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Watch this space (and pay for it): Alaveteli-driven exposure of the misuse of public resources in an election campaign - Dražen Hoffmann (Gong, Croatia)

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Watch this space (and pay for it): Alaveteli-driven exposure of the misuse of public resources in an election campaign - Dražen Hoffmann (Gong, Croatia)

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This was presented at mySociety's TICTeC Show & Tell event, which was held virtually on 28 September 2021. More details on the event can be found here: https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

This was presented at mySociety's TICTeC Show & Tell event, which was held virtually on 28 September 2021. More details on the event can be found here: https://tictec.mysociety.org/showandtells/2021

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Watch this space (and pay for it): Alaveteli-driven exposure of the misuse of public resources in an election campaign - Dražen Hoffmann (Gong, Croatia)

  1. 1. https://www.gong.hr/ Watch this space (and pay for it): Alaveteli-driven exposure of the misuse of public resources in an election campaign Dražen Hoffmann, Gong TICTeC Show and Tells September 28, 2021 International Right To Know Day
  2. 2. The context: 2021 local election campaign  Local elections taking place in Croatia in May 2021  556 cities/municipalities, 20 counties  Elections of executive bodies (Mayors, County Prefects), representative bodies (County Assemblies, City Councils), plus Municipal Councils, where applicable
  3. 3. The lead: a Youtube series  A channel named Đir TV on Youtube, intensely active during two weeks in April and offering: quaint footage of (seaside) towns and villages across several counties, boasts of successful local projects, veiled invitations to continue these successful trends.  Incumbent mayors prominently featured in each video
  4. 4. A series of videos…
  5. 5. A series of videos…
  6. 6. A series of videos…
  7. 7. …and a slew of service contracts with Digital Media Group. • 30-minute footage, • talk with the mayor, • broadcasting on local television • 30-day promotion on social media, targeting a 18-65 year-old audience • at 2.600 EUR
  8. 8. Using Alaveteli to send 68 queries  imamopravoznati.org  Generic query sent to 68 cities/municipalities identified via Youtube playlist (cities/municipalities are public bodies under the FoIA)  „Please provide contract covering filming and broadcasting services”
  9. 9. Why it was important to ask  Act on Financing Political Activities and Election Campaigns Article 46: It is forbidden to fund political parties and candidates from: State bodies, public companies, legal persons with public prerogatives, bodies of local self-governments, public companies owned by local self-governments in the amount of at least 5%
  10. 10. Outcome of the 68 queries Successful 54 Partially successful 2 Awaiting response to reminder 6 Information not available 4 Late 1 Refused 1
  11. 11. The aftermath – some media attention
  12. 12. The aftermath – some media attention
  13. 13. …but no legal sanctions whatsoever.  State Electoral Commission (SEC) cannot determine activities of potential (i.e., not yet confirmed) candidates  Insufficient proof of misuse of public resources for campaign purposes  SEC preferring not to get involved, dubbing the videos „apparently regular promotional activities of local self- governments”
  14. 14. Thank you for your attention! drazen@gong.hr

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