Just wanted to let you know that my blog has a new format and is located part way down the Fixer home page. You can access it by clicking on the following link: http://www.thestar.com/news/the_fixer.html
Just wanted to let you know that my blog has a new format and is located part way down the Fixer home page. You can access it by clicking on the following link: http://www.thestar.com/news/the_fixer.html
When you’re in as much hot water as Rob Ford, you don’t expect to be thrown a lifeline from a pinko city councillor.
None other than Gord Perks, who’s as far left as they come on council, has written an online letter that says he doesn’t think politicians should subvert the electoral process to get rid of a colleague.
The timing is ideal for RoFo, who prepares to face down a motion Wednesday at city council asking him to take a leave of absence, and for council to petition Queen’s Park to remove him from office if he refuses.
Ford says he is ready to “get it on,” and has designated the issued a key item, which means he’ll take questions from councillors, who are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of roasting him over an open flame until he sizzles and pops.
I wonder if he’ll slap his belly a half-dozen times when the hostilities begin, or strip to his underwear and shout that he is a sick mother….er?
But one councillor who will not go along with terminating Ford is Perks, who said in his letter that “to the core of my being I believe it should not be up to elected officials to remove each other from office.
“In a democracy, the community elects its government,” said Perks. “It must also be up to the community to remove its government and replace it with another – through elections.
“Anything that displaces the electorate’s power to choose its government is anti-democratic.”
That’s good news for Ford, who can only be forced from office if he is convicted of a criminal offense and jailed, unless the province decides to make soup with a recipe it does not yet have, and throw the mayor into the boil.
For the record, Perks may disagree with plans to prematurely dislodge Ford, but he is not about to embrace Ford Nation. He went on to say that “before and during the previous election, it was clear that Ford was racist, homophobic and had problems with substance abuse and honesty.
“Nevertheless, he won the election.”
I am down with Perks on this, and do not think council should be scheming to unseat him before the next election. Ford is entitled to finish his term, in spite of the hollering for him to step aside.
As far as I’m concerned, Rob is my mayor for one more year - crack pipe, Zig Zags and all. I am sick of this pathetic talk about how he needs help so badly and should take as much time as is necessary to get healthy and blah, blah, blah.
I don’t want him to take a minute away from work, except to fire up a few bowls with the Dixon Rd. fellers, or get hammered in his basement. The guy is entitled to his entitlements, including cocaine, as long as he is on the job.
And I am dead set against him getting any help of any kind for anything. Help is for girly men and weaklings who cry when people are mean to them. Does that sound like Rob, or Doug?
Toronto is home to The Greatest Show on Earth, thanks to Rob. If he gets help, the show is over.
So please, no help. Not even a diet. Skinny people cannot be trusted.
Anyone who saw the mayor spend five hours Tuesday autographing bobblehead dolls in his likeness at city hall marveled at how he looked to be in the pink and at the top of his game.
He didn’t need help with anything except spelling, and that is no reason to get rid of him.
It sure was an aimless Sunday afternoon, without the comforting patter of the Ford Bros. to warm my radio.
By now the whole world knows that the Fords’ Sunday program on NewsTalk 1010 was ruthlessly cancelled, the mayor’s reward for showing integrity and character by admitting to a one-time-only error of judgment involving crack cocaine.
Like the fair-weather media and our duplicitous police chief, the radio station appointed itself judge and jury and joined the braying donkeys conspiring to mute the Fords and bully Rob from office.
An announcement last week from NewsTalk 1010 claimed the decision was mutual, but the Fords have no quit in them - particularly Rob, who never stops working - and acceded to it only because they are too classy to make a fuss when they’re snookered.
Millions of listeners are now deprived of the straight talk from Rob and Doug that so infuriates and strikes fear into the leftists, who have inveigled since the day the mayor was elected to subvert democracy.
They scream about and inflate Ford’s occasional missteps (he’s only human) until the thunder drowns out Rob and Doug’s winning message of fiscal responsibility, law and order and subways for all.
And now the radio station has joined the sleazy cabal.
I found myself adrift during the two hours when I’d usually be in the thrall of the Rob and Doug Show, thinking about its value as a forum for the unvarnished truth.
Whether it was identifying LRTs as nothing more than streetcars or calling out turncoat councillors for betraying their constituents, you always knew there’d be no bull from the Fords.
Why, just last week (on the final show; how ironic), Doug opined that Rob is the most honest politician in Canada, and who but the haters would argue with that?
