Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was featured on American television airways, again, and this time it may really stick in his craw. Ford's image appeared in a U.S. political attack ad and was described as – gasp – a regular politician.
The 30-second commercial for Republican congressional candidate George Demos begins with images of Ford, U.S. President Barack Obama and Democratic congressman Tim Bishop (who Demos is hoping to unseat) who are held up as average politicians - corrupt, unwanted and detached from the everyman.
It's likely a tough pill to swallow for Toronto's embattled mayor, who made a name for himself as an average Joe and even recently told CNN that he didn't even think of himself as mayor.
But perhaps that is where an internationally-watch scandal involving drug use and lying to the public will leave you: A political boogeyman for even U.S. Republicans, with whom he most closely associates.
In the ad, the narrator says Demos, a former federal prosecutor for the Securities and Exchange Commission, "knows the good guys from the bad.
"As a federal prosecutor, he threw crooks in jail because it was the right thing to do."
It goes on to promise that Demos will never vote to raise taxes, a very Fordian claim. It also promotes Demos' opposition to Obamacare. Ford himself derided Obamacare in a recent interview with Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor.
Kevin Tschirhart, George Demos’ campaign manager, told the Toronto Star that they featured Ford because "what we're against is corruption in politics."
Ford has garnered many headlines in the U.S. since being embroiled in a drug and confidence scandal that saw city council strip him of many powers and hand them to Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.
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That adjustment shifted the balance of authority to Kelly's office, and left Ford steaming.
According to CBC News, Ford is furious that Premier Kathleen Wynne is planning to meet with Kelly to discuss city business – a meeting to which he has not been invited.
Of course, Ford has had plenty of chances to meet with Wynne in the past and has failed to establish a working relationship with the premier. So it is little surprise that she would jump at the chance to meet with a more focused alternative.
The clash between Ford and Kelly – whom he personally named deputy mayor – will also continue at city hall this week as debate surrounds a scheduled increase to council salaries.
The Toronto Sun reports that everyone on council is set to receive about a 1.5 per cent pay hike next year. That would increase each councillor's $104,147 annual salary by $11,562 and the mayor's $175,395 salary by $2,630.
Ford has predictably come out against the increase. On this debate, perhaps Ford and Demos might agree. Although we are unlikely to see an about-face in his next political attack ad.
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