Darebin council election in 1996, amusingly enough running as a “law and order” right-wing candidate complete with Liberal blue ink to dupe conservative voters, delivering to Alison sufficient preferences to guarantee her election. Donohue, through no fault of her own, was later removed from office when the whole council was sacked for dysfunction and unpleasantness by the Kennett government and has gone on to work for Nazih Elasmar MLC, also a righteous facilitator of large-scale multiple recruiting to the Labor party, and a recipient of support from the SDA. Lest there be any doubt, we think Alison is terrific, and can only thank Comrade Clay for assisting one of her many electoral conquests.

These kinds of connections to what we have previously called the “Taliban Right” of the Victorian ALP are quite possibly without precedent in any person reporting on political matters at The Age newspaper.


Lucas’s pre-occupation with matters Darebin and his rather seething hatred of certain figures within it – who are opposed to Robin Scott’s clan – have been something of a puzzle to Melbourne media observers although the above facts put his activities in a clearer context.

MP Robin Scott, while never a big fan of the notorious Jackson crime family that once dominated the Victorian Health Services Union, which he generally regarded as bullies and bandits, is a close ally of the Jacksons’ principal enabler, campaign fundraiser and on-the-record defender, Senator David Feeney. Scott is also close with Marlene Kairouz, a state Labor MP, who personally approached at least one large employer of HSU members during their election in 2012, asking for substantial campaign funds. Kairouz was rebuffed by the fellow, a successful entrepreneur, who is prominent in the Lebanese community. Kairouz’s mother is a member of the union, working at one of the Epworth hospitals, and was a strong supporter of its previous corrupt leadership.

RobinscottWe note, to land Lucas in even more trouble, that Scott’s political views are quite similar to those of the author. He is for consumers, not producers, for an open Australia not a narrow insular one. His failing is that his politics are Keating but his political associates are – to put it politely – not quite as up-market.

Lucas’s reporting on the HSU, which has been at times highly negative (even criticising its on-hold messaging on twitter last week) despite the fact the members  threw out the Jacksons and their thieving allies, is not such a mystery to us now given his connection with its previous regime. Sources in The Age’s Media House tell VEXNEWS it is highly unlikely Mr Lucas has explained his close personal and political connection to the story he’s been covering to editorial supervisors although he might have disclosed his former party membership when he applied for work initially.

We will – in subsequent editions – reveal the original documentation of Clay Lucas’s ALP membership and some of his “tough on crime” policies and propaganda in the Darebin ’96 poll.

Lucas has had extensive interactions with many political figures after landing at the Age in 2005, some nine years after his Darebin council push. As we’ve referred to previously, many in Labor thought him sympathetic and hostile to the Greensparty. Now we know why.

Most were unaware or had long forgotten his involvement in Labor’s Right machine in Darebin and he appears to have been very cautious about exposing himself on the issue. Boasting of these connections in The Age’s circles is probably seen as more odious than fessing up to Ku Klux Klan membership.

Labor sources say the Age reporter has maintained cordial relations with Robin Scott, whose allies have been pushing for a closer relationship with Labor Unity, the dominant moderate grouping in the Victorian ALP. Some think this is because they have good taste, others fear they have learned no lessons from their recent catastrophic past.

Lucas today wrote a silly but vicious little story so cruel, falsely premised, factually wrong and unfair about a fine young man that it took considerable persuasion by those more sensible than myself not to go further in this story, especially pictorially, where our Photoshop department does enjoy taking liberties. Far more effective will be his victim – ironically strongly linked to the SDA in a state where they don’t harbour the Jacksons and their ilk – pursuing the truth via legal proceedings. The bloke’s only crime was to volunteer to campaign against Feeney’s criminal associates in the past leadership of the HSU, previously aligned with Clay Lucas’s factional comrades.

For legal reasons, we can’t link to the cowardly story but when Clay Lucas’s old factional friends/fiends associated with the Jacksons wonder why they are treated with reserve, sometimes disgust and suspicion, they will understand why if they do read it. They will wear their mate’s snide little tale like a crown of thorns, Labor moderate sources told VEXNEWS.

