Friday, August 13, 2010

VERITAS: TOUCHDOWN – FORD AND MILLER AND THE C-WORD

This week's perspective from Bob Reid:

It’s a communications truism that provocative language and statements will ALWAYS get media attention. Case in point: this week’s back-and-forth between Toronto Mayor David Miller and one of the guys who wants the job, veteran city councillor Rob Ford. Ford made instant headlines when he used the word “corruption” to express his views on the 20-year lease granted by the city to the private operator of the only restaurant on the Beach boardwalk. Ford ranted about the deal and the closed-door council session at which it was debated. “These in-camera meetings, there’s more corruption and skullduggery going on in there than I’ve ever seen in my life,” he fumed. Miller said he would stay out of the campaign, but given the seriousness of the allegation, he couldn’t help but respond. “If there’s a single piece of evidence or even a hint of something that Councillor Ford thinks is improper, he should take it to (the city’s auditor and integrity commissioner),” Miller told reporters Thursday. “And if there is a problem, I want to know about it,” he added. “I want to run a clean city hall. That’s why we have all the integrity officials there.” I call Touchdowns for both Ford and Miller on this one, as they have used this political football to both their advantages. Ford generated huge press and once again positioned himself as the people’s watchdog at city hall. Miller, who would rather see anyone but Ford be his successor, seized the opportunity to call Ford out – and to protect his legacy in the process. Sure it’s mud-slinging, but sometimes it works all around.

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