"I’m unable to continue my campaign for re-election as your Mayor."
September 12, 2014 12:46 PM   Subscribe

When last we checked in with Toronto mayor Rob Ford, he had just come back from a stint in rehab. The ensuing summer found him apparently clean and sober, although still with an aura of scandal (last weekend he was subpoenaed in an extortion case) and despite great efforts, polls had Ford trailing by more than ten points in the race in August. Earlier this week, things took another shocking turn when he was admitted to hospital with an abdominal tumour. With 2:00 PM today as the deadline for candidates to add or remove their names to or from the ballot, many speculated on how Ford's health concerns would affect the race (the two candidates polling in fourth and fifth bowed out of the race in the last two weeks). This morning, hours before the deadline, Ford announced he was withdrawing his name from the mayoral ballot, but he would be running for city council. He has asked his brother and erstwhile campaign manager, rookie councillor Doug Ford, to run for mayor in his place.

Doug Ford now faces front runners conservative John Tory and progressive Olivia Chow, both of whom will issue statements this afternoon.

Rob Ford replaces his 21-year-old nephew Mike Ford on the ballot for his old ward (and Doug Ford's current ward); the younger Ford will now be running for school board.
posted by ricochet biscuit (120 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I remember an episode of Oprah where she gave away a lot of Fords.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:48 PM on September 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


Maybe the "endorsement" from Mike Tyson didn't quite go the way Rob needed it to?
posted by sparklemotion at 12:49 PM on September 12, 2014


I have nothing but hope that Rob Ford recovers fully and quickly.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:50 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


...just in time to watch Doug get stomped in his electoral bid.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:50 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey remember that time Rob Ford lied about smoking crack and then got caught smoking crack and then just kept on being mayor for months and months, that was crazy.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:51 PM on September 12, 2014 [43 favorites]


The first article I saw on this was from the National Post (I have no idea of their reputation), which ends with a series of reaction tweets including the gems:
"I miss Rob Ford." – Everyone who listens to Doug Ford for three seconds. (@scottfeschuk)
and
The obvious question now is why does Rob Ford think he's not healthy enough to run for mayor, but healthy enough to run for council? (@peternowak)
posted by psoas at 12:55 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'd say he's got brass balls to keep going like this, but people...keep...not stopping him?

I'm not judging. My country's done far worse. I guess I'm just saying: what
posted by middleclasstool at 12:56 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I remember an episode of Oprah where she gave away a lot of Fords.

These two were lemons.
posted by Fizz at 12:56 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


This show needs better writers.
posted by monospace at 12:58 PM on September 12, 2014 [18 favorites]


He's a damagingly terrible and incompetent mayor and a thoroughly reprehensible human being and I would like nothing more for my city than to never hear about him again.

However, the mean-spirited glee with how news about an already-sick man's new health issues is being received and commented upon by a number of my peers and online groups just makes me sad and embarrassed for everyone involved.
posted by robot-hugs at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2014 [11 favorites]


This is why we don't say "anyone but Rob Ford", people.
posted by Lemurrhea at 1:00 PM on September 12, 2014 [16 favorites]


You can still dislike his politics and his personality and not wish him ill-will. You can do both.
posted by Fizz at 1:01 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't start feeling smug, Americans. Remember we have the Palins.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


[One comment deleted. Folks can express their distaste for the guy but let's keep it above the level of "fuck him". Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The worst part of this is that Doug has effectively doubled the limit on his campaign budget. They've spent all that money to support Rob, and now Doug can start again at zero. All those signs still say "Ford for Mayor."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:02 PM on September 12, 2014 [13 favorites]


Also, can I wish Dougie ill-will? Because he is a genuinely terrible person.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:03 PM on September 12, 2014 [11 favorites]


Remember that time that Mike Tyson met with Rob Ford and Ford said, "We’re cut from the same cloth"? And how reporters asked him about having endorsement from a convicted rapist and Ford said, “I’m not going to comment on his personal life.” And how Tyson joked about the video where Ford was going on about violent stuff and someone mentioned Tyson? And Ford said he respected Tyson? And then Tyson went on the news and flipped out when the anchor asked about being a convicted rapist and later said it hurt his feelings?

I remember it like it was yesterday.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 1:03 PM on September 12, 2014 [14 favorites]


The obvious question now is why does Rob Ford think he's not healthy enough to run for mayor, but healthy enough to run for council? (@peternowak)

I would say the obvious answer is that for the last year, Doug has had at least two other nominally full-time jobs (as RoFo's campaign manager and with the family business), so clearly it doesn't require much work to be city councillor for Ward 2. And it is the very definition of a safe seat for anyone named Ford; they could run the family cat and probably be competitive.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:05 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


To put in perspective how crazy this story has become, there are not entirely implausible reasons to doubt the veracity of this entire tumour story. I don't doubt Rob is seriously ill, but the timing of this is so astoundingly useful for the Ford's it's more than possible this has been known about for some time and was only brought to light now to allow this switcheroo.
posted by Adam_S at 1:06 PM on September 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


It's Fords all the way down, isn't it?
posted by sudasana at 1:07 PM on September 12, 2014 [11 favorites]


He has asked his brother and erstwhile campaign manager, rookie councillor Doug Ford, to run for mayor in his place.

