Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thomson Drops out to Support Smitherman

It would be nice if Rocco did the same....but I won't hold my breath.

Any way you look at it, it's a bad, bad week for Rob Ford.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Smitherman Closes the Gap to 5 Points on Ford

And the Ford free fall begins. Torontonians are finally waking up to the reality of what a Rob Ford Toronto would look like - and they don't like it very much. In the meantime good news for Smitherman as he increases his support and now is within striking distance to win this one.

A survey of 400 Toronto voters released Monday evening found Rob Ford leading with 28 per cent, compared with 23 per cent for his closest rival George Smitherman and 10 per cent for third-place candidate Joe Pantalone. Sarah Thomson and Rocco Rossi were tied, with seven per cent of respondents.

Significantly, this latest Ipsos-Reid poll indicates that if it was just down to the former deputy premier and the grandiloquent Etobicoke councillor, Mr. Smitherman would win – 48 per cent of respondents said they’d vote for him, compared with 45 per cent who said they’d vote for Mr. Ford if the Oct. 25 election were held today.

In other news....Rossi is at 7%...me thinks it's time for him and Ms. Sarah to pack it in.

PS The sad news for Torontonians is the OTHER Ford will be at city hall to ruin things.

Why Does Rob Ford Hate Athletics so Much???

First his dumpiness declared a war on bike lanes.

Now Rob Ford has declared war on marathon runners - some of the best athletes in the world. But I bet rolly polly Rob would love Toronto to keep the revenues 35,000 athletes bring into the City of Toronto. He's a cake and eat it kind of guy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rossi Holding Grudge with Smitherman Since 2003

You know for the life of me I couldn't understand what Mr. Rossi was doing in this mayoral race after Sept. 1. In fact in August I suggested if I was running his campaign I'd be breaking the news to him in August.

But after this statement I have concluded that's it's for reasons none other than to stick it to George Smitherman.

Rocco Rossi noted no Toronto mayoral frontrunner who lost their lead in the polls in the manner Smitherman has, has ever come back to win.

"The George Smitherman-led Barbara Hall campaign in 2003 left Toronto with a tax-and-spend mayor, and now George Smitherman's steady plummet in the polls risks handing victory to an angry Councillor Rob Ford who has no plan for our great city." said Rossi.

You see, Rossi ran the losing John Tory campaign. It appears he's not quite over that yet.

Rocco should have also noted that no candidate at 9% has made up 36% in the last 29 days of a campaign to win an election for mayor.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Star's Hepburn: "Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson should withdraw immediately "

He's right. ONLY SMITHERMAN CAN STOP ROB FORD....and he needs to be stopped.

By Bob Hepburn
Editorial Page

Back in 2000, consumer advocate Ralph Nader was the Green party’s nominee for U.S. president, running against Al Gore for the Democrats and George Bush for the Republicans.

Despite pleas from friends to withdraw because his no-hope candidacy could hurt Gore’s chances of beating Bush, Nader campaigned tirelessly.

In the battleground state of Florida, Nader received 97,488 votes — and the undying anger of Democrats who claimed his bid drained votes from Gore, who lost Florida by just 537 votes to Bush.

That narrow and controversial victory in Florida secured the U.S. presidency for Bush.

We all know what happened next — Bush went on to become the worst U.S. president ever.

That same election scenario is taking place right now in Toronto.

Here, a trio of candidates with no chance of winning the Oct. 25 mayoral race may contribute heavily to the election of Rob Ford, whom the candidates themselves claim would be “scary” and a disaster for Toronto if he wins.

Because of that, Joe Pantalone, Rocco Rossi and Sarah Thomson should withdraw immediately and let Ford and George Smitherman, the two clear front-runners, fight it out by themselves in the last month of the election.

If they refuse to end their ego-fuelled campaigns, which is most probable, then these also-ran candidates would be partly to blame for helping Ford become mayor if he beats Smitherman.

None of these three candidates has really connected with voters.

After nine months of non-stop campaigning, all three are still hovering between 7 and 13 per cent voter support.

