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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Anon* *not

John Banks is in more hot water than any teapot can hold. Our Kate is in charge of the party these days judging by the gay marriage reversal and her trenchant defence of their lone MP (though it's more a series of distractions and finger-pointing) seems to suggest she (and Act on Campus) are basically all of what remains of the party.
NZ Herald:
John Banks' mayoral campaign team drew up a list of 10 rich donors to target for $25,000 each, new police documents show.
And Mr Banks asked mutli-millionaire Kim Dotcom for two payments of that exact amount so that he would not have to declare where they came from, the internet tycoon told police.
Dotcom said Mr Banks told him: "I want to help you, Kim, and I can help you more effectively if no one knows about this donation."
The documents from the police inquiry were released last night under the Official Information Act.

The report is online (pdf). It's got bits blanked out - which makes it look dodgy already - but the detail is where the dirt is. It was never a good look and the explanations from Banks were comical at times and now we can see the machinations in all their glory. Like the farce with everyone in the loop trying to anonymise what is blatantly un-anonymous in the first place. And other peripheral stuff like how the Young Nats were running Banks' social media.

Fundraising is a necessary business for politicians and it can't always be left up to the bag men all the time. The poly will be involved with the donor more often than not and usually at the solicitation stage - so it can become a messy, ugly situation when the thin walls of plausible deniability are torn by rogue donors going feral. It happened to Winston over Owen Glenn's donation, it's happening to Banks with Kim Dotcom and it will happen again regardless of what laws are passed. This is an inherent problem.

And speaking of inherent problems, this redacted part may well refer to Michelle Boag:

At one point in the report his Treasurer mentioned how ridiculous it is to have to raise a million dollars for a local government campaign. It is bordering on the ridiculous. Len Brown's Sky City donation means he doesn't come out of it smelling like roses either. Everyone who is hungry knows they could do with a hot bowl of stew, but most have more sense than to peer into the kitchen to see how it gets made. And there's only two types of stew. They have to eat it anyway, best not look too closely.

The opposition are crowing:
Banks is lying low now. Farrar is desperately trying to run distraction for the Government. So was David Carter when he timed the announcement of changes of the local government election rules to coincide with the release of the OIA.
Key has to sack Banks, or spend the rest of the year being kicked around the House.

My guess is that Banks, having weathered the storm so far, will keep marching, grim-faced and tight-lipped, onward. Key will be kicked around the House a bit, but he will still be PM because of Banks' single vote, so the bruising will be a relatively small price to pay for the privilege.


At 13/9/12 5:25 pm, Blogger Cactus Kate said...

Haven't renewed my membership
Don't think that was a defence of Banks, more amazement NZ is in love with Kim Dot Com. Who cries like a baby about not having the right mattress in jail.

At 17/9/12 10:34 am, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

Haven't renewed membership!? Should change headline to 'Act now leaderless'.


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