On the money
Kim Dotcom says he will produce financial records to back up his allegation that he gave $50,000 to Act leader John Banks' 2010 mayoral campaign after Mr Banks yesterday said the Herald's report of those claims was "mostly BS".
Mr Banks yesterday refused to answer questions about two $25,000 donations to his mayoral campaign from Dotcom which were made the day after the two men met in an April 2010. Mr Banks later signed off on campaign finance returns recording the money as coming from anonymous sources.
Banks' stress tones in his speech have risen over the weekend. From a perplexed and cautious phone interview with Campbell Live, laced with great doses of acute amnesia as video loops of his cavorting at Kim's birthday party, to a nervous staccato laugh through a fixed grin on Q+A yesterday where the issues were deflected or just point blank not answered. Sometime today it may approach the realms of hysteria the likes of which were last heard when Judith Collins was attempting to get herself out of her own threatened defamation proceedings and ended up screeching out theatrical snorts of laughter at her own jokes. It is rapidly becoming this sad. Maybe by tomorrow only dogs will be able to hear the shrill laugh.
Banks should never have taken the Dotcom dough if he wasn't prepared to deliver something of value to the donor when it counts, but in the heat of a campaign and the desperation of fundraising for a constituency of a million plus people the candidates can't afford to be too fussy. Yeah, I'm your best mate, now how much?
Who can blame Banks for wanting to keep his donor list private? And who can blame Kim for turning against Banks when he's sitting in jail and Banks is a Minister in the government that put him there? It has all the hallmarks of the moment when Owen Glenn turned on Winston Peters after his donations were spilled during the 2008 election campaign. Betrayal. And now the consequences:
The Herald last night spoke to a former Dotcom employee, who said they had personally deposited the cheques into Mr Banks' campaign account.
The former employee said, "They were deposited just through a normal bank process. It would have just come up as a $25,000 deposit."
However, Dotcom says Mr Banks rang him to thank him for the money after it was paid.
And if Banks is the full quid on this then he would sue the shite out of Kim for defamation for that comment and name the NZ Herald as second defendant... but Banks won't do that, will he. Kim is straight up on this and Banks is at great pains to contort his way around having to answer those tricky, incriminating questions. Oh deary me. It's approaching lawyer time.