At this stage, Smitherman has about 25 per cent backing in the polls and is the only serious challenger for Ford. If the opposition to Ford is to coalesce around a lone candidate, that person will most likely be Smitherman.

That’s critical because Ford’s popularity, which now stands at more than 42 per cent, may have peaked.

A major new poll to be released in the next few days is expected to show he has fallen slightly, with more than one-third of voters still undecided.

For the most part, Pantalone, Rossi and Thomson have all run serious campaigns of which they can be proud. They have outlined their positions in more than 50 public debates and countless speeches and press interviews.

But they’re delusional if they believe they can win.

All of them cling to the false hope that what happened to David Miller in 2003 will happen to them. In that election, Miller and John Tory trailed Barbara Hall badly in the polls on Labour Day. On voting day, though, Miller won with 299,385 votes to 263,189 for Tory. Hall finished a distant third.

Two other also-rans, John Nunziata and Tom Jakobek, embarrassed themselves by getting less than 6 per cent of the votes.

All three of this year’s “major” also-rans will also wind up embarrassing themselves.

In Thomson’s case, can anyone figure out why she thinks she has a chance of winning? She gets media play because, honestly, she’s the only woman in the race, not because she’s qualified. Her only political experience was an unsuccessful bid for a city council seat — in Hamilton at that.

Rossi, too, has failed to win over voters, but says he’s no “quitter.”

For months, he conducted a decent campaign, but in recent days has started to implode, with foolish plans to bury highways under the city and an appallingly bad series of ads that feature tough-talking Tony Soprano-like voices extolling his virtues.

None of it has worked. Even the centre-right voters Rossi had targeted are ignoring him.

Pantalone, whose campaign theme should be “If you liked David Miller, you’ll like me,” is praying NDP voters and union workers will suddenly love him on election day.

The reverse is more likely, with such voters, in their eagerness to stop Ford, telling Pantalone they support him, but then secretly casting ballots for Smitherman.

It’s too late to remove their names from the ballots.

But it’s not too late for Pantalone, Rossi and Thomson to announce they are no longer candidates and stop all campaigning.

By doing so, they will save their financial backers from wasting money on expensive campaign ads that are about to hit Toronto newspapers and airwaves. They will also save themselves from huge debts that could take years to pay off.

They might even save themselves from being branded forever as Toronto’s own version of Ralph Nader.

Bob Hepburn's column appears Thursday. bhepburn@thestar.ca

Rob Ford's Numbers Fail Worse Than Rocco Rossi's

Finally, somebody prints what many of us have been saying for weeks... Ford's numbers are just wrong. And now you can add chief exaggerator to his long list of nicknames. I'd call him an LLPOF.

Marcus Gee
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published on Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2010 11:13PM EDT

Last updated on Thursday, Sep. 23, 2010 6:57AM EDT

This week’s opinion poll showed that Rob Ford is not only the most popular candidate for mayor, he is also the most trusted. But can you really trust a guy who says so much that is wrong and untrue? Consider just a few examples.

- When he talks about overspending at city hall, Mr. Ford often cites the controversial new bike lane on Jarvis Street. He says it cost $6-million. The actual cost was $59,000, $6,000 less than the city’s $65,000 estimate. The money was used to install bike-lane signs, paint new lines on the pavement and remove the overhead signals for Jarvis’s old reversing traffic lane.

- Mr. Ford says city council voted to spend $360-million to tear down the Gardiner Expressway. No such decision has been made. City council voted in July, 2008, only to launch a study into the future of the elevated expressway. The study was expected to cost about $8-million. Mayor David Miller has made it clear he would like to take down the Gardiner east of Jarvis and one city estimate put the cost at about $360-million, but that is only one option under study and council has never voted to approve it.

- Mr. Ford says that under Toronto’s “tax, tax, tax, spend, spend, spend” government, “residents of this city have been hit with a property-tax increase of 5 per cent every year.” After all the waste that taxpayers see, he said at a debate on Tuesday night, “it just infuriates them when they turn around and have to pay a 5-per-cent property tax.” In fact, homeowners’ property taxes went up 2.9 per cent this year, 4 per cent last year and 3.75 per cent in 2008. There has never been a property tax increase of 5 per cent since Mr. Ford was first elected in 2000.