And you never knew when a surprise guest like Frances Nunziata or Giorgio Mammoliti might pop in and jazz things up with their erudite banter.
The Fords may be gone from NewsTalk 1010, but there's an opportunity for another station to tap into Ford Nation by bringing them on board. They’d be a great fit at AM 640, where morning host John Oakley helped catapult Rob into the mayor’s chair and became a prized member of the Ford team.
Surely the people who run AM 640 see the potential, too. So if it doesn’t happen, you’ll know another radio station has enlisted in the conspiracy.
Sooner or later, everyone arrives at a fork in the road. Deciding which way to go can be a matter of life and death, or at least survival.
Rob Ford has twice arrived at that point since he was elected mayor, but went the wrong way. And the result is the daily train wreck that we watch with fascination and horror.
Ford wants it both ways: To be seen as a law-and-order, cost cutting mayor who leads a powerful bloc of fanatic conservatives voters, while mixing easily and partying it up with crackheads, drug dealers and criminals.
A secret life that would surely be the undoing of any politician, but Ford is nothing if not deluded. He thought it wouldn’t catch up with him, even after news broke last May of the infamous video where he is seen smoking crack.
It is now safe to say the Chief Magistrate knows his way around the drug world, is comfortable with people who move in it and has a taste for crack that goes a lot farther than maybe just once, in a drunken stupor.
In light of everything we know now, does anyone still think all those meetings with that good guy were to pick up hockey tickets, or even pot? Nobody who can pay for an ounce buys just enough for a few joints, four or five times a week, especially when he’s busy being the mayor.
As for his inability to get to work before noon, it is hard to rise early when your heart won’t stop racing and you can’t get to sleep until 5 a.m.
He may well have a drinking problem, but he is no drug novice. His connections and associations were made before he ever got to the mayor’s office.
Let’s go back to 2009, when Ford ran for mayor. Like everyone else, he didn’t think he had a chance, but knew it would increase his exposure, give him a leg up to run for the Ontario PCs and win a seat in the provincial legislature.
Along the way, he started to talk about the gravy train, which gained serious traction with voters. It was not a carefully crafted strategy, but something he came up with on his own. Once polling confirmed its popularity, it became Ford’s campaign mantra and got him elected over weak opposition.
Ford is an accidental mayor, but his election brought him to the first fork in the road. As a city councillor for nine years, he was well aware of the fishbowl existence of the mayor and had to have some idea of the responsibilities and enormity of the job.
That would have been a good time to “move on,” as Ford so desperately wants to do now, to decide the job is too important, the trust placed in him too vast, to risk it by continuing to lead a secret life.
He could have cut ties with his drug pals. Throwing them under the bus would have been the right thing to do.
Instead, he went on his merry way with the likes of Lisi, which led to his starring role in the crack video, and The Star’s story about it early last May.
That was the second fork in the road. After the story, it should have occurred to Ford that the heat might come down on him. He should have known that calling and texting Lisi dozens of times a day, and meeting with him nearly as often, was a bad idea.
Even if he talked himself into thinking the police weren't interested in him, there was always the possibility the media would follow him, reason enough to cut contact with anyone who could make him look bad.
The police surveillance evidence released last week provides a depressing picture of Ford continuing to meet with Lisi in suspicious places and take delivery of packages from him for months after the story broke.
It’s as if the mayor could not stay away from him, and not because he had Leaf tickets.
And now he wants us all to move on.
Now we know what’s wrong with Rob Ford: He suffers from clinical delusion.
The mayor finally came clean today, admitting he has smoked crack, maybe once about a year ago, in a drunken stupor, or maybe a couple times. Ford says he is not sure, because he was already loaded when he lit the pipe.
That’s also why he wants to see the infamous video that shows him puffing on a crack pipe, now in the hands of his arch-enemy, the seditious Chief Bill Blair; he can’t remember his starring role.
Ford said he’s really sorry, just like all the other times, and promised it’ll never, ever happen again.
After his surprising (who’d have thought??) admission, Ford called a second meeting with reporters, a stunning development in itself from a mayor who has made it his job to run from them.
The crows perched outside his office cackled with anticipation. Surely he’ll quit, or at least step down. Maybe go to Betty Ford. Keep it in the family.
Ford stepped to the microphones and everyone, including Rob, inhaled, sucking the air out of the packed room.
In a quavering voice, the mayor said he had let the city down and was really embarrassed and you don’t know how hard this is.