If you think about it even medium-hard, this is actually an incomprehensibly bizarre idea
posted by clockzero at 1:07 PM on September 12, 2014 [13 favorites]




Well, it's not like Olivia Chow has a snowball's chance in not-Canada of bringing some good leadership to the city, as she was trailing both Old Ford and the eponysterical John Tory in the polls, so this is not such good news for Toronto.

At least none of Our Palins currently hold any political office of any authority... uh, right?
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:09 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't have wished this on the guy. I honestly hope that Rob Ford gets through this alive. (But I also hope that at some point he says "It's not a tumor!")
posted by octobersurprise at 1:10 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Not to be outdone, Olivia announced that she too was stepping down from the mayoral race in favour of Stephen Chow, the Hong Kong star of such wacky hits as Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle (no relation)."
posted by The Notorious SRD at 1:12 PM on September 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am so very, very, very, very, very tired of the Ford Brothers and their dimwit Ford Nation supporters shitting on my city.

That said, I am constantly amazed with their skill in sucking the oxygen out of the mayoral race. And all of Toronto's media, including The Star (who really should know better by now), are eating it up like crack candy.

David Soknacki pulled out of the race earlier this week, and John Tory and Olivia Chow are both strangely quiet. Meanwhile Doug is promising to make for, well, an interesting campaign. He's Dick Cheney without the wisdom. And while I have a really hard time imagining Dougie holding on to enough residual Ford support to last until election day... well, I really don't know how we're still having this discussion.

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."
- Yeats,
'The Second Coming'
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 1:12 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


When do you have to officially declare in order to be on the ballot? I was surprised they could just swap in Doug like that.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:13 PM on September 12, 2014


The deadline was at 2pm today. Rob simply withdrew and Doug added his name.
posted by Adam_S at 1:14 PM on September 12, 2014


You know nothing, Rob Ford.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:14 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


#yesallfords
posted by lumpenprole at 1:18 PM on September 12, 2014 [4 favorites]


If you think about it even medium-hard, this is actually an incomprehensibly bizarre idea

It makes perfect sense if you consider Toronto to just be a giant Applebees and the position of mayor something like a server so when you're too hung over to show up you can just switch shifts with your buddy Doug and he'll cover for you because he's cool and also he owes you one from that time he dropped that entire tray of Snack Attack Chipotle Nachos and you told Linda it was because the floor was slippery and not because Doug was high as hell on shift.
posted by griphus at 1:18 PM on September 12, 2014 [48 favorites]


I was surprised they could just swap in Doug like that.

All you gotta do is swap the heads.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:19 PM on September 12, 2014


I was kinda hoping it was a brain tumor and that would explain his bizarre behavior.

Well, I do hope he gets better because tumors must suck.
posted by sio42 at 1:19 PM on September 12, 2014


He's Dick Cheney without the wisdom.

OMG that is the scariest thing I can think of today. Or the rest of the month.

As an ignorant American, can someone tell me what both Doug and Rob's actual chances are of winning these elections?
posted by Melismata at 1:19 PM on September 12, 2014


When do you have to officially declare in order to be on the ballot?

The election is six weeks away, so this is about right for many election campaigns. It just seems weird because for reasons hard to explain, the campaign officially kicks off on January 2nd, so it lasts ten agonizing months. You can make a human being from scratch in less time.

I would love to know what Doug feels about all this; this is a guy who was leaving politics, after all. He was not running for re-election and his provincial aspirations had met with a pretty chilly reception.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:21 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


ITS NOT A TUMOR

It's a tumour
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:21 PM on September 12, 2014 [15 favorites]


>The first article I saw on this was from the National Post (I have no idea of their reputation), which ends with a series of reaction tweets including the gems:

"I miss Rob Ford." – Everyone who listens to Doug Ford for three seconds. (@scottfeschuk)


Scott Feschuk is probably one of the wittiest writers out there. Only reason to pick up Maclean's Magazine, really. Love him.
posted by Nevin at 1:23 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


This is like swapping out Fredo with Sonny, because there is no Michael in the family.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 1:25 PM on September 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


I dislike the guy, seriously dislike him. But maybe we should avoid making cancer jokes.

It is a serious disease/issue and until we hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that it's a legitimate health concern.

If you don't have respect for the man, have some for the many people who have been impacted by this type of a disease.
posted by Fizz at 1:26 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


As an ignorant American, can someone tell me what both Doug and Rob's actual chances are of winning these elections?

Using one line of thinking - Doug's chances are very very slim. Rob stood only a small chance of actually winning, and by most measures Doug is even less popular than Rob is. Doug has an enormously big stupid mouth and the odds of him going 6 weeks without a huge screw-up is about zero. He has none of the 'folksy charm' Rob is seen to have, does none of the retail politics and is enormously mean spirited. (In a recent dispute about a community home for autistic children, Doug told the father of one of the children to 'go to hell'.) "Rob is a mean drunk and Doug is a mean sober".

That said, the sympathy vote plus the presentation of Doug as Rob without the addiction problems, could go a long way. I still don't see it though.

Rob will win the Ward race based on name recognition alone, despite there being a substantially superior candidate in Andray Domise also running.
posted by Adam_S at 1:26 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


But wasn't Doug considered the mastermind behind Rob? In that way the swap isn't completely stupid.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:28 PM on September 12, 2014


I believe Mike Ford is a high-school graduate although I haven't seen an actual resume of his, other than the article noting he works selling labels at Deco, the family business.

