Ford Desecration Pt IV - the march to Detroit continues

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Sineed

Junkyard Dog, you are a refreshing voice of reason in this discussion. 

I work with many Rob Ford voters, and we don't talk politics all that much, but Ford has come up in the past few wks. Like Nicky has observed in the Sun comments, I have noticed Ford voters wavering in their support. I hear a lot of, "Well, I voted for Ford, BUT....." In that "but" I hear Ford Nation becoming an increasingly less populated place.

Adma, I take your point, but I don't think we are throwing away a voting bloc by giving Ford voters the lambasting they so richly deserve. I think they can take the whole Ford experience as a lesson learned; that they ought to consider how likely it is when when a wealthy, entitled, well-connnected white guy purports to be a champion of "the little guy." And hey; the vehicle registration tax was a trivial expense for any car owner, but maybe the things it paid for were not trivial.

Some people are stalwart supporters of certain parties, right or wrong. But these people are in the minority, I think. People change their minds on the fly.

Unionist

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1297787--rob-ford-stay-decision]Rob Ford stay decision: Mayor wins, keeps his job for now[/url]

Quote:

Mayor Rob Ford has won the right to remain in office at least until mid-January.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Gladys Pardu granted Ford a stay of an earlier decision that would have forced him out of power early next week. Pardu’s Wednesday decision allows Ford to keep his job until a ruling is issued on his appeal, likely in January or February.

“If the judgment is not stayed, then a byelection must be called, or council must appoint another person to act as mayor. If these steps are undertaken, but the appeal is allowed, and (Ford) restored to his position as mayor, significant uncertainty will result, and needless expenses may be incurred if a byelection is called,” Pardu wrote. “If the decision under appeal is stayed for a short interval until the appeal is heard, there is no basis to conclude that any harm will be caused to the public interest.”

Sorry, I forgot the most important part - which I wasn't aware of till now:

Quote:
The stay was uncontested: Clayton Ruby, the lawyer for the resident who sued Ford, even spoke in court to urge Pardu to approve it.

Michelle

Well, it kind of makes sense.  I mean, it would be dumb to hold a new election, just in case the decision was overturned - that would be a waste of money.

However, what could have happened is that council could have appointed an interim mayor until the appeal was heard, and then if he was back, the intern mayor would be done, and if the decision was upheld, THEN they could have held an election.

Anyhow, this is probably for the best.  More time for Robby to make a jackass of himself up until the appeal...

mark_alfred

I'm sure Ford will lose the appeal and be gone in January, though if there's a byelection, I'm less certain that he can be defeated.  He is still popular in the burbs, and his campaign team last time was very clever in finding right-wingers within the city to target.  They did this via phone polling that asked a couple of questions (one of which I received).  Those being, "Are you planning to vote for Rob Ford for Mayor?"  -- No.  "Are you planning to vote for Adam Vaughan for city councillor?"  On this second question I answered "yes", even though Vaughan wasn't the councillor running in my riding (I was in the neighbouring riding).  However, I suspected that if I had answered "No", that I would still have heard from campaigners for Ford.  It seemed they were identifying potential switch voters with the second question -- IE, those not yet sold on Ford but also not sold on the direction of a well known more left leaning candidate.  This way, they were able to focus their resources and not waste time.  I expect similar efforts to happen if a byelection occurs.

One thing I do admire about Ford is his consistency.  A general theme of the right-wing is to cut government spending, but this has historically been contradicted by the right's law and order theme.  Left leaning councillors would often point this out, stating that the police budget need not go up since crime was going down, yet when Miller was mayor the police budget continued to go up (I think this was also the same for Barbara Hall).  Ford, interestingly, is also demanding cuts to the police service budget, in what appears to be in a far more serious way than any of his predecessors had done.  I expect in the end the police budget will not be cut, but it surprises me that Ford is even making this request.