He choked up when he talked about how much he loves being mayor. Here it comes, everyone thought.
But Ford straight-armed the tacklers, sidestepping and chugging, saying he intends to keep doing what he was elected to doo-doo-dooty-do - save the taxpayers money - if we can all just move on.
The air wheezed out of everyone. The room smelled sour, like half-digested cabbage and onions.
Same ol’ Rob. Apologize when there is no escape, and expect it to be enough. C’mon guys, let’s get back to work.
It was a breathtaking display of delusion. Can he possibly believe that everyone will just move on, as if awoken from a bad dream by sunshine streaming through the windows?
Does he not grasp that he has lost the confidence of every city councillor but Brother Doug, and that his substance issues and associations in the drug world effectively disqualify him as mayor?
His allies on council are strategic; councillors who hitched their wagons to him did so because he had political capital, but it is all gone now. And so are they.
Can you imagine him fronting a trade mission to Chicago, or having a constructive dialogue with Blair, after Doug accused the chief of scheming and demanded his head for acknowledging that police have a copy of the crack video?
Blair wouldn't be caught in the same room as Ford now, unless it was to question him.
What school or community group would want him at their event? Is the Toronto Board of Trade likely to invite him to give a luncheon speech, after calling for his resignation?
Even the Toronto Sun threw him under the bus (and what kinda friend does that?) last week, before he admitted to smoking crack.
His credibility with the public is zero, after denying the existence of the video and his crack use for six months, while saying the people who reported it are pathological liars.
He is utterly isolated, except for Ford Nation, which will shrink to a hamlet, now that the tribe knows he is everything they have so vehemently denied.
Ford still has the job, but it is delusional for him to think he can still be mayor.
Leave it to Ford Nation to identify the villain responsible for the problems bedeviling the best mayor in Toronto’s history.
No, it is not Sandro Lisi, or Rob’s buddies from Windsor Rd. or his acquaintances in the apartments on Dixon Rd., where he said the video that does/did not exist could be found.
It is not the city councillors who have worked so assiduously at destroying Ford and his agenda of cutting gravy, advancing law and order and subways, subways, subways.
The real heel is police Chief Bill Blair, says Ford Nation and Brother Doug, who accused Blair of playing politics after he confirmed that police found a copy of the video of Ford allegedly smoking crack in the company of homeys.
This is the same video that Ford insisted did not exist. He has dropped that component of his declarations, but maintains that he cannot comment on a video that does/did not exist.
Ford’s lawyer not only objects to Blair’s outing of the video, but takes exception to Blair saying he is “disappointed” by what he saw on it. The chief is playing judge and jury, said the lawyer, convicting Ford when he’s been charged with nothing.
As for the undercover police investigation of Ford that began in May, after the Star first reported on the video, it is evidence of a vicious campaign to discredit and take down the mayor, according to Ford Nation.
Even Toronto Sun columnist Joe Warmington, who has rushed to fill the sycophant void left when his colleague Sue-Ann Levy decamped city hall for Queen’s Park, is blaming Blair.
In a video on the Sun website, Warmington questions why Blair launched such intensive surveillance of a mayor guilty only of exuberant drinking, who could have been getting hockey tickets from Lisi during those package pickups at the Esso station.
To anyone with even a pea-sized brain, it is clear that Ford is entangled in a vast conspiracy that extends from dilettantes and pinko councillors to left wing media and now the chief of police.
As much as I accept that theory, it is only fair to at least consider the circumstances from Blair’s point of view. As unlikely as it may be, it is not impossible that his motivations may be different than those identified by Ford Nation.
Blair said his detectives recovered the crack video from a deleted file on Oct. 29, even though they had seized the computer hard drive it was on during a raid last June and had it in their possession ever since.
There’s a slim possibility Blair is telling the truth, and that the cops didn’t know what they had until Oct. 29. It is no less possible than Ford Nation’s claims that it probably isn’t Rob on the video, and if it is, he couldn’t possibly be smoking crack.
Blair is told that officers recovered the infamous video from a deleted file and sees it for himself. And it becomes prime evidence in the extortion charge laid against Lisi for allegedly using threats and
violence to retrieve it last spring, from the people who were trying to sell it to The Star.
Remember, this is the video Ford insisted did not exist, and that reporters who claimed otherwise were pathological liars.
So what does Blair do about it?
