Cheol Joon Baek
1. Lies still pass for the truth in the mayor's own private Idaho, aka the space between his ears.
It was classic Ford on John Oakley's radio show last Thursday, October 25, where he'd been invited to chew the fat - can I say that? - on the second anniversary of his mayoralty. The discussion turned, after Oakley lobbed a few softballs, to new evidence proving that Ford interfered in the appointments process to a number of high-profile city boards and commissions.
Ombudsman Fiona Crean included that evidence in a follow-up report issued on the same day as the mayor's appearance on Oakley's show: an emailed "List from Mayor's Office.pdf," containing the names of preferred candidates that someone in the city manager's office dug up.
El Fordo insisted that none of it was true. "A made-up story," he said. "A bunch of malarkey."
That's been his modus operandi, part of an unfortunate pathology: when caught in a lie, Ford simply reverts to what he knows best, a bigger lie.
It's American-style truthiness that informs Ford's soiled politics.
Ann Coulter. Donald Trump. Sun-Ann Levy. Rob Ford. Connect the dots.
2. The mayor remains in chronic denial, continuing to brush off the scandals as "minor stuff, stupid stuff."
To hear Rob tell it, it's the small shit that's got him into more hot water than a crustacean at the Lobster Trap.
But on the anniversary of his election, his integrity and the flouting of the rules by casino lobbyists were the big news at City Hall.
There were more details, too, about abuse of power charges related to the mayor demanding that city staff repair roads and do other work around the Ford family label business in Etobicoke earlier this year. It wasn't at all like that, the mayor insisted. But clearly arms were twisted.
Senior staff, a dozen of them, were involved in dispatching workers to attend to the mayor's "request."
Not to pile on, but there are also those conflict of interest charges related to his soliciting funds for his football charity from lobbyists doing business with the city, for which he was dragged in front of a judge. A verdict in that case is expected any day now.
The stink of corruption hangs anew over City Hall, just like the bad old days under Mel Lastman and the MFP computer leasing scandal. Check the record. Not too difficult to draw a line between the folks up to no good back then and some individuals now doing the nasty bidding of Las Vegas high rollers.
3. Ford is still high on his "gravy train" rhetoric.
Now he wants to get rid of the city's accountability offices - the ombudsman, integrity commissioner and lobbyist registrar - who the mayor says are falling over themselves trying to find things to do. That's code for "whipping up shit to use against him."
What shameless audacity. This is the mayor, after all, who prefers to do his business outside City Hall, away from the prying eyes of reporters and the shackles of lobbying rules./p>
And who screamed on the campaign trail about cleaning up City Hall, suggesting there was as much double-dealing as there was gravy. Now he wants to guillotine the folks hired to keep a check on councillors?
Whatever happened to accountability to taxpayers? The ombudsman, after all, is charged with dealing with the public's complaints about City Hall.
Apparently it's a different story, a politically motivated conspiracy, when the spotlight is turned on Ford.
4. The manboy mayor can't bring himself to say "I'm sorry" when he screws up.
Ford continues to sulk as his complaint file with the integrity commissioner grows thicker with breaches of Council's Code of Conduct. His calling the salary of Medical Officer of Health David McKeown "an embarrassment" on his radio show after McKeown recommended lower speed limits was the subject of a report to council from Integrity Commissioner Janet Leiper this week.
Ford tried to worm out of making a formal apology by retracting his statements in a letter to Leiper. His explanation: he couldn't see the connection between speed limits and health.
The mayor also apparently can't grasp that it's better to come clean when you've made a mistake.
5. The mayor was the focus of a recent intervention at his mom's house.
Right-wing councillors in attendance called the gathering a "strategizing" session, an opportunity, if you will, to talk about "unforced errors," as Denzil Minnan-Wong put it. When asked about the group therapy session, Ford talked about the need to "clean up his act."
His allies aren't in the mood for more missteps if they're going to continue to hitch their wagons to his political star.
The mayor has picked up his game lately, at least appearing to be engaged in his job. It's halftime for his administration, but there's still lots of game to play. Whether he's up to the challenge is another matter.
Ford slipped out of the presser Monday, October 29, about Hurricane Sandy preparedness without taking questions from the media. On his radio show this week, he suggested he might miss council's meeting later this month to attend to his high school football coaching hobby. He was only kidding, of course.