We kid you not

December 4, 2009

Rees would know

""Should I not be Premier by the end of this day, let there be no doubt in the community's mind, no doubt, that any challenger will be a puppet of Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi."

— Former NSW premier Nathan Rees on the day the NSW Labor Party replaced him with new Premier Kristina Keneally. Rees could never have become premier without support from powerbrokers Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi.

Party democracy

"The power of Obeid and Tripodi stems from their ability to 'branch stack' — that is, muster foot soldiers to become members of ALP branches.

"In 1996, for instance, Tripodi delivered almost $7000 to ALP headquarters to stack a branch in south-west Sydney. With that money, he was able to pay for 500 new memberships.

"By controlling Labor Party branches, the pair can determine who is preselected for local councils and for Parliament."

— — A December 4 Sydney Morning Herald article entitled "Discredited, despised, but still pulling all the strings".

Griffith mafia

"[Tripodi] has the backing of powerful figures including the property developer Pat Sergi, who was named in the Woodward royal commission as a key member of the Griffith mafia. While an MP, Tripodi had shares in Sergi's company, which bought and sold government land, including Housing Department property."

— The SMH

A strong contribution

"Eddie Obeid is the most powerful politician in the state, yet a check of parliamentary records show the 66-year-old backbencher has not made a single speech in Parliament for the past seven years."

— The SMH

Some good luck with property

"Eddie Obeid's reputation as a wheeler-dealer extraordinaire has long been a worry to Labor. A former cab driver turned property developer and ethnic press barron, he pulled off an amazing deal in the fortnight before becoming an MP in 1991.
"Having bought a property in Clovelly for $875,000 on Wednesday, the very next day he had sold it to the Housing Department for $1.1 million."

— The SMH

Some bad luck with property

"[Obeid] joined the late disgraced stockbroker Rene Rivkin to buy the Offset Alpine printing press from Kerry Packer. Investors in the company reaped a small fortune when the overinsured printing premises were destroyed by fire in 1993.
"Quite separately, Obeid has had bad luck with fires — two of his premises and two houses have gone up in flames."

— The SMH

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