had clear skies ahead, after surviving three court challenges that threatened his mayoralty.Earlier this week we wrote that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
Ford appears to be playing nice with city staff, and staying generally quiet otherwise. He even jetted off to Disney World for a vacation on Wednesday, almost unnoticed.
Even his level of support has rebounded from recent lows, begging the question of why he would start behaving now, when flying too close to the sun has so far only resulted in a tan.
It seems Ford may agree.
The Toronto Star reports that Ford started hitting city lobbyists up for private donations again, just days after surviving a conflict of interest case based on similar questionable activities.
The newspaper reports that Andy Manahan, of the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario, and another unnamed city lobbyist both say they felt uncomfortable after being asked to donate to the mayor's private football foundation in recent months.
“You never know what a mayor’s office could do to put a monkey wrench into your dealings with the city,” Manahan told the Star.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate to take those sort of lists and send out letters to people who have dealings with the city. Again, there could be repercussions. There’s potential.”
The Star's David Rider tweeted a statement released by Ford spokesman Mark Towhey on Thursday, stating that it is believed the Football Foundation "makes every attempt to remove registered lobbyists from its mass mailing lists."
Ford was found guilty in a conflict of interest case last year after participating in a vote on whether he should be required to pay back questionable donations he collected from lobbyists for his football foundation as a city councillor.
He was acquitted on appeal after arguing he did not knowingly break any rules.
The issue the first time around was Ford's use of city letterhead, which appeared to peddle his influence as a city councillor in the private transaction.
[ More Brew: Rob Ford wins appeal to remain Toronto mayor ]
This time around, the Star confirms, Ford is not using city letterhead, but the effect is the same. People know who Ford is, and the power he holds. And at least two people are concerned about how their relationship with the city will be affected if they do not donate to the Rob Ford Football Foundation.
With this ground so salted, however, it is unlikely anything will come of it. As many have pointed out, Ford’s enemies took their shot and missed. The courts have given him tepid approval to act as he sees fit.
Ford may end up getting burned this week, but it won’t be from this. It will be from the hot Florida sun.