So he basically seem unqualified to do any job, short of one where he's hired by his own family and now he wants to tell teachers what they should be doing?

Fuck that.
posted by GuyZero at 1:31 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


But wasn't Doug considered the mastermind behind Rob? In that way the swap isn't completely stupid.

In the same way Rove and Cheney were considered the brains behind G.W. Bush - neither of them are remotely electable either.

The one good thing that you can say about Rob Ford is that he is legitimately a hard-working retail politician. When he was a city councilor and you had a busted water main, you called him and he nearly came down himself to fix it.

He's a terrible mayor and has myriad personal problems, but the guy knew how to run a municipal help desk phone line.
posted by GuyZero at 1:34 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Anyone else get the feeling there is a headline writer out there waiting for Doug to win just so they can use YOU HAD ONE JOB TORONTO?
posted by Kitteh at 1:35 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


Drug User Replaced By Drug Dealer In Toronto Mayoral Race.

The 6th most read article on the Globe today: Globe investigation: The Ford family’s history with drug dealing
posted by bonehead at 1:36 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


In the same way Rove and Cheney were considered the brains behind G.W. Bush - neither of them are remotely electable either.

If GWB is the kind of guy you want to have a beer with, Rob is the kind of guy you want to have fifteen beers with. Until he punches you in the face while holding a bag full of Big Macs.
posted by Adam_S at 1:43 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Just like Cheney shot his friend multiple times with a pellet gun.

Weird, weird planet we live on.
posted by Melismata at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2014


As an ignorant American, can someone tell me what both Doug and Rob's actual chances are of winning these elections?

Rob's chances are roughly 100%. He is much loved in his old ward and there is a lot of inertia in local politics. (Although it is a different city, Etobicoke adjoins Mississauga, where Hazel McCallion is stepping down after serving as mayor since 1978. Seriously -- she didn't even bother to campaign the last half-dozen or so times and still usually got 90-plus percent of the vote. If she weren't 93, she could probably do this through a dozen more cycles.)

Doug's are harder to call, but they are pretty low. As others have asserted, there was a sort of Bush-Cheney dynamic there: one the folksy doofus who could put a charming face on things and one the transparent thug who works behind the scenes but seems to be sulking along in the edge of rage at all times. On the other hand, the other candidates suddenly do not have RoFo's dismal record to use against him any more as Doug technically is a clean slate. Given that every poll for at least a couple of years has had the majority of voters saying they wouldn't vote for Rob again under any circumstances and Doug is by any metric less likable and less experienced than Rob (although also less scandal-plagued), I'd say there is one chance in twenty that Doug will somehow split the vote and win.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I just hope that Doug's new campaign manager is better than Rob's. That last guy was lousy.
posted by Fizz at 1:47 PM on September 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


As an American all I can say is I wish our politicians were half as compelling as these chaps. Our politicians are every bit as corrupt, vile and incompetent as these mofos, but not nearly as much fun. Ted Cruz could use a little crack, lord knows, and Boehner's alcoholism just seems sad - nothing like Ford's boisterous, party animalism. If you're going to ruin a country/municipality whathaveyou, make a show of it, dammit.
posted by Colby_Longhorn at 1:48 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


The obvious question now is why does Rob Ford think he's not healthy enough to run for mayor, but healthy enough to run for council?

well, mayor is tougher and he's not all he's cracked up to be
posted by pyramid termite at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


On days like today, I really miss Jim Traficant.
posted by The World Famous at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I would say the obvious answer is that for the last year, Doug has had at least two other nominally full-time jobs (as RoFo's campaign manager and with the family business), so clearly it doesn't require much work to be city councillor for Ward 2. And it is the very definition of a safe seat for anyone named Ford; they could run the family cat and probably be competitive.

To be fair, Mittens Ford does have a more nuanced take on both housing and transportation policy than Rob or Doug, and Patches Ford has never smoked crack cocaine or driven drunk.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:04 PM on September 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


This saga never ends ... its just one thing after another with this family.
posted by captaincrouton at 2:10 PM on September 12, 2014


As an American all I can say is I wish our politicians were half as compelling as these chaps.

No you don't. Hilarious crack use aside, these guys are nothing but bad news for the people who live in their city.
posted by kate blank at 2:13 PM on September 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


To be fair, Mittens Ford does have a more nuanced take on both housing and transportation policy than Rob or Doug, and Patches Ford has never smoked crack cocaine or driven drunk.

Patches Ford at a recent news scrum: "I have never taken catnip... nor am I an addict of catnip. As for a ball of string, I can not comment on a ball of string that I have not seen or does not exist."
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 2:14 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


And I thought the Rob Ford story couldn't get any more strange. I can't even make heads or tails of this. It's all kind of insane.
posted by Aranquis at 2:24 PM on September 12, 2014


FWIW Torontoist's political cartoon on Ford's tumour announcement pretty much summed up my feelings on the issue.

It's not that I wish the man ill, I'm just exhausted of him.
posted by GuyZero at 2:30 PM on September 12, 2014 [6 favorites]


Tootles Ford has a terrible driving record, though.
posted by maryr at 2:30 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]




Doug won the Ward 2 election in 2010 without having to campaign at all. And they figured Mike would do the same. All you gotta do is slap "FORD" on that ballot (Mike is their sister's son and just recently legally changed his last name to Ford) to win that riding. Rob's going to win that seat even if he never leaves his hospital bed.

