From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Dutton not a health minister? An announcement on Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott’s cabinet is days away, but Peter Dutton could be one who shifts. We’re told Dutton was telling supporters over the weekend that he wanted out of the health portfolio.

Bracks mulls future. We’re hearing rumours that former Victorian premier Steve Bracks is resigned to not getting the gig as consul-general in New York, now the Coalition has taken over federally. It was interesting to see Bob Hawke spring to the defence of Bracks in the media … a rearguard action by the former premier’s friends?

Palmer pays for booth volunteers. It was a big weekend for Clive Palmer, with a potential win in Fairfax and possibly two of his candidates in the Senate. The Palmer United Party army was certainly out in force on Saturday — perhaps because some were getting paid. Crikey hears one person was offered $100 cash for 10 hours of work manning polling booths in Canberra. Over Grayndler in Sydney, Palmer took to the skies …

The gun-totin’ Liberal Democrats. We were scrambling yesterday to uncover just what the Liberal Democratic Party — a decent shot for a Senate seat in New South Wales — really is. Its website was blank yesterday — “This account has been suspended” — but a colourful replacement was up by today. There was also the Facebook page of the candidate David Leyonhjelm, which pictures the possible senator shooting stuff. Leyonhjelm is pro-guns and quit the Liberal Party in disgust when John Howard’s post-Port Arthur gun crackdown took hold. But the Facebook page was down today too — perhaps after some heat for his pro-gun stance.

Crikey revealed last month that Leyonhjelm was a registered officer for both the Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens) and the Liberal Democratic Party, and was handling preferences for The Republican Party of Australia. He didn’t talk to us then, but he warned his followers about our reporter:

It’s true we’re not friends, David, but we’d like to be. Give us a call sometime.

Motoring with conspiracy. Meanwhile, Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party candidate Ricky Muir could land a Victorian Senate seat — with just 0.53% of the vote. Unsurprisingly, the AME ignores all policy areas that do not apply to matters of four-wheel-driving, motocross and general hooning, although it does believe in saving the environment if only so people have somewhere to go trail bike riding. Muir has locked down his personal Facebook page after people saw some (admittedly old) status updates sharing his 9/11 conspiracy theories and off-colour jokes …

Crikey gave the AME a call this morning to find out if Muir still believes 9/11 was an inside job, but hasn’t received a response. We should perhaps also ask about his unconventional use of apostrophes. We’ll let you know …

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form