District Elder Fires Back at Oversight Committee ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Põhja-Tallinn district elder, Karin Tammemägi, reproached a decision by Parliament's party financing oversight committee to brand two public service campaigns in the district as taxpayer-funded political ads, saying the committee is politically biased.

“The committee has shown how neutral it is by avoiding the question of a 41,000-euro 'mistake' by the Social Democrats,” Tammemägi said, referencing to another recent scandal, in a Põhja-Tallinn press release on Tuesday evening.

According to Tammemägi, the committee also failed to condemn a 2011 bulk-mail campaign calling for people to better insulate their homes, which was taxpayer-funded but featured a picture of IRL candidate Juhan Parts.

Tammemägi questioned the committee's competency. “It can only offer its political opinion, as it has no experts and no member has any media training,” she said.

One of the controversial Põhja-Tallinn campaigns comprises posters at Stroomi Beach featuring a photo of Tammemägi inviting residents to sporting events, while a poster of deputy elder Priit Kutser, covering the side of an old schoolhouse on Sõle street, tells passersby that a sports complex with a swimming pool will be located there in two years.

Both Kutser and Tammemägi are Center Party members and are likely to run for office in the upcoming local elections.

At the end of August it emerged that a 41,692-euro invoice of the Social Democrats had not been disclosed as a campaign expense during the 2011 elections. The leadership of the party attributed the mistake to human error.

MPs from the Center Party and the Reform Party called for the head of the oversight committee, a Social Democrat, to resign.