ICAC 'is all Hollywood style' says Obeid
Former politician Eddie Obeid could face criminal charges after being found guilty of corruption by ICAC on Thursday but didn't seem too concerned in a radio interview, calling it a farce.PT3M46S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-39l7x 620 349 June 5, 2014
It's rare that a corruption finding against a former MP is cause for celebration within their own party, but of course Joe Tripodi is no ordinary Labor member.
For years, due to the myriad allegations against them, the names Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid have been bywords in NSW for alleged corruption.
Joe Tripodi: Notoriety that damaged the Labor Party brand. Photo: Janie Barrett
Previous findings by the Independent Commission Against Corruption made it official in the case of Obeid. On Thursday, it was Tripodi's turn to be so confirmed.
For NSW Labor the finding, coupled with the automatic expulsion of Tripodi from the party – a move that will wound him equally as badly – means the albatross that has hung around its neck for so long is finally banished.
Upon hearing the ICAC's verdict on Thursday, one senior Labor MP commented that a "cancer" had finally been removed from his party and it could now move on.
Found to be corrupt by the ICAC: Eddie Obeid. Photo: AFR
Such is the damage that Tripodi's notoriety has wrought on the party brand that the relief is palpable, even though the finding once again focuses the public mind on the bad old days that Labor would sooner have them forget as the party approaches its first election since being thrown out of office in 2011.
Conversely, the Liberal Party is being extremely subdued about the finding.
Asked to comment on the corruption finding against Tripodi, Premier Mike Baird responded that it "just shows again that ICAC is doing its job".
Clearly, this is because the ICAC is also doing its job on Baird's own party at the moment.
In December - only months before the 2015 state election - the commission will deliver its verdict on former Liberal ministers Chris Hartcher and Mike Gallacher and others in relation to alleged rorting of the political donations system.
Meanwhile, the ICAC is digging deep into allegations that the NSW Liberals systematically gamed the election funding system before the election that delivered them government.
So we are left with a situation where Labor is celebrating a corruption finding against one of its own, while the Coalition is unable or unwilling to capitalise.
It seems that just when you think NSW politics cannot get any more bizarre, it always does.