Epsom by election?

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 am, May 3rd, 2013 - 73 comments
Categories: accountability, by-election, corruption, election funding, law - Tags: , ,

John Banks is in court to answer allegations over his Dotcom donations and brain fades lies:

Loss in court would cost Banks seat

… Mr Banks has been called to court to answer allegations that he received money from internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and SkyCity during his run for the Auckland mayoralty in 2010 but declared them as anonymous.

Graham McCready, a retired accountant, is bringing the private prosecution against Mr Banks after police concluded last year they could not prove he had made a false return. Yesterday, Mr Banks said he would defend the new charges because he had not committed an offence. A conviction for knowingly filing a false return carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison or a fine of $10,000.

Under electoral law, a parliamentary seat is vacated if an MP is convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term of two years or more. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler, of Wellington, confirmed that if Mr Banks was found guilty, he would be removed from Parliament, regardless of the sentence. “If a conviction is entered, even if there is an appeal … he ceases to be an MP.”

Internal and police investigations have a habit of concluding nothing much, but our courts are known for delivering independent and honest verdicts. There’s a real risk to Banks here.

This is the politician who is propping up John Key’s government. Without Banks, the Nats don’t have a majority. How would an Epsom by election play out?

73 comments on “Epsom by election?”

  1. Hell would freeze over before Labour won this seat but the intervening period between Banks being outed and the new MP elected would cause huge problems for the Government.

    It would also be good to see ACT finally destroyed as a party and its Parliamentary presence go.

    • Rhinocrates 1.1

      Ah, schadenfreude, such a pleasure. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    • alwyn 1.2

      If it was quick enough. and I don’t think it would happen at all, it wouldn’t matter.
      Just get it over with at the same time as the seat held by Horomia remains vacant and there would be one less on each side of the house.
      As far as I know Labour cannot vote for Horomia any more and they, or the Maori Party, won’t get another seat until after a by-election.

  2. Maui 2

    I concur.

    Interesting times, and if nothing else – good theatre as the first cold fronts
    of Autumn arrive from the Antarctic.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Probably a nat ring in would win, Paul Goldsmith well known ‘hoarding hider’ and biographer perhaps?

    • You mean this guy?

      [facebook account required]

    • jaymam 3.2

      The old team of enthusiastic Goldsmith supporters are ready and willing. We even have a supply of authorised hoardings from last time. I think a video camera pointed to each hoarding could get some good footage for the TV news.

  4. Get Turia to quit her undignified bitterness, and as soon as banks is gone, vote in favour on a no confidence motion.

    • Pete 4.1

      I don’t think we should count our chickens just yet. There is a prima facie case, otherwise things wouldn’t have got this far, but proving it beyond reasonable doubt is not certain.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1

        It will all come down to whether or not its reasonale to believe he didn’t know what he was signing was false.

        Having “nothing to fear, and nothing to hide”*, the choice over whether he asks for a jury trial will be interesting.

        *apart from the sworn police statement he made, obviously.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.1

          Wont be many judges he hasn’t dinner partied with up there…

        • Cemetery Jones 4.1.1.2

          Despite his insincere self-reinvention of necessity as a libertard, Banksie is ultimately an agent of the Xtian right. Will he swear on the Bible when he appears in court? And will he tell the truth having done so? Perjury is a secular offence, and once I don’t expect he’d take seriously to save his own skin. But for a man of his beliefs to take an oath on the Bible and lie, hell even if he gets off the cognitive dissonance will be so immense we could harness it as a form of natural energy.

          If he doesn’t swear on the Bible, we know that the rainmaker of Epsom intends to hide the truth.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.2.1

            lol. Nope.

            All true Christians know, as it is said in the bible, that oaths are unnecessary, as Christians should not lie anyhow.

            So if that doesn’t bother his conscience, I can’t see why the secular offense of perjury would.

            • Cemetery Jones 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Oh, indeed. At the end of the day, he cherishes wealth and the right to sit in judgement far too much to ever be taken at his word about being a *genuine* Christian. Watching yet another thread unravelling from the seams of his respectability charade will be excellent, though more for the pressure it will put on Jonkey and Joyce.