I should note that I don't agree with cutting services or with being hostile to public spending for the public good.  But, Ford's consistency in wishing to cut government spending, even at the risk of offending his law and order base, is something interesting to me.

voice of the damned

I should note that I don't agree with cutting services or with being hostile to public spending for the public good.  But, Ford's consistency in wishing to cut government spending, even at the risk of offending his law and order base, is something interesting to me.

I'll also give him props for vetoing the Olympics. I know there was some talk about him doing it in a dictatorial manner, but an open debate about the issue wouldn't have made a difference. The Olympic committee wouldn't have given it to a city where the mayor was opposed, and it seems highly unlikely that Ford would have changed his mind.

But I'm biased, since I hate those kinda things. I can't imagine anything more disruptive to my quality of life than being in a city hosting the Olympics. World Cup 2002 was bad enough.  

Michelle

We'll be hosting the Pan-Am Games in I think 2015.  We'll have to look at booking vacation and getting the hell out of Dodge when that happens.

Unionist

Michelle wrote:

We'll be hosting the Pan-Am Games in I think 2015.  We'll have to look at booking vacation and getting the hell out of Dodge when that happens.

Dodge?

Ford?

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packard_Pan-American]Pan-Am[/url]?

You Ontarians are fixated on the auto industry.

 

mark_alfred

Any bets on what will happen if Ford is found guilty of violating the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act?  So far, the assumption is that council will either look to appoint someone (possibly Ford himself) as interim mayor until the next election, or that council will call another election.  Of those two choices, the latter seems the most likely.  However, I did hear rumor of a possible third option, that being an appeal to the Supreme Court.  While the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act does not allow further appeal, apparently the Constitution does allow matters deemed to be of "public importance" to be heard regardless of the specifics of the law.  If this is the case, then I'm betting Ford will take this option.  Any thoughts?

Policywonk

Unionist wrote:

Michelle wrote:

We'll be hosting the Pan-Am Games in I think 2015.  We'll have to look at booking vacation and getting the hell out of Dodge when that happens.

Dodge?

Ford?

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packard_Pan-American]Pan-Am[/url]?

You Ontarians are fixated on the auto industry.

I assume you're being facetious. If not, "Getting out of Dodge" is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, a notoriously corrupt cattle town in the late 1870s and early 1880s.

mark_alfred

I believe this link, tomorrow (Friday 25 November 2013) at 10:30 AM will let us know what decision has been made in the Magder v. Ford case.

Unionist

Very good news for those that uphold democracy, and principle, as opposed to technicalities - which can be used against anyone:

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1319970--mayor-rob-ford-wins-app... Rob Ford wins appeal, will stay in office[/url]

The beauty of this decision (IMHO as an outsider Wink) is that the court ruled in favour of Ford on a technicality - just as he was removed in the first place.

Now perhaps people can get back to trying to provide a progressive alternative to this creep on the basis of principles and activism and building the movement.

 

Caissa

I perused the ruling. It wasn't a complete exoneration of Ford. Olivia for Mayor.

Unionist

Caissa wrote:

I perused the ruling. It wasn't a complete exoneration of Ford.

No - that's why I said he won on a technicality. What he did was obviously wrong, and indeed arrogantly and stupidly wrong. But to remove an elected official from office for that reason is far more wrong.

Quote:
Olivia for Mayor.

Has she expressed an interest yet? Anyway, my guess is that it'll be a lot harder to unseat Ford now that he has survived a Lefty Crusade and Justice has Prevailed. The doctors will be spinning.

 

Caissa

I thought I read somewhere she was considering if there was a by-election. Unionist. My comments were meant to complement your's. The judges seem to make it clear Rob wasn't a good boy.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

This ruling is a win for democracy and for performance art fans worldwide.

nicky

A few weeks ago I spoke with a friend who has close connections with the NDP forces at Toronto City Hall. 

