Candidates answer John Brent’s “public whinging” about campaign tactics by saying they were the "victims".
John Brent played the “victim card” in an interview with the Courier Mail last evening. Mr Brent was claiming victory in the Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayoral election.
Mr Brent claimed to be the winner before the Pre-Poll, Postal and Absentee Votes were counted. Other candidates believe a distribution of preferences might be needed to determine the victor.
John Brent is quoted in the Courier Mail as saying “he had been successful against 'a tirade of abuse and misrepresentation. This has been the dirtiest, filthiest campaign,’ said Brent.”
Derek Swanborough and Wendy Creighton said they believed that Mr Brent was referring to them in his Courier Mail comments. Both candidates claim this kind of accusation is a typical tactic of Mayor Brent, who is widely respected as a masterful political operator who knows how to get a headline.
“In answer to John Brent's public whinging about it being a filthy campaign where he was misrepresented by two of the Mayoral candidates,” said candidate Wendy Creighton, “I would suggest that all he has done is point the finger at the victims rather than the perpetrators."
"John has always been a creative storyteller,” said Wendy Creighton.
Cr Derek Swanborough who has sparred with Brent in Council, in public and in tribunals said that “It is nonsense to say that I ran a dirty campaign.”
“The Swanborough campaign only dealt with issues and policy,” said Swanborough in a detailed rebuttal to John Brent’s comments.
“We told people what we were going to do and had made a conscious decision not to comment on anything the opposition said. There is simply no evidence at all that we ran anything other than a clean and honourable campaign.”
“We consciously left alone the reported problems of Mayor John Brent where he was accused of taking money from two elderly women with dementia and the adult guardian investigation, deeming that to be his personal problem. We made no comment at all even though many newspapers sought my views on this,” said Swanborough.
Swanborough then turned the tables on Mr Brent by claiming that “the evidence is there that it was the dirtiest campaigns ever run by John Brent.”
“I would say he had no policies, acted in a desperado manner, wanted to steer away from his poor performance and was rather hoping Campbell Newman might distract voters from the mess he has left Scenic Rim in,” said Swanborough.
Neither Swanborough nor Brent have provided the Daily Star with any evidence or firm accusations against the other - so these are merely claims of dirty campaigning.
The Daily Star has approached John Brent for his comments on the claims made by Creighton and Swanborough and will publish the response that Mr Brent chooses to makes.