The GetUp story
I will update this article to cover the new GetUp campaign for 2013, where once again they will promote voting Labor and the Greens, so please read my updates below, and vote with your heart, rather than be persuaded by deliberate dodgy practices.
While researching my initial article, I tried to be mindful of my personal experiences with GetUp both as one of the many people who clicked like and instantly became a member, and as one who has personally endured their deceitful practices on more than one occasion. I still receive their emails, so I am sure I remain one of their quoted 400,000 supporters, which begs the question “How many of the quoted 400,000 supporters genuinely are?”
My first experience with GetUp, was to support their save the senate campaign, which seemed as it was designed, as a grass roots campaign to support democracy, something very close to my heart, the idea was to ensure no one party controlled the senate, well that is what the campaign appeared to be, “Come meet your local senate candidates” and become informed.
I have always believed that the day our representatives were chosen by the Free will of an informed electorate will be the day we see the change we all seek.
GetUp had their own agenda, and it was not to support grass roots democracy, as I quickly found out when I attended their first forum, seems only senate candidates chosen by GetUp where welcome, not as their email had explained, Independents, some minor parties and the Liberals were not welcome, it seems the word “Independent” to Getup means Labor/Greens, how would I have known.
"I was one of several senate candidates told I could not be involved"
Seems since then the agenda has remained the same, with Getup regularly taking up issues that either attack the liberal government or promote the Labor/Greens coalition, even there on-line “How to vote” guide and sms service was found wanting, as regardless of how a person filled in the questionnaire, Labor or the Greens was the resulting answer, and trust me I tried every combination.
The Australian Electoral commission were the first to be questioned on GetUp’s “Misleading and Deceptive” conduct, as was the Court of Disputed returns, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, were also asked to investigate their back ground, but as usual a slap on the wrists wasn’t even made public, by now I decided to do some research myself.
In brief 2 people, Jeremy Heimans and David Madden formed GetUp in 2005, some information links have recently been closed, but they reign from one of several similar lobby groups, MoveOn.org established in 1998, and Avaaz.org a similar political lobby group. Heimans history links appear to now be missing, Madden has a history with the World Bank and the United Nations, both are included in the top 10 people who have influence in world politics, both have also been accused more than once of being Labor policy supporters, so is there connections?
Their first executives included Evan Thornley (Labor, Fabian Society) Bill Shorten (Labor) and Cate Faehrman (Greens) and more recently Skye Laris (Labor, Rann and Tony Burke) along with several Union officials, previously aligned with the Labor party. The group advisory board with history in similar groups included Tony Lake (CIA, UN, Politics) Gary Hart (US senator) and Leon Fuerth (Advisor to Al Gore) as well as their largest donor George Soros.
GetUp’s donors have changed over the last few years, Australian workers unions are now their largest donor, followed by individuals with similar connections to the picture already painted, Joseph Skrzynski a major donor, was just appointed a lucrative seat with SBS by the Labor Party, Ex Telstra, AUSTAR, and other multinational players divert past Labor support, to donate heavily to GetUp, many dead ends from links relating to funding and the recent financials of GetUp make the story even more intriguing.
Brett Solomon tidies up the direct connections between GetUp, AVAAZ and Accessnow.org , Simon Sheikh is now put up by the media as the brains behind GetUp, but so many big players have their hand in the GetUp pie, with their other groups having direct links to people like George Soros.
I would think that their most recent campaign to demand a price on Carbon, is the nail in the coffin when seeking the truth, with GetUp backing Gillards new carbon tax, with out the details even being on the table, let alone passed by the house, and the ideal of a grass roots campaign is soured by the fact 146 of our 150 federal representatives were recently elected on a promise “Not to introduce a Carbon Tax”.
Simon Shieks words “We are the last line of defense for mother nature” not only makes a mockery of our 4.5 billion years of existence, but belittles the use of the words “Carbon Pollution” to describe Co2 the very gas that feeds the forests they stand to protect or do they?
Don Mercer’s sudden disappearance from GetUp may just warrant further investigation, with long links to Orica ltd, Shell petroleum and Newcrest mining ltd, not something that supports GetUp’s green agenda, just ask the Indonesians. whose old growth forests were devastated.
GetUps most recent idea of allowing all members to submit ideas for future campaigns seems, on the surface, a promising example of grassroots democracy. However, regardless of how many votes a campaign suggestion might generate, the GetUp executive maintains the power to veto any issue they don’t consider consistent with their organisation’s agenda.
We should all ask the Question "What is this organisations agenda"
Tony Abbot himself entered the debate, regarding the human rights of Gillards intention to process asylum seekers of shore, knowing too well, GetUp could not oppose the Labor's government’s position. GetUp have made a habit of denying many issues put up by their supporters, regardless of the support from their own members, in once case saying “A few people try to game the system by flooding certain campaign suggestions with votes from fake accounts” so what does that say about their membership quota, let alone their on-line grass roots actions remaining valid?
It seems strange that a so-called grass-roots democracy movement, which is rarely shy to boast about its membership base of over 400,000, would suddenly take such a dismissive attitude to many of these same members when they overwhelmingly vote in favour of an issue, which a select few individuals at head office don’t approve. Coincidentally in each case they were issues, which went against the Labor/Greens agenda.