I just saw that campaign funds are not transferable. Rob now has a $2 million war chest that he can only spend on his shoo-in council seat and Doug has to spend his own money while raising funds. I always found it distasteful that they actively were fundraising outside of the city, and I'm sure they'll find a shady way to get that money moved that is obviously immoral but doesn't specifically break any campaign rules, much like everything else Rob has been dragged to court about these past 4 years. Having all the signage just say "Ford for Mayor" certainly helps.
posted by thecjm at 2:48 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I agree, Adam_S, there is likely more going on than the fords are putting on, especially considering people like Nick Kovalis and Pedro Marquez both called this in advance- Kovalis back in July.
I wish Rob good health and hope that he and his brother lose so we don't have to be lied to anymore.
posted by beau jackson at 2:49 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clearly the majority of Toronto voters support Rob Ford, or, at least, have supported him in the past. Though all I hear is what a dimwit and awful person is. Can someone summon the energy to give me the pro Ford argument, since most of Toronto repeatedly has put the guy in office?
posted by xmutex at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2014


By the way, if you're on chrome and kind of sick of the whole Ford side-show, why not make it real? Make any website discussing RoFo plays Entrance of the Gladiators using this chrome extension.

It definitely provides me with some much-needed levity.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:54 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Clearly the majority of Toronto voters support Rob Ford...
I think the word you're looking for is plurality. That's certainly the one I cling to.
posted by whittaker at 2:56 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Can someone summon the energy to give me the pro Ford argument, since most of Toronto repeatedly has put the guy in office?

So first off municipal elections have terrible turn-out rates. So It could be liek 10% of Toronto voters who go for the guy. There's the history of Toronto amalgamation, 416 vs 905, etc etc.

But per my previous comment, he worked hard for his constituents as a councilor. And he claims to "not waste taxpayer money" mostly by running his city office out of his own pocket since his family business gives him money to do so. He literally criticized other councilors for spending their office budgets on envelopes, etc. For whatever reason, some people buy this shit.
posted by GuyZero at 3:15 PM on September 12, 2014


I'm surprised he didn't put the tumor on the ballot.

"ALL FOR GROWTH! TUMOR FORD IN 2014!"
posted by nickggully at 3:16 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


most of Toronto repeatedly has put the guy in office

Educate yourself on the facts before you make claims like that, please. Rob has won one mayoral election, in 2010. In that election, Ford got 383,501 votes, or 47% of the vote. In a city with approximately 2.8 million people, less than 400K is not exactly resounding support. Fifty-two percent of eligible voters didn't bother to vote, so indifference is actually a bigger problem than the refusal of Ford's supporters to look beyond Ford's superficially affable persona and claims of saving them money on their taxes.
posted by orange swan at 3:18 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Rob Ford replaces his 21-year-old nephew Mike Ford on the ballot for his old ward (and Doug Ford's current ward); the younger Ford will now be running for school board.

Musical Fords...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 3:23 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Clearly the majority of American voters support George W. Bush, or at least have supported him in the past. Though all I hear is what a dimwit and an awful person he is. Can someone summon the energy to give me the pro-Bush argument, since most of the United States has repeatedly put him in office?
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 3:29 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


Clearly the majority of American voters support George W. Bush, or at least have supported him in the past. Though all I hear is what a dimwit and an awful person he is. Can someone summon the energy to give me the pro-Bush argument, since most of the United States has repeatedly put him in office?

Sure, the man won two presidential elections and if I had the stomach for it I'm sure I could write at length why that's so, and that might be of interest to some outside the US (or, hell, in it).

I'd like to hear the same about Ford.
posted by xmutex at 3:55 PM on September 12, 2014


I think if Sarah Palin won the NYC mayoral election, a lot of people would be utterly baffled and interested in why that happened.
posted by xmutex at 3:58 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised he didn't put the tumor on the ballot.

"ALL FOR GROWTH! TUMOR FORD IN 2014!"


I laughed. And I would also like to say that the Ford brothers are crypto-fascists. They are thuggish abusers who gleefully pick on the weak. Strident totalitarians. Fifth-column turncoat traitors all to happy to undermine civil society. They are two-bit dime store hoods. Gangster wanna-be's. Lying sociopaths (and probably psychopaths). They lie, lie, lie, and lie again, and I would not be surprised if this tumour thing is yet another cynical manipulation. We're asked to feel some compassion for the Ford family, when it is quite apparent they would happily run any one of us over in a shiny Escalade.
posted by Nevin at 4:08 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


The one good thing that you can say about Rob Ford is that he is legitimately a hard-working retail politician. When he was a city councilor and you had a busted water main, you called him and he nearly came down himself to fix it.

I believe this is wrong, although it's the story people often rely upon to explain the political success of Rob Ford. It's the story that Ford himself has used as cover for the reality that he is a alcoholic and drug addict who has difficulty showing up for work. Sure he adopted some petty grievances of homeowners when it furthered his arguments that government isn't working for the people, but he wasn't doing this work every day, or even every week. Not as a councillor, not as a mayor. Doug has said more than once that Rob told him being a councillor was a part-time job (although it pays slightly over $100,000 a year and comes with an office and staff).

