Jim Anderton and Shane Jones, ministers under the prior government, are both in a bit of trouble. Others are too, but less interestingly. Jones apparently forgot to split off the hotel bill from the ancillaries where the ancillaries included pay per view porn. iPredict says there's a 14% chance he leaves Parliament in the next month.
Jim Anderton charged spa treatments for himself and his wife to the Ministerial card. He's currently running for mayor of Christchurch, where we've seen absolutely no movement in his 67% chance of winning.
In both cases, the Ministers paid the money back a while ago, but oughtn't have had the expenses on the Ministerial bill in the first place.
Hypotheses amongst which we cannot distinguish given the evidence:
- A little bit of spending on porn is worse than a lot of spending on spas
- Voters are happier punishing MPs than potential mayors for financial malfeasance, never mind that a mayor probably has more room for dodginess there than does an MP
- Christchurch voters already knew that Anderton takes short term loans on the public dime and pays them back and so there's no effect on his standing.
Full disclosure: I shorted 100 Anderton around $0.65. But, I ought to have gone long as a hedge: I expect my property taxes to go up by about a quarter more under Anderton than they'll go up if Parker's re-elected, and Anderton's maybe 5% likely to force Christchurch bars to serve Milo instead of alcohol. I'm also short Jones's leaving Parliament. Demotion, sure. But leaving?
I'm always depressed about how angry these folks get about these small scale rorts while they positively cheer for policies that will impose net costs many orders of magnitude higher than a few pay per view movies.