Town council candidate had restraining order

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

John Bridgefoot, a candidate for the town council by-election this month has had a restraining order made against him and was convicted for breaching it.
The order was taken out in June, 2003 by his partner of three and a half years, and was lifted in November 2005.
Mr Bridgefoot (pictured) says there was no violence involved.
The breach consisted in sending presents to his partner’s two children, aged 9 and 15 at the time of separation, sending an SMS to his former partner, and taking from her home three planting pots worth $120.
The penalty was a seven day suspended sentence with a two year good behaviour bond.
Mr Bridgefoot says he thought the pots were his.
“I should not have taken them. This has muddied my name,” he says.
The by-election to replace former Alice Springs Town Councillor Geoff Booth will be held on Saturday, November 23.
PHOTO: Penelope Bergen, ABC Local.

    7 Comments (starting with the most recent)

    NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
    1. Erwin Pulver
      Posted November 8, 2013 at 10:47 am

      I wish you the best for the election, John Bridgefoot.
      You deserve it. You have done a lot for Alice Springs. You say what you think. Not like other pussy backstabbing people here in Alice Springs. All the best, and a change in Alice Springs.

    2. Ray
      Posted November 7, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Hi Erwin thanks for your reply. I appreciate your explanation into the details behind your story.
      To me at least, it puts a different slant on the story knowing that Mr Brigefoot was a willing participant. It did not get that impression from the original story, but can now see that if it is willing disclosure for the sake of transparency, I agree it was a good move.
      Sorry if I was a bit too full on Erwin, I do apologise, but I know of John’s community involvement and have maybe become jaded by all the elections and politics that we have been subject too lately.
      Good luck to all candidates and thanks to all contributors to this thread, I like reading your take on these relevant, local issues.

    3. Posted November 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

      It’s hard to know what to make of this particular revelation. This “offence” by John Bridgefoot – from a decade ago – is so trivial that it hardly warrants any mention now. But, as Erwin Chlanda points out in his reply to Ray, there’s a long history to this kind of dirty politics in the Northern Territory.
      Erwin mentions that “Leo Abbott’s political career was destroyed by a similar court order” revealed in the federal election campaign of 2010 – but let’s not forget Mr Abbott’s “political career” was sacrificed by his erstwhile CLP colleagues as a means of revealing the breach of a Domestic Violence Order by Damian Hale, then the incumbent Labor Member for Solomon in the Top End. Mr Hale’s “offence” was likewise of a trivial nature but this was sufficient to tip the balance against him in that election.
      If it’s relevant to mention Des Roger’s much more serious offences from the early 1970s, it’s equally relevant to remind ourselves of other more recent events that altered the course of political history in the NT.
      For example, with all the attention currently focussed on questionable claims for travel entitlements by various federal (mostly Liberal) politicians, I find it deliciously ironic that we’ve all completely overlooked the downfall of Chief Minister Ian Tuxworth in May 1986 brought about by the revelation that he had been wrongly paid travel allowance of $9400 in the early 1980s and which he had repaid long before he became the leader.
      At the same time Tuxy was overpaid TA there was national controversy over various members of the Fraser Coalition Government who had made substantial dubious claims for travel entitlements – some in the vicinity of tens of thousands of dollars – of whom none repaid any money or lost their positions.
      A few years later (1989) it was the turn of the CLP candidate for the Northern Territory, Bob Liddle, who was dis-endorsed, ostensibly on the grounds of his failure to repay a Mastercard debt of $4000. This involved a local police detective (who was also on the executive committee of a local CLP branch) accessing confidential police computer records.
      I was a CLP branch delegate that attended both Central Council meetings that led to the demise of these two men’s political careers. It was very interesting to note that the key individuals who were revealed to be behind the sacrifice of Leo Abbott in 2010 were also involved in those similar controversies of the 1980s.
      Of course, these were games played for high stakes. It’s astonishing to see something of this nature arise within the context of a town council by-election!

    4. Hal Duell
      Posted November 7, 2013 at 6:50 am

      I’m with Erwin on this – for anyone running for public office it’s a case of better out than in, and sooner rather than later.
      As for the restraining order and the issues causing it, it sounds like a relationship between two people I don’t know went west, so what do I know?

    5. Terry
      Posted November 7, 2013 at 1:07 am

      @Ray I think perhaps you misread Erwin’s post. However, that is between Erwin and you. For my money it seems strange that a family spat of this nature should require a restraining order. I see no indication of any violence, and can see no reason for Mr Bridgefoot to give up his pursuit of the post.

    6. Erwin Chlanda
      Posted November 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      @ Ray, November 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm:
      We take another view and so, quite obviously, does Mr Bridgefoot who spoke to me without hesitation: Isn’t it best for that kind of revelation to become public before, rather than after the election?
      While our report doesn’t make any value judgments, we’re conscious that Leo Abbott’s political career was destroyed by a similar court order. And we disclosed, also before the election, that council candidate Des Rogers, standing for council some years ago, had been in gaol (and even broken out) many years earlier. Google the stories!
      This is not the only coverage we will be giving to Mr Bridgefoot during the campaign.

    7. Ray
      Posted November 6, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Wow, would the AS News like to borrow a shovel to dig up some more dirt. Even job applications do not require people to list irrelevant criminal histories. Is this a spent conviction? Or how is it in the public interest?
      Erwin you normally present fairly balanced reports, so why not mention the enormous amount of volunteer work Mr Bridgefoot does around town with the Henley on Todd and other projects, volunteer programs on 8HA etc.
      Is this an effort to scuttle Mr Bridgefoot’s chances at election, or just to publicly humiliate him?
      I look forward to reading reports on the other candidates. Maybe a bit of digging might reveal that a candidate might have smacked their child 15 – 20 years ago, or failed to wear a seat belt once years. Let’s not hold back.

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