Len’s acknowledged affair can’t have been a secret until today – there are apparently affidavits involved. It can’t have been about affecting the campaign for mayor – otherwise the Slaters, dad and boy, would have dropped it well in advance of the election date.
I’m speculating too but I think there is possibly a bigger story that may come out tomorrow, involving Len’s opponent in the previous mayoral election. Judge Gittos will release his decision tomorrow as to whether there is sufficient evidence for John Banks to stand trial for making a declaration that he knew to be false relating to anonymous donations whose source he knew. A court may get to test whether the defence that he did not look at what he signed exonerates him from falsity.
His campaign finance manager’s assertion that Banks was kept away from the finances is ludicrous, when evidence was brought forward that not only did he solicit donations, he knew who had given them, he wanted them kept secret so when he did favours for his donor there would be no comeback. If John Banks has to make his case in court, the implications are much more severe. It will be a much bigger story.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think Len’s affair is a hanging offence or a matter for resignation. He’s a good man and has been a very good mayor, for Manukau and for Auckland. He’s not the first political leader, or follower for that matter, who has strayed, nor will he be the last. It almost comes with the territory. There is no evidence that there was any question of suborning, quite the opposite in fact.
The other lesson is that we are in for a dirty year in politics.