About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

It Takes a Village Idiot

Canada.com posed the question that maybe this whole Mayor's staffer calling in as a "Dave Q. Public" from Etobicoke, Scarborough and Georgetown is much ado about nothing. On the surface, they could be right. In an effort to keep Rob Ford and issues in the news, maybe the mainstream media is latching on to one sort of "scandal" or another in order to keep Ford, a figure of tremendous love or hate stature, in the news for sales and ratings. You'd have to be insane not to think that, but there is something real to this, relatively slight, controversy. 
To recap, David Price, Ford's director of operations and logistics, was discovered by the CBC, to have been a frequent caller on Ford and brother Doug's radio show. That in and of itself is not so bad, but he phoned in not as David Price, long-time friend of the Ford family, but as "Dave from Etobicoke," or "Dave from Scarborough," or "Dave from Georgetown." From a cloak of anonymity, Price acted as a cheerleader for the Fords' policies, which, again, is not illegal or anything, but has the same psychological effect as sitcom producers padding their show with fake laugh tracks that have uproarious laughter responding to lame jokes.
Of course this isn't the first time Price's name has come up in regards the Fords and controversy. Price was hired just a couple of weeks before the crack scandal broke, and at its height, as staffers abandoned the mayor's office like the sinking Titanic, reporters became quite interested in Price and his role at City Hall. "Director of operations and logistics" seemed like such a nebulous job title, and many of Price's colleagues had a difficult time describing his exact role working for Ford. Doug Ford, when asked about Price's job said, "You can't teach loyalty," which is true, but what it had to do with the work Price was doing was never fully explained. Shortly thereafter, Price was mentioned in a Globe and Mail article about Doug Ford's alleged past as a teenage hash dealer.
But forget that. Forget Price's bogus sounding job description. Heck, forget Newstalk 1010 program director Mike Bendixen's tacit tweet of forgiveness saying, "Having hosted radio show for 20 yrs for 3 stations, I can tell you this is common - right, left, everyone. Not news." The real news is that Price was the man who went to former Ford chief of staff Mark Towhey and "hypothetically"asked would they do if someone told him where to find the alleged crack tape.
From any point of view it seems as though that Price was hired as a "fixer," a political operative whose job is to clean-up the various messes of the person they represent, a kite whose strings can be cut, but whose loyal enough to get the jobs that need done fixed fast and clean. And is it fiscally, personally or politically responsible for someone to have a fixer on the public payroll? Somewhere there's the version of Rob Ford that rallied against the "gravy train" saying no, but the Rob Ford in office now just wants to keep his job. He's got a good shot at it. There's more than enough people who believe in the Ford agenda - and it has yielded results for the City of Toronto - to provide a strong base for a re-election campaign, and with them is a strong belief that the media and a certain branch of politician is attacking Ford out of a political agenda, and not because their may be legitimate concerns about Ford's administration. After all, you can't teach loyalty.

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