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May 04 2014

Rob Ford: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The circus sideshow that is Toronto Mayor Rob Ford just got even better. He’s apparently been caught smoking crack on camera again. How long will it be before this guy is, like one of his doppleganger’s most famous characters, living in a van down by the river?

A second video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking what has been described as crack cocaine by a self-professed drug dealer was secretly filmed in his sister’s basement early Saturday morning.

The clip, which was viewed by two Globe and Mail reporters, shows Mr. Ford taking a drag from a long copper-coloured pipe, exhaling a cloud of smoke and then frantically shaking his right hand. The footage is part of a package of three videos that the drug dealer says he surreptitiously shot around 1:15 a.m., and which he says he is now selling for “at least six figures.”

The footage comes to light weeks after Mr. Ford embarked on a re-election campaign styled on the importance of second chances and forgiving mistakes. Nearly a year ago, the mayor thrust himself into worldwide infamy when another drug dealer, Mohamed Siad, tried to sell another video of the mayor allegedly smoking crack to media outlets in Canada and the United States. At the time, the mayor denied using the drug, only to later admit that he had smoked crack cocaine in a “drunken stupor” and that he was not an addict.

Since then Mr. Ford has been filmed numerous times in public appearing erratic and acting impaired. In each instance, the mayor has admitted to drinking, but never to using drugs. A few weeks ago when asked directly if he was continuing to use drugs, Mr. Ford said: “You guys ask stupid questions.”

I think it’s time for NBA commissioner Adam Sterling to force him to sell Toronto.

22 comments

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  1. 1
    Pierce R. Butler

    Oh my – our esteemed host has gotten names mixed up yet again.

    Though the fact that Commissioner Silver became the nemesis of “owner” Sterling does appear rather cosmic…

  2. 2
    Al Dente

    Hey, if a guy wants to do a little crack once in a while it’s no big deal. It’s not like he has an important job with lots of responsibilities that effect a couple of million people.

  3. 3
    brucegee1962

    You know, the fact that this guy still apparently has a big political base tells you something.

    There must be a lot of desperate people in Toronto. This kind of political cult figure who can do no wrong tends to go hand in hand with large groups living in economic desperation. People who are comfortable can be more choosy about their politicians.

  4. 4
    Marcus Ranum

    It’s not like he has an important job with lots of responsibilities that effect a couple of million people.

    And that job doesn’t have anything to do with drug policy, amirite?

    What really pisses me off about this kind of shit is that when it’s someone powerful, famous, rich, or good-looking, they go into “rehab” whereas everyone else goes “into handcuffs and maybe prison” Wait a minute, didn’t the guy basically already admit to a crime that would be pretty serious if he was poor? And, didn’t the guy who provided the tape basically admit that he provided the crack, too? Was that a crime, too? How does that work, someone, please tell me!

  5. 5
    colnago80

    Toronto’s version of former DC mayor Marion Berry.

  6. 6
    Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    I think it’s time for NBA commissioner Adam Sterling to force him to sell Toronto.

    That’s Adam Silver, not Sterling.

    How about we promote Rob Ford put a consortium together to buy the L.A. Clippers?

  7. 7
    steve oberski

    Or as we Torontonians like to say, the grift that keeps on grifting.

  8. 8
    Acitta

    A thoughtful interview about Rob Ford by someone who has been there:

    “Michael Bryant has a unique perspective on the Ford spectacle. The former attorney general of Ontario is a recovering alcoholic; he had his last drink on March 7, 2006. And he also knows the pain and humiliation of a very public fall from grace.”

    Michael Bryant on Rob Ford

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    is a recovering alcoholic

    It’s as if crack is the same as alcohol, huh? What, is crack legal in Toronto? Last time I checked alcohol wasn’t criminalized. Why haven’t Toronto’s finest hauled the guy out in handcuffs the way they would if he was not a member of the power elite?

  10. 10
    Olav

    Marcus Ranum #9:

    Why haven’t Toronto’s finest hauled the guy out in handcuffs the way they would if he was not a member of the power elite?

    I am no Canadian, but I don’t think they would haul anyone off in handcuffs for merely using a controlled substance, member of the power elite or not. Dealing in the stuff might be different.

  11. 11
    blf

    Toronto Mayor Rob Ford leaves office for rehab stint (dated 1-May, four days ago). That title can be misconstrued, he has not resigned and is still running for re-election. He’s just gone for a “a 30-day treatment course”.

  12. 12
    Matt G

    Oh, Chris Farley, where are you when we need you! In that van down by the river in the sky….

  13. 13
    Acitta

    Marcus Ranum #9:

    Why haven’t Toronto’s finest hauled the guy out in handcuffs

    Because he hasn’t actually been caught with a controlled substance. He has only been filmed doing something that looks like he is smoking a controlled substance.