He told me (and I suspect this reflects the thinking of at least some of his contacts) that he was not enthusiastic about pursuing Ford throughthe courts. He was concerned that Ford could campaign in a by-election as the underdog who was just standing up for "disadvantaged kids" and as the victim of a keft-wing establishment. And ride this back into office.

On the other hand, he felt that if Ford were allowed to remain as mayor the public would see him as being severly chastised and even discredited. My friend also alluded to a number of other skletens in Ford's closet which are about to emerge including the imminent auditor's report into h s election finances.

Given Ford's general character and these budding scandals his poistion would only worsen if he is allowed to remain mayor until the next election.

Unionist

Policywonk wrote:

Unionist wrote:

Michelle wrote:

We'll be hosting the Pan-Am Games in I think 2015.  We'll have to look at booking vacation and getting the hell out of Dodge when that happens.

Dodge?

Ford?

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packard_Pan-American]Pan-Am[/url]?

You Ontarians are fixated on the auto industry.

I assume you're being facetious.

Always a safe assumption when reading my posts!

 

nicky

A handy compendium of the Ford follies over the past few years:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1320256--the-ni...

Junkyard Dog

Huh. Strange to see so little commentary about Ford wriggling off the hook, but then, I suppose it was rather eclipsed by the larger story about the provincial government changing one 'centrist' neolib for another. I was working a shift at the local food bank last Friday morning when the news came through on the radio, and my initial thought was, "God damn it, I knew the fucking scumbag would slither out of this." Word spread fast, and to a man, everyone present was appalled at the decision. Indeed, the kindest remark the other volunteers said about Ford (and this exact phrase came from more than one person): "He's an idiot!"

The subsequent Toronto Star editorial piously bleating on about this being the appropriate decision because the voters chose Ford, and that he shouldn't be thrown out of office because of silly little technicalities about him breaking the law did not act as balm to my annoyance. Neither does the sight of self-styled progressives sticking their noses firmly in the air and cavalierly tra-la-la-la-la-lah-ing the same line of bullshit. Giggle! Tee hee! After all, he's only the Mayor of Toronto! What possible (further) harm can he do?

I do hope Nicky's analysis above is the correct one. But I wouldn't bet against Ford playing the "persecuted underdog" card anyway; he's already gone into campaign mode, and the thing about Rush Limbaugh style demagogues is that while they're awful at governing, they tend to be very, very good at campaigning. We already have a compliant local media that inexplicably loves Ford. I wouldn't count Boss Hogg out just yet.

Junkyard Dog

Over at the Grid, Edward Keenan paints a charming picture of our ever-delightful Mayor's back room deals, in which he shamelessly accepts as many bribes - oh, sorry, I meant to say campaign "contributions" - as he can get his grubby hands on. Here's the link:

http://www.thegridto.com/city/politics/troubled-by-the-mayors-apparent-r...

Note that Mike Harris, of all people, acts as Ford's personal bagman at one these meetings. Isn't that nice?

Can anyone here imagine the sort of things the Fords and their allies would be saying about such behavior if it came from a rival politician?

NDPP

Get To Bottom of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's Campaign Spending: Editorial

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2013/02/23/get_to_bottom_of_to...

"Toronto mayor Rob Ford broke election spending rules, according to a special audit, so now he should face a prosecutor appointed by the city's compliance audit committee..."

janfromthebruce

Well it is not going to happen. Spending rules are not solid now but flexible. Mayor Rob Ford won’t be prosecuted for alleged election violations

Junkyard Dog

Two points seem clear here: 1.) Ford was obviously as guilty as sin, and (2.) Our political system evidently hasn't got the first clue as to how to handle his kind of in-your-face, blatantly transparent and utterly shameless rule breaking. To say nothing of him simply disregarding the law altogether whenever it suits him.