Fords overstate everything. Many people who have called the office of the Crackskandalburgermeister with concerns haven't received that fabled Ford personal response, although he will state again and again that returns every call. However, there have been reports of him returning constituent calls at 1:30 in the morning, sounding incoherent. As Mayor he regularly came into the office at 1 in the afternoon and was gone by 3:30. He'd say he was out inspecting public housing buildings or making constituent calls, but published no schedule. We know that when the police were following he was in the bushes with a drug-dealing, girlfriend-beating buddy downing bottles of vodka like teenage delinquents skipping school.
posted by TimTypeZed at 4:21 PM on September 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


I had somehow totally missed the news that Soknacki had dropped out. That is a terrible shame; in the debates I've watched he's the only one who does things like cite facts.

Olivia, oh Olivia, you are on paper such a great idea but your mouth says such stupid things sometimes. Raising the land transfer tax on $2MM+ houses uselessly and self-defeatingly alienates rich but leftist voters (they do exist, surprisingly) all to put a grand total of $30MM into Toronto's budget, if all ~400 $2MM homes in Toronto sell at asking price. I mean seriously.

I wonder if John Tory is going to become more centrist after he's elected. DoFo has only Ford name recognition to get him through; he has no record to campaign on, and he is nothing but a bully. Shady as all get out, too.

And, while I despise everything Rob Ford has done to my city, cancer sucks and I hope he makes a full recovery.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:31 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


As of this moment there has been no confirmation that he has cancer. On the first evening of this story, the head of the hospital (a former president of the Ontario Conservative Party who had led the campaign to remove John Tory, the Fords' top competition in this race, from his leadership of that party) said it was a tumour. The doctor last night, at a different hospital, said it was a mass. There can be other explanations for that besides cancer. He had surgery five or six years ago to remove something from that area of his body. Wasn't cancer then. Yet people are going on now like he's on his deathbed. He did register this afternoon for another political office.

I can't imagine how the Fords could have manufactured this one, but they've pulled so many shifty exercises, most notably the recent fake rehab, and the timing of this episode has been so perfect. The outcome of Doug running for mayor has been speculated long before now. It might be insensitive, maybe even a bit far-fetched, but people have reason to be sceptical.
posted by TimTypeZed at 4:59 PM on September 12, 2014 [10 favorites]


Raising the land transfer tax on $2MM+ houses uselessly and self-defeatingly alienates rich but leftist voters (they do exist, surprisingly) all to put a grand total of $30MM into Toronto's budget, if all ~400 $2MM homes in Toronto sell at asking price. I mean seriously.

Erm, 400+ homes in Toronto were SOLD last year at $2 million or more. I don't think there's only 400 homes in Toronto that could be worth $2 million.
posted by chrominance at 5:06 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


At the time I read that fact (~week ago, ish?) there were about 400 homes on MLS in that price range.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:11 PM on September 12, 2014


... Rob will win the Ward race based on name recognition alone, despite there being a substantially superior candidate in Andray Domise also running.

posted by Adam_S at 4:26 PM on September 12 [2 favorites +] [!]




Domise seems to be taking in a lot of campaign donations in the aftermath of this afternoon's announcement though: based on my checking his campaign donations page mid-afternoon and then again just now, he seems to have raised about $5,000 since the Ford-switcheroo announcement (keep in mind that he's currently raised about $30,500 total, so that's a pretty big gain in one day)
posted by iona at 5:23 PM on September 12, 2014


Yes, and he gained a lot of Twitter followers today. I had already been following him, and I tweeted to him that I had already been rooting for him but now I was desperate for him to win, that he was Toronto's best hope of Ford less years. My tweet got a lot of retweets and favourites.
posted by orange swan at 5:27 PM on September 12, 2014


As Mayor he regularly came into the office at 1 in the afternoon and was gone by 3:30. He'd say he was out inspecting public housing buildings or making constituent calls, but published no schedule.

I believe he terms this "transparency."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:34 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


At the time I read that fact (~week ago, ish?) there were about 400 homes on MLS in that price range.

Which only says that there are 400 $2M homes on the MLS market in Toronto right now. It doesn't speak to the ones that are not on the market, nor for sale outside MLS.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 5:38 PM on September 12, 2014


If that's the same number as how many were sold last year in that range, I'm pretty comfortable taking that as an average.

None of which detracts from the main point: Olivia floated a stupid plan that alienates while providing negligible benefit. It was pretty obviously aimed as a sop to people (like me, frankly) who want the rich to pay more because they can afford it. I like her, and I think she has the most humane viewpoints of anyone who is or was in the field, but it was just dumb.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:51 PM on September 12, 2014


Xmutex, are you not able to search for your own info on how Rob Ford became mayor of Toronto? You can look through the 'related posts' section at the bottom of this very thread and find a treasure trove of links to previous discussions about Rob Ford. You can go to Wikipedia and read up on a general history of Toronto's recent political scene. You can go to google.com and do a search. It really is not that hard.

I stand by my original snarky link about Bush. A lot of people outside the U.S. were baffled by the re-election of Bush in 2004, just as we were confused by the president's headlong barelling into war in Iraq on the flimsiest of pretenses. The parallel is the same: a dim but weirdly popular figurehead floating into power and leaving a trail of wreckage behind him, with an equally weird lack of criticism on the home front even as outside observers were at a loss for a reasonable explanation. And I'll bet there are a lot of Americans who would love to talk about anything other than the events that transpired between 2000 and 2008.

