Stabbed in the back by Howard Moscoe?
Only a few days ago we gleefully blogged about veteran councillor and former TTC chair Howard Moscoe handing out pro-Transit City bumper stickers bearing the slogan: "Stabbed in the back by Dalton McGuinty" and a retro-looking cartoon of a man with three huge knives in his back.
Man, that's some funny stuff, sucks to be the premier, hey, ouch, what the hell was that?
Moscoe on Tuesday turned his political dagger on the Toronto Star, specifically its editorial board. He circulated a motion for next Tuesday's council meeting. The preamble talks about how the issue of councillors' pay is upon us again and councillors will "predictably fall all over themselves to prove to the
electorate how frugal they are …"
Then there's this:
“I believe that in seeking advice of what our salaries should be we should turn to the experts that know best, the editors of the Toronto Star. They are always eager to give advice about this weighty subject. I know that managing a daily newspaper is far more important than managing the 9.2 billion dollar corporation called the City of Toronto but the wisdom of important people like the Star Editorial Board ought to be given the weight it deserves.
The Hay Group, in reviewing the salaries of Toronto Councillors, be asked to take into account the average compensation paid to the non-employee members of the editorial board of the Toronto Star."
The reaction in the Star newsroom was laughter, and then puzzlement. Who was he talking about? The journalists who write the editorials, and interview politicians and others who visit 1 Yonge St., are Star staffers. There is a community board, but they aren't paid at all.
Moscoe told the Globe's Kelly Grant he meant the Toronto Star Advisory Committee, a six-member committee of Torstar’s board formerly known as the Editorial Advisory Committee. He thought they earned $120,000 but, as Grant points out, for sitting on the committee they earn on average less than councillors' $99,619.52.
No doubt Moscoe is sore about Star editorials last year that criticized councillors for not freezing their own pay while freezing that of some city employees. His recent call for an independent counsel for councillors was also given a thumping on the editorial page.
Still, Moscoe is friendly enough to Star reporters, genial, thoughtful and always ready with a quote. He even helped pay a tiny fraction of our salaries last year by spending $46.34 from his office budget on a Star photo of a menorah lighting.
Go ahead and laugh. You might be next.