- Mr. Ford said on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning this week that in 2000 the city had a $6.5-billion budget and “now we have almost a $12-billion budget.” In fact, the city’s operating budget has risen from about $6-billion in 2000 to $9.2-billion today. It reaches almost $12-billion only if you add in the capital budget, which pays for road repairs, transit expansion and other projects. Capital spending was not included in Mr. Ford’s 2000 figure, so his comparison exaggerates the growth in spending.

- In controversial remarks about immigration last month, Mr. Ford said that Toronto’s official plan forecasts that a million new people will flood into the city over the next 10 years. “I think it’s more important that we take care of the people now before we start bringing in more,” he said. In fact, the plan says that Toronto will grow by 537,000 residents by 2031. Greater Toronto is expected to grow by 2.7 million people in that same period, but that includes the whole region, including Halton, Peel, Durham and York.

These are not just sloppy mistakes or slips of the tongue. Mr. Ford makes these untrue statements over and over at debates and campaign appearances. His rivals for mayor have corrected him repeatedly in public, but he keeps on trotting them out as fact. Much of what he says falls into the category of “truthiness,” defined by television comedian Stephen Colbert as what you want the truth to be, not what it actually is.

The rise of Rob Ford to the leading spot in the opinion polls is, sadly, no joke. The Etobicoke councillor is just weeks away from becoming mayor of Canada’s biggest city. When a man who says he would run the city like a business repeatedly gets his figures wrong, you have to wonder about his fitness for the job. When he brazenly repeats his errors, you have to wonder about his judgment.

If we say we trust public figures, we usually mean that we believe what they say is true. By that measure, Mr. Ford is the most untrustworthy candidate for mayor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rossi Fails the Smell Test

Rocco wants a tunnel. Rocco throws out a number to build it. The Star has the real numbers here.

Jesse McLean
Staff Reporter

Rossi’s Toronto Tunnel
The claim: Rocco Rossi said his proposed Toronto Tunnel — an 8-kilometre subterranean expressway — could cost as little as $105 million per kilometer.

Background: Rossi’s tunnel would extend the Allen Expressway, which currently ends at Eglinton Ave. W., all the way to the Gardiner Expressway.

The eight-kilometre traffic tunnel would be financed through a public-private partnership, he said.

“A determination of an exact cost estimate will require an engineering report,” Rossi’s campaign said in a statement. “However, similar projects in Switzerland, Australia, Los Angeles, Seattle, Nanjing, and some underway, like in Miami, suggest that the cost . . . can be as little as $105 million per kilometre.”

Smell test: While it’s easy to raise the spectre of Boston’s Big Dig, where a 5.6-km tunnel ended up costing the city about $22 billion (it was budgeted to be $2.8 billion), The best comparison to Rossi’s plan is Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct, said Brian Garrod, of the engineering consulting firm Hatch Mott MacDonald.

The 3.1-km tunnel’s size — 16.5 metres in diameter with two stacked, two-lane expressways — is similar to what the Toronto Tunnel would look like, he said.

The cost of simply designing and building the Alaskan Way is about $1.4 billion — roughly $450 million per kilometre, four times more than Rossi’s projection.

In addition, cities generally have to pay easements to owners whose property a tunnel passes beneath, a significant cost considering the number of properties that lie between Eglinton and the Gardiner. Easements could be 10 per cent to 50 per cent of each property’s value, Garrod said. Also, actual costs for mega-projects such as a traffic tunnel, on average, come out to 28 per cent higher than the forecast costs, according to studies. The Alaskan Way project has $415 million set aside for cost overruns and inflation, which brings the tunnel’s total cost to $1.96 billion — roughly $632 million per kilometre.

Did You Miss Last Night's TO Mayoral Debate??

Here's a pretty good account of it here.

Besides Stevie LeDrew being the worst debate moderator in the history of mankind, here are some of the hilites...if you can call them that....

