John Banks has had a miraculous change of heart on pokies. He used to say gambling bosses were “wide boys” who “sucked” the people of this country dry. Now, he’s rubbed up against John Key and become ‘relaxed’ about more pokies. Maybe the $15,000 undeclared donation from SkyCity helped. A donor Banks was legally required to disclose but didn’t. Labour’s laid a complaint.
Apparently, the way it works with local elections is the complaint goes to the Council electoral officer, who gives it to the Police if they think it’s warranted. In this case, it certainly seems so. Banks claims he didn’t know that the donation was from SkyCity. Which is pretty hard to believe. It was the same amount Len Brown got and he knew who it had come from and declared it. $15,000 doesn’t just drop into your account in a local body campaign.
If Banks were to be convicted (the offence carries a term of up to 2 years) he would be forced to vacate his seat in Parliament.
In the meantime, while there’s an investigation going on, there’s no way that Banks should be voting on any SkyCity legislation.
With the Auditor-General also being asked to look into the tendering process for the white elephant convention centre, there’s going to be nearly as many investigations going on into National’s dirty deal with SkyCity as there are going on over Collins’ ACC scandal.
[Btw, that dirty son of a bitch Len Brown, who has betrayed the people who voted for him at every crossroads, should have abstained from yesterday’s council vote too. Instead, he and a solitary councilor defeated a motion that said the Council would object to SkyCity getting more pokies as part of a convention centre deal. The man who traded so big on defending Manukau from pokies is now saying he doesn’t have enough information (how much information do you need to say ‘no more pokies’?) and is proposing ‘mitigation’. Seriously, I can’t believe we campaigned for that dick.]