Now if you don't live in the immediate Toronto area you can be forgiven if you haven't been bombarded with daily updates on the Ford shitshow, but it's not like the info is not out there. And you need to understand that every time there's a new thread on this topic, there's always one person who wants a recap of this sort. Maybe your intentions were innocent, but when you lead off with a comment about how "clearly the majority of voters support Rob Ford" it sounds an awful lot like you're astroturfing. If Lewis Black wants to say that Ford is a jerk, but at least he's "interesting" that's fine, but it's obvious that he only cares about a cheap punchline, and he's not looking for any further info. There's a lot more to Ford than drugs and stupidity, and those who are genuinely curious about the topic can go a lot further with their research with only a few clicks of the mouse.

So re-read this thread, and educate yourself as others have suggested. I've done my part in previous threads to recap past episodes for first-time viewers, but I'm too tired and fed up for now. You're going to have to do your own legwork on this one. And maybe when you've read up on the topic, you'll understand why some of us are really not in the mood to revisit old embarrassments for strangers who haven't had to deal with the mess first-hand.
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 5:51 PM on September 12, 2014 [8 favorites]


I would also add, xmutex, that the Fords have a vast history of hyperbole, so when you speak of massive support and repeated wins, you sound like the traditional low-info voter who is responsible for the single mayoral win. A frequent Ford talking point is how RoFo was elected with the largest electoral landslide in Canadian history. In fact, this is wrong in every regard, no matter what angle you view it from. Even in the narrowest possible avenue of weighing apples against apples, there have been three mayors of the amalgamated city of Toronto, and two of them pulled in larger majorities. And as I mentioned upthread, the neighbouring municipality has seen its mayor reelected numerous times with usually upwards of 90% giving her a mandate.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:22 PM on September 12, 2014 [5 favorites]


I wrote this a while ago as an explanation as to how Ford won, and why he still enjoys more popularity than most sane people would deem rational, and I think it's still a pretty good summary of how Ford won.
posted by Shepherd at 6:41 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think it was when Doug announced that he wouldn't be running again for council that he made a comment that municipal politics was so lame and he couldn't wait to be outta here and on and on. I hope someone digs up that quote and reads it back to him on camera.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:49 PM on September 12, 2014


I thnk the best summing up I have heard of Doug is about his vegetarianism: he isn't a vegetarian because he loves animals but because he hates plants.

There is a famous quote about a brilliant conversationalist isn't someone that makes you think they are brilliant but is instead the one that make you think you are brilliant. Rob Ford has that knack of connecting with people and making them think their ideas are good, their problems are important, and they matter to society, and more importantly, to (powerful and important) him.

The theory I have seen is they planned to get Dougie-boy elected so he could appoint Rob as Deputy Mayor, then Dougie-boy will step aside to be in provincial politics and Rob gets to be mayor again. yay!
posted by saucysault at 6:55 PM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


The deputy mayor cannot automatically become mayor. It's not like being vice-president of the USA.

I think that the more likely explanation is that Rob really doesn't want to be mayor...but doesn't want to come out and admit it. Especially in our "weak" mayoral system, he was much more suited to the roll of the sole dissenting Councillor, rather than the mayor who needs to be a leader and one who creates a consensus on council. If it really were a health issue, then he wouldn't be healthy enough to run for council, after all, both are more-than-full-time jobs.

Although...the other factor to consider is that TODAY is the deadline to declare candidacy, so if he were really ill and thought he had a 10% of being perfectly healthy, he would declare candidacy just in case it turned out he could walk away healthy in a few weeks. So who knows what to think.

Today Doug seemed very concerned when talking about his brother. Which seems to indicate that things are dire. Unfortunately when it comes to the Fords, they've convinced us that we can't take anything at face value. It could be sincere and it could be a show.

I have a hard time believing that Doug even wants to be mayor...but then again, everything about these guys has been completely perplexing to me. I wouldn't be surprised if he was putting on a face and expecting to lose, to then escape to Chicago. He could also be so delusional to expect the mayor's seat to be a stepping stone to the premiership.

And to think I thought that this would be over the moment I head Rob admit that he had smoked crack.
posted by beau jackson at 7:19 PM on September 12, 2014


Oh, I know it isn't like being VP, I'm not so sure the Fords know that though. After all, the guy they choose to be notary for today's paperwork didn't even know you can't notarise witness's signatures if you haven't actually seen them sign the form and the Fords didn't think it was important enough to make sure the paperwork was done right. The whole family tries to scoot under the rules constantly and when they get caught they act like victims being picked on over petty technicalities.
posted by saucysault at 7:34 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Marion Barry holding on line one
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:48 PM on September 12, 2014


I hope that hospital has a security detail guarding the narcotics.
posted by Soliloquy at 8:02 PM on September 12, 2014


Mmm, marionberries.
posted by maryr at 8:04 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


My one positive take-away from this is that if Rob has had any sort of endoscopic procedure during this whole situation, at least now he's had a taste of what he's been doing to the city for the past four years.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Timtypezed: However, there have been reports of him returning constituent calls at 1:30 in the morning, sounding incoherent. As Mayor he regularly came into the office at 1 in the afternoon and was gone by 3:30. He'd say he was out inspecting public housing buildings or making constituent calls, but published no schedule. We know that when the police were following he was in the bushes with a drug-dealing, girlfriend-beating buddy downing bottles of vodka like teenage delinquents skipping school.

