Conservatives Lash Back at Social Dem Criticism - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Conservatives Lash Back at Social Dem Criticism

Published June 5, 2009

Independence Party chairman Bjarni Benediktson responded to questions
of campaign finance by bringing up a Social Dem MP’s past as a
journalist.
The question, asked by Social Dem MP Róbert Marshall, was when the Independence Party plans on publishing financial records of political groups under its control and at the municipal level, as the Social Democrats have done. Benediktson responded to the question by saying the Independence Party is the only one to pay back campaign donations. For the record, they have as yet only paid back a fraction of those donations, and were also the party to receive the highest amount of ethically questionable campaign finance.
“I have to say, I find this question in many ways distasteful,” said Benediktson. “If people want to use this area, former newsmen of [television station] Stöð 2 [where Marshall was employed for a number of years], which is actually in that group of companies that is one of the biggest supporters of the Social Democrats, then they are welcome to do so. But how substantial this is is another story.”
It has been a long-standing belief that Baugur Group, which owns the 365 media group, which in turn owns Stöð 2 and the newspaper Fréttablaðið, is inordinately sympathetic to the Social Democrats. So Benediktson was pretty much avoiding the question, and instead swinging the spotlight onto Marshall, who hasn’t worked at Stöð 2 in years.

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