Dan supporter Shandra Cohen writes Lib seats distribution document

Dan supporter Shandra Cohen writes Lib seats distribution document

Shandra Cohen has been working for Daniel Andrews and the Labor Government.

In 2018 she and her father Bruce were quietly recruited into the Liberal Party by the embattled Amy Johnson as branch stacks in the Wendouree electorate. Shandra Cohen was almost immediately propelled into the chairmanship of that electorate by their faction.

This accords with the branch stacking associated with Ian Quick’s faction which has seen Greens and Labor supporters appear across the party, including the attempt by Jenny Mulholland to recruit a whole Labor union into the party; the conservation branch which has been used by Russell Joseph to recruit Greenies and the proliferation of left wingers on the Web Warriors facebook page like Jo Fallshaw, Mikey Oram, Shaikh Hafizur Rahman and others.

Michael O’Brien’s opposition office, knowing that she worked for Daniel Andrews and has contacts in his department, gave Ms Cohen a position on a committee where she designed the Liberal Party’s submission to the State Electoral Boundaries Commission.

This committee, which included factional apparatchik and fraudster banned by ASIC Peter Clarke, a failed preselection candidate in the Warrandyte electorate, and absentees Adam Wojtonis and Richard Allsop, submitted a proposal that would redraw the boundaries of seats for the 2022 State Election.

However, all was not what it appeared to be. For one, Michael O’Brien cunningly placed Matthew Guy on that committee without informing him about Ms Cohen’s background. Matthew Guy acted as the chair of the committee while Shandra Cohen and Peter Clarke worked to produce a proposal that would deliberately redraw the boundaries of seats that would most favour Michael O’Brien’s supporters among the Parliamentary members. What is most galling is Shandra Cohen’s monumental conflict of interest in the fact that she worked for Daniel Andrews; let alone Peter Clarke’s rabidly left wing and controversial factionalist history.

To spell this out, Michael O’Brien’s motives were not to produce an outcome that was the best for the future of the party, but one in which seats with incumbent (or incoming) MPs who supported him would be most protected, that is, having the highest Liberal vote possible.

As it played out, the members who would suffer the most would be supporters of Brad Battin, particularly Richard Riordan from Polwarth and also (as it turned out) Nick Wakeling’s entire seat was demolished without a protest from Michael O’Brien or the committee members.

This meant that the resulting planned redistribution from the State Boundaries Commission was never really prosecuted by any input that put forward a case favourable to the Liberal Party. Thus, the new boundaries are set to keep the Liberal Party in perpetual opposition. (There is an opportunity for party members to submit new proposals.) While the Boundaries Commission is not strongly swayed by Liberal submissions, the party should still fight for presenting the best possible outcomes that would favour the Liberal Party cause. Those blinded by factional ambitions have let down the party by handing over the reins to Labor.

Liberal members and MPs must wake up that Michael O’Brien and Ian Quick are bringing supporters of Daniel Andrews, ALP members and left wingers into the Liberal Party to keep themselves in power.

O’Brien’s sympathy for the ALP policy platform is obvious. It is just as shocking that Ian Quick’s factional supporters are willing to recruit Labor supporters as part of their branch stacking operations.

Shandra Cohen’s membership must be reviewed by State Assembly. This surrender to the party’s political enemies cannot be allowed to happen again!

Should this document have the ALP logo on the front?

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