Certainly Lucas’ victim’s activities compare favourably with the more legally risky stupidity of his opposite number, Feeney staffer Ben Maxfield, who is believed to have directed Jackson crime syndicate member and under-boss Marco Bolano’s campaign for many weeks during last year, on the taxpayers’ dime. Phone records of now-sacked HSU staff show many of them spent many hours – including during business hours – on the phone to Maxfield. We understand he did not take leave from his electorate officer duties during this time. Indeed we further understand he is in Western Australia, currently working on the ALP’s struggling state election campaign. Maxfield is very lucky he’s not getting the Peter Slipper treatment from the Australian Federal Police. Perhaps he soon will.

The Age has turned tabloid today as it takes it next step along the path closer to closure. But it’s always been lower than any Fleet Street tab, which at least have a bit of fun and break a good yarn or two occasionally. There’s nothing fun about a nasty, bitter, failed local politician hack turned low-rent journo jackal who kept the intriguing story of his old Labor Taliban Right ties very much close to his chest and has no idea what he’s going to do when the Media House music-on-hold tune stops for good.

Maybe potential Labor cabinet minister and dummy candidate recruiter Robin Scott MP will give him a job. His future in journalism is surely as bleak as The Age’s.



The Herald Sun’s drawcard columnist Andrew Bolt linked to the above-referred smear story published by The Age, because he’s been following the governance scandals in the HSU’s past regime and has written on them from time to time. Interesting that he reached the same conclusions we did about the vicious and vile nature of Clay Lucas’s story. Clay Lucas is apparently on leave for a couple of months, as the lawsuits and Press Council complaints roll in, I hope he reflects on the rather curious situation where his anti-union work is considered too inaccurate, too vicious, too misleading in terms of falsely linking a union with alleged payments to an alleged sex worker that Andrew Bolt – probably not considered by Clay Lucas’s dinner party chums as very pro-union – considered inappropriate and removed the link to it.

intercourse1Because Andrew Bolt explained more of the story than we were willing too, we can now point out the obvious that Clay Lucas had been enjoying intercourse with a woman (a sex worker as it happens) who lent a campaigner in a union election some money. Clay Lucas’s intercourse with the sex worker enabled him to stand up a story that if told in a certain way suggested that the campaigner owed her money for sexual services. That wasn’t the case. Given the amount involved he would have been too exhausted to engage in any other activities, we would suggest. Indeed, Clay Lucas’s own intercourse with the sex worker was not sexual but apparently telephonic and/or electronic. He was on the job in terms of his intercourse with the prostitute. A sentence that causes us nearly as much joy as the prospect of the subject of the story (a big burly lad who frequents gymnasiums) punching Clay Lucas in the face for causing his wife and family deep distress.

The way The Age is going, and the wan looking nature of the tabloid version, there really isn’t much future left in this kind of nasty lefty inner-city journalism. Market failure has killed it. In some ways we’ll miss having them to kick around but what’s left in its place is – in Melbourne for example – the Herald Sun, not without its faults, but fundamentally a stronger product, staffed by people who are much less inclined or able to indulge individual political vendettas of the kind of which Clay Lucas now stands condemned after his proven intercourse with a sex worker while on the job.

But wait, there’s more.

Another commentator, the avowedly conservative Michael Smith, the former broadcaster turned blogger who has taken a big stick to the PM over what he sees as a massive fraud on union members, sanctioned by her or facilitated by her etc. We have been critical of Michael Smith because we think he lets doing in the PM get in the way of a reasonable interpretation of events relating to her and her pre-parliamentary life in the early 1990s.

He noticed the Clay Lucas story too. And linked to it, thinking it affirmed his thesis about unions.

And you’d think there’s no way on God’s good Earth that the aggressively anti-Labor commentator would take down the link.

But he’s done more than that.

He’s taken a sledgehammer of truth to the whole shameful story and has demolished it, in detail, having reviewed the available documents from the legal proceedings.

