Why all the fuss over Kevin Rudd’s New York adventure? Back in 1994 a table top dancer, Yasmin Cotton, contested the Kooyong by-election in the wake of Andrew Peacock’s resignation.
Two thousand and four punters stuck their vote in her g-string – 3.47% of the electorate.
Cotton’s campaign manager, Brett de Hoedt, has revealed the whole sordid story to Crikey.
“I was then a cadet at World magazine, an offshoot of the terminally ill Truth newspaper,” he says.
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“I thought it’d be a nifty marketing exercise for our low profile rag to sponsor a stripper as she aimed for parliament. It inspired my career as a publicist.
“We held a campaign launch at a Swanston Street nightclub. Yasmin arrived JFK-style in an open top Cadillac; four of us in black suits and sunglasses running by its side, speaking into our collars. Yasmin’s colleagues kept waiting media occupied, performing a range of non-political manoeuvrings.
“We scored national coverage. Yasmin appeared on the Today show alongside another candidate – David Greagg – who was dressed as a wizard. Balancing out these less conventional candidates was Professor Peter Singer standing for the Greens and an offering from Australians Against Further Immigration.
“I devised the three key planks of Yasmin’s policy platform: easier questions on Sale of the Century, a moratorium on more Daddos entering Australian TV and better weather on weekends.”
Yasmin, who campaigned in her trademark thigh high boots, short shorts and World Magazine tube top must have appealed to the well-heeled citizens of Kooyong – she came fourth out of seven candidates, while the seat went to that swingin’ guy, Petro Georgiou.
There was no Labor candidate. Ratbag Peter Singer got 28%. The wizard only scored 1.19%.
But as de Hoedt says, “Now that’s what I call a by-election.”