I’m trying to think of an American comparison to help Americans understand what type of man Rob Ford is. I think of Huey Long…an American despot who served as the governor of Louisiana during the 1930s; who used the Louisiana poor to help bolster him in power and shield his corrupt regime.
How can Rob Ford who is a very, very, very wealthy man, whose Deco Label company which earns $100 million in sales, annually have the gall to tell CNN reporter Bill Weir..” there are more poor people than rich people out there..we will win..those rich people are destroying our city..” or words to that effect. Rob Ford is a rich person!
How does he have the gall to in one breathe say he may have smoked crack in one of his many drunken stupors and then in the next deny he is an addict. How can he not see a pattern of alcohol and possible illegal substance abuse that is strongly etched into his public record over the last 20 years?
The sad history is that Rob Ford has had a history of public drunkenness and drinking under the influence. In 1999 he was convicted in Florida for drinking under the influence; in 2006 when he was a Councillor, Ford was thrown out of Toronto Maple Leaf hockey game for being drunk. That incident served as the template for his current bad behaviour, media bashing and admission and apology. In the 2006 incident Ford showed up drunk witnessed by many. It was followed by media bashing and denial – “I wasn’t even at the game!”; and apology with a commitment never to do it again.
Now fast forward to 2013 and now Mayor Ford has done it again while on official Mayoral business at a military ball in February 2013; In May, 2013 stories appear int he media that he smoked crack and was captured on a video; he denies he smoked crack and denies the video exists;he bashes the media and claims they are persecuting him; the young black man on whose cell phone the video resided and with whom Rob Ford was photographed with earlier, was found murdered in March, 2013; In August, Mayor Ford appears drunk and disorderly at an ethnic celebration in the city’s Greek community; then in October when the video’s existence surfaces and the police acknowledge it exists and acknowledge that Mayor Ford has been under police investigation — Mayor Ford brushes aside all his previous lying and acknowledges he smoked crack in a drunk stupor; court documents based on testimony of close staff members say the Mayor was frequently drunk at work; that he ordered them to purchase him bottles of vodka; that he drank a half a bottle of 26 oz of Vodka while driving. He may have used money from the Mayor’s office to pay for staff to transport his football team before he was fired as coach of a high school team; another video surfaces showing the mayor threatening to murder a person in what appears to be either drug induced rant or simply a psychotic breakdown.
Ford is not a friend of the poor…he is an elitist despot, a bully who uses the poor to bolster his power while fighting to destroy the tax base that provides funding for programs to the poor.
Ford believes he is above the law, above all workplace standards just because he was elected by a minority of Toronto citizens (votes were split three ways by three candidates) doesn’t mean he can do anything he wants whenever he wants. A city employee caught doing only a fraction of the things Ford has been doing would have been fired long ago and Ford would have been the one shouting the loudest for the firing.
Ontario’s municipal laws were written over 140 years ago when there was honour in politics and a honourable man typically resigned when caught in ethically repugnant activities. It’s clear Rob Ford is not an honourable man and the province of Ontario must pass “Rob Ford” Legislation to give the City of Toronto and other City’s like the City of London Ontario whose equally embattled Mayor Joe Fontana remarkably cannot be removed from office because the letter of the law is weak.
Ontario municipalities must have the right of removal…or the right to fire a Mayor who repeatedly appears drunk at official functions and refuses to go to treatment. How long would you or I last if we showed to work drunk and acted disorderly at a function that was part of job description? In the United States the President of the U.S. can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors. States like Californian have recall legislation — the recall of Governor Davis paved the way for Arnold Schwarzenegger to become the new Governor.
The people of Toronto…the 2.1 million who did not vote for Rob Ford deserve to have these similar powers to fire misbehaving Mayors as they can for other misbehaving employees.
Consider this, how many of the 340,000 people who voted for Rob Ford would have voted for him if all this was known during the during the 2010 election?…my bet would be he would not have been elected if people had known of his sorry and miserable lifestyle and criminal associations. If he runs again in 2014 he will go to a humiliating defeat.