So Clay Lucas – who we understand had intercourse with the sex worker in question via telephone or email – has put out a tale so viciously anti-union, so erroneous and unfair that Michael Smith, who has led the charge against the PM over her involvement with the then leadership of the AWU while it was briefly controlled by mad lefties, has rejected it as false and launched into a lengthy and rather outraged explanation of why the story was so misleading. He names Luke Walladge as the victim of the character assassination.


Comments are disallowed for this post.

  1. And Robin Scott spoke so well (not! so boring! not sure he should be out amongst the voters) at drinks on Friday night at Maurice Blackburn (speaking as Shadow Work Cover spokesperson). He and Liberty (the evening’s hostess with the mostest) are definitely close friends. The sycophantic comments back and forth made it hard to keep the hors d’ouevres down.

    Posted by Legal Eagle | March 4, 2013, 9:05
  2. Feeney and wife are going to prison, not Canberra.

    Posted by you have got to be kidding me | March 4, 2013, 9:11
  3. He promise us lot of things but then say no no no.
    He is very bad man. He lie to us for the voting.

    Posted by Ali | March 4, 2013, 9:15
  4. Clay and Robin have the same haircut. It is a conspiracy!

    Posted by Timmy Matheson | March 4, 2013, 9:16
  5. The Age supposedly has an editorial standard where it reveals the past associations of its writers if they are relevant to the area of news they are covering.

    I have not seen any attribution printed for this Taliban union loving hack.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | March 4, 2013, 9:37
  6. No, I said FEENEY and his fat wife are going to prison, not Canberra.

    Posted by nice edit dickhead | March 4, 2013, 9:49
  7. Dean mighell will be joining him in the near future….jail.

    Posted by Jimmy | March 4, 2013, 10:11
  8. Gawd, I thought I’d left all this sort of pseudo-political drivel behind me at uni. Get a life, the lot of you!

    Posted by Vince Borg | March 4, 2013, 10:59
  9. Surprise surprise Nutty is a bit on the dodgy side – who would have ever guessed that hey??

    Posted by anon | March 4, 2013, 12:57
  10. Robin Scott is no leading light. He will come close to losing his seat at the next election. Totally useless

    Posted by Robins Nest | March 4, 2013, 16:15
  11. Robin is in Batman (electorate) but we all know that Batman is in Robin……

    Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2013, 16:26
  12. Who’s in Robin?

    Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2013, 16:27
  13. Craig Langdon!

    Posted by Jake the Snake | March 4, 2013, 16:27
  14. I like shooting Clay targets!

    Posted by Robbie Preston | March 4, 2013, 16:28
  15. This is all a big lie…..

    Posted by Taliban fan | March 4, 2013, 18:06
  16. So Luke Wallage expects poor long suffering HSU members to pick up the tab for his One HSU election campaign? You’ve got to be kidding.


    Posted by Snouts in the trough | March 4, 2013, 18:12
  17. What is wrong with the new management at the HSU? They’ve axed the call centre. God know it used to “interesting enough” to call them under the old regime. But now, I can’t get through to anybody. I get some nice Arabic on hold music before I get to leave a message. Nobody’s ever called me back. It doesn’t matter now because I’ve resigned and joined the ANF.


    Posted by Normal Service Will Not Be Resumed | March 4, 2013, 18:20
  18. Oh dear. HSU Member’s money being diverted to pay off hookers. I thought the new crew there might have learnt something from that union’s history. Apparently not.


    Posted by Punxsutawney Phil | March 4, 2013, 18:30
  19. How come you didn’t call that journo fat? You are slipping in your ad hominem. Two stars.

    Posted by ip | March 4, 2013, 18:59
  20. ALP power group gets ‘illegal’ cash
    REPORTERS Gary Hughes, Gay Alcorn and Ewin Hannan
    October 20, 2003
    Print this article
    Email to a friend

    Mr Lim’s select guest list
    Labor’s stacking crisis deepens
    Labor at war over rampant recruiting rort
    It was demoralising… It looked really exploitative.
    Hong Lim’s sphere of influence
    An ethnic community group at the centre of ALP branch stacking allegations and with close links to a senior Labor MP has been receiving funding from three levels of government while deregistered.

