Rob Ford, party boy.
Is the Globe "sitting" on a whopper of a story about our party-like-a-rock star mayor?
Yeah. We're on that one again.
The suggestion has been floating around for months among those who cover the mayor and others in political circles that something big is cooking that'll bring the MoFo down.
On Friday, Wilf Dinnick, of the former OpenFile.ca, came right out and said it on CBC Radio Q's media panel.
Dinnick had nothing concrete. No sex. No videotape. He clarified later after tweeps took to Twitter to discuss that he had "no facts or details."
Before long another one of those shots of the mayor looking like he was partying up a storm in the Entertainment District, this time at a King West club, found its way on Twitter.
(I say that the mayor was "looking like" he was balls-to-the-wall because the expression on his face and the dreamy look in his eyes suggests as much. But back to the point at hand.)
For those of you who've been living under a rock, the mayor's midnight escapades, and photos of curious late-night sojourns to Wal-Mart in PJs have been swirling on the internet practically since he took office. A few shots have even come our way.
The mainstream press has largely ignored Ford's frat boy follies, outside of the odd blog post mostly hidden online and other stories not completely explaining references to the mayor inexplicably spotted taking the subway home late at night.
But who cares if the big guy likes to throw down once in a while? As long as it's not interfering with his mayoral duties, right?
Well, the fact is that at this point, it's going to take nothing short of Ford caught engaging in some kind of illegal activity, and the pictures to prove it, to bring him down. Shit, maybe not even that will do it. His approval ratings went up after he admitted to that DUI and pot charge during the 2010 campaign. Ditto for that audio of a telephone conversation of Ford (maybe) trying to score Oxycontin for a constituent. Old news.
Arguably, even when Ford breaks the law, as in the current conflict of interest issues surrounding his soliciting cash from lobbyists doing business with the city for his football charity, there seems to be a different test of innocence or guilt.
On the conflict front, the wheels are already spinning at incredible RPMs to save the bugger's ass yet again from a mess of his own making.
The whinging of Ford friendlies in the media has already caused Justice Charles Hackland to amend his decision to boot Ford from office so that Ford can run in a by-election, should there be one. Who says can't be swayed judges by the breeze of public opinion?
That done. Ford's allies on council have now begun floating the narrative that Ford has learned his lesson. They say that this was the big one, the incident to finally smack some sense into him.
The call has been put out to council to forego a by-election and, wait for it, reappoint Ford should he lose his appeal.
The same folks among the mayor's supporters who were clamouring for a by-election in the name of democracy a few short days ago, are now saying council should give Ford his job back, let him finish out his term should he get bounced. It's only fair, right? He got like 400,000 votes, we keep being reminded.
When it comes to Ford, it seems his defenders lose all sense of perspective, are quick to want to turn him into a tragic figure, like the fat kid in school everybody picked on. It's the way with Ford friendlies to keep on excusing his transgressions.
We keep hearing that the punishment in his conflict saga does not fit the crime.
What should the punishment be then for breaking the public trust?
Much has been written about the alleged shortcomings of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act under which Ford was ousted. Most of that has focused on the suggestion Hackland's hands were supposedly tied, That he had no choice but to mete out the maximum penalty. The appeal court will decide that question.
But there has been precious little written about the idea behind the Act when it was crafted back in the 70s. Namely, the view that there can only be a strict observance of the rules when it comes to conflicts of interest, zero tolerance in other words, if public confidence is to be maintained in our elected officials.
In fact, it was the view of some legislators when the law was sent out for review in the early 90s that it didn't go far enough. And that it should be made stricter by removing the err in judgment and inadvertence escape clauses in the legislation. Successive governments looked at that and passed.
For those among council eager to cut the mayor some slack, they should think again. If it's an epiphany they're expecting from the mayor, they'd be wise not to hold their breath.
Ford has been acting the spoiled rich kid from the ‘burbs who could care less about the consequences of his actions since he took office.
Until Hackland intervened three Mondays ago, Ford has been getting away with it.
If he manages to somehow slip the noose on this one, it'll only embolden him. Now that would be the real scandal, not a few pics of him (allegedly) getting shitfaced.