How 2 of SA’s senior journalists investigate and write a story.

As a federal election candidate, I have chosen to run an open ticket, what that means is I want the voters to decide how they vote.

Many of my friends and supporters wanted to know how I will personally vote, a hard question until a candidate meets the candidates, because I am not a fan of the direction the major parties are dragging us, and not all the minor parties inspire me.

So I went about messaging the candidates, one how ever “Craig Bossie” running for the Nick Xenophon Party, did not leave contact details or attend any of the AEC meetings or the ballot draw, so I searched the net and Face Book.

An internet search showed articles that Mr. Bossie had resigned from the party, and his Face book page, well the one with his wife and his photo, that came up via a search of his name, had not been used since December 2015.

So I sent an email to a couple of the senior political journos (Mistake 1) to ask if he was a real candidate still, and if they had his details.

With in a few minutes of sending the email, one of the journos phoned and said he was still in the race, and his FB page was active, while on the phone I walked in and she gave me the link to his FB page, which was a Xenophon based page, not found under a search of his name.

She let me know he had been diagnosed with cancer and was in recovery, so I apologized for asking and wished him the best.

I immediately let the other two recipients of the email know he was a candidate and I had found his details.

I then messaged him on line.

The media then ran a story on the Advertiser site, advertiser in print, the local Messenger for the area I am a candidate both in print and on line, making me look like a fool for asking, here is the text.

Heading:

Independent candidate Mark Aldridge says opponent may not be real, finds out he’s suffering bowel cancer

Text;

SERIAL independent Mark Aldridge has been left red-faced after it emerged a Nick Xenophon Team candidate he said may not even be real because of their absence from the campaign trail had been laying low while undergoing chemotherapy to battle bowel cancer.

Mr Aldridge, who is running against NXT’s Craig Bossie in the northeastern suburbs seat of Makin, sent an email saying Mr Bossie might not even be a “real” candidate.

Unfortunately for Mr Aldridge, Mr Bossie’s been quiet on the campaign trail after being diagnosed with bowel cancer and was forced to have a major operation, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Mr Bossie said he is “very much alive and breathing” after the surprise diagnosis.

“It’s responded really well … the outcome is extremely positive,” Ms Bossie said, adding he has been back up and busy for weeks with community meetings and working with volunteers.

When Mr Bossie was diagnosed, he withdrew from campaigning briefly, then withdrew that withdrawal when it was clear that he would make a full recovery.

Mr Aldridge said supporters were asking him how to vote in Makin.

“How can I answer them, if it is possible a candidate is not even a real one,” he said.

Mr Aldridge then later had to apologise for his “incorrect” email.

Meanwhile, Senator Nick Xenophon has defended his election candidates against criticism they are “crackpots”, arguing they’re better than “party hacks” put up by the major parties.

The popular South Australian Senator has come under fire from both sides of politics for his choice of candidates to contest the July 2 federal election.

Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek has described the Nick Xenophon Team members as “kooky” and “completely unknown quantities who might hold a balance of power position”.

“Some of the views that we have heard from them are pretty crackpot,” Ms Plibersek said, specifically referring to Kingston candidate Damian Carey’s view that acupuncture can cure infertility.

Ms Plibersek also argued NXT could go the way of the now fragmented Palmer United Party, whose former members Jacqui Lambie and Glen Lazarus defected to become independents.

“It is very clear that Nick Xenophon will be returned to the Senate himself,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The question then becomes how he manages the people he takes with him.

“These are serious positions where people will be making serious decisions about matters of national consequence.”

Senator Xenophon described his team as “a really good group of people”.

“They’re not party hacks,” he said. “They’re not the usual suspects we get from the major parties.

“They are good people who have worked in the charity sector, as medicos … therapists, people from small business backgrounds, people who have worked in the public service, people from all walks of life.

“There’s a really wide range of people.”

Senator Xenophon undertook a year-long candidate selection process, whittling down a group of more than 450 applicants nationwide in a bid to prevent internal rifts like that of the Palmer United Party.

Senator Xenophon also infamously split from one-time state Parliament running mate Ann Bressington, who in 2007 branded him a typical politician and “chameleon”.

His 2016 election team includes an emergency physician, former SANFL footballer, local councillor, farmer, mechanical engineer and former Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officer.

Former Liberal staffer Rebekah Sharkie takes on her old boss, Liberal MP Jamie Briggs, in Mayo. Former Democrat Craig Bossie is running in Labor-held Makin, against Tony Zappia.

All political parties are repaid $2.62 for each vote they garner at the federal election if they secure more than 4 per cent of the vote.

The Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) was paid $642,839 at the 2013 election but is expected to earn far more this year because it is running more candidates nationally.

I only asked a question, and received an answer, at no time did I intend to undermine Mr. Bossie or his sickness, obviously if I had found his active FB page or had not found the article saying he had resigned, I would not have sent the email.

The article enraged my family and my supporters who had a go at the journos, then the journos took to attacking me on twitter for the words of those who commented on their articles and my blog on what happened, expecting me to moderate the internet.

One person commented that the two article writers (yes it took two journos to write that article) saying they could do with a good man, so the journos took to twitter blaming me for the words of others, i was out putting up posters.

Lauren Novak and Tory Shepard were the journos, I have emailed them articles for many years, as a candidate and a community advocate, never one have they replied or run a story, even though most of the other media have covered my exposes and stories for the past decade of more.

This was their first story on me, and so well rounded 🙂  It was written to undermine my good name in the community, and they both knew I had not been aware of Craig’s sickness and had not intended to undermine him

This is the type of article two of the senior political writers in SA can come up with during an election, I think it is sad to be honest.

Mark Aldridge, Independent candidate for Makin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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