Emma Husar on Political Death Row

Australian Politics, Media, Rundown

Labor MP for the Western Sydney seat of Lindsay Emma Husar took personal leave last week hoping to hide and ride out the scandal involving allegations she bullied staff and had them do domestic and family duties. She has gone through 20 staff in just 2 years as a federal MP. It was later revealed that one volunteer on her failed state campaign had to spend time in a psychiatric ward due to the level of abuse he endured.

Husar was initially defended by senior Labor colleagues such as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese as a hardworking single mother of three. This was a key theme of Husar’s defence, that she was a single mother who had experienced domestic violence throughout her life. This life story was somehow meant to excuse her mistreatment of others.

NSW Labor had launched its own investigation into Emma Husar’s conduct headed by lawyer John Joseph Whelan which had begun in March this year. Many doubted that an internal investigation would result in an honest assessment of Ms Husar’s wrongdoing and lead to any serious disciplinary action. Bill Shorten would not even commit to making the findings public.

But with Labor’s Super Saturday victories secured it appears that people inside Labor are now prepared to tackle political problem that Ms Husar has created head on. Throughout last week there were further damaging accusations against Ms Husar with regard to her conduct and appropriate use of taxpayer and Labor Party funds.

First there was the revelation in the Daily Telegraph that Husar while on a taxpayer funded trip to Brisbane she attended a Bruno Mars concernt with the Chief Inspector of the Penrith Police Station, Tracy Stone on March 14. She had flown in from Cairns where she was attending an NDIS parliamentary hearing.

Even though she had no scheduled meetings in Brisbane that day she claimed $114 for use of a government Comcar and Ms Stone stayed in her hotel room with the bill paid for by the taxpayer. Husar defended her trip stating she was in Brisbane for a meeting at a homeless service called The Micah Project and she also visited a domestic violence call centre, DVConnect.

The Daily Telegraph subsequently revealed that the The Micah Project only accepted Husar’s meeting invitation on March 13 one the day before the Bruno Mars concert was held. A spokesperson for the Micah Project claimed it was not unusual for politicians to leave organising meetings to the “last minute”.

But it was on Thursday when the most sensational and explosive allegation against Ms Husar were published. BuzzFeed political reporter Alice Workman obtained evidence that had been gathered from the internal Labor investigation which added sexualised behaviour and sexual harassment to the list of allegations.

Husar was alleged in the company of Labor frontbencher Jason Clare in 2017 to have performed the revealing leg-crossing move made famous by Sharon Stone in the film Basic Instinct. Both Husar and Clare denied that this ever happened and Husar said the BuzzFeed report was full of lies and smears. She pointed the finger at one particular former staffer Jeremy Anderson and his father.

Every political commentator agrees that Ms Husar’s political career is now over, especially since her own side is now ferociously leaking against her. The sexual harassment and Basic Instinct allegations have been viewed as going to far and as being too dirtier politics. Anthony Albanese slammed the reporting of “rumours and unfounded allegations” against Husar as “extraordinary”.

A federal NSW Labor MP told Fairfax Media “She’s not going to come out of it well. Some things will be dismissed and others won’t be. She won’t come out of it in sufficiently good shape to get re-endorsed,” the person said.

On Insiders yesterday Manager of Opposition Business and Western Sydney MP Tony Burke became the first senior Labor Party person to defend Ms Husar’s former staff rather than just Husar herself “I don’t know all of them, but a number of them that I know are good and professional people”. Coincidentally on Insiders that day Alice Workman was one of the panelists.

The internal Labor investigation is due to be tabled this Friday with her fate to be decieded then. One thing is certain out of all of this: Emma Husar is on political death row with her Labor comrades lining up to be career excutioner. While some of the more salacious allegations may be false and designed to completely discredit her it cannot be denied she has engaged in unacceptable political behavior and is certainly not worthy of continuing to be a federal MP.