Wheel of justice turns for some

Wheel of justice turns for some

How quickly the wheel turns. According to page one of The Australian Financial Review on October 26 last year, John Kinghorn was nothing short of a charitable titan, sinking $300 million into his Kinghorn Foundation.

"Now, he wants to help cure cancer," the paper gushed. "He has given $25 million and his name to the Kinghorn Cancer Centre ... plans to donate substantially more ... "

On Wednesday, NSW's Independent Commission Against Corruption found Kinghorn "engaged in corrupt conduct in relation to their actions involving the Mount Penny mining tenement in the Bylong Valley".

Kinghorn floated his home lender RAMS in late July 2007 but just a few weeks later shares tanked after it told the market it had failed to roll over more than $6 billion in debt funding. CBD can't help but think Wednesday's ruling might have resonated with burned RAMS investors.

The wheel has turned a little slower for former NSW minister and ALP powerbroker Eddie Obeid, who took to the floor of State Parliament in 2007 to slam SMH scribe Kate McClymont as "the journalistic equivalent of a gun moll with glittering associations with the not so well-to-do".

"Despite this being well known, management of The Sydney Morning Herald continue to grant her prime, unscrutinised space. How many more times must my sons and I take action in the courts to redress the damage this journalist has inflicted?"

On Wednesday, ICAC referred a finding of corrupt conduct against Obeid to the NSW Crime Commission and recommended the DPP consider prosecuting sons Moses and Paul for giving misleading evidence.

Magazine enrages

Anger in newsagentland, where hard-working shopkeepers are angry at being drafted - at their expense - into the election campaign run by Jamie McIntyre, a self-described financial educator from the Gold Coast.

McIntyre, who is running against National Party senator Barnaby Joyce for the federal lower house seat of New England, is selling through newsagents magazines promoting his 21st Century Australia party.

For $9.95 - or free if you download it from the party's website - you get a completely impartial interview with the "ambitious" and "passionate" McIntyre, and an ad for a Brisbane apartment development, apparently endorsed by fashion designer Alex Perry, to be built by, er, 21st Century Australia Property.

Mark Fletcher, who runs the feisty Australian Newsagency Blog, complains newsagents are bearing the cost of stocking and handling "election propaganda".

Fletcher reckons the mag is "junk" and it will cost newsagents about a dollar a unit to handle it and return the unsold copies. "We sell all sorts of things, and I accept we sell all sorts of things, but this just looks ridiculous," he told CBD.

David Hogan, the GM of magazine distributor Gordon & Gotch, said fewer than 5000 copies had been sent out. "Is this magazine going to sell its head off? No, it's not, but we didn't put out that many either," he said. "There wouldn't be many retailers getting more than three to four copies.'

Masquerade ball

As the dreaded reporting season closes in, the property industry "mafia" is having one last fling - with an Italian masquerade theme.

More than 600 will gather at the Hilton Sydney on Friday night for the annual Property Industry Foundation charity ball. Heavyweights Michael Cameron, head of the GPT Group, Bob Johnston of Australand Property Group and newly appointed Investa Property Group head Campbell Hanan have stumped up to host a table. David Southon, joint CEO of Charter Hall, Mark Gray, head of Leighton Properties and Stephen Conry, head of Jones Lang LaSalle, will also don masks.

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