Editor of newly launched The Power Index Angela Priestley writes: A huge amount of investigative work goes into our Power Lists and they’re not something we’re going to simply give away in the future. But for Crikey subscribers, we’ll make a special exception and include a profile for your reading pleasure each day as part of this regular Power Shots item. Over the next fortnight, our profiles cover Political Fixers, each day we’ll roll out a new entrant on the list, today it’s David Feeney clocking in at Number Ten.

Stick around for the rest of our lists across the year — each fortnight we’ll kick off a new list drawn from our categories of Media, Culture, Business, Law & Order and our major metropolitan cities. Here’s the first:

Political Fixers: #10 David Feeney. Cheerful, chubby and fresh-faced, like a well-scrubbed piglet, David Feeney has been one of Labor’s tribal warlords for the last two decades. And one could argue he was born to the job, because his Irish surname stems from the Gaelic for “warrior”.

“He’s ruthless, but he has redeeming features,” says one ex-ALP official. “He’s very entertaining and he’s a thinker, with a great passion for Roman history.”

This must have come in handy last June when he was one of the key conspirators in the group that knifed his leader Kevin Rudd. It was Feeney who approached Mark Arbib — that modern-day Brutus — to persuade the NSW Right to join the Victorian Right in bringing down their Caesar. And it was he and Arbib who first pushed Gillard to run. — Paul Barry (read the rest here)

Phelps vs. Devine in same-s-x marriage stoush. High-profile doctor and gay rights advocate Kerryn Phelps has hit out at Miranda Devine for linking lesbian parenting to the London riots in a Sunday column published in News Limited tabloids. In the controversial piece, Devine says that Finance Minister Penny Wong’s decision to have a child with her partner Sophie Allouache is not something that the Australian public should celebrate.

Devine also used the column to argue that gay marriage is “simply a political tool to undermine the last bastion of bourgeois morality — the traditional nuclear family. You only had to see the burning streets of London last week to see the manifestation of a fatherless society.”

Phelps, an ex-president of the Australian Medical Association, told The Power Index, “The link between the London riots and Penny Wong and Sophie Allouache’s child was truly desperate.” — Matthew Knott (read the rest here)

The powerful take on council and lose. In the business world Solomon Lew is used to getting what he wants. But the billionaire retailer may be forced into an embarrassing — and somewhat costly — tumble turn, after building a new swimming pool without council approval.

A stoush between Lew and local government has erupted over a new $80,000 pool overlooking Port Phillip Bay after it was constructed on Crown land adjoining the Lew family’s Mount Eliza coastal getaway without planning permits. An engineering report produced by the local council has also found the pool has sprung a leak.

Meanwhile, an application submitted by Federal Court judge Dennis Cowdroy to develop a 2.75m-wide Darlinghurst property he bought for $1 has been rejected by Sydney Council. — Tom Cowie (read the rest here)

New WA Libs man’s got business nous. He’s only just been elected, but the new president of the Western Australian division of the Liberal Party, Geoff Prosser, knows a thing or two about fundraising. The former Howard minister — he served just over a year during the nineties before resigning due to business conflicts — landed on the BRW Rich List last year, sporting an estimated worth of $186 million. — Angela Priestley (read the rest here).

Peter Fray

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