  14. 14
    dharleyman

    If it was Silver that banned Sterling, would it be Chevy Chase that ban Ford or would Mustang Sally be more appropriate. I just don’t know.

  15. 15
    Modusoperandi

    “Oooo! Look at us! Let’s all make fun of him! We’re so morally superior!” Like none of you have ever been a crack smoking mayor of Toronto!

  16. 16
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    The official explanation for why he hasn’t been arrested is that admitting to having smoked crack doesn’t give them evidence of when and where he possessed it. Just about everyone who has been paying attention is sure that Rob Ford smoked crack in Toronto, and about when: but on the basis of his public statements it’s possible that the crime was in some unspecified other jurisdiction, and a defense attorney could and would make that argument.

    His statements are enough to let any headline writer put “Crack-smoking Toronto mayor” on the front page of their paper without worrying about a lawsuit, but that’s different.

  17. 17
    scienceavenger

    Apparently Ford has earned a reputation as the working man’s regular guy Mayor, the kind of guy that shows up on your street with a repair crew when you make a call about a busted hydrant, which is why so many look the other way at his shenanigans. To the average Toronton, all that was baked into the cake long ago.

  18. 18
    lordshipmayhem

    Actually, use of crack cocaine involves possession of enough to get you a misdemeanour and a fine, not a perp walk.

    And yes, a lot of Torontonians are economically desperate, as the tax-and-spend crew were happily spending the city into bankruptcy while the Province downloaded social housing costs onto their heads and good-paying manufacturing jobs headed for other places – the municipalities bordering the City or even fleeing the country completely. It still may end in bankruptcy – the current leading left-wing candidate is known for spending all of her discretionary office budget. The current deputy mayor recently took an expensive junket trip to the Far East. And several councillors decided the best use of taxpayer’s monies was to throw themselves massive going-away parties and buying animal mascot suits for Easter parades. Plus, they were ramping up the operating expenditures while giving short-shrift to the capital reserve funds (and thereby the infrastructure)., resulting in the need for colossal expenditures to fix such dangerously under-maintained landmarks as the Gardiner Expressway.

    He, on the other hand, is one of a handful of councillors who spent almost no taxpayers’ money through the discretionary office expense accounts, to the consternation of the councils Left Wing. His supporters’ attitude is, “OK, so he smokes crack – at least he’s wasting his OWN money and not mine!”

  19. 19
    dmgregory

    Rob Ford isn’t actually more fiscally responsible than other Toronto politicians – he’s just successfully cultivated the myth that he is – largely by making cuts in highly visible but insignificant places like councillors’ budgets, while making costly blunders like removing bike lanes that had only just been put in, or his campaign to replace four planned LRT lines with four subway stops.

    His support has less to do with economic responsibility or desperation than with amalgamation. Because of the way Toronto has been joined together with surrounding suburbs into one megacity, its voters have very different priorities.

    The voters in the urban core want better transit and city services – things that cost money, but give little direct benefit to the voters in the suburbs. They tend to vote left.

    The voters in the suburbs are not desperate, by and large – they’re mostly comfortable and middle-class. They own property and have regular reminders of the cost of living in the city in the form of property taxes. They drive and don’t want to support transit or other city services they don’t use – Ford and his ilk have convinced them that any investment in transit is a “war on the car.” They tend to vote right. Because so much of Toronto’s population lives at the edges and commutes by car, this is a major voting bloc.

    Ford promised these suburban voters that he was going to “stop the gravy train” of corrupt and wasteful spending at city hall, despite a lack of evidence that significant corruption existed. His supporters see him as a brave campaigner for the things they care about, standing up to the evil left that dominates city politics, so who cares what he does on the side. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that if he’s willing to flat-out lie about his drug habits, he might be lying about his fiscal responsibility too…

  20. 20
    Marcus Ranum

    Actually, use of crack cocaine involves possession of enough to get you a misdemeanour and a fine, not a perp walk.

    Oh, well, OK then. Fuck it. I mean, he’s good people, down inside.

  21. 21
    Synfandel

    dmgregory, I was about to post a comment that covered much of the same ground before I saw your comment. Very well said.

    I would just add that there is also a not-insignificant circus factor. Some Torontonians who are usually apathetic and disengaged from municipal politics finally have someone they enjoy watching for the sheer entertainment value. When asked by reporters or pollsters, they say they support him. I suspect that a large portion of this faction would be hard-pressed to name any of the other 53 registered candidates and won’t shift themselves to vote this October.

  22. 22
    Synfandel

    @17 scienceavenger wrote:

    Apparently Ford has earned a reputation as the working man’s regular guy Mayor…

    Almost correct. Ford has cultivated a reputation as the working man’s regular guy Mayor, but it’s pure marketing b.s.

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