Other than the girlfriend beating buddy part, this sounds like my dream job. Where do I sign up? Do I have to be a Canadian citizen? Because I think I could swing that.

I promise to be sober, but groggy and hungover and stay in my office for hours replying to people's emails and voicemails while I watch netflix at least two days a week, too. So that would be a measurable improvement.
posted by emptythought at 1:05 AM on September 13, 2014


Having thought on this, I think I have to agree on the timing being really suspicious. I mean, it's possiblesure, but it seems all too convenient that we went from medical news to dropping out of the race an hour before deadline.

One tiny ray of hope though: council, if Toronto has a collective brainfart and votes DoFo in, could strip him of powers the same way they did to Rob. While obviously I think they did the right thing there with RoFo, I am somewhat worried about the precedent that's been set.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:19 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


One tiny ray of hope though: council, if Toronto has a collective brainfart and votes DoFo in, could strip him of powers the same way they did to Rob.

I don't think they stripped Rob Ford of his powers. Isn't there a legal term that describes laws directed at one person? You can't pass a law saying Joe Schmidt can't water his plants on Tuesdays. I think the mayor (position, not person) was stripped of its powers. So I think the council would actually have to vote to return powers to the new mayor? Or did the vote specifically say "until the next election"?

There has been no confirmation he has cancer, but the doctor at the original press conference said that when they knew exactly what it was they would decide on what treatment to follow, be it radiation or chemo or surgery. So he at least thinks there's a strong chance of cancer. And he was transferred to Mt. Sinai to see a radiation doctor there, they said (radiation docs treat cancer, they're not x-ray/MRI do-ers like radiologists). I thought it was actually a good sign that they'd sent him to Mt. Sinai rather than PMH until they said that.

I don't think he's faking, but I hope he is. I don't want him to be mayor, but I didn't want it like this.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:34 AM on September 13, 2014


IIOHAP: The powers of the mayor's office were indeed reduced only until the upcoming election.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:54 AM on September 13, 2014


IIRC, council stripped Rob Ford of all powers not specifically granted by the province, and reduced his office budget to zero. The province only gives the powers of 'leading council' and 'representing the city,' again IIRC; council forbade him from anything else, and the lack of office budget made it functionally impossible to do much, for the duration of council with a sunset provision at the upcoming election. I think.

That's basically why after the vote Ford did nothing except show up at Argos games and whatnot.

TBH, I wouldn't see that much difference between Sinai and PMH when it comes to cancer care. They're both world-league centres in the field. I don't think he's faking--pretending to have cancer would come out, and I don't think even he has the brass gonads necessary to pull a Kaycee Nicole. It's the timing that is suspicious; if nothing else, the timing here let Rob use campaign funds up until the last minute, and lets Doug use as little money as possible when it comes to signs (Ford for Mayor) and stuff that are already out there.

I know Rob can't just transfer his money to Doug, but one wonders about e.g. the campaign bus... can Rob show up to Doug campaign events in the bus? Already paid for, "I'm just supporting my brother" etc, end run around the law as usual.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:57 AM on September 13, 2014


Or did the vote specifically say "until the next election"?

The motions passed by council expire November 30, 2014. Torontoist liveblogged the council debate at the time, and covered some of the legal/policy issues.
posted by iona at 9:58 AM on September 13, 2014


Oops, it was staff that council removed from the mayor's office, not budget set to $0. My bad.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:07 AM on September 13, 2014


I wouldn't see that much difference between Sinai and PMH when it comes to cancer care.

My thinking was that if they'd sent him to PMH it would have been because they were pretty sure that it's cancer. Mt. Sinai could be anything, not necessarily cancer, so it meant still a decent amount of hope that it's not cancer.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:16 AM on September 13, 2014


Oh, right.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:20 AM on September 13, 2014


He doesn't have to be faking. He can have some illness - he's obviously not leading the healthiest lifestyle - without it being cancer, or life-threatening. The first doctor to speak was not a doctor treating him, but an administrator, the head of the hospital, and was a person with already a compromised political history with regard to this story. Part of the Rob Ford Story is how many serious professional leaders have been twisted into knots by the Ford brand of dancing over the truth. The TTC head, the police chief, the city manager have all more than once been placed in positions of needing to rationalize away some of the Mayor's abuses. This would be a difficult situation from the start for the hospital head. Once Ford checks into the hospital there would be much media attention and all kinds of speculation, much of it questioning if his hospitalization wasn't the result of a relapse into drug abuse. So to counter that line of inquiry they needed right from the start to make the growth in his stomach sound serious. The family since then has just run with everyone jumping to the conclusion that it's the same cancer that killed his father. I know I'm not thinking we're done with Rob Ford yet. Sure it could be cancer. At this point we just don't know. Lots of people encounter cancer. Really, I'm most surprised this man hasn't been found dead wrapped around a tree long before now.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:33 AM on September 13, 2014


Shepherd sums up the devil's advocacy exactly as I was interested in hearing. Thanks.
posted by xmutex at 10:38 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


As has been mentioned before on the blue, one of the most fascinating looks into minds grinding along with absolute certainty about everything is the I Hate The War On Mayor Ford page on Facebook. No link, because ew. It depicts everyone with a voice to speak supporting RoFo, principally because anything other than full-throated huzzahs will get a user banned and their posts deleted.

