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Federal Government

FIRST WIVES’ CLUB: Michael Kroger saves the day for his ex-wife in distress

KrogerbigswingingdickSources say Senator Helen Kroger is looking like emerging triumphant in her arm-wrestle with Scott Ryan over the #2 Senate spot in Victoria. As we’ve previously reported, Mitch Fifield’s position as #1 candidate has not been in serious question, but the fight over the safe #2 spot has been as intense and ferocious as we’ve seen in Liberal ranks. The preselection contest will be some time after Easter but Liberal sources say it is largely sorted, in Helen’s favour.

Senator Kroger has done some splendid work, leading the charge against the Greens party over the scandalous circumstances of their slavish obedience to the commercial interests of their donor Graeme Wood, who gave them nearly $2 million with the Greens muscling up to support one of his property development plans. The case against them was very strong indeed and read like a criminal indictment. While the Privileges Committee knocked back the complaint, it caused the Greens considerable angst as they finally endured the same blow-torch as they apply to others in relation to money politics. A truly golden moment. The multi-millionaire even had the chutzpah to ask for $50,000 in legal costs to be reimbursed by taxpayers. Naturally the Greens party, who would never help a donor in return for loot, pushed this dodgy claim too. Once bought, the Greens stay bought, it seems.

Back in Victoria, Ryan had looked pretty confident despite Kroger’s stellar efforts in Canberra at least until recently where internal manoeuvres engineered by wily old fox and numbers-czar Michael Kroger apparently shored up his ex’s position very nicely with an unsubtle power play in Higgins.

In the history of divorced couples, the Krogers have scaled the heights of mutual courtesy and alliance in a way that would be beyond most divorced couples who – at least in Sunbury where I come from – have been known to leave prawn’s heads behind in hard-to-find places. ‘Tis a credit to both of them.

Senator Ryan, a good man of the free-marketeering ginger-group kind of Krogerite, has been left sorely bruised by this encounter. He is believed to be very worried about the invasion of political anti-free-market cane-toads from the north in the form of the Katter party who are planning a well-funded assault in the southern states after an encouragingly good run in the Queensland poll where they turned a limited anti-gay-marriage ad buy into multi-millions worth of free press, which saw their vote more than double in a couple of weeks.

If they run in Victoria for the Senate it could be in conjunction with Victoria ETU swaggerer-in-chief Dean Mighell, whose union 4WD bull-bar is considered emblematic of his manhood, and whose war-chest for political forays is said to be the largest in union politics.

So much so that the national office of his union, run by Peter Tighe, recently initiated legal proceedings to ensure Mighell is accounting for his $40M+ asset base in accordance with union rules. Mighell has survived many of these kinds of criticisms about money before so even his fiercest foes don’t think it will be the end of him. Indeed, Mighell is promising to go the full jihadi on those behind the move, potentially resuming his legal attack on former NSW official Bernie Riordan, recently appointed a commissioner of Fair Work Australia, over the issue of receiving fees for serving on boards when Mighell says they ought to have been paid over to the union.

Some in the union think Mighell should run for the Senate for Katter, given his fondness for red leather on past trips to London, although we hear that’s highly unlikely. There is crazy talk even that a successor is being groomed but we have our doubts, dictators rarely groom replacements for fear of the replacement hastening the incumbents demise.

If he sticks around the ETU though, Mighell has certainly demonstrated an enthusiasm to stump mega-bucks up for political campaigns (in 2010 helped the hapless Adam Bandt buy his way into the federal Melbourne seat for the Greens, a favour that won’t be repeated) and if Katter can find a strong Victorian candidate that will be enough to leave our Liberal friend Scott Ryan feeling very sad indeed. The Katter people also include some of the very well-organised Shooters lobby so will be able to give it a good shake.

Those friendly with Ryan concede “the b*tch” (Helen) has done them in but point to published polls demonstrating a surging Liberal primary vote (up as much as 10% from an unusually low Lib vote in 2010) as suggesting that the #3 spot may not be so dicey after all.

