One Nation's Queensland campaign manager, former U.S. Marine Michael Pucci, is yet another One Nation bully, writes Ross Jones — but that's only the start of candidates' problems.
"Amazing isn’t it? I’ve never experienced anything like it either. I won’t be asking for his side of it at all, because I know. There is nothing that he can say to me that is going to make it any better. Because, it’s a plain and simple fact of the matter is that there is too much evidence against him. The big mistake that he made was doing it in open company and, you know, all of the staff are involved in that, even to the tune of the youngest member of our staff who is – I understand that – took a bit of it as well, for absolutely no reason. It’s unforgivable, mate.”
The speaker is Pauline Hanson's One Nation (PHON) federal treasurer Greg Smith. The "he" is One Nation Queensland campaign manager Michael Pucci. The source is a recorded conversation between Smith and a former One Nation staffer.
Things are not good at PHONHQ. Eggshells all round.
Let’s start with Michael Pucci, because he is a complete prat.
Michael likes to shout at people, possibly because he is an ex-U.S. Marine — an environment in which shouting is de rigueur.
Pucci is a decorated First Gulf War veteran, the one where the U.S. strapped an early go-pro to the front end of a cruise missile and let viewers ride right in there with it. There were 146 American casualties in that war. And quite a few civilians.
Pucci married an Australian and moved here in 2001. He had an ordinary succession of jobs.
'Prior to entering politics, Pucci worked as an executive manager in the facilities maintenance industry, loss prevention/assets protection officer, bartender, janitor, dealership lot attendant.'
But all the while Michael was working the street and, with his brash Wisconsin ways, found himself in the LNP just in time to get a ride on "CanDo" Campbell Newman's 2012 tsunami.
Pucci became the Member for Logan. At least until 2015, when "CanDo" Campbell Newman couldn't and took Michael out with him.
The former gunnery sergeant floundered in an ocean of uncertainty before washing up on the shores of amateur land, One Nation — the bitterest kingdom of them all.
It was like bacteria dropping into an agar jar.
In late January 2017, Pucci landed a gig as PHON campaign director for the upcoming Queensland state election. He had an in: Sean Black, tinfoil hat wearing Senator Malcolm Robert’s staffer — recently arrested for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
IA’s usually reliable sources say the victim was female.
From the Courier-Mail:
Mr Black was one of the early recruits to One Nation Senate staff when they were swept to power in the 2016 election, taking up his position in September.
The former real estate agent has a long history in politics, as well as volunteering in former LNP MP Michael Pucci’s 2012 election campaign.
Much like Gunnery Sergeant Vince Carter intimidating the hapless Gomer Pyle, Pucci likes to put his face close in, stick his neck veins out and bark. As campaign manager, Pucci got to supervise campaign staff. Michael opted for a U.S. Marines style of supervision.
Gomer had a sort of Zen that allowed him to ride over things. Not all One Nation staffers share this trait.
IA has spoken with one victim (we chose not to name this person — but we can) who required psychological treatment.
Others speak, but off the record. They feel intimidated, not just by Pucci, who can make their lives hell, but because they all signed an onerous non-disclosure agreement with the corporate body known as One Nation and they are, rightfully or not, very nervous about coming out.
Happily, One Nation is starting to leak like a sieve, with a growing list of surreptitious recordings being released to the media — James explaining how to rip-off the electoral commission and fleece candidates for example.
One candidate, Dianne Happ, recently released an audio recording of Pucci demanding money in no uncertain terms. Okay, bullying is one term, total arsehole is another.
Have a listen here (from ABC 7.30):
IA’s sources say this is Pucci in a good mood.
As The Australian reports:
Mr Pucci fiercely opposes the label "former U.S. marine".
"You're a marine for life. I'm just retired," he says.
Greg Smith has another view, saying of Pucci:
“He’ll have to live in his own little cage somewhere.”
Let’s see how Pucci copes when the aeroplane shit hits the fan.
Ross Jones is the author of 'Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia's Speaker'.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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