Misinformation and missing information is not my idea of a genuine and honest grass roots peoples movement, in fact it reminds me more about what our system of politics has become in the eyes of the electorate, “promise and do what ever is needed to achieve an agenda” rather than working towards what the people themselves prefer.
GetUp’s annual reports for both the 06/07 and 07/08 financial years are both absent from its website, which also claims replacements for Thornley and Shorten are “imminent”, well that was years ago, and they still remain heavily involved, and copies of their reports I saved years ago, clearly show both as large donors to Getup.
I must admit to being confused by GetUp’s financials, when they proudly announce their “Not for Profit status” while spending excessive amounts on wages and administration. The ASIC filings reveal a massive $1 million wages bill, an issue former Executive Director Brett Solomon was grilled on in 2007. The $2.2 million gap between total donations ($3.4 million) and political expenditure ($1.2 million) would indicate a significant proportion of total revenue is spent on day-to-day running costs, on top of a huge wages bill, but where are the details?
Flights all over the country by GetUp executives are one of the many costs that add to the huge wages bill
“Divide and conquer” is a relevant saying here and clouding the truth is an integral part of maintaining the divide, just like the words “climate change” rather than “Environmental protection” continue to divide opinion, we may all back the later words, but unity is not part of the plan, and haven’t we all had enough of games when it comes to our future?
I'm a paragraph. Click once to begin entering your own cWhile the people of the world continue to reward false promise and deception, our path will remain in the same direction, genuine grass roots unity is the only way
forward, and a large part of that is seeing through the lies and deceit, which if we all sit back and reflect on what we all know, is not that hard. ontent. You can change my font, size, line height, colour and more by highlighting part of me and selecting the options from the toolbar.
It may be the case genuine grass roots movements, have no chance with out big money and the almighty spin machine, as if we the people simply can not unite without others pulling our strings, in the same way our supposed representatives must adhere to policy direction not of the peoples choosing, lets hope that is not the case.
Canberra 6 August 2013. As GetUp! launches its Federal Election advertising today, the disclosure that it has a previously unknown ‘shadow’ organisation called GetUp! Action for Australia Ltd will shock ordinary GetUp! ‘members’.
GetUp! must state why this parallel entity is needed, especially when it appears to have wider powers than the original GetUp! - invested in only three directors, so best they explain just who those directors are, because Labor and Greens connections continue to run the show.
GetUp! must detail any donations received and payments made by GetUp Action for Australia, and any other organisations it has supported.
The fact that star Greens candidate Simon Sheikh has been the President and a director of this parallel entity for the last year reinforced the fact that GetUp! was a front for the Greens. “Despite repeatedly denying any involvement with GetUp! Simon Sheikh has been a director of two GetUp! companies for the whole time he has been a Greens candidate.
“Simon Sheikh was not upfront about the fact that he has also been President of GetUp! ‘shadow’ company - GetUp! Action for Australia Ltd, which was set up only a fortnight before his resignation as GetUp's front man – thus giving him a continuing role with this organisation.
“Last week Simon Sheikh had the chance to explain why he was still a director of GetUp! subsidiary, Community Campaigning Pty Ltd. “Instead he tried to blame it all on GetUp! “This time the paperwork oversight excuse won’t work,”.
Senator Abetz said Simon Sheikh's credibility was in tatters following repeated obfuscation about his former Labor Party membership and now his connections with GetUp! "If he does not resign Senator Milne should sack him.
People should be very careful in their dealings with GetUp! following the organisation's role in previous federal election campaigns. "In 2007 GetUp! was warned by the Australian Electoral Commission in relation to its dodgy How Should I Vote how-to-vote-card generator. In 2010 GetUp! handed out to voters highly selective 'scorecards', which gave the Greens the tick on every issue, so it can be assumed the same will occur once again.
PS' GetUp achieved exactly what they wanted, in 2007 they wanted to ensure Liberal did not own the senate, even though the liberal allowed their senators to cross the floor, it was never about independents holding the balance as their campaign appeared to support, it was about their masters Labor/Greens, and as of July 2011 they now own the senate, sad
More links to the truth about GetUp
GetUp! encouraged visitors to send an email to Coalition senators that read "I’m sending you this message because I want you to know that I’m watching. Now that you have absolute power in the Senate, it is only people like me who can hold you accountable. And we will."
In March 2011, Getup! endorsed the controversial decision of the Gillard Labor Government to reverse its 2010 Election promise not to introduce a carbon tax as a means of addressing Australia's contribution to carbon emissions.GetUp is a non-profit organisation, registered as GetUp Ltd. In the vein of MoveOn.org, much of the organisation’s funding comes in the form of small contributions made through its website. Under Australia’s taxation regime, donations to GetUp are not considered tax-deductible as the organisation advocates for changes to government policy. GetUp has a small team of staff and volunteers based in Sydney, including National Director Sam McLean.
David Madden, a co-founder
Jeremy Heimans, a co-founder
Amanda Tattersall, a union researcher
Anne Coombs, a historian and online opinion author
Brett Solomon, former Campaigns Director of AVAAZ and former Executive Director of GetUp