Gaga’s ‘campaign’ for Aussie gay marriage. Forget the mining bigwigs, a controversial pop star in crazy outfits may be the this year’s best political campaigner. Notes one pop insider, Lady Gaga is probably going to make some noise on her upcoming Australia tour in June/July: “With her 70 million social media followers she is a fiercely efficient communicator and no stranger to a front page or making a headline. And her main issue in Australia? Gay marriage. Get ready for one of the most forceful, orchestrated and strenuous campaigns the country will see this year.”

We asked promoters of the Australian tour but they hadn’t heard anything, simply noting Gaga loves to communicate directly with her monsters (Gaga fans, for those not up with the lingo) via social media. Gaga has long been an advocate for gay rights. During her Australian tour last year she sat down for an interview with Tracy Grimshaw and spoke about her belief in marriage equality: “I would just encourage all of you to mobilise your voices so the Prime Minister of Australia can hear you scream and speak and say ‘we want to be fully equal. We want to get married’.” Too bad there’s no Gaga concert in Canberra …

News Ltd executive on gardening leave. A senior editorial executive at News Limited’s Surry Hills headquarters seems to be on gardening leave after their position was effectively made redundant. We’re told they’ve been offered a new post but they’re currently considering their options. A corporate spinner didn’t get back to us by deadline.

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A new editor for the Sunday Herald Sun? Meanwhile, our News sources down south reckon there could be a shake-up of editing ranks. We’re reliably told to expect a new editor for the Sunday Herald Sun to replace Damon Johnston. We tried to confirm with Herald and Weekly Times editor-in-chief Phil Gardner but he was stuck in meetings. One name to put in the frame would be Walkley Award-winning Hun deputy editor Jill Baker. She’s well-respected among the senior Southbank ranks and is often rumoured for promotion.

Already getting nasty for Queensland poll. Tales from the Queensland election near-campaign trail: an operative reports some Liberal-National Party frontbenchers are undermining Campbell Newman’s pledge to play nice and humble by dissing ministers and presuming victory. Our business spy reports:

“Campbell Newman continues to do the rounds of the business community accepting every lunch invitation on offer to promote his plan for the upcoming election. One of the key messages he continues to push is his pledge to run a positive campaign free from mud slinging and to rise above Labor and their lowbrow politics. That’s all well and good, and something many in the business community respect, but perhaps he should share the message with this team of shadow ministers and backbenchers who snipe, bitch and whinge about their government counterparts at the same events he’s the headline speaker at.

“The worst offender attracting growing criticism is Ros Bates, LNP member for Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast, a former health industry worker who was given the ICT and building industry portfolio. Not only do some in the industry giggle about her distinct lack of understanding of technology, she gets nasty describing Bligh’s ministers using immature names and childish taunts about personal appearances. For the lunching faithful attending regular events, her most annoying habit is name dropping the Liberal MPs she’s “best friends” with, apparently disregarding she is representing the industry and NOT the party at many functions.

“And while Bates is expected to hang on to Mudgeeraba she is so confident that her dear friend Campbell will win and is already talking in terms of ‘when’ the LNP takes government and cleans up the mess left by Bligh and her ‘bumbling clowns’. Her stakeholders are watching intently for the election result and praying that if her crystal ball gazing is correct that Newman shuffles her into something she’s more suited to.”

Different phones for different campaigns. A warning to one councillor in Melbourne apparently seeking nomination to run for Labor in the Niddrie state byelection (to replace outgoing ex-minister) Rob Hulls: don’t use your council-provided mobile phone to run your state parliament campaign. People are watching and suggesting impropriety.

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Peter Fray
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