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Toronto’s dailies: save the mayoral race from Rob Ford and/or Rocco Rossi

Monday’s Toronto Star and Friday’s Globe and Mail make oddly similar pleas: can one of these mayoral candidates please steal some thunder?

The Star argues that Joe Pantalone, David Miller‘s deputy, should use his support for Transit City to distinguish himself from the rest of the electoral pack, who are largely non-committal or even hostile.

The Star writes:

Pantalone needs to become more active, if only to refute other mayoral candidates, something a lame duck like Miller can’t really do, said transit advocate Steve Munro.

For example, candidate Rob Ford’s preference for subways seems to contradict his penny-pinching ways. It would cost $36 billion to build 120 kilometres of subways versus about $10 billion for a streetcar network. Ford says selling “air rights” to build on top of new stations is one funding option.

If the Star is curious why Pantalone hasn’t raised a winning issue in this race, the Globe is wondering why George Smitherman has barely raised his profile at all. The biggest moment in Smitherman’s campaign in weeks came as Smitherman promised not to sell Toronto Hydro, as Rocco Rossi has proposed. When a candidate gets the most headlines for promising not to do something, the campaign might have a problem.

The Smitherman camp promises that that’s all about to change. The newish campaign chief, Bruce Davis, says that Smitherman is finally ready to get out and discuss things. It’s talk like this that prompted a Globe reporter to write a sentence that could win the award for damning with faint praise: “Indeed, the past week he has been in a relative frenzy, offering a few tentative ideas and a new colour scheme on his campaign Web site.”

Tentative ideas! New colour scheme! Slow down there, George. The papers have only so many column inches.

Where is Furious George? [Globe and Mail]Joe Pantalone urged to step up for Transit City [Toronto Star]

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