Altec: Could Dr. Minnis be chasing away future Lyford Cay money for the FNM?

Dr. Hubert Minnis delivering a heavy attack against the Christie Government in the Parliament. But could this now backfire on the FNM?

July 22, 2013

Letter to the Editor: Poor Dr Minnis

Dear Bahamas Press,

I am telling you again, Dr Minnis is not going to last as the leader of the FNM. We are watching a man who knows his time is running out to prove to the powers that be that he has what it takes to lead his party into the next general election. The longer this goes, the worse it gets.

There is no crime in political parties receiving financial donations. But that’s not what Dr Minnis is accusing the PLP of. His accusation is deeper than that. He is saying the PLP government is for sale. If you have enough money, you can have a say in the formulation of their policies and influence laws. That is a heavy accusation and if your going to go there Dr Minnis, go there with proof. If not, SIT DOWN.

What’s normally done is if you think you have damaging info or a damaging angle where you can score some political points at the expense of the other side but can’t prove it, you get up in Parliament, say it and after a day or two of headlines in the media, you withdraw your comment. That’s how its done. The goal is the media attention.

Let the media and the talk shows do the speculation for you. That’s how its done.

The problem is Dr. Minnis had no proof that the bill is a reward for Mr. Nygard’s financial help, so rather than withdraw his comment a few days later, as is customary, Dr. Minnis made the mistake of trying to squeeze blood out of a rock. Like the saying says, “you got to know when to fold them, know when to hold them, know when to walk away…”

What Dr. Minnis should have done was withdrawn his statement as he had already gotten the attention from it that he wanted. That should have been the end of it. But no, Dr Minnis tried to take this situation to another level. The only problem is, the Speaker called his bluff and thus the process of death, by a thousand cuts for Dr Minnis began. Politically, this was painful to watch.

The cold, hard reality is both parties gets considerable amounts of money from Lyford Cay. But this is the first time I have ever seen an active politician go after one of the money men from Lyford Cay. If your going to attack like that, you better have proof.

Dr. Minnis is opening up a can of worms that will no doubt bite him. If he can go after Lyford Cay residents who contribute to political parties, how can he reassure similar wealthy contributors that they are not going to become political fodder when he ask them for their financial support? This stunt by Dr Minnis isn’t going to endear theses deeps pocket donors to him. Those Lyford Cay folks love their privacy, and if as party leader you cant get no money to fund the party, you wont be party leader to long.

This is in part what happened to Mr Ingraham in 2012. The FNM party had financial issues a few years before the 2012 elections. Some of the deep pocket Lyford Cay donors either said no to Mr Ingraham or didn’t give as much because they too had had enough of him and saw the PLP wave coming and threw money at the PLP. Dr Minnis hasn’t learned this lesson from his predecessor.

This is an unforced error. This bill shouldn’t have caused this type of drama, but again, Dr Minnis, in my opinion, misstepped. This bill has brought back to the surface the rift in the hierarchy of the FNM and that is the real story that is being overlooked.

How can the leader of the FNM oppose the stem cell bill, while his deputy bucks him and said she supports the bill? If the FNM really thinks this Nygard crap has legs, why is the party machinery not going full bore on this talking point? Where is the FNM chairman? Why is he so silent? Where are the former FNM MP’s? Where is the help for Dr Minnis? Where is the cavalry? Maybe the help can’t talk because they were recipients of Nygard’s finances too.

Other than Dr. Minnis, no one in his party is putting in the same kind of effort to label the PLP as a government for sale. This saga is being mostly driven by Dr Minnis, all the while no one gets to ask how is it that his party is not unified on the bill.

If there was communication between his MP’s, he would have come out and said he will allow his side to vote their conscience on this issue. No such thing happened. Instead the leader says one thing, the deputy says something else and the other FNM MP’s were “running out” during their contributions.

So yeah, keep talking about Nygard Dr Minnis. The fact that you cant even get your own party to coalesce around you and show signs of life on a issue that you have invested so much in, is much more damaging to you.