Unity dinner raises about $1 million for mayoral cadidates Ford, Thomson and Rossi

Unity dinner raises about $1 million for mayoral cadidates Ford, Thomson and Rossi

Last night was the big night for all but one of the former mayoral candidates from last year’s election. Rob Ford, George Smitherman, Sarah Thomson and Rocco Rossi got together with some of Toronto’s best and brightest richest to raise money that could help them settle leftover debts from the campaign. The dinner was co-chaired by Liberal David Peterson and Tories Mike Harris and John Tory. According to the National Post, it was pretty much all smile-and-fun time. “If David Peterson and I can come together for a common cause, then anyone can,” Mr. Harris said.

[The dinner] raised about $1-million…Failed candidate George Smitherman, who boasted “a surplus of financial contributions and a deficit of votes,” said he found a fundraiser that crossed party lines a bit strange, but came out to help Ms. Thomson, who threw her support behind him after dropping out of the race.

There were a few hiccups: namely, organizers over-sold available tables. People who gave up their seats at the dinner have been rewarded with a cocktail party at Rob Ford’s house later—something Mike Harris almost seemed to warn against, telling the lucky/unlucky few that “wine and cheese” often gets a little more exciting. Anyone looking for a confusing, awkward image for Friday should really just picture Mike Harris and Rob Ford getting blasted at a kegger.

There were inevitably sour moments, too. Ford delivered a speech that some of the attendees deemed a bit partisan, and then there was the news that Rocco Rossi has been approached by both Dalton McGuinty’s Liberals and the Tim Hudak’s Tories. Warren Kinsella, who helped Rossi on his campaign, didn’t take it well:  “I wouldn’t have helped him, not for a moment, if I had known what Rocco is now seemingly capable of.”

Mayoral fundraiser ‘right thing to do’: Smitherman [National Post]
• Toronto mayoral candidates’ dinner targets debt [CBC News]
• Dining for dollars: ‘Harmony Dinner’ helps retire debts [Toronto Star]
• Dinner To Wipe Out Campaign Debt Raises $1 Million For Mayoral Candidates [CP24]