A few weeks ago I suggested that if you wanted an indication of the way the political wind was blowing in Christchurch a good way to do it is by keeping an eye on Councillor Sue Wells.
Wells is politically ambitious but unfortunately for her, her allegiance to the unpopular Mayor Sideshow Bob means she runs the risk of being booted out of office come October.
So what is a councillor to do when faced with political demise and the loss of the big fat salary?
Wells has got a lot to live down, including her support for the $17 million dollar bailout of failed property developer Dave Henderson, so she certainnly needs to do something about bolstering her profile.
What she has come up with is about as credible as her claim that she is an 'independent' councillor even though she dislikes the Labour Party, liberals and lefties in general.
Wells has criticised some of her fellow councillors for attending a dinner held by the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club.
The club is seeking council permission to install gaming machines.
According to Wells the councillors had acted 'inappropriately'. It hints of corruption and backroom deals but Wells is well wide of the mark - just as she was when she described the Henderson bailout as 'a really good deal.'
The trotting club was entirely open about the purpose of the dinner and has described it as 'just a bit of lobbying.' As Councillor Yani Johansson has commented, the club was 'up-front about its motives'.
The councillors in fact did nothing wrong. Wells herself admits this but still claims that 'it was not a good look' for some of her fellow councillors to attend the dinner.
One can safely assume she means it was 'not a good look' in the way it has not been 'a good look ' for her to moonlight doing other jobs while at the same time being paid a generous salary to be a fulltime councillor.
Of course, Wells has a lot of experience in things that 'don't look good' including her voting for a massive 24 percent rise in council rents - which was later ruled illegal by the High Court.
This non-story about councillors attending a dinner made the front page of The Press today. Sue Wells might be thinking that all publicity is good publicity but, in reality , her attempt to improve her election chances by throwing mud at some of her fellow councillors just looks like the actions of someone who is desperate to save her own political skin.