Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: John Banks: The volunteer did it

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    OK, so apparently I’m held to a higher standard of responsibility when I sign my tax return than I would be signing a campaign finance return while seeking public office. An office where, presumably, I’d have some not-inconsiderable influence over the disposition of billions in public funds and be expected to get my head around a never-ending stack of papers awaiting my signature?

    That’s comforting.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12073 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    You know, if I were a politician (snort), I'd be really really pissed off that Banks is allowed in the same room as me.

    It must be hard for the genuinely honest and passionate politicians to have their job smeared by the disgustingly dishonest and dishonorable, behaviour of a few (well I hope it's a few).

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3458 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    From http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6871058/Kim-Dotcom-releases-John-Banks-song

    "Prime Minister John Key has said he will strip Banks of his ministerial warrants if he is found to be lying over Dotcom's donation."

    Yes, Prime Minister.......

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Normally, a candidate is accountable to the people who vote for them as well as the law, but in the case, it isn't just a corrupt candidate, it's a corrupt electorate.

    "And our slogan shall be, 'a rotten candidate for a rotten borough'."
    - Mr E. Blackadder

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 848 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m held to a higher standard of responsibility when I sign my tax return than I would be signing a local body election campaign finance return

    FTFY.

    Seriously, people are overlooking that Banks would have been thoroughly nailed if he'd tried it for a general election.

    The Local Elections Act is absolutely a nonsense, with holes sufficient to fit a supertanker through beam-on, but that doesn't mean we allow all political candidates to get away with shit of this nature.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3934 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    It must be hard for the genuinely honest and passionate politicians

    I genuinely hope such things exist, but a cynical mind would suggest that doubts remain.... certainly, evidence to the contrary (in individual examples) is wide-spread.
    How wide-spread does the taint of power seeking and self aggrandizement, or just telling little porkies to help embellish a valid argument have to be (to say nothing of outright lies and corruption in this particular case) have to be before you right them ALL off, as not worth trusting 100%?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • WH, in reply to Russell Brown,

    To say this is unconvincing is something of an understatement.

    I agree with Anna Simkiss’ comment. I understand Graeme’s supremely fair reluctance to second guess the Police, but without a disclosure of the underlying facts, the letter to Mallard doesn’t seem particularly compelling. This all reminds me that John Banks once served as New Zealand’s Minister of Police.

    As with intent, the knowledge of an accused can only be proven by inference from known facts. As you’ve pointed out, John Banks’ claim to have been unaware of these donations is unconvincing. I just don’t see how he can call to say thanks for the split donation yet fail to be responsible for the way in which the payments were recorded on his own damn return. I can’t say whether the doctrines of constructive and imputed knowledge could be made to apply to the disclosure provisions of the LEA, but it would have been an interesting argument.

    The other thing this reminds me of is that John Banks spent years demonising the unlucky, the unloved and the downright dishonest on talkback. So if there is anything we know for sure about the man, it is that he is a goose. The sauce for this particular goose tastes a lot like the fact that John Banks is a big fat hypocrite. So there you have it, John Banks: the man, the goose, the weasel, the talkback dragon, the paper tiger and bad egg is also a complete bullshitter.

    Since Nov 2006 • 616 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Ana: my avatar has a crush on your avatar. Could you possibly paint it blue?

    Since Nov 2006 • 616 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I imagine Banks is disappointed to realise at this stage of his life that he's no better a person than his dear dad was. And that others see him like that too.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Banks would have been thoroughly nailed if he'd tried it for a general election

    Well, the texts of the two acts are very similar:

    Local Electoral Act - 134 / False return
    (1)Every candidate commits an offence who transmits a return of electoral expenses knowing that it is false in any material particular, and is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to a fine not exceeding $10,000
    (2)Every candidate commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 who transmits a return of electoral expenses that is false in any material particular unless the candidate proves—
    (a)that he or she had no intention to mis-state or conceal the facts; and
    (b)that he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure that the information was accurate.

    Electoral Act s205N
    (2)A candidate who files a return under section 205K that is false in any material particular is guilty of—
    (a)**a corrupt practice** if he or she filed the return knowing it to be false in any material particular; or
    (b)**an illegal practice** in any other case unless the candidate proves that—
    (i)he or she had no intention to misstate or conceal the facts; and
    (ii)he or she took all reasonable steps in the circumstances to ensure that the information was accurate.

    The only differences I can parse from that is that:
    - the less serious offence (not having personal knowledge of the falsehood) carries a larger fine for national elections
    - the time limit is three years for national, six months for local

    As far as I can see, if Banks had behaved the same way in the Epsom election, he would have been fined up to $40k (I'm sure one of his backers would have met the bill) but could still have stayed in his seat. s224 (2)

    Interestingly, I can find nothing in either act that deals with a case where the delay in an offence becoming apparent is due to a candidate's concealment of that offence.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    he or she took all reasonable steps to ensure that the information was accurate

    Like reading the return, perhaps?

    Seriously, how do the Police justify not laying charges and letting a court judge the matter?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Sacha,

    Seriously, how do the Police justify not laying charges and letting a court judge the matter?

    That's the problem with the system right there, they don't. Bought and paid for.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sacha,

    Like reading the return, perhaps?

    Seriously, how do the Police justify not laying charges and letting a court judge the matter?

    There is a six month time limit for that charge. Approximately 10 months had passed when they were first asked to investigate. Had police chosen to charge in that circumstance, I'd be calling for heads. We have limitation periods for a reason, and even if that reason is stupid, they're still the law and I expect police to abide by them.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    The only differences I can parse from that is that:
    - the less serious offence (not having personal knowledge of the falsehood) carries a larger fine for national elections
    - the time limit is three years for national, six months for local

    The major differences are in bits about what the returns have to include. Large anonymous donations are not allowed to be made to parliamentary candidates. Trusts cannot be used to hide the names of donors to parliamentary candidates. etc.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3012 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    There is a six month time limit for that charge

    Ah, got you - that clarifying clause only applies to the lesser offence.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Is there any case law around this key phrase from 134(1) that might have guided the Police's assessment of whether to lodge a case?:

    knowing that it is false in any material particular

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Although, one could, if minded, donate to ACT, via the electoral commission, $27423 or something similar. Easy for the recipient to decode.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Brian Murphy,

    I would just like to encourage people to have their say about the MMP reviews proposals.

    See http://pundit.co.nz/content/is-someone-trying-to-game-the-mmp-review for some reasons why.


    Participate!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 44 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    What more would anyone like them to have done in this case?

    Well, given a court just found a case to answer, they could have just dug out and presented the evidence?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4501 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Banks resigns his porfolios, For now.Why doesn't he do us all a bloody favour and just piss off all together.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6356 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Sof' - I'd prefer he evaporate - pissing off means he'd leave a nasty trickle of himself &
    *the environment doesnt need that!*

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    *the environment doesnt need that!*

    Shit has its purpose. Why, even prisoners use it to throw against walls. Surely they could find a use for him. ;)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6356 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Compost?

    Okaaaaaay-

    (just never wanting to use it in my garden!)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Islander,

    Stella's friends fleas are nicer :) I say friend because Stella doesn't have fleas.Maybe he could go be Key's man servant in Hawaii? That suits me.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6356 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Heh!
    Would suit his servile-to-powers that be eh?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

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