Mr Key - stand down John Banks or you are a crook too
Banks lobbied minister on Dotcom The donation scandal engulfing Act leader John Banks spread last night as it emerged he lobbied personal friend and Government minister Maurice Williamson over internet tycoon and donor Kim Dotcom.
Mr Williamson, the Minister of Land Information, last night admitted Mr Banks had lobbied him over a property purchase in Coatesville, just north of Auckland, Dotcom wanted to make.
The admission came four days after questions were first lodged.
Yesterday, Mr Williamson's office maintained at 5pm that it had "no knowledge" of whether the minister and Mr Banks had discussed Dotcom's application.
But at 7.22pm, Mr Williamson said: "John Banks did call me to advocate on behalf of Kim Dotcom with regard to the OIO [Overseas Investment Office] application on the Coatesville property. Mr Banks and I have been good friends for years. It is a matter of record that the ministers considered the application, but declined it."
Oh God it just gets worse by the day now doesn't it? Dodgy donations, favors for mates, anonymous cash that wasn't anonymous - Banks can't survive this. When the NZ Herald, a cheerleader for the right, puts out an editorial calling on him to stand down, you know it's all over rover.
Brilliant interview by Rachel Smalley on First Line with John Key this morning (Key looks less and less confident as new detail after new detail emerges), while Campbell Live! and David Fisher at the Herald have been ruthless with this story. Blood is in the water now and the only thing keeping Banks where he is, is his one vote majority he gives National.
Duncan Garner rubbished any suggestion a by election would mess with Key's majority, but that simply isn't true. National would need to win the by election and even then would only have 60 votes in a 121 seat Parliament. They would need to rely on Dunne and the Maori Party to push through their privatization agenda and that is far from certain.
Removing ACT from the house of cards Key has built his Government upon removes all the right wing policy, while Key would certainly still have his majority with 60 votes plus United and Maori Party (Duncan is right about that), he wouldn't be able to sell assets. That's why Key will die in a ditch for Banks.
Let's hope that Kim Dotcom is rich and crazy enough in a Nixon-in-a-bunker kinda way to have secretly recorded all of his phone calls, including John Banks one.
What is more believable? That Banks would ring Dotcom days after a $50 000 donation to thank him a) for that donation? or b) for fireworks that Dotcom had gifted Auckland 6 months before it happened?
Luckily for Banks the other vast rumor circulating around him hasn't surfaced yet. But surely it's just a matter of time?
If Banks is found guilty, and a by election does happen will Rodney Hide run again? My suggestion to Labour, Greens, MANA and NZ First is that they all step aside from putting up a candidate in favor of an independent candidate who declares they are only there for 2 years with one mandate, not to sell assets.
As for Bank's bizarre interview on RadioLive yesterday afternoon where he denied a 'relationship' with Kim Dotcom because he was married...
Banks: "Are you saying that Dotcom's at SkyCity?"
RadioLive: "No, no - that you had donations to your mayoral campaign from SkyCity and two from Kim Dotcom."
Banks: "Oh, look, look, look, look, look, look, look [pause] this matter. I don't know if you're caught up with it ... I have never been to SkyCity with Dotcom."
RadioLive: "And what about donations to your campaign? Did you have a relationship with Kim Dotcom?"
Banks: "What's your relationship? This is offensive! He's a married man, what are you talking about?"
RadioLive: "[Laughs] Not a relationship like that."
Banks: "No, look I don't want to go down ... I've had no relationship with Dotcom - he's got a wife."
RadioLive: "Not like that, a business relationship."
Banks: [hangs up]
RadioLive: [calls back]
RadioLive: "Hi, I was just wanting to clear up something, I wasn't meaning to ..."
Banks: "Just a minute, just a minute - I have never had a relationship with Dotcom, he is a married man. And I have not been to the SkyCity with the guy. So thanks for your time, thanks for your call."