Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is - how to phrase this delicately? - a buffoon. Whereas the most embarrassing skeleton in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's closet is his multi-billion dollar fortune, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's is his pesky history as a ballet dancer, Rob Ford's closet is stuffed with more skeletons than the Paris catacombs. For those of you just tuning in to Ford’s developing scandal, we've provided a cheat sheet:
Photo: Steve Russell/ Getty Images
-On May 16, The Toronto Star and Gawker.com claimed to have viewed a cell-phone video of Ford smoking crack cocaine. Additionally, the tipster provided a photo of the Mayor posing with two younger men, one of whom — Anthony Smith — was killed two months ago in a gangland style shooting. Smith was apparently part of a wide-ranging Toronto drug-dealing ring, who dealt to a who's-who of Toronto big shots...including the biggest shot of all (and that's not just a knock on Ford's size. But seriously, the dude looks like Chris Farley after a wing-eating competition.)
- While Gawker and the Star were able to view the video, the tipster's asking price to hand it over was a cool $200,000 (we're not sure how much that is in loonies.) So if, as the Mayor's office claimed a day later, the allegations were "ridiculous", it would take a healthy sum to prove him wrong.
- But that didn't stop Gawker! On the 18th, the website launched the "Rob Ford Crackstarter" campaign to raise the necessary $200,000, and share the video with the world. (For the record, this is a far more noble use of the kickstarter technology than a multi-millionaire like Zach Braff using it to raise $2 million for his nextmovie. Zach Braff: also a jackass.)
- With the scandal building, various media outlets go on to document Ford's history of boorish behavior: getting tossed out of a charity party for having a few cocktails too many; doing paperworkwhile behind the wheel of his car – not while stopped in traffic, mind you, but while actually driving ; reportedly trying to purchase Oxycontin for a constituent; calling Asians "Orientals"; nearly starting a drunken brawl at a Toronto Mapleleafs game. And so on. Still, none of that proved the dude was hitting the crack pipe, and his brother, city councilman Doug Brown, blasted the media over the crack allegations.
- Then, on May 23, Mark Towhey, Ford's chief of staff, stepped down.
- The following day, Ford lashed out at the media, and claimed he doesn't smoke crack! And that he is in no way a crack addict! Of course, as numerous outlets pointed out, he didn't deny that he'd ever smoked crack in the past, and no one claimed he was actually addicted to the stuff. Tricky wordplay there, Your Honor!
- This past Saturday, May 25, the Toronto Globe and Mailreported that the Ford family has a long history with drugs. Brother Doug, the city councilman, was a teenage drug dealer. Another brother, Randy, apparently provided the muscle: he was arrested for beating and kidnapping a fellow dealer who failed to pay up. Older sister Kathy's drug-addicted ex-husband gunned down her lover. In other words, Rob Ford was the good son.
- Still, good son or no, things couldn't really get any worse for the Mayor, right? Wrong! Shit really hit the fan yesterday. First off, both his press secretary and his deputy step down. It’s hard to blame them, really.
- Then, the Globe and Mailreported that Toronto police are currently investigating Mayor Ford's connection to a homicide, one that may be tied to the mysterious crack-smoking video. According to the report, "The informant in the mayor’s office purported to know the address and unit number where the video was being held. They went on to say that the video originally belonged to an individual who may have been killed for its potentially valuable contents, according to a source." Uh-oh.
- Gawker, meanwhile, passed their $200,000 "Crackstarter" goal, meaning the tape will finally see the light of day! Right? Well, maybe not. Apparently the website has lost contact with the tipster which is really rather convenient for the Mayor. And really rather suspicious if this is in any way tied to the new homicide investivation. Interesting!
So that’s where we’re at, and who knows how this will play out. Former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was re-elected even after he was caught smoking crack on video. And for all his buffoonery, will Toronto voters really want to get rid of a guy who provides such moments as this?
Who said Canadians were boring?
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