In that case, we’re left wondering why Ryan was willing to use up so much political capital in order to get there. At one stage, it looked like succeeding but it does rather seem that the moment Michael Kroger got involved, the problem was fixed, making all other players look somewhat inadequate.

It’s a shame Kroges, the exemplar of supportive ex’s, didn’t go to Canberra when he had the chance. No-one’s really sure why he chose not to, with the mega-bucked Andrew Abercrombie (currently the state party Treasurer) referring to MK’s business dealings as “measly” and “pathetic.” We’re not sure about that although whatever business he is engaged in is kept pretty low-profile and is believed to be reasonable small-scale.

But his political activities could scarcely be conducted more authoritatively. While he might be a little guy on Collins Street, Michael Kroger is truly the Victorian Liberal party’s big swinging d*ck.


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  1. if the ALP and or the LNP call a double dissolution then they will win six seats in Victoria. The term of office of who ever wins a seat in the next election may find their term office cut short.

    in 2007 both the LNP and the ALP elected three Senators each. In 2010 the LNP elected three, the ALP two Aand the Greens one

    If a half senate was held in 2013 the LNP would end up with
    A total of six senators the ALP four and the Greens Two.

    if a double was held the LNP would elect six the ALP five and the Greens one.

    The ALP would be better off with the next election being a double.

    The Company Tax issue could be a trigger.

    Posted by Call a double | April 3, 2012, 14:10
  2. Dean Mighell is a bit like Billy Hughes in his party promiscuity

    Posted by it's over | April 3, 2012, 14:36
  3. What about poor old Ms Peacock?

    Posted by Crownie | April 3, 2012, 15:21
  4. poor mrs peacock

    Posted by Benny Beans | April 3, 2012, 17:26
  5. With the opinion polls as they are Liberal all state Senate candidates at the next federal election are likely to win three Senate seats easily, and probably a forth seat too, so the position on the ballot paper is not that important this time no matter how good or bad the Liberal candidates are.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 3, 2012, 17:57
  6. Michael Kroger is a bit like Osama Bin Laden both had 3 wives.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 3, 2012, 18:24
  7. You can’t superimpose nation-wide polls on Victoria. Ryan is fighting hard because he knows Abbott does not sell well in his home state. Then there are the complex maths of preferences. A bad deal, combined with an anti-Abbott push could see the 3rd spot lost. But your assessment that Kroger has sealed the deal is ill-informed. Ryan has been running a long and well fought campaign. Despite the cliches, most Liberals are against dynasties and nepotism. Ryan is a fighter and people like him for it. It will be much closer than you think.

    Posted by anon | April 3, 2012, 18:25
  8. Scott Ryan = far better in the sack than Helen.

    Posted by Tara Whitehead | April 3, 2012, 18:41
  9. Dear Lord,

    If Kathy Jackson is referred to the DPP in the fair work report I promise to start attending church again.

    Posted by Your fans | April 3, 2012, 18:48
  10. Mighell dreams about where he might stick some big electrodes in your corpulent, useless body Andy!

    Posted by ETU | April 3, 2012, 23:29
  11. What about me?

    Posted by Annie PeeCOCK | April 4, 2012, 0:27
  12. The self identifying working class base once solely enjoyed by Labor is a mere shadow of what it was at the turn of the 21st Century.

    And even then it had shrunk dramatically with the demise of unionised industries, particularly in the public sector with their high levels of primary support for Labor.

    The rationalisation in Victorian public sector industries like railways, SEC, Gas and Fuel, State Bank, SGIO, etc under the Cain/Kirner governments and the privatisations under the Kennett Government undercut Labor’s rusted on base. And the same has happened in other States, particularly NSW and more latterly Queensland.

    Many of these ex-employees went on to be small business types especially those off the tools who became sub-contractors in their former industries.