It's not as if we've never seen corruption - or even out-and-out criminality - at City Hall before, but this is different; Ford really is the first time we've had a tea bagger/Rush Limbaugh style of demagogue elected to a prominent political position here. He's like a Toronto Sun editorial that magically came to life and ran for public office. He makes Mel Lastman look like Charles DeGaulle, for Christ's sake, and the truly bizarre thing is watching people treat this as if it's a normal situation and not a dangerous new precedent. He's repeatedly broken the law, and the local media continue to portray the rotten bastard as "adorably naughty," instead of the lying, self-serving sack of shit that he actually is.

Hold onto your hats, folks. Ford's going to think he's untouchable now, and if you thought his behavior was outrageous before...He's going to act as if he has carte blanche to do whatever the hell he damn well pleases now. Not that he wasn't before, but still...

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2013/02/26/mayor_rob_ford_invited_to_prayer_rally_against_zoning_bylaw.html

 

Quote:

Controversial Christian leader Charles McVety says Mayor Rob Ford has promised to attend a prayer rally Saturday to protest aspects of Toronto’s proposed harmonized zoning bylaw.

 

snip

 

McVety, who has significant influence within Canada’s religious right, has been a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage, gay-straight alliances in schools and abortion. He has referred to Toronto’s Pride Parade as a “sex parade.” And two years ago, the CTS television network removed McVety’s program from its lineup for violating its code of ethics, after the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council found his program made “malevolent, insidious and conspiratorial” remarks about the gay community. McVety denounced the criticism as an attack on free speech.

 

snip

 

The prayer rally will be held at Canada Christian College, where McVety is president. Ford, who has been criticized for not attending the Pride Parade, and a few other councillors are expected to attend, McVety said.

 

 

 

Junkyard Dog

Well, that certainly fits in with some of the previous valued constituents that Boss Hogg has personally met up with:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/rob-ford-latest-scandal-meeting-neo-nazi-210133338.html

 

 

Junkyard Dog
Unionist

[url=http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2013/03/07/catholic_school_board_i...“We’d be better off without him as the football coach if he continues to speak this way,” the co-chair of the Don Bosco parent council said.[/url]

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

"What is more surprising is that a woman who has aspired to be a civic leader would cry wolf on a day where we should be celebrating women across the globe."

oronto Mayor Rob Ford says allegations he behaved inappropriately at a public event this week are "absolutely, completely false."

In a statement issued Friday afternoon Ford denied the allegations of, in his words, "disgusting actions."

"I am shocked, dismayed and surprised. I can say without hesitation that they are absolutely, completely false," he said.

Ford's comments come in response to allegations levelled by former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson who, in an interview with CTV News Friday, recounted her version of events at an event hosted by the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee the night before.

"I went up to Mayor Ford and said 'Hi, how are you, good to see you. How come you weren't at our mayor's roundtable last week?' He said, 'Oh I was in Florida, you should have been there, my wife wasn't there'," Thomson said.

"I was really shocked at that point 'cause that is not the way Rob has ever behaved before and I've never seen him like that," she said.

And Thomson alleges Ford didn't stop there.

In a caption and comments accompanying an apparently candid picture taken at the event and posted afterwards on Thomson's Facebook page, she alleged that the mayor grabbed her behind.

"Thought it was a friendly hello to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at the CJPAC Action Party tonight until he suggested I should have been in Florida with him last week because his wife wasn't there," Thomson wrote in the status update. She added: "Seriously wanted to punch him in the face. Happy International Women's Day!"

Stockholm

I don't put anything past Rob Ford when it comes to being crude and harassing people and I don't doubt for a second that he has probably behaved inappropriately towards many women. But if there is anyone in Toronto with even less credibility than Ford and who is even more of an object of ridicule among those who have had any dealings with her - its Sarah Thomson. Even if everything she says is true - just watching her on the news - she comes across really badly and does not seem believable. This incident will do no harm to Ford because no one takes her seriously. Too bad, I wish something would happen that would drive the final nail in his political coffin right now!

jerrym

And the winner of the Berlusconi Bunga Bunga Clown Award is (drumrole please) ... Rob Ford.

