VIDEOThe CDA has received large sums of money in the run-up to the elections through detours. Because the donations were deposited at the ‘secondary institutions’ of the CDA, they were not included in the campaign overviews of the Ministry of the Interior. That’s not illegal, but it does raise questions.
Also striking: donations from various sponsors went through one address, although that is ‘coincidence’, reports one person involved. The CDA released the financial pictures last night after vehement allegations by Pieter Omtzigt about the unhealthy influence of donors and fiddling with donations. Omtzigt suggested that sponsors ‘bought’ influence on the party and the choice of party leaders.
The released documents show that the CDA had tons of donations at its disposal that were not yet included in the overviews of the Ministry of the Interior (BZK). By law, political parties must report donations received up to and including February 24 to the ministry. This gives voters a good idea of the campaign coffers before the elections.
In the overview of March, two large donations from CDA fundraiser Hans van der Wind were missing. He donated a total of 1.2 million euros this year. Before the elections, this was done through one of his companies on February 12 (175,000 euros) and another 175,000 euros on February 23.
We spoke to Wopke Hoekstra this afternoon about the formation and the controversy surrounding the donations. Watch the conversation below. Text continues below the video.
Both gifts lack so in the formal overview, but according to the party that is logical: these donations went through so-called ‘ancillary institutions’ (such as the CDA business club and the foundation for fundraising) and therefore fell outside the reporting obligation for donations to parties and candidates.
According to the law, those gifts to ‘secondary institutions’ do not have to be made known to the ministry until July 1 of the following year, says a spokesperson for the CDA board: “It has been given to an ancillary institution of the party, which is accountable. later, but has already been made public yesterday.”
The Ministry of the Interior states that the CDA did not have to report the donations to the ‘secondary institutions’, but that the rules will change with the new law that is still being discussed in the House of Representatives. “That law contains a proposal to oblige the subsidiary institutions to provide additional overviews before the elections,” a spokesperson said.
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The party finances of the CDA have been under the magnifying glass since Omtzigt in his leaked memo last week suggests that there has been tampering: “Almost one million of the campaign budget seems to come from three sponsors,” Omtzigt wrote. the campaign team has an interest in trying to make changes to the CDA plans (…)”
The CDA firmly distances itself from the allegations. On Monday evening, the party announced that Van der Wind – through various private companies – therefore deposited 1.2 million euros. Van der Wind is a former entrepreneur, chairman of the fundraising committee and member of the campaign team. “The CDA is very grateful to him and all other donors,” the party board reported.
The publicly disclosed finances raise questions. In the statements, the CDA mentions another large deposit: 230,000 euros from the Netherlands Entrepreneurial Climate Foundation (processed in the books on March 18, 2021). The same foundation will deposit another 17,000 euros on 20 May 2021. According to the CDA, the donations from this foundation ‘among other things consist of two donations that add up to 200,000 euros from Reggeborgh BV and Orbys’.
These donations were made after the elections and the donating Foundation is registered at the same address as the BV’s of Van der Wind, in Loenen aan de Vecht. But that is ‘coincidence’, says Gert Jan Nauta, affiliated with the Stichting Ondernemers Climate to this news site. “There are accounting firms that work for more clients. I also know Mr Van der Wind from the business club, but that is separate from this foundation.”
The Nauta foundation wants to stimulate the entrepreneurial climate in the Netherlands. “As a foundation, we think it is important that family businesses can pass on to the next generations, that the climate for SMEs is good. We have been around for a few months now.” Nauta cannot say why the foundation deposited the money after the elections: ,,I have to think about that for a while. Well, I don’t really know.”
The CDA board only addresses the question about the obligation to report and donations outside the register, but does not address individual questions about late deposits and the donation address. A spokesperson refers to the general statement that everything went according to the law. . Campaign manager and State Secretary for the Interior Raymond Knops emphasized again today that the donations are sound: “We adhere to the rules laid down in the law, nothing is bought or changed.”
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