The Herald has an update on Auckland Mayor Len Brown’s sex scandal.
I have a strong bias here. I’d like to see Len Brown survive. I don’t have any sense of allegiance for Brown, particularly, but I do think Cameron Slater is a walking slick of multi-cellular diarrhea so I’d like to see his enemy triumph.
But at this stage it seems dicey, The advantage of hitting a political opponent with this kind of scandal is that it shakes the tree of their incumbency, and you never know what else might fall out. Free hotel rooms for trysts, job recommendations, a mysterious cell-phone number used to send an ominous message. All of these are still up in the air, while Brown has gone to ground because this scandal is still developing and he doesn’t know what questions might get thrown at him if he fronts up to the press. He has no control over the story.
I think Brown is actually lucky this fell into Slater’s hands and not those of professional political operatives. Because Slater’s Dad is a former National Party president who ran John Palino’s mayoral campaign, the story is hopelessly contaminated and has poisoned Palino’s chance of re-running if there is another election. If the story was broken strategically it would have been used to force Brown into making denials that could be disproved, and rolled out over a series of days with separate components leaked to rival news organisations – the usual bag of tricks Labour and National employ when they get something juicy. But Slater just vomited it all out there on his blog, which possibly saved Brown’s mayoralty.