              • Actually that’s not quite true. You are allowed to lie to prevent other people from persecuting you as a Christian, especially if you’re a woman. (obviously that second part has to do with Christian women who married into different religions in a far more conservative time)

            • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.2.1.2

              simply let your Yes be yes, and your No be no, brothers and sisters.

              James 5:12

      • The Al1en 4.1.2

        “I don’t think we should count our chickens just yet. There is a prima facie case, otherwise things wouldn’t have got this far, but proving it beyond reasonable doubt is not certain.”

        Absolutely, just saying it’s the quickest way to get rid of the nats should planets align.
        Though of course Labour wouldn’t be ready, needing at least another twelve months to bed in the new leader before he is ready for public consumption*

        *Just because 😆

    • yeshe 4.2

      Could Kim Dotcom be called as a witness ? Now … that would be fun and very, very interesting.

      • toad 4.2.1

        Kim Dotcom will almost certainly be called as a witness. His evidence is crucial to the case against Banks.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1.1

          And that Police Statement he didn’t want anyone to see.

          Be interesting to see how that sworn statement compares to his public statements.

    • paul andersen 4.3

      I like this idea.

  5. ianmac 5

    In a by-election maybe Mr Boscowan would stand and win? Perhaps explains why he has become active in Act again?

  6. burt 6

    Poor old man. just doing what all the others have been doing. It’s not fair to just single him out for doing what he has always done. Better get some retrospective validations passed really quickly before the budget to kill off the court case because it’s simply not fair to hold him to account for doing something he has always done and others were doing too….

    Oh, that’s right – he’s not a self serving red team member … he’s a self serving blue team member – prosecute him……

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      If you have evidence anyone else was doing this you should lay a private prosecution yourself Burt.

      Or you could just make shit up so you can pretend everyone does it too if you like.

      • Pete 6.1.1

        I think he’s referring to Harry Duynhoven, it should be noted National supported the Electoral Amendment Bill 2004, which removed the stumbling block.

      • burt 6.1.2

        A private prosecution… Imagine the cost to the country when parliament go into urgency passing immediate retrospective validations and imagine how much I’d be arguing with rOb that it’s wrong while he argues [r0b: Deleted. Burt – next time you try and put your own stupid words in my mouth I’ll ban you for good.]

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.2.1

          So you don’t have an example of saomeone who did what Banks did then?

          Aren’t they all doing it?

          Just one example plz burt. And don’t forget to provide a skerrick of evidence. just one.

          • burt 6.1.2.1.1

            The Spencer Trust…. Oh that’s right… never heard of it…

            Look at the number of complaints over the last few elections. Look at the excuses the self serving red team used over the alleged illegal spending in 2005 – do you want me to go find some links where lovers of big government and self serving politicians defended the same shit Bank’s is now being held accountable for – or would you rather just stop trying to deflect your past position by making it about me not having an example ?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Yes. Put up or shut up.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.2.1.1.2

              Just saying “the spencer trust” is crap Burt.

              You need to find an example of someone knowing who the donor was when they said they didn’t, after actively seeking the donation, asking for it to structured in a way that would provide plausible deniability, and thanking them for it later.

              My past position?

              Fill yer boots Burt.

              Hunt away.

              • That said, Labour’s couple of trust buddies should have to be transparent just like National’s horde of trust buddies needs to be. It’s not okay that people can launder political donations through anonymous trusts.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        He’s referring to the 2005 election and the AG ruling that effectively changed the rules as everybody understood them.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2

      “something he has always done and others were doing too….”

      What, other MPs have personally solicited donations, requested that they be split into two separate payments, then declared them as anonymous?

      Evidence, please.

    • Daveosaurus 6.3

      Well, if you’re going to bring up matters from the best part of a decade ago… has your mate Don Brash got around to paying his GST bill yet?

  7. Tracey 7

    It’s time for some courageous whistleblowers from within Banks campaign team.

  8. logie97 8

    Key must know that the court of public opinion has found Banks wanting and that it is causing fringe damage to the government, so why won’t he cut him loose? Does Banks know something?

