Mayor Ford Doesn't Get it When it Comes to Lobbying
It seems Rob Ford has stepped into it again. No matter how many times his political career is put at risk, it doesn't seem to matter.
You'll recall the whole conflict of interest case, which he ultimately won in court? That whole mess stemmed from a letter, then city councillor Rob Ford sent out on city hall letterhead soliciting funds for his charitable foundation from city hall lobbyists.
The Toronto Star is reporting this morning that Rob Ford has sent out another solicitation letter for his foundation and at least two city hall lobbyists were on the mailing list. The letterhead says The Rob Ford Football Foundation. His brother Doug insists that lobbyists are not being targeted, that this is a mass mailer.
It may well be true that the Mayor has not breached the letter of the law in the city council code of conduct because no city hall stationary was used, but it seems obvious to me that the very intent of the code of conduct is being ignored. The intent is: no elected politician should be trying to get money out of lobbyists because those lobbyists are put under the gun thinking 'am I going to lose out on City Hall contracts if I don't donate to the Mayor's charity' or conversely 'would I win City Hall contracts if I do donate'. The Star even quotes one of the lobbyists, Andy Manhan as saying "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 ... there could be repercussions. There's potential."
As for Doug Ford's explanation that this is a mass mailer and that lobbyists are not being targeted, if that is true then the mailing list should be put up against the lobbyist registry and anyone on the registry comes off the mailing list. A computer would do that in seconds.