Poor old Banksie. There are complaints about the traps that Labour have stooped to “dirty tricks” in their attempt to smear ACT’s Epsom candidate John Banks.
Amusingly the so-called “dirty tricks” involve posting around the electorate flyers quoting the candidate, and posting online his fiscal record while in office–all very helpful you would think to a candidate whose billboards boast his “experience” as his best feature.
Yet his record has less than meets the eye; leastways, less than met the eye of Don Brash and the ACT selection team when they selected “Banksie” as their candidate in their must-win seat. Because they apparently didn’t know when they selected him what everybody else knew long ago: That Banksie is a bigot. That Banksie is a spendthrift. That if he wants to run on his “experience,” then he can expect his past experiences to come back and bite him.
His statements quoted on the pamphlets would bad enough, especially for any candidate representing a purportedly “liberal” party. But it his fiscal record as Auckland mayor that should frighten the socks off anyone voting for him in the hope that the ACT Party represent fiscal responsibility.
If there is a surprise for me in Epsom [writes Labour's Epsom candidate David Parker, accurately], it is that so few people knew that John Banks tripled Auckland City Council’s debt during his last three years as Mayor. This recent history is very damaging for Key as well as Banks, given their repeated assertions that they are fiscally responsible and Labour is profligate.
The reality that Banks was “borrow and spend” will get through. I am telling everyone! Every letter box in Epsom will get this message…
The reality is that Banks’ very public record is there to haunt Key and Banks. The man who claims Muldoon as his hero has the worst economic record of any Mayor, ever, in the entire history of New Zealand.
While the last Labour government ran budget surpluses and reduced government debt, this is what John Banks did to Auckland:
Auckland City Council debt more than trebled in his last 3 years as Mayor!
2007 2008 2009 31/10/2010
$135m $322m $499m $738 million !!!!!!!!
This was all pre amalgamation [and therefore represents the debt racked up just for the much smaller original Auckland City Council], and resulted in three credit downgrades for the council from Standard and Poors (from AA+ to AA-).
The Act spin that debt increased because the old Auckland City was borrowing for the new City is untrue. (That extra $416m of borrowing in the 2010 year took Auckland City Council debt to $1,155m at the time of amalgamation, but is excluded from the above figures.)
So John Banks certainly does not stand for fiscal responsibility.
He sure doesn’t.
One can only wonder about ACT’s sickening pragmatism in selecting this bigoted moron as their candidate in the first place.