Since it is evidence in the extortion charge laid last Thursday against Lisi, it would be much harder to keep it or its contents a secret, which Blair obviously knew.
But what if he tried to keep quiet and not let on that police had a copy, the preferred path for the Ford camp?
Imagine if it leaked out that he was sitting on a copy and keeping it a secret. A different and much larger constituency would be screaming about a coverup by the chief, to keep the heat off the mayor.
He'd soon be out of a job.
Blair understood that whatever he did, a lot of people would be pissed. The percentage play for him was to reveal the existence of the tape, rather than be seen to be covering up for Ford.
That may be infuriating for Ford Nation, but if they are to be believed, Ford will win re-election in a landslide anyway, so no harm done.
Okay, Rob has apologized. So let’s move on and let him get back to what he does best: Providing leadership.
Ford promised to address the (fill in blank with your favourite here) scandal buffeting him on his Sunday radio show on NewsTalk 1010, and disappointed only the fools who thought he might quit.
He said he has made some mistakes and apologized to the people of Toronto, his family and members of city council, in a voice that cracked with emotion.
“No excuses,” said Ford, adding he has “no one to blame but myself.”
It was a touching moment, considering Ford did not identify an alleged mistake that justified an apology. But Brother Doug knows when to reach out, even if it is hard for Rob to understand why.
Once the apologizing was over, his voice recovered its strength and he said it is time to move on. Business as usual.
“Keep yer’ nose clean,” said Doug, and don’t be getting hammered in public. “Stay in your basement and have a few pops.”
So everthing should be okay now. The apology covers it off, Rob said he'll behave and we can turn the page.
As for Doug's advice, excellent. It is almost the same as Rob would get from his chief of staff.
Mr. Mayor, you need to go straight…to the basement after work. No more meeting people with packages at the Esso, or mickeys in the glove box, or hosting late night receptions in your office.
Go home and lay low, Mr. Mayor.
But there was no mention of anything else Ford might do to deal with the issues that attracted the attention of undercover police, and eventually the whole wide world.
It was handled as if the problem is that he occasionally has a few too many drinks, ho, ho, and who hasn’t done that?
It had me wondering about the discussion that preceded the radio show.
Doug: Apologize, you knucklehead! It doesn’t matter what for. People want you to say something, so you better say you’re sorry.
Rob: No! You can’t make me.
Doug (with hand raised): I’ll give you a wedgy, dammit!
Rob: Ow! Ow! That hurts, bro! I’m telling mum. You’re in trouble now.
Doug (wrestling with Rob): Just do it, so things can get back to normal. C’mon!
Rob: Allright, already. But you gotta do me a favour. I can’t call Sandro.
After the 15 minutes or so it took to clear up the scandals, it was indeed back to business. Rob wished all his Hindu listeners a happy Diwali and rhymed off a list of community events so long that Doug stopped him part way through, told him to break it into two parts, and do the rest later.
See? That Doug, he gives the best advice.
Here’s exciting news for everyone waiting to hear from Mayor Rob Ford: His Sunday radio program on NewsTalk 1010 is a go.
This past week has been frustrating for the mayor, with all that hogwash about crack and videos and hanging with an alleged drug dealer/convicted woman beater and staggering around the city hall rotunda with a bottle of brandy, trying to find his Cadillac.
He must be desperate to refute the calumny spread by pathological liars who want to take him down and replace him with a lace-hanky mayor who will hand over the billions he has saved taxpayers to the union thugs.
But with something or other before the courts, Rob says his tongue is tied. He can’t set the record straight, as much as he’d like to, or he might compromise somebody’s right to something or other.
His lips are sealed by the court, and we all know the mayor is a law-and-order guy and a real straight arrow.
It will be a challenge for him and steadfast Brother Doug, his Rock of Gibraltar in stormy times, to fill two hours of airtime. So much to talk about, but the law is the law.
Luckily, he has millions of supporters to jam the phone lines. They understand he is constrained by the court, so they’ll run with the ball to unravel the claims of lying liars.
That’s why Rob and Doug’s business-as-usual approach is so beautiful. All they have to do is play the victim card - always their ace in the hole - and let the callers do the rest.
Two hours of love from Ford Nation when it is needed most, and not a contrary word from the haters.
Since 2004, reporter Jack Lakey, also known as The Fixer, has fielded thousands of complaints from readers about ailing municipal services across the city. From potholes to parking, and streetcars to street lights, Jack's goal is to get to the bottom of the problem and get it fixed for you.