Another slow news day, another front page (or two) dominated by the mad ramblings of Rob Ford in a mayor's race desperate for some gravitas, but dominated instead by whatever stupidity comes out of Ford's big mouth next.
These are the dog days, to be sure.
Ford's latest gem: that city council is corrupt.
Corruption is not a word that easily enters the vocabulary of most politicians.
When blowhards like Ford throw it around, it's easy to ignore.
Let's face it. Ford is not known for thinking before opening his mouth. He says dumb things pretty much daily. He's a pathological exaggerator.
But now that he's running for mayor, and according to one poll, leading the race, it's clear some among the unwashed masses are listening to what Ford has to say. His charges can't be so easily dismissed. So where's the beef, Rob?
According to Mr. Squeaky Clean (huh, there's a good one), there's something amiss in the lease agreement the city's signed with Boardwalk Pub operator Tuggs Inc.
"I can't accuse anyone or I can't pinpoint it," Ford told the Sun - well, there's some solid evidence - "but why do we have to go in-camera on the Tuggs deal?"
Uh. That's because any contract the city signs with any business is proprietary. Ford should know. He's a businessman, or so he keeps telling us.
But give the dog a bone....
Ford went further. "These in-camera meetings, there's more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I've ever seen in my life. I wish I could tell you the stuff that happens behind closed doors."
Of course, Ford can't tell us "what's happening behind closed doors" because that would be a breach of confidentiality. But it seems he's filled in his campaign manager brother and council candidate Doug, on a few of the details on the Tuggs deal (and possibly others).
At least, big brother Doug seems to leave the impression he's been made privy to the supposed misdeeds, quoted in the same Sun story saying: "If this was Chicago or anywhere in the States, they'd be in front of a grand jury and they'd be indicted and they'd be in jail right now."
I think I see a defamation suit heading the Fords' way.
No doubt the Tuggs deal has become a bit of a political football, for Beaches Councillor Sandra Bussin especially, which is why she has stayed out of deliberations on the matter.
Some has been made by Bussin's opponents of the fact Tuggs has been a generous contributor to her past election campaigns. So then, is it the new normal that elected officials not be allowed to vote on any matters before council that may involve contributors to their campaigns? No business would ever get done or we'd only have those who could afford to, running for council, millionaires like Ford.
The truth about the Tuggs deal is a little more complicated than Ford pretends to know.
Financially, the city's making money. That's the bottom line. From a planning point of view, it's a big save, given the efforts of some suburban councillors to turn Tuggs's Ashbridges Bay location over to the next cookie-cutter Big Box resto that comes along. Locals have been spared the area, already struggling with traffic issues, being turned into a complete mess. But that's another story.