(The only thing I am afraid of is that Ford will have nine political lives like Berlusconi). 

Bacchus
Stargazer

Well then, I guess that settles it right? I mean, if Ford's buddy didn't see Ford's hand on her ass, it must not have happened.

Bacchus

Nice to see you again Stargazer

 

The other witness in the article was more telling than the first one

mark_alfred

 

 

He's guilty.  His only possible out if she sues for battery is the Homer Simpson gummi bear defence.

 

 

mark_alfred

The first thing I thought of when I saw the photo of Ford was the image of Homer in the lecherous pose from the "Homer Bad" episode, thus the post above.  But this is a serious issue, so I figure I should seriously address it.

My feeling about it is that I'm pretty sure Thomson is being honest.  I can't imagine why she'd make up such a story (though I also can't imagine why she'd want to be in a picture with Ford in the first place, but to each their own).  As she says, Ford has a history of lying whereas (to my knowledge anyway) she doesn't.  So, even though the prospect of a conviction is likely slim, my hope is she will go to the police about it (and hopefully the police would do a thorough investigation, IE interviewing other attendees who appeared in photos with Ford about whether they also had similar problems, and trying to find witnesses, etc.)  Then, regardless of the outcome of this, that she'll sue him over it, since the threshold in civil court is lower, IE, balance of probabilities rather than beyond reasonable doubt.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Stockhom wrote:
But if there is anyone in Toronto with even less credibility than Ford and who is even more of an object of ridicule among those who have had any dealings with her - its Sarah Thomson. Even if everything she says is true - just watching her on the news - she comes across really badly and does not seem believable. This incident will do no harm to Ford because no one takes her seriously.

Stockholm, you know better than to post this victim-blaming bullshit here. I don't care if Thomson has a "credibility" problem or her oratory skills in speaking about sexual assault are unconvincing to you -- bringing them up in this context is absolutely against babble policy. We don't engage in victim-blaming here.

nicky

Catchfire, why do you assume Thompson is a 'victim'? If she is just a mendacious grandstander then Stockholm's comments would be unobjectionable

Despite what we may think of Ford, what happened here is far from clear. Your position presupposes guilt. Otherwise no one would be victimized at all.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

No, asking that one does not meet an allegation of sexual assault with character assassination of the alleged victim does not presuppose guilt. It simply asks for a shift in the criteria with which we determine guilt from the victim to the perpetrator. It is also feminism 101 and not up for debate.

Accusing alleged victims of lying -- let alone vague notions of "credibility" which don't involve truth-telling or criticizing the way an alleged victim "comes across" -- not only makes it less likely that future sexual assault victims will come forward, it turns the focus away from the alleged assaulter and towards the victim. It also presupposes that there is some kind of "right way" to report or respond to an assault -- and any deviation from that imaginary process makes the allegations more and more suspect. It validates the public discourse which endlessly analyzes and criticizes the female body, even in instances of rape and abuse. It denies and militates against the fact that known liars (which Thomson is not) can be raped, that sex workers or promiscuous women (which Thomson is not) can be raped, that grandstanders (which Thomson may be) can be raped.

It's anti-feminist bullshit and it has no place on babble. End of.

adma

At this point, I suspect the Ford camp's Simpsonian spin on Ford vs Thomson is more like this

mark_alfred

Catchfire wrote:

Accusing alleged victims of lying -- let alone vague notions of "credibility" which don't involve truth-telling or criticizing the way an alleged victim "comes across" -- not only makes it less likely that future sexual assault victims will come forward, it turns the focus away from the alleged assaulter and towards the victim.

