Harmonic Convergence

This irony cannot pass quietly without us taking an opportunity to kick it around for a moment. At least, I hope it’s ironic. I’ve never been able to get a good grasp on the word and whenever I attempt to use it, I think I might be coming across a little Alanis Morisette-y. (Not to mention repetitive. Almost a year to the day. We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke are nothing if not annually consistent.)

Last night our mayor participated in a fundraising dinner with 3 of his opponents from last year’s election to bring attention to the horrors wrought by campaign debt. The Harmony Dinner it was dubbed, and for anywhere from $250-$2500 a pop, you could pitch in and help put George Smitherman, Sarah Thompson, Rocco Rossi and the mayor back into the black. Or at least, less out of the red. Joe Pantalone, bless his red, white and green heart, inharmoniously held his own fundraiser earlier in hopes of burying a $30,000 debt because he still cannot bring himself to be in the same room as former premier Mike Harris who served as the Harmony Dinner’s co-host and who, the ex-councillor feels, inflicted untold damage on the is city. Talk about carrying a grudge. Although, remember when we almost had that subway running along Eglinton?

For his part, George Smitherman doesn’t owe any money but apparently participated in the event to help Sarah Thompson who wound up $80,000 in the hole before she ended her campaign and threw her weight behind Smitherman, helping the longtime frontrunner finish in an unspectacular second place. Personally, I would’ve let her dangle. Rocco Rossi, first in and first out of the “big” names in last year’s race, came to the dinner hoping to erase the last half of the $60,000 he was on the hook for.

The mayor… the mayor… and here’s where the irony kicks in. (We think.) Our mayor, the boastful tightwad, the budget buster, the Gravy Train stopping, little guy looking out for-ing, riding the rail of populist outrage at City Hall profligacy, yes that mayor, spent $1.7 million to get himself elected while raising almost, and I’d stretch it out a little with the playful TV catchphrase `wait for it, wait for it’ but everybody already knows where I’m going with this, almost one million dollars. 900 K to be exact which left him the biggest panhandler at last night’s event.

Mayor Rob Ford has $800,000 in campaign debt. How is that not ironic? And if it is (and I really do think it is), add another irony layer to it because, like most political donations, people giving money get partial tax rebates. So this mayor, preparing to gut the city back to its skeletal remains, first wants City Hall to help pay off the debt he accumulated campaigning for the job that would put him in the position to do the gutting.

The fuck is that?!

And why hasn’t there been a much larger public excoriation of him?

I have nothing against public financing of election campaigns. In fact, I’d be all for full public funding if there was some way to portion out money equitably and sensibly. But something about Mayor Ford wanting a piece of it just doesn’t sit well with me. And the fact that he dug a significantly bigger hole, we’re not just talking degrees but by orders of magnitude, makes me believe that we’ve elected a mayor who thinks austerity is for other people.

So those 10 years of office budgets the mayor never used while he was a councillor and saved the city, let’s call it half a million dollars? The mayor now wants some of that back. To pay his own personal campaign debt. Let’s remember that, shall we, when we’re standing out in the cold, waiting for a bus that no longer runs on Sundays.

ironically (I think) submitted by Cityslikr

6 thoughts on “Harmonic Convergence

  1. Yeah, isn’t it? Rossi who was also on the political right still had a substantial debt. Another host was John Tory who Rossi helped in the past. That radio host is defending Ford saying things like he is “58 days on the job” and so forth.
    For a penny pincher; the campaign budget violated the spending limit unless the overage can be barried in the fund raising function category. The Harmony dinner will cost the City. 75% of the $250 tickets, $575 of the $1000 tickets and maxing out at $1000 of the $2500 tickets in rebates.
    C’mon fatso and just bust a move.(Young MC)

    • I should add that in Today’s Post there is a brief article that Rossi may run for the provincial PCs though he has been wooed by the Libs. Which is a problem having recently worked as a funder for the Federal Libs and could wind up at the helm of a charity?! Side note there has been little interest in Thomson as a candidate unless she runs in an unwinnible riding for either party.

  2. Didn’t the Fords give up their salaries for charity or some such naked pandering opportunity? Or was that just Doug?

    Perhaps the elder Ford hasn’t heard the famous words, ‘help a brutha out’

    • Rob has kept his salary and moved money to the Ford Football Foundation. I think that Doug is drawing a salary both from the family business and the City. He would get a tax break donating to charity. As for the Toronto election the maximum donation for mayor is $2500 unless you are the candidate/spouse…I think Doug is helping Rob out by being the more reasonable thinker in PR.

    • I feel like I am writing to myself but in the absence of another article…I looked at the numbers; allegedly $1 million was raised with over “700” people in attendance. Which means at least a couple hundred people paid $2,500.

      When you are campaigning, your supporters will donate. This is after the win! I suppose it would be lobbyists, developers & rich people who would pay to access this event?!

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