8:06 PM: Rocco Rossi is still in his patented "I'm like Rob Ford but not a total idiot" mode, then hypes the gun registry (of all things). Rossi is currently spending god knows how much money to come in fourth place, so really, he cannot criticize Ford for anything.

8:11 PM: Oh Jesus Christ Ben Mulroney has an applause-o-meter.

8:56 PM: Rossi to Smitherman: Flounder won't explain where he'll make up his difference on cuts. Will you? Smitherman says he'll present his budget framework on the 27th, and so there. Rossi says then Smitherman should cut Flounder some slack. Poor Flounder! Everybody's picking on him!

So, was there anything to this debate? Mostly not. Flounder was as you would expect: the same horrible human being as always, although now with a truly shocking level of smugness in an "I've already won the election" way, no matter how often he says he hasn't won it yet. He's ahead because he's got a simple, straightforward message, which appeals to people who want to believe that governance is simple and straightforward. Of course, if it were simple and straightforward, Rob Ford wouldn't have to run for mayor to have a shot in hell of being effective in city government.

As for the others? Thomson and Rossi should just give up now. Neither one has a hope of winning. Thomson is vague. She has been vague all campaign, and "I'm kind of nice and mean well" has never gotten a lot of votes. On the plus side, at least she isn't becoming a total joke: Rocco Rossi is running possibly the worst campaign in Toronto's entire history at this point, and may very well get fewer votes than Kevin Clarke at the rate he's going, because he doesn't seem interested in doing anything other than tossing off one-liners and promoting stupid ideas.

Pantalone has better numbers because everybody who was hoping that a non-bad progressive candidate would show up has given up and settled, but tonight's performance was terrible. There are valid criticisms of the Miller regime, many of them, and Pantalone's refusal to engage on that level means he's never going to get the progressives to come out; he's just pandering to the audience that doesn't want to feel like it's being pandered to, and worse, he's being obvious about it.

That leaves Smitherman, who for the first time all campaign actually acted like he wanted to win. Despite the idiotic level of these debates, Smitherman actually came across as someone with a little substance and communicated his two major points, which are that Flounder is a worthless human being who can't run the city, and that he can. This was the first debate where Smitherman felt like the leader he's supposed to be.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Conservative Action Scam

“Advertising costs for the Economic Action Plan were one-time only costs in the context of the global economic crisis, during which the [government of Canada] deemed it important to communicate with Canadians about the programs and services available to them to counter tough economic times,” the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada said in a statement.

What a crock of shit. These clowns in the Conservative government are making the sponsorship deal look like a mere drop in the bucket with their sign scam wasting taxpayers dollars to promote themselves.

At least the Liberals were promoting Canada and unity in the sponsorship deal. These jokers in Harper's government are using it to promote themselves. Don't believe me? Every sign has actionplan.gc.ca printed on it. Have a look at the site and you tell me if it's non partisan or a use of taxpayer's dollars to promote the Conservative Party of Canada.

Rocco Rossi's Stale Cannoli

Let me start by saying my grandfather and my great grandparents came to this great country in the late 30's from Calabria, Italia. Having said that, I think I have the right to decide whether or not Rocco's ads are funny from an Italo Canadian perspective. They are not. NOT AT ALL. And some other Italo-Canadians agree with me.

His campaign is over and he is done like a meatball.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Rocco Rossi Nail in the Coffin Ads

I am beyond perplexed. The Rossi campaign is out there telling people that they "are the only team that can stop frontrunner Rob Ford". The same Rob Ford that has made a career over insinuating there is corruption and mass gouging at Toronto City Hall and calls people out on untendered contracts, etc.

So, what do the braniacs over at the Rossi camp come up with? Why they come up with ads depicting Rossi as a Mafioso Soprano wanna be connected guy. The optics suck shit for Rossi. Yeah, maybe the ads are funny at first blink, but for a guy in a free fall to 7% this morning he ain't gonna get any traction with these ads especially in a city worried about gun crime and the likes.