    Despite this change, Labor ignores these small business types and leaves the way open for the Libs (and Nats in rural/regional areas) to snaffle voters who were once part of Labor’s core. Because of the precarious nature of running a small business, the comparative importance of cost of living / cost of doing business including fuel costs is a more critical issue than it once was for these voters. Sure, cost of living affects everyone but now those running small businesses do not get CPI adjustments to their incomes, wage hikes delivered by union militant solidarity, annual leave loading (or paid annual leave) shift allowances, overtime or long service leave.

    They are easy marks for the Coalition until Labor understands that small business people are the core of today’s workforce in place of yesteryear’s overwhelming number of waged employees who were largely rusted on to Labor and puts small business people at the core of its agenda. Until that happens, Scott will be safe at number 3, Dean will become a key national player through Katter’s Party and Kathy … well she’ll continue trying to get a seat from everyone.

    Posted by Once an employee | April 4, 2012, 0:53
  13. Susan Rossiter, Peacock, Sangster Renouf should stop calling herself Lady Renouf. After her divorce from Sir Frank Renouf he married the very much younger Michele and she is the last and therefore the real Lady Renouf. You cant have two Ladies using the title of one Sir Frank.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 4, 2012, 1:25
  14. Mighell will make the HSU look like amatuers. all shall be revealed

    Posted by bye bye corupto | April 4, 2012, 13:21
  15. Your droped now your a katterite Dean

    Posted by Suzzana the She-Male | April 4, 2012, 13:34
  16. Mighell HAS commited to hand over to Gray sooner rather than later.Mighells not even a good dictater, he just a Dickhead

    Posted by Do not pass Go Do not steal another $200 of the members | April 4, 2012, 13:37
  17. Stop Press:

    Result of Higgins Senate Delegate Preselection ballot, March 29;

    Primary votes;

    Kroger Michael 79 [KC]
    Libermann Ross 11 [KC]
    Wood S 18 [Baillieu]
    Stretton Mark 19 [KC]

    Kroger, Libermann and Stretton elected. Wood defeated.

    Posted by Hot News | April 4, 2012, 14:47
  18. Don’t know where you get you info. Ryan is a shoe in. She was Liberal president and did nothing except cause divisions.

    Posted by Nico | April 4, 2012, 14:57
  19. Don’t think so. Ryan and Fifield have brought on a massive shitfight for nought and the members are not at all joyous at this glorious indulgence by the 2 fatties. Demoting a woman? Not a good look for Abbott either.

    Posted by What the... | April 4, 2012, 15:42
  20. Helen Kroger is a great event organizer but you don’t need to put great event organizers into parliament!

    Posted by Lib Senate Pre-selection | April 4, 2012, 15:54
  21. Higgins is just one of 37 FECs. A win there means little in the scheme of things.

    Posted by Cold Comfort | April 4, 2012, 19:05
  22. Hot News – The cant have to many people in Higgins anymore? Only 137 delegates voted. Perhaps the rest have died of old age

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 4, 2012, 19:25
  23. Scott and Mitch are very poor in the media. Please get them off. Look ordinary, boring, dull, know not much, just space filling time servers. Mitch on Sky especially poor. Someone on his staff should tell him.

    Posted by Freddo the Gumph | April 4, 2012, 22:08
  24. 79 for Kroger! Wow! That is rather impressive.

    Posted by hellhathno fury | April 4, 2012, 22:10
  25. “Mighell will make the HSU look like amatuers. all shall be revealed:Posted by bye bye corupto | April 4, 2012, 13:21”

    This is just more yap, yap, yap, bark, bark, bark, crap, crap, crap. For years the same tired old bastards have been peddling this stuff about Mighell, jeez he must be really Teflon coated to just keep on getting away with all this alleged corruption and rorting. Here we must have the cleverest man in the union movement. Why the hell has he not been elevated to Secretary of the ACTU………….or PM come to that, Christ knows the union movement is in a bag of trouble and this is the shit you all go on with. Mighell (as annoying as he is) must be doing something right. Squillions in assets, growing membership and a thumping win in the recent elections. In the meantime in other parts of the CEPU we have the sniff of a coverup of some ‘goings on’ in the Vic Plumbers, and a civil war in amongst the ‘C’s’ of the CEPU because the NSW Right so not like democratic outcomes in elections and they think they are more important than the members. Unions, no wonder they are in trouble and other than the ETU Vic no one is growing.

