Playing on Rob Ford’s team can get you cut, or busted
With friends like Mayor Rob Ford, who needs enemas?
Sandro Lisi likely wishes he’d listened to his dad and chosen his friends more carefully, after Ford brought the heat to his house over and over again, until they busted him, rather than take down the mayor.
And now city Councillor Paul Ainslie knows how Ford treats a “good guy” who votes against him.
Ainslie quit Ford’s executive committee on Friday, before the mayor could fire him for voting against his Scarborough subway plan. By Friday night, Ford was robocalling Ainslie’s Ward 43 constituents,
telling them that nine of 10 Scarborough councillors had supported his plan to build a subway to the Scarborough Town Centre.
“It was extremely, extremely unfortunate that your councillor, Paul Ainslie, was the only Scarborough councillor who did not listen to his constituents and voted against the Scarborough subway,” said Ford’s recorded message.
Ainslie, who is my city councillor and someone I’ve known for many years, texted me Friday night to tell me about the robocalls, saying they were upsetting to his family.
Ford was on the phone to Ward 43 quicker than in takes to smoke a bowl of crack, which shows he was joking when he told reporters earlier in the day that Ainslie is a good guy, and that he didn’t want to get nasty about it.
Ainslie was in Ford’s inner circle but had never sworn fealty to him, at least not on the scale of all-star opportunists Frances Nunziata or Giorgio Mammoliti. He never asked to be on the executive or pursued a post as chair of a committee.
In fact, the mayor came to him. Soon after Ford was elected, Ainslie said he got a call from a senior member of Ford’s staff, asking him to meet for a beer.
Ainslie was asked if he’d like to chair a committee, and if so, which one. He was told there were plenty of openings, since Ford had no allies on council, other than Doug Holyday, and no debts of gratitude to repay.
Ainslie said he wondered why Ford chose him, and concluded it was because he was one of the only councillors who would even speak to him before he became mayor, adding they sometimes talked about their kids.
But Ainslie began to openly question Ford in recent months and was likely a goner after he told the Star that Ford was asked to leave a social function earlier this year because he was too wobbly to be there.
I think Ainslie got it right by voting against a truncated subway that is of little use to Ward 43 residents, who live in the southeast corner of Scarborough and would be better served by the original LRT plan.
But Ford wasted no time communicating to Ainslie's constituents that he is a turncoat, a powerful message to drinkers of the subway Koolaid.
That's enough to get my vote.
As for Lisi, he has to be regretting his friendship with Ford, who has been tailed by police and had to have brought them to Lisi’s door, many times over.
Help out a friend in need, and look what it gets you.
The cops showed up and busted him for drug trafficking, but neglected to pull over the mayor and shake him down on any of the occasions when they surveilled him driving away from Lisi’s place.
Why didn’t they? Were they afraid of finding something?