    • felix 8.1

      Banks has been in parliament for 146 years, Minister of Police, Mayor of Auckland twice, and worked for years in the media and hospitality industries.

      Yeah he knows something. Oh and they’re both masons.

  9. muzza 9

    Its would be a shock if Banks goes get convicted, the *brothers*, will do what is necessary to ensure every hurdle is in the path to successful prosecution.

    Should they not be able to protect Banks again, a by election will lead to another seat for *the right* in any case.

    Epsom is *Blue*, that’s the end of the story!

    Just like North Shore – Who elected Tv show host Barry, it matters not which low level individual is presented, the morons will vote with *their team*

    Majority of voters are not in any way, discerning!

  10. vto 10

    .
    Kim Dotcom must stand in Epsom for the Mega Party

    • Jim Nald 10.1

      He can’t, as I understand.

      He needs to be a NZ citizen.

      And he won’t qualify until Nov 2015 at the earliest when he can apply to be a citizen based on the 5-year rule, given that he was granted residence in Nov 2010.

  11. veutoviper 11

    Interesting times!

    The Herald article (linked to in the post) does not mention that the case is/was due to be heard in May or early June; and that McCready has filed to transfer the prosecution to the Solicitor General/Crown, according to Penny Bright.

    Here is Penny’s link to her website which she provided in comment 12 on Open Mike 30 April http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/uncategorized/john-banks-prosecution-referred-to-solicitor-general/

    This link also provides another link to McCready’s letter to the S-G seeking the prosecution transfer; and the full judgement of Judge Mill in the Wellington District Court dated 16 April 3013.

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/John-Banks-referral-to-Solicitor-General.pdf

    I found Judge Mill’s decision to allow the prosecution particularly informative in terms of his reasons for his decision – and his detailed disection of the arguments put forward by Banks’ counsel seeking to have the case dismissed.

    If, the Auckland court supports Mills’ approach, Banks’ could be a goner.

    If the prosecution is transferred to the Crown, however, I suspect that we will seek the court hearing delayed for some time …..

  12. toad 12

    Having read Judge Mill’s judgment in issuing the summons, I think what the case will turn on is:

    a) Whether Kim Dotcom’s evidence that Banks attempted to orchestrate the Mega donations in a way that they could be recorded as anonymous is accepted (I think it will be, given the corroborating witnesses).

    b) Whether Banks’ account that he signed the electoral return without reading it is accepted (the cross-examination on this could be interesting – or maybe Banks will choose not to go into the witness box and take his chances).

    c) If Banks’ account is accepted, whether such willful blindness as to the content of the electoral return can excuse him from having knowingly signed a false return, given that it appears to have been his intent at the time he solicited the Mega donations that they should be recorded as anonymous.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Nice work.

    • (c) points out a big hole in existing electoral law, of course. We should not have to prove that politicians knowingly violated the law, we should have to prove that they either deliberately or negligently violated it.

      There’s no way Banks comes out of this as a viable electoral candidate though- at best he has contempt for the law and our elections. (Signing a document without reading it, as a potential MP? Who does he expect to fool?)

    • RedBaronCV 12.3

      I read Judge Mills too.
      So long as Kim Dotcom and his employees turn up and give evidence and possibly the guy from Sky City then I can see it turning on ‘He knew that he had made them into anonymous donations” . The lawyer is interesting too, he’s an officer of the Court so he’s testifying that J Banks declined to use his influence which is one way of saying that the donations could have influenced him.

      So remind me, why did the police not prosecute? Who influenced them not to prosecute – Mills quotes a lot of old and well established electoral cases – attempting to buy politicians has been around for ever – how come they were not aware of any of this? And good on Mills for dealing with McCready’s background – It depends on the evidence not on the person making the allegations.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1

        So remind me, why did the police not prosecute?

        It was outside the time limit for such complaints which have to be within six months of the election.

  13. ianmac 13

    But of course should Mr Banks be found not guilty, can you imagine the crowing from Key/Banks!

  14. BLiP 14

    Case heard in late June, guilty verdict announced late July, John Key calls an early election in the hope of being able to fuck off to Hawaii permanently by Christmas. You heard it here first.