Yesterday morning, they called for the candidate to remove himself from the ballot:
THE CLOCK IS TICKING: Less than five hours until we find out whether he decides to do the right thing, and pull his name off the ballot. He should realize he has no chance, and should know that another humiliation will just cement his reputation as an all-time loser. Yes, John Tory, you have less than five hours to withdraw from the race!
Oh ha ha! Fooled you all! The candidate distantly outpacing their guy should pack it in, obviously. But wait -- there is Sammy Maudlinesque transition:
In all seriousness, we are quite sure the ballot-closure deadline of 2pm today will come and go with no changes from the Ford camp. We know that Olivia Chow must of course support Rob Ford staying on the ballot, even if he is diagnosed with something serious. Jack Layton, from his resting place, would insist it so. We also know that Rob never quits, in fact it was the overriding theme of his campaign speeches over the past couple of weeks. Finally, we are quite sure that Doug Ford's heart would not be in a run as a replacement to his brother. Our prediction: Rob stays on the ballot, and wins the election in October, even if he is celebrating victory in a hospital bed.
Then, an hour passes and the news breaks:
Withdrawing from the race is obviously the right decision. We support the Ford family entirely, and will keep praying for a full and speedy recovery for Rob after treatment. He's in the best hands Canada has to offer.
This is the essence of Ford Nation: the ability to change their core beliefs in mid-sentence without losing their conviction.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:01 PM on September 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


The Fords (and Harper) are a symptom of the ongoing breakdown of what we used to call Peace, Order and Good Government in Canada. I've never felt less optimistic about the future if my city, province and country.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:16 PM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, at the very least Harper is very unlikely to bail out of the top job and run as a backbencher, then drop hints for the ensuing four years about a comeback in 2019. I cannot see Ford's maneuver as anything but a desperate maneuver to take a story that was going to end in six weeks and extend it by another four years.

There are seven living ex-mayors of Toronto (eight if you count ex-acting-mayor Kelly). All went on to other things after their terms. Any one of them gets 1% of the press that Ford will a year from now (assuming he is still alive and not incarcerated). RoFo is going to be the municipal equivalent of that guy you remember from high school who graduated but still seemed to be in the cafeteria at lunch every few days for the next two years.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:31 PM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did someone just reference Sammy Maudlin?
posted by Nevin at 3:20 PM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


Worth following @MetroManTo. Some tidbits:

Pedro Marques @MetroManTO · Sep 12
Ford family insider: benign mass was detected in May, Rob wanted to wait until after election to remove it. Used it to switch seats today.

Pedro Marques @MetroManTO · Sep 12
DougFordforMayor.ca was registered in May. #TOpoli

(there is a screenshot in this tweet for proof)

Pedro Marques @MetroManTO · Sep 13
Guess what else the clinic where Rob Ford was in May specializes in? Gastroenterology (stomach disorders): http://www.greenestoneclinic.com/ourfacilities_clinics_endoscopy.html … #TOpoli
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:29 AM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just saw that campaign funds are not transferable. Rob now has a $2 million war chest that he can only spend on his shoo-in council seat and Doug has to spend his own money while raising funds. I always found it distasteful that they actively were fundraising outside of the city, and I'm sure they'll find a shady way to get that money moved that is obviously immoral but doesn't specifically break any campaign rules

$2 million in signs that say "VOTE FORD" everywhere, easy.
posted by Theta States at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2014


Health update tomorrow at 5:00, apparently. Every indication from the family has been that Rob's situation is serious/bad.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:40 PM on September 16, 2014


Every indication from the family has been that Rob's situation is serious/bad.

Yes, but the tumour?
posted by GuyZero at 3:18 PM on September 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's a rare cancer called "liposarcoma." I'm not going to Google that.
posted by Nevin at 2:39 PM on September 17, 2014


An aggressive and rare form of cancer. Treating with chemo initially to try and shrink it then decide on surgery or not, radiation or not, etc. Tumour is currently 12cm x 12cm with another 2cm tumour nearby.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 2:52 PM on September 17, 2014


I'm no fan of the mayor and I certainly wouldn't vote for him or his brother, but I can't begin to describe how saddened I am by this.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:44 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


According to this web page, 5 year survival rates are "88% in myxoid liposarcoma, and 56% in pleomorphic liposarcoma." (the two kinds that seem to fit here) and 10 year survival rates are "88% in myxoid liposarcoma, and 56% in pleomorphic liposarcoma." However, things look worse if it's in the abdomen or if it's spread. Both true in Ford's case.

Here's hoping the odds are on his side.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 3:59 PM on September 17, 2014


I have predicted more than once that Ford would leave office either in handcuffs or on a gurney.

I had thought being right would feel better than this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:51 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Don't miss this: an AMA with Andray Domise, now Ford's opponent in Ward 2.

Most especially, don't skip his reply to a Ford Nation troll.
posted by bonehead at 10:02 PM on September 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm proud to know Ed Keenan.
posted by Shepherd at 5:48 AM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


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