Reaction Roundup: Rob Ford is still asking lobbyists for donations

Reaction Roundup: Rob Ford is still asking lobbyists for donations

The Toronto Star has officially ruined any chance of Rob Ford returning from his vacation in Disney World with his ethical troubles behind him. The city’s paper of record reported yesterday that Ford’s still sending letters to lobbyists soliciting donations for his football charity, even though similar fundraising tactics triggered the conflict-of-interest saga that nearly saw the mayor booted from office. As per usual, Toronto’s politicos responded to the story both with angry tirades and expressions of staunch support. We round up the best below.

• In an email statement, Ford’s (sometimes evil) chief of staff Mark Towhey says the football foundation “makes every attempt to remove registered lobbyists from its mass mailing lists,” any mistakes were inadvertent and the foundation’s policy is to return donations from lobbyists. We wonder if that now includes money already spent on football equipment.

• Lefty councillor Gord Perks said Towhey’s email is itself an ethical violation: using city staff for anything but city business violates council’s code of conduct (as Ford should know by now). Perks also called it a “very dangerous sign” that the mayor continues sending letters to lobbyists, and he hopes a private citizen will lodge a complaint (up for another round, Paul Magder?). If not, Perks promised to bring the issue to council himself.

• Ford ally Michael Thompson exhorted Ford take a step back from his foundation and be more of a “cheerleader,” rather that its coach. Perhaps he hoped couching his advice in a football metaphor would convince Ford to actually listen?

• Josh Colle’advice was even more simple: take a break from sending donation letters. “Considering what we’ve been through, he just might want to take a pause on that,” Colle said, before expressing doubt that Ford had learned much from his recent legal ordeals. Karen Stintz agreed with Colle, arguing that since Ford’s charity has a worthy aim, it should be able to generate funds “without him needing to send a personal letter.”

Doug Ford directed his advice at the Star, saying the paper—Ford’s longtime nemesis—should “find something more interesting” to write about. “You guys are killing yourselves. You can write whatever you want; the more you write, the more his [polling] numbers go up.”

• Mayor Rob Ford still asking lobbyists to donate to his football foundation [Toronto Star]
Mayor Rob Ford should give up control of football foundation, says council ally [Toronto Star]
• Ford soliciting donations from lobbyists. Again. [Now]
• Mayor Rob Ford again under microscope for football donations [Toronto Sun]