At this point it is a he-said she-said scenario.  So either the alleged victim or the alleged perpetrator is lying.  Stating a thought or an opinion one way or another here at this forum really shouldn't lead to such censure, in my opinion.

mark_alfred

adma wrote:

At this point, I suspect the Ford camp's Simpsonian spin on Ford vs Thomson is more like this

[mural photo of Homer and Sideshow Bob]

Yes, it's interesting how on Thomson's Facebook page I saw some comments posted from someone comparing her to Sideshow Bob.  The user had a female name and a kitten as "her" profile picture.  I suspect it was a recently created sock-puppet from the Ford war-room.  It had a very fake feel to it.

Anyway, I still cannot get the "Homer Bad" image out of my head.  Just look at Ford in the photo and compare it to the image of Homer leering.  The expressions are practically identical!

nicky

There are many court cases, and not just for sexual offences, where the complainant (a much more neutral word than "victim"), has been proven to have lied and therefore was not a "victim" at all.

To clothe a complainant with the title  "victim" before there has been a determination of guilt debases the term. It reflects the type of right wing law and order mindlessness that the Rob Fords of this word embrace. 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I'm sorry you can't take the time to understand this very simple feminist point. Again, it's not up for debate. If you would like to take a different approach, you're welcome to head to the many comment threads following mainstream news websites. This is a progressive, feminist website and I'm not having this discussion anymore.

mark_alfred

Paul Magder is going to try to take his case to the Supreme Court

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Online misogyny, Sarah Thomson and the new culture of backlash

Sarah Thomson. The latest in a long line of women, from before Anita Hill on, to fall victim to the reality that many men (and sadly women) will take the word of a rich or powerful male, or excuse their behaviour, over the completely plausible claims of a woman. Even when, as in this case, the man in question has a long history of having a problem with the truth....

It is as if the last 40-plus years of feminist struggle and education around issues of sexual assault simply never happened.

This is not a question of Ford's guilt or innocence in a legal sense, which would be for the courts to decide if Ms. Thomson were to lay charges. It is the fact that so many are so outright dismissive of, indeed hostile to her claims, finding the very idea that a powerful man  could do such a thing so brazenly and publicly must either automatically be a lie or that what he did was really no big deal. The fact that so many would act as if rape culture didn't exist. The fact that so many feel it is acceptable to attack a woman who says she was victimized either because they like Ford, dislike her, or both. And that they would use all the historic methods of attacking a woman's claims as if we have learned nothing as a society about just how, sadly, rather ordinary and commonplace such incidents of groping and sexual assault actually are (A very good overview of the legal issues around this, and, among other things, why going to the media instead of the police may have been a sensible choice, can be found at Slaw, an online legal magazine).

Take the completely irrelevant claims that Thomson is "not playing with a full deck" put out to discredit her by Ford, and parroted all over the place by his supporters and others. This is not only unsubstantiated, but even if it were true that Sarah Thomson had mental health issues, this has no bearing, at all, on the legitimacy of her claims. This tactic of claiming that a woman who suffers from mental health issues is disqualified from being taken seriously when she makes accusations of sexual assault is an old and particularly vile one. One would have hoped that it had been relegated to a previous era unenlightened as to the realities of sexual assault, but apparently this is not the case.

Stockholm

Unfortunately Sarah Thomson did further damage to her case by publicly musing that she thought Ford was high on cocaine. You can't just blurt out things like that and expect to be taken seriously.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Stockholm, you've been given a day off. Victim blaming is absolutely not permitted on babble, and I already warned you up thread. Again, I would like to reiterate this is not up for debate on babble.

Michelle

What's interesting about Ford insinuating that Sarah Thompson has mental health issues is that people with mental health issues are often targeted by predators for sexual assault, harassment and abuse, because their attackers know that they are less likely to speak up, and less likely to be believed and easily discredited if they do speak up.

mark_alfred

More stories on the follies of Ford.  Apparently “he seemed either drunk, high or had a medical condition,” at the Military Garrison Ball two weeks before the alleged Sarah Thomson incident.

http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2013/03/26/rob_ford_intoxicated_to...

Brachina

Ford is such a fuck up nothing would surprise me.

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