Thank you donors and supporters - now for the transparency question

May 31, 2016

Dear donors (past and present - including those who paid for a memoir that never arrived), friends, family and past volunteers,

Thanks to the 27 generous supporters who have so far collectively contributed almost $19,000 to my Menzies campaign since we announced on May 7.

When combined with the $2.70 per vote in public funding (assuming I get more than the 4% threshold), we now have a minimum $35,000 campaign to roll out over the next 40 days.

However, it will probably take a six-figure campaign to defeat Kevin Andrews so we've got a lot more fundraising to do in the period ahead.

For those of you who saw Four Corners last night, it is somewhat ironic that I'm simultaneously arguing for massive campaign finance reform whilst soliciting for donations to participate in an election campaign.

However, unlike the big parties, the intention is to be as transparent as possible on funding sources, focus on high volume/low value donations and to also ensure no policy positions or preference arrangements are unduly influenced by a donor. This also includes a wariness of donors who may have interests impacted by the activities of the Australian Shareholders' Association or City of Melbourne.

In the spirit of transparency, I've today published this chronological list of all your donations which have come in so far over the past 15 days. There is also an explanation of the tax deductibility situation at the bottom of that list, plus a section where donors can publically explain why they are supporting our campaign.

None of you have been fully identified but my preference is to do that, with your permission confirmed by replying to this email.

However, if there's any suggestion or concern of negative blow back for supporting me, then please don't feel pressured to have your name disclosed. Obviously members of the Liberal Party (and there's lots of support from moderate liberals who don't like Kevin Andrews' extreme social positions) need to remain anonymous as they could be expelled for supporting a rival candidate.

It is important to note that as long as I serve on Melbourne City Council, I will have to disclose all gifts above $500 on my register of interests, which is next due to be updated in August for the period from January 1 to June 30.

However, that won't apply if I resign from council after nominations close on June 9 and this is something under active consideration at the moment. Council elections are due in October this year so it is no drama resigning in June and missing the last 4 months of a 4 year term. Indeed, it would actually free me up to campaign full time and talk more openly about life as a councillor and how this experience will be useful in Canberra.

If you know of anyone else who may wish to support our campaign, the "how to donate" details are also on this page listing your contributions.

Thanks again for your support and I look forward to keeping you posted as the campaign unfolds, including updates on just how we are deploying your funds to try and make an important change of personnel in the Federal seat of Menzies.

Do ya best, Stephen Mayne