But what do I know?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time For Rocco Rossi To Cash in His Chips

For all the hoopla and rah rah that Bernie Morton and My Friend brought to Rossi's campaign a couple of weeks ago, the news today has to be a swift kick in the groin. Not only is Rossi down to 9.7% in the new CTV poll, but he is a full 3points behind Joe Pantalone and a ass scorching 12 points behind George Smitherman.

So, I have to ask....is Rossi just in this to sabotage the Smitherman campaign because I'm certain that his team understands that 36% is impossible to overcome in a Mayoral race with 36 days left. And no, 1% per day is not like a dollar a day at Club Fitness.

update: I Love this line

The greatest potential is for Rocco Rossi because - according to the tracking we've done - he's everybody's second choice"--Bernie Morton, Campaign Manager

Last time I checked preferential balloting was not on the menu for Toronto Municipal voting. Bernie, this ain't a nomination you're fighting here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Rally to Restore Sanity

Brought to you by "The Daily Show".

Everyone should make an effort to attend....if not just to annoy Glen Beck. The Facebook Group is here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Smitherman Gets Conservative Endorsements

As I said, Toronto needs a tough mayor. A, tough, experienced mayor. The only candidate fitting that bill is George Smitherman....and now his campaign clearly shows that it's not all the Queens Park Liberals behind him but George is attracting former opponents to his cause.

From the Star:

Tories back Smitherman
Published On Wed Sep 15 2010
ArticleJohn Goddard
Staff Reporter

Former provincial Liberal cabinet minister George Smitherman, trying to stop the Rob Ford mayoral juggernaut, has attracted endorsements from high-profile Tories, including Mike Harris-era cabinet ministers.

“We’re conservatives. He’s a Liberal,” begins an open letter titled “Why We Support George” that includes the names of almost 40 provincial and federal Conservatives, including former citizenship, culture and recreation minister Isabel Basset.

She circulated the email at the request of his campaign, said Stefan Baranski, a spokesman for the candidate and former Conservative communications aide who is himself a signatory. Others include Jamie Watt, a strategist and senior Smitherman campaign adviser.

“He’s tough. But he’s fair,” says the letter also signed by former ministers Charles Harnick (attorney-general) and Dan Newman (environment). He “is the only candidate who has said it’s the mayor’s job to create the climate where businesses will thrive and jobs will be created right here,” the signatories say.

Smitherman, an early frontrunner who is now trailing the penny-pinching Ford, recently promised conservative measures including a “war on waste” and a temporary freeze on property taxes.

“I believe in inclusiveness and I think (Smitherman) represents that in a big way,” Bassett said in a phone interview. “Just because he’s a Liberal doesn’t mean he can’t work with Conservatives and NDP — (city politics) is like a big tent.”

Bassett said she waited until former Ontario Conservative leader John Tory made clear his intention not to run before declaring support for Smitherman.

While popular with the grassroots, Ford has not attracted big-name Conservatives. At his campaign launch in March, Conservative MPP Christine Elliott said she was backing him, while her husband, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, said “it wouldn’t hurt to have a fiscal conservative as the mayor of Toronto.”

Ford did not respond to a request for comment.

As to why the list includes no sitting MPs or MPPs, Baranski blamed the fact that there are none elected in Toronto.

Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, the lone candidate on the left hoping to continue Mayor David Miller’s legacy, pounced on the news. “Mike Harris is back in the form of George Smitherman,” he said in a statement. “Why else would the Harris team have just endorsed him?”

While Conservatives often attacked Smitherman in the Legislature over his handling of the money-burning eHealth initiative, signatories including Conservative senators Nancy Ruth and Vim Kochhar lauded his work reducing hospital wait times and cutting nearly $600 million a year from Ontario’s health budget.
With files from David Rider

