From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Rob Ford a man of the people

Whenever I ask someone why they support Rob Ford invariably I hear "He's just like us", a real man of the people if you will. A testament to how well he has been marketed, but as always in marketing and too often in politics perception and reality are two very different things.

Thanks to the Star and it's never ending vendetta against Ford we find that far from opening up city hall to the people, despite the mayor only being a phone call away just about the only ones enjoying access these days are the lobbyists.

Three times more lobbyists signed up with the city in 2012 as in 2010. The number of subjects they’re pushing has doubled. Allegations of misconduct have tripled. And the daily communications logged between lobbyists and public office holders appears to be 10 times higher last year than the year before Ford took office, an analysis by the Star has shown.
And with the numbers on the rise, lobbyist registrar Linda Gehrke worries there is dwindling awareness around the “ethical” guidelines set out in the code of conduct.
But for many councillors, the most worrisome result of the new reality is that average citizens and community associations — people without the means to hire Bay Street professionals to plead their case — are being shut out.
Hell even city employees like the firefighters need to hire lobbyists to be heard at city hall

President Ed Kennedy tried to plead his case to the decision makers, but he couldn’t get meetings with a sizeable chunk of councillors, particularly on the right and those recently elected.
“And we didn’t seem to have the ear of the mayor’s office like we wish we would have. Like we had before,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy then called Sussex Strategy Group, the most prominent, powerful and sought-after lobbyist firm working city hall. The mayor backed down on the cuts.
So there you have it, want to get heard at city hall?  Hire a lobbyist or you could call Rob at home but don't do it before noon those hangovers of his are killer.

1 comment:

  1. Ford has made Council politics popular but there appears to be no noticeable benefit accruing from all the newbie reporters. If only the focus would shift to where immediate relief could be had - the actions of certain councillors - certainly those who have taken selfish advantage of the circus.