The Labor Party Is Unwinding A Taiwanese Businessman’s $200,000 Campaign Donation

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd (Photo: Getty)

A $200,000 donation paid to the Labor party days before Kevin Rudd lost the federal election will reportedly be refunded.

The money, paid by developer and former banker Kung Chin Yuan — who owned a house in Rudd’s Griffith electorate, and had made large donations in the past — was used to fund polling.

According to The Australian’s report Kung was previously linked to a secret fund, controlled by a former Taiwanese president, to bankroll diplomatic operations in Australia and the South Pacific.

The Australian says ALP officials discovered the donation during an audit. Legal advice commissioned by the party said it breached state electoral laws, which prohibit campaign funding from “foreign property”.

Yesterday, at a meeting of Labor’s state administrative committee it was decided to demand UMR, the party’s pollster, return the cash so it could be sent back to Kung, who has lived in Australia for 20 years.

The report says Rudd was aware of the large donation, though denies playing a roll in arranging it. As well as his previous cash contributions, Kung paid for Rudd to travel to London, for two weeks, in 2005.

“As for Mr Rudd as a candidate, all campaign disclosure responsibilities have been complied with and any suggestion to the contrary is untrue,” a spokesperson for the former PM said.

“All matters concerning the disclosure of campaign donations are the responsibility of the federal and state ALP offices … all queries should be directed to those parties.”

There’s more here.