By P.J. Malone
If what Minister Fred Mitchell says is true, then three candidates of the Free National Movement political party in The Bahamas may be funded by money from hedge-fund billionaire Louis Bacon. This should alarm every Bahamian.
As a recent guest on Love 97’s radio show “Election Watch”, Minister Fred Mitchell, the Member of Parliament for the Progressive Liberal Party representing the Fox Hill constituency, made the following statement:
“It’s important for us to see who is actually running as candidates for the other side. You have three candidates, who are connected with a rich billionaire, who is funding an organization, which is, it appears, engaged in political advocacy and not in environmental advocacy—which is what they say; and then you’ve got three who are connected with a failed developer in The Bahamas, who appears embittered by his experience here. And the question is, and must be asked of those people, who’s interests are they representing?”
Minister Mitchell stated, “I call them the suspicious 6.”
This is an alarming turn of events. If in fact Louis Bacon has spent millions in donations to Save The Bays and their cohorts, as has been revealed, to aid in his nastily fought personal vendettas against Peter Nygard and the Government of The Bahamas, then imagine the millions he might indeed spend, if he is so inclined to support Free National Movement candidates.
During the show, Minister Mitchell alerted the public to this scary dilemma: The Bahamas Government has an annual turnover of about 2 billion dollars but is fighting someone, as it stands, with a net worth of 24 billion dollars—Louis Bacon is reported to have a net worth of 24 billion dollars.
The fights Minister Mitchell referred to include all of the Save The Bays efforts (being funded by their chief funder Louis Bacon) to seemingly destroy the Government of The Bahamas.
Fights such as these:
Save The Bays has filed several judicial reviews against the Government of The Bahamas for failing to stop fashion mogul Peter Nygard from building a groyne to stop sand erosion (just like the one Fred Smith built except smaller) and for failing to stop Mr. Nygard from clearing the sand out of his marina when his boat gets stuck. Ridiculous, isn’t it?
Four years and millions in Bahamian resources later, the Government of The Bahamas and the individuals named are still having to deal with the courts on judicial review matters started by Fred Smith and Save The Bays.
Additionally, individuals from the Governing party have to deal with the court case challenging their parliamentary privilege, in which a Member of Parliament revealed ‘deemed-public’ financial information of Save The Bays, which was done to inform the Bahamian public of the Save The Bays’ dealings and ulterior motives in their political actions against the Government.
The United States Treasury Department’s regulations state that all 501(c)3 organizations are to make their financial information available for public inspection. Save The Bays is registered as a 501(c)3 organization in the United States, which allows their chief funder to have tax advantages for the reported millions he donates to them. Save The Bays’ financial information is deemed public. Yet, Save The Bays and their cohorts are prepared to cause a constitutional crisis to protect this public information.
Also, Save The Bays tried to ruin the reputation of The Bahamas with seemingly false claims to the international human rights communities that the Government of The Bahamas is still being forced to spend tax-payer funds to address.
Does the Bahamas Government stand a chance in defending The Bahamas against the apparent ill intent of a billionaire who has helped to cause our good name to be smeared among human rights organizations and to cause a near constitutional crisis?
Minister Mitchell further explained:
“The difficulty is that, if you’ll remember the path of this through the House of Assembly, a disclosure was made that some 8 million dollars had passed through the accounts of a law firm in The Bahamas connected with a man who heads Save The Bays and the Grand Bahama Human Rights Association. And there was a concern this money was being used not for advocacy on environmental issues, but really being used for political purposes, which is outside the spirit and intendment of the trusts which conveyed this money to them.
“So that’s the issue. And nothing we have seen since those disclosures were made in Parliament has changed the minds of those of us who see this for what they are really about.
“And it goes a little farther because these people have ended up supporting candidates who are now running for the House of Assembly in the major party that could, if the Bahamian people decide, be The Government of the country.
“So the question you have to ask is whether or not the people who the Free National Movement is advancing will be fighting for the interest of the Bahamian public or the people who are their sponsors?”
So what will we Bahamians do to protect our sovereignty from Louis Bacon and his personal agenda? Tell Louis Bacon the Bahamas is not for sale!