    The Cambodian Association of Victoria, which has been one of the major beneficiaries of the State Government’s Community Jobs Program, was deregistered in February after failing to lodge annual returns, as required by law, since 1998.

    The Cambodian Association is based in the key Labor outer south-east Melbourne area that includes Simon Crean’s seat of Hotham.

    The association is a vital power base for Hong Lim, a senior state Labor MP and factional heavyweight who admits to controlling about 30 per cent of the ALP membership in the area through the local Cambodian community.

    The State Government has poured more than $200,000 into the Cambodian Association through the Community Jobs Program in the past three years – more than any other ethnic group in the area – despite the relatively small size of the Cambodian community. The organisation has also received state funding through a number of other departments, including the Department of Human Services (DHS).

    The association was still receiving jobs program funding in May, four months after being deregistered. It is currently receiving DHS and federal funding through the Department of Family and Community Services and in July – six months after being deregistered – was granted $26,750 by the ALP-controlled City of Greater Dandenong council.

    Organisations have to be incorporated to legally receive government funding. Under the Associations Incorporation Act, the assets of deregistered organisations, including unspent funding, should be passed to the control of the incorporations registrar.

    Mr Lim, who is the parliamentary secretary for Victorian Communities and a special adviser to Premier Steve Bracks on Asian business relations, has close personal and political links to the Cambodian Association, which he helped found in 1985 and ran as president for five years.

    Mr Lim, the member for Clayton, lists himself as an adviser to the Cambodian Association on his parliamentary register of interests and his wife, Bopha, is a member of its committee.

    Mr Lim’s electoral officer and member of the ALP’s powerful administrative committee, Robin Scott, is also on the association’s committee and, according to Mr Lim, helps the group prepare funding submissions. A close friend of Mr Scott is president of the association’s youth group.

    Mr Lim’s brother-in-law, Youhorn Chea, a councillor and former mayor of Greater Dandenong, is the association’s welfare director. Mr Chea’s role is one of two paid positions at the association and is funded by state grants. The other position of youth worker, which is funded by the City of Greater Dandenong, is held by Mr Chea’s cousin.

    At least five of the association’s former presidents, including Mr Chea, and four of the eight members of its committee belong to the Labor Party.

    The Cambodian Association was at the centre of ALP ethnic branch stacking allegations in 1998, when former MP Eddie Micallef claimed members of the organisation had recruited Cambodians to join the ALP and paid their memberships so they could vote against him in a pre-selection battle. There were also allegations that people seeking help from the Cambodian Association were told they had to first join the ALP.

    Mr Lim strenuously denied allegations that the association was involved in branch stacking, describing them as “ridiculous”.

    The Cambodian Association was granted $97,920 under the State Government’s Community Jobs Program in October last year, just before the state election, to run a 16-week employment project that finished in May. The association received $106,080 in jobs program funding in 2001-02, despite not having lodged annual financial returns for four years. It is also receiving $89,366 in funding from the federal Department of Family and Community Services to operate a two-year parent and family support project for the Cambodian community. The project runs until October 22, 2004.

    The association began the process of applying for re-instatement as an incorporated body and contacted funding bodies to notify them of its deregistration late last week after it was approached by The Age during an investigation into ALP branch stacking.

    Under the Incorporations Act, the association will have to lodge all outstanding annual financial statements and minutes of annual general meetings held since 1998.

    Mr Lim said he was shocked when told by The Age that the association had been deregistered and blamed it on an administrative oversight.

    “Youhorn (Chea) is not very good at paperwork. That’s not his strength,” he said.

    Cambodian Association president Damian Tang said he was investigating the circumstances surrounding the failure to lodge annual returns and the deregistration.

    “It must have been some sort of administrative oversight. We’ve got the financial returns completed and independently audited. It’s just that they haven’t been lodged,” he said.

