Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, June 29th, 2010 - 40 comments
Categories: accountability, auckland supercity, john banks, len brown, local body elections, supercity - Tags: accountability, expenses
I have very mixed feelings about all this scrutiny of the spending of public figures. On the one hand it is clear that abuses of the system exist – major ones like the outlandish cases that were happening in the UK, or Bill English’s Double Dipton housing rort. These need to be dragged into the sunlight. But on the other hand, where does the process end? When does it become panty sniffing, or a tool of political mudslinging? The hounding of Len Brown certainly has the latter feel about it.
Well, for the record, now Mr Banks can join the club of those who have broken the rules. And his sanctimonious claims about spending turn out to have been wrong too. Bernard Orsman reports:
‘I completely forgot about any of that’ – Banks
Auckland City Mayor John Banks has admitted claiming $438.80 in entertainment costs after issuing a Super City mayoral campaign bulletin saying he had “never charged a sandwich, lunch or coffee to the ratepayers of Auckland”.
And he broke council rules when office staff sought reimbursement for the entertainment against a bill for private use of his cellphone instead of making an expenses claim.
Last night, Mr Banks said it was a genuine mistake to say he had never charged anything to ratepayers outside work in the Town Hall, and he would run a correction in his next online campaign bulletin.
No doubt we will now see a full spectrum Herald campaign against Banks driving him into an emotional apology, and snarky concern troll editorials questioning his suitability to lead. Any moment now…