Anonymous anti-Ford ads jump from online to the grounds of Queen's Park
First there were ads that popped up online asking "Rob Ford for Mayor?" and declaring "Arrested and jailed. Ford lacks the judgment needed for Toronto." they were bought anonymously through Google. Sombody mischievously added thestar.com below the statement, but the Star had nothing to do with it. In fact, given the Ford campaign's tactic of using a perceived persecution of him to solicit funds, odds are at least even it was a Ford supporter. The ads were scrubbed but not before getting a bit of buzz.
A smear, undoubtedly, but it is true Ford was arrested and later convicted of drunk driving in Florida in 1999. If he was held in a cell even briefly, you could argue the "jailed" part, but it wouldn't get past our copy desk.
But overnight actual physical signs sprang up at Queen's Park that take defamation to the next level. Ford's name doesn't appear but, before the phrase "for mayor!", there are concise and libellous allegations about domestic violence, substance abuse and racial views. The signs have been taken down.
It's a peculiar electoral form of vandalism. And, given Rob Ford's ability in this campaign to absorb attacks and sometimes gain from them, likely fruitless. But expect more as we get closer to Oct. 25.
UPDATE: 680 News is reporting there were about 10 of the signs, along University Ave.