    Mr Tang also denied branch stacking allegations surrounding the association and said the group operated independently of Mr Lim.

    “We treat Hong Lim as an elder in our community. I only reach out to him when we need certain advice. Otherwise we are trying to operate as independently as possible,” he said.

    The chief executive of the City of Greater Dandenong, Warwick Heine, told The Age the council had so far only handed over to the Cambodian Association $1000 of the $26,700 approved in July.

    He said he would refer the matter to tonight’s council meeting for a decision on the fate of the remaining funds.

    Posted by Tim Singh | March 4, 2013, 19:38
  21. My house did get some awful owners. I was so glad when bought it off the riffraff who had it before.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 4, 2013, 21:45
  22. Welcome friends one and all
    Whats with the NB,s

    Posted by Geof | March 4, 2013, 22:51
  23. What seat is that you batsh!t crazy wife wants Mr Ed?

    Posted by Where There's Wills There's A Way's | March 4, 2013, 23:57
  24. Is this you favourite song Mr Ed?


    Posted by Hit and Run | March 5, 2013, 0:04
  25. Ben Maxfield. The only political suicide bomber who never claimed a victim other than himself!

    Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2013, 7:02
  26. Ian and Christine must be so proud of their little Benny!

    Posted by Brendan Jenkins | March 5, 2013, 7:04
  27. Geez, I nearly gave a Maxfield a job, again.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 5, 2013, 7:06
  28. Oh, more gimp photo’s please :-)

    Posted by Craigy Boi | March 5, 2013, 7:16
  29. Union members need to WTFU, all they need to do is have a chat with Fair Work when they have evidence; or FWC seem willing enough to have an inquiry based on an allegation no matter how spurious, that their money is not being spent on matters incidental to the running of the union. So, financing some ALP hack into parliament and allowing any resources to be used cannot be said to be incidental to the running of the union, employing some hack to run your election campaign whilst pretending to be doing work for the union is not incidental to the running of the union. Union members should not sit and moan about it, get along have a chat with FWC, make an application for funds to pay the lawyers and go for it. Clean the scumbags and rorters out once and for all it will be a better union movement for it.

    Posted by Men in white coats | March 5, 2013, 11:42
  30. Anon you must must must SMC

    Posted by Mullah Milad | March 5, 2013, 16:16
  31. Clay Lucas should disclose these kinds of political associations on articles he writes. Let the readers decide whether he’s disqualified or entitled to write objectively about them. But if readers aren’t told about his political memberships and close associations how can we know? The Age is letting down its readers by behaving this way.

    Posted by Anton Phillips | March 6, 2013, 6:47
  32. Fairfax and ABC planted through with right wing attack machines prior to Howard’s demise….Tony Jones is one…Tomboy on 7.30 another….grech…but who had interaction with Cathy Jackson during those critical years 2000 to 2003….nice set of legs then…

    Posted by Tony Abbott | March 6, 2013, 15:27
  33. Hey
    Clay How about checking you story first you mud flinger

    Posted by Malvern | March 8, 2013, 12:22
  34. I might run for Hawthorn when Ted goes. Victorian politics has been left wanting without me and they so need me back.

    Posted by Boofa | March 8, 2013, 13:47
  35. Time to bring the dogs out and chase the story back to its rotten roots

    Posted by Freddy | March 9, 2013, 13:13
  36. To the lost boys
    A bounty. 10 X tues kfc
    You see more than me

    Posted by Geof | March 9, 2013, 19:45
  37. Why Andrew are you an apologist for Luke Walladge’s embarrassing activities? Why do you censor comments that point this out

    Is it because you can’t place their IP addresses?

    You couldn’t catch Johnny or his camera.

    You catch me?

    Posted by Ben Maxfield | March 15, 2013, 0:08
  38. Is that Vince Fontana in yellow handing out HTV for the Sex Party?

    Posted by Maxwell Smart | March 15, 2013, 19:17
  39. Looks like Vince??

    Posted by Anonymous | March 16, 2013, 10:51


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