Still money to be made in political peddling. Political donations may be on the nose (at least in NSW), but don’t be fooled: influence peddling is alive and well. Recent Coalition victories in NSW and Victoria have been a boon for lobbyists with conservative credentials.

Treasurer-turned investment banker Peter Costello recently become a key investor in a new lobbying firm run by two of his former political advisors, Jonathan Epstein and David Gazard. Costello will also sit on the advisory council of the company, ECG Advisory Solutions, which already lists seven clients on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s lobbyists register. — Matthew Knott (read the rest here)

O’Farrell close to banning political donations. Barry O’Farrell has kept his election promise to become the first premier in Australian history to ban political donations from corporations and special interest groups. The question now is: will the other states and territories follow his lead?

O’Farrell, who has long campaigned on the need to change NSW’s “decisions for donations” culture, introduced a bill to parliament yesterday that allows political donations only from individuals on the electoral roll. — Matthew Knott (read the rest here)

From Russia with cash … and a jet ski. For most billionaires, the idea of having anything much to do with politics is about as attractive as flying in economy class. The rich love governments most when they get out of the way. But just at the moment there are few notable exceptions.

In the United States, the Koch brothers are throwing millions of dollars supporting the Tea Party and other conservative causes in the lead up to next year’s presidential elections. — James Thomson (read the rest here)

Peter Fray

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