NEWS that the Palmer United Palmer may have breached the Tasmanian Electoral Act with a newspaper advertisement on Monday shows an alarming pattern.
The advertisement used photographs of the three major party leaders, Lara Giddings, Will Hodgman and Nick McKim, without their written consent and has been referred to Tasmanian Electoral Commissioner Julian Type.
The breach could have major ramifications for PUP and senator- elect Jacqui Lambie who authorised it.
A breach of section 196 of this act carries a maximum $39,000 fine and/ or 12 months' imprisonment.
If Ms Lambie was to receive the prison term it would disqualify her from taking her seat in the Senate in July.
Without pre-empting Mr Type's decision or the penalty, it is unlikely that a first offender would receive the maximum fine.
However, it has been the aftermath of this saga that should worry Tasmanians.
On Monday Ms Lambie said she was wrong to authorise the advertisement. Yesterday, on ABC Radio, Ms Lambie said that she didn't authorise it and had never seen the advertisement.
Perhaps the TEC also has a fine that covers false authorisation.
Then Ms Lambie threw out the conspiracy theory that Tony Abbott had organised the complaint to shut down her allegations about abuse in the defence forces.
PUP state leader Kevin Morgan, or "Keven Morgan" if you read Clive Palmer's open letter, blamed everybody but those in his party for the error.
This from the same party that wants to run a fast ferry across Bass "Straight" and said that it would not preference the Greens on Saturday when the Tasmanian electoral system doesn't allow for preferences.
The scary thing is that there are many disaffected Labor voters who are considering voting PUP rather than Liberal or the Greens.
It is estimated that Clive Palmer has invested close to $1 million on the Tasmanian campaign - we will find out on Saturday whether Tasmanians were influenced by that investment.