Phil Goff had a good day yesterday with the entry into the Auckland mayoral race of John Palino.
Palino is the third centre right candidate to run, and it's not "rocket science" to see that the centre-right vote will be split, leaving Goff with a walk in the park to the mayoralty.
The centre-right in Auckland is in disarray. At this juncture they have again failed to come up with one strong candidate for a head to head contest with the left's Phil Goff.
I'll tell you now who won't win the Auckland mayoralty - John Palino, Victoria Crone or Mark Thomas.
Palino's decision to run again is interesting. He actually did very well in 2013 with 108,928 votes to Len Brown's 164,338.
His mistake is thinking he can do better this time against Goff.
Palino's high vote in 2013 was more likely to be the result of an anti-Brown vote. I don't see such an anti-vote against Goff.
Goff might be embedded with Labour but he's a pragmatist, unless it's asset sales, so I don't see the same level of intolerance to Goff as there was to Brown.
The three candidates will simply soak up the centre-right votes between them.
Simon Lusk, Palino's campaign manager is apparently some sort of Machiavellian guy, so, you would figure that he's worked out the problematic "split vote" scenario.
The only solution is to get the other candidates to stand aside - that is surely not going to happen.
Palino's promise of a 10 per cent rates cut is unwise because people won't believe it. Why should they? There is a history of mayoral candidates promising rate cuts or minimal rates increases only to break their promise. After all, the mayor is but one vote on council. A 10 per cent rates cut is unbelievable and probably unachievable.
Non-core council spending should slashed but that doesn't necessarily translate to a rates cut.
Palino's claims of "corruption" on council contracts, while interesting, comes with no concrete evidence.
Some are infatuated over what Palino did or didn't know about the Len Brown sex scandal. I don't care. When confronted with this yesterday he replied with a definitive "he wasn't the one who was found with his pants down in the Ngati Whatua room". How true. There is no evidence Palino had any knowledge of Brown's extra-curricular activities before the election. If he had of known, unless he is stupid, he would have dumped it. The pity is that Brown wasn't busted before the election.
Palino is an interesting character, and he can "talk the talk", and if he continues to come off the ropes, at the very least, the ride will be riveting.
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