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Message From Mr. Dion

via facebook

Stéphane Dion M. Dion vous remercie pour la sollicitude que vous avez exprimée à son endroit par vos nombreux messages d’encouragement. La méchante bactérie qui a osé s’en prendre à lui aurait dû y penser à deux fois, car c’est lui qui l’a terrassée avec l’aide des excellents soins des médecins mexicains et un bon cocktail d’antibio...tiques. Il a pu rencontrer la ministre des affaires étrangères du Mexique, qui sera la prochaine présidente de la conférence sur les changements climatiques à Cancun et en plus il a pu livrer sa principale conférence. Le texte intégral de cette conférence sera disponible sous peu ici et sur son site web. Message à tous ceux et celles qui souhaitent que les changements climatiques apportent plus de chaleur… ils apporteront aussi une plus grande prolifération des bactéries!
Mr Dion thanks you for the care which you expressed by your numerous messages of encouragement. The miserable bacterium which dared to take itself should have had to think there twice, because it is him who brought it down by means of the excellent care of the Mexican doctors and a good cocktail of antibiotics. He was able to meet foreign secretary of Mexico, who will be the next president of the conference on climate change of UN in Cancun and to deliver his main conference. The complete text of this conference will be available soon here and on his Web site. Message in all those who wish that climate change brings more heat… it will also bring a bigger proliferation of bacteria!See More

Harper: No Money For You!! Gimme a Sign!!

Man! And this guy used to complain about the Liberals wasting money. No tickey, no laundry.

At least when the Liberals went through adscam they were promoting CANADA and not themselves.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dear Rev. Jones: You Win Moron of the Year Award!

What is it with Reverands named Jones? Why do they like to aid in the killing of Americans so much? Thank God this guy's church only has 50 members.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Needless to Say...I Wish Mr. Dion a Speedy Recovery

He's still out there fighting the good fight.

Are Volpe, Dryden and Dhalla Not Running for the Liberals?

It's hard to give everyone a job. But, three big names seem to be missing from the new and expanded Liberal shadow cabinet. The good news is that Justin and Gerard have big roles to play.

Michael Ignatieff Leader of the Official Opposition & Intergovernmental Affairs ON
Ralph Goodale Deputy Leader SK
David McGuinty House Leader ON
Judy Foote Deputy House Leader NL
Marcel Proulx Chief Opposition Whip QC
Yasmin Ratansi Deputy Opposition Whip ON
James Cowan Leader of the Opposition in the Senate NS
Claudette Tardif Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate AB
Jim Munson Chief Opposition Whip in the Senate ON
Todd Russell Aboriginal Affairs NL
Wayne Easter Agriculture, Agri-food & Canadian Wheat Board PE
Joyce Murray Amateur Sport BC
Larry Bagnell Arctic Issues & Northern Development YT
Pablo Rodriguez Canadian Heritage QC
Dan McTeague Consular Affairs, Consumer Affairs ON
Bonnie Crombie Crown Corporations ON
Alexandra Mendès Economic Development Agency for Regions of Quebec and Associate Finance Critic QC
Carolyn Bennett Democratic Renewal ON
Gerard Kennedy Environment ON
Scott Brison Finance NS
Rodger Cuzner Fisheries, Oceans & Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency NS
Bob Rae Foreign Affairs ON
Raymonde Folco La Francophonie QC
Ujjal Dosanjh Health BC
Michael Savage Human Resources & Skills Development NS
Irwin Cotler Human Rights QC
Marc Garneau Industry, Science & Technology QC
Glen Pearson International Cooperation ON
Martha Hall Findlay International Trade ON
Marlene Jennings Justice & Attorney-General QC
Maria Minna Labour ON
Rob Oliphant Multiculturalism ON
Dominic LeBlanc National Defence NB
Jean-Claude D'Amours National Revenue NB
Denis Coderre Natural Resources QC
Mauril Bélanger Official Languages ON
Sukh Dhaliwal Asia-Pacific Gateway & Western Economic Diversification BC
Mark Holland Public Safety & National Security ON
Geoff Regan Public Works & Government Services NS
Mark Eyking Rural Affairs NS
Judy Sgro Seniors & Pensions ON
Navdeep Bains Small Business ON
Frank Valeriote Southern Ontario Development Agency ON
Anita Neville Status of Women MB
John McCallum Transport, Infrastructure & Communities ON
Siobhan Coady Treasury Board NL
Gerry Byrne Tourism NL
Kirsty Duncan Veterans Affairs ON
Francis Scarpaleggia Water QC
Justin Trudeau Youth & Immigration QC