Mo Problems, Mo Money: Ford’s scandals brought in a ton of cash, but less than Pantalone

Mo Problems, Mo Money: Ford’s scandals brought in a ton of cash, but less than Pantalone

(Image: Scott Snider, from the torontolife.com Flickr pool) 

Politicians spend a lot of time and money trying to avoid scandals, except, of course, for when they don’t. The latest disclosures from the Rob Ford campaign make us wonder if all that effort was wasted. Turns out that donations to Ford surged after his various scandals hit the papers.

From the National Post:

The cash rolled in after a newspaper article in July alleging an altercation between Mr. Ford, who is a high school football coach, and a player — which the player later denied ever happened. In August, after revelations that he was convicted of a DUI offence in 1999 in Florida, donations also surged.

Last month, after a columnist in the Toronto Star called on other candidates to drop out and rally behind rival George Smitherman, the team recorded dozens of contributions.

This isn’t entirely unexpected—the Ford campaign has been pretty good at turning bad news into a perceived attack by the media—but we can’t help but wonder how representative Ford’s donors are. Do that many people really read the news and think, “Wow, he forgot he’d been arrested on a DUI charge and caught with drugs on him in Florida. Where’s the nearest ATM?”

Also kind of odd is that Ford has raised less money than third-place candidate Joe Pantalone. Pantalone has been endorsed by NDP bigwigs and the city’s union leadership, so it’s no surprise that he’s got a decent war chest, but out-raising the tax-cutting business candidate? We’re accustomed to thinking that politicians like Ford get access to the giant pile of money that Scrooge McDuck swims in during off-hours. Apparently not. George Smitherman, for his part, is refusing to disclose his list of donors until after the election.

• Donations to Ford surged with each new controversy [National Post]
Ford reveals list of donors as election draws near [Globe and Mail]
• No big names on Ford’s donor list [Toronto Sun]