    Posted by Dogs chasing cars | April 4, 2012, 22:39
  26. Higgins sends 6 delegates to the pre-selection – out of 490. Don’t get carried away. I know of another FEC senate delegate pre-selection held recently where the Fifield/Ryan forces carried all six…so I guess it’s even…

    Posted by Ronnie | April 5, 2012, 11:26
  27. Why is your own union taking you to the federal court then Mighell (dogs chasing cars) to force you to show the VIC accounts-SAFS maybe ?

    Posted by Just show them if your above board | April 5, 2012, 11:50
  28. Interesting that Davis & co are pressuring state mps to back Ryan over Kroger.

    Those with long memories will know that Helen Kroger opened the door to Scott Ryan’s career. Scott was always described by Ted as an ‘idiot’. He even famously called him that to his face with cameras rolling when he shook his hand after the passage of a constitutional motioned state council – a story Scott used to boast about to prove his factional credentials.

    Meanwhile Helen promoted Scott big time even when Peter Costello strongly (albeit privately) objected to him taking the spot on the senate ticket because he was not federal material.

    Before Helen’s presidency former Liberal Students including Scott were locked out of preselections. Helen managed to erase the whole forged letter affair from history and get Scott elected.

    Fast forward till now and Scott is hoping that Baillieu votes will get him over the line. It’s a big gamble swapping bases like that and to what end? And what’s more, will anyone ever be able to trust Scott ever again?

    Posted by Victorian Liberal | April 5, 2012, 12:21
  29. One day soon I’ll be the Member for Jaga Jaga.

    Posted by Jamie - The Other Max | April 5, 2012, 12:23
  30. Well said Victorian Liberal. Scott Ryan is a rolled gold rat. He will never be trusted again. Nor Fifield. Both have joined the traditional enemies of Liberal students. Quissling quassimotos both of them.

    Posted by Nemo | April 5, 2012, 14:28
  31. not a loyal sort that ryan . ordinary performer

    Posted by loyalty | April 5, 2012, 14:29
  32. actually mitch himself is pretty ordinary. hangs round south east with minimal impact. he should speak to inga. She does marvellous work in the south east with mike tyler, geoff fraser, lorriane and alike

    Posted by loyalty | April 5, 2012, 14:31
  33. The real wife Michael Kroger has always been the most fond of, is ‘Mrs Palmer and her 5 daughters’. It is appropriate he is a Merchant ‘Banker’ as he has done that obsessively all his life.

    Posted by Jeff K | April 5, 2012, 20:25
  34. As usual, the Member for Higgins had no say over the Higgins delegates.

    Posted by Malvern Man | April 7, 2012, 12:50
  35. The member for Higgins is far too busy polishing the local ‘nobs’!!

    Posted by anon | April 7, 2012, 19:59
  36. With the death of Sheila Scotta its too late from her to be the 4th wife

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | April 9, 2012, 18:00
  37. Im on good advise that Scott has it in the bag and the Fifield has been ringing around saying he supports Scott for number two.

    I guess we will see what happens.

    All good candidates however.

    Posted by Preselection Guru | April 11, 2012, 2:55

    Posted by jimmy | April 11, 2012, 16:42
  39. In the rountabout of politics, isn’t that turd Mighell due to be a Liberal next? Surely, if he’s prepared to give everyone a go, the Libs would be the next choice.

    Posted by What the ? | April 12, 2012, 8:13
  40. Dean did you see my new DVD?

    Posted by Delores the Shemale | April 12, 2012, 13:23
  41. Sh!tely played, Faceless Man.

    Posted by Anonski | April 16, 2012, 13:17