  15. Lanthanide 15

    “Without Banks, the Nats don’t have a majority.”

    That’s not true. The Maori Party have a confidence and supply agreement with National, and they vote in favour of all of their budgets and in motions of no confidence.

    National went to some lengths to get the asset sales legislation passed separately from the 2012 budget just so the MP could live up to their confidence and supply agreement.

    So the government would not automatically fall, unless the MP turned their back on their agreement.

    In terms of passing legislation however, the MP vote against National more often than they vote for them, so that could be interesting.

    • woodpecker 15.1

      National would have to put in one of thiers to shove through charter schools.

  16. remo 16

    The wheels grind exceeding fine.
    We live in hope.
    Nail the weasel worded one.

  17. paul andersen 17

    banks gets found guilty, sacked, by-election, epsom voters, turn to the conservatives, craig gets in, is against asset sales(read the manifesto) asset sales process is halted, early election , key gets elbowed along with national,,, YES

    • Paul 17.1

      Epsom won’t turn to the Conservatives. Does not fit the Libertarian hue of many there.
      They’ll just bring in another Tory.
      Aaron Gilmore for Epsom? After all, he’s famous now!

    • Rhinocrates 17.2

      Wonderful… however, I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but beware of wishful thinking. If Banks gets ousted, another neocon drone gets the seat and is rude to waiters, annnnd… Business as usual (which is the Nat party slogan and alas, Labour’s now too).

      Key goes and so it’s Judith Collins as his replacement? That’s not something I’m looking forward to (the deja vu alone will cause crippling ennui – memories of Shipley and all that).

      As The Who put it, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

      We deserve better, we deserve representatives who will fight for something better, but in the meantime, I’ll be happy with Banks staying in parliament akshully – he’s irredeemably tainted, adding his foul stench to everything he’s associated with. If Shearer is the right’s biggest asset, Banks is the left’s.

      The best scenario is this taking a lonnnng time, lingering like the bad smell of a rat that’s died somewhere in the wall cavity.

      • BrucetheMoose 17.2.1

        Judith Collins is not something I would look forward to either. Who needs a rouge Bengal Tiger on the loose when you have Judith in charge.

  18. Murray Olsen 18

    Much as I like the idea of Banks disappearing from public life, I can’t see any major changes coming from pinning the tail on another reactionary in Epsom.
    On the other hand, Paula Bennett doesn’t have much of a majority at all.
    Still, even if she went and the broad left (middle right to Mana) could form a government, what would Shearer do differently? We need a large majority with a good representation from the Greens and Mana to roll anything back. Labour, having shafted Cunliffe, would mostly make excuses. The Greens and Mana, depending as they do on activism at the base, are much better prospects. They can actually be encouraged to push up against the limits of social democracy and even make a few worthwhile changes.

    • Rhinocrates 18.1

      On the other hand, Paula Bennett doesn’t have much of a majority at all.

      Loathsome as she is, she’s done what her backers want of her and she’s high on the list. You’ll see her around for a while yet.

      They can actually be encouraged to push up against the limits of social democracy and even make a few worthwhile changes.

      Fingers crossed. If there’s going to be a change of government, make sure that the real left is able to wield authority, not just tag along – and that means a Green or Mana party vote.

  19. BrucetheMoose 19

    I noticed on the news today that the Two Johnnys went to Parekura Horomias tangi in the latest navy helicopter today. I wonder if they will remember going in it – or going at all for that matter.

  20. Nick K 20

    I’m looking forward to Dotcom explaining how he gave a donation when he actually didn’t.

  21. millsy 21

    I wouldnt count the chickens just yet. Still got a lot of legal stuff to work thru….

  22. BREAKING NEWS!

    Had an email from Graham McCready confirming that John Banks will be appearing in the Auckland District Court Wednesday 8 May 2013 at 9am.

    It has not yet been confirmed whether or not the Solicitor-General Michael Heron will ‘intervene’ in the public interest, in these proceedings.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

  23. John Key has probably already told the courts what verdict he expects.

  24. TomR 24

    Taking John Banks Out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R9aJT4swKg because we are sick of this Right Wing shit http://thepeopleslaw.co.nz/nazinats

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