Court of Public Opinion: Mayoral scandals and...
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May 14, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Court of Public Opinion: Mayoral scandals and double standards in politics

This week's CoPO asks: "Would a female politician survive the same scandals as Rob Ford?"

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The Court of Public Opinion is a place where readers are welcome to debate all sides of the day's issue.

Toronto mayor Rob Ford would be the first to admit that he is far from perfect. In fact, the scandal-plagued mayor wears his flawed, every-man persona like a badge of honour. From admitted crack use to lewd public comments about women, the only type of major scandal Ford has managed to avoid, so far, is a spending scandal.

Enter embattled Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell. For the last several months, Fennell has been the subject of intense media scrutiny for alleged lavish travel spending on the taxpayers' dime.

Both Ford and Fennell are up for re-election this fall and both may end up on the outs with voters due to the scandals that have plagued them. This week, CoPO asks: would a female politician survive the types of scandals Ford has faced?


Rob Ford scandals

• Oct. 2010: Elected mayor of Toronto

• Nov. 2012: Ordered out of office by Ontario judge over conflict of interest violation (he later appealed the decision and won)

• May 2013: Toronto Star and report viewing video showing Ford smoking what appears to be crack; Ford denies allegations

• Oct. 2013: Toronto Police reveal they have viewed infamous "crack video" and that Ford was subject of police investigation

• Nov. 2013: Admits to having smoked crack, likely during a "drunken stupor"

• Nov. 2013: Makes lewd comments in response to allegations that he had been intimate with former advisor Olivia Gondek ("It says I wanted to eat her pussy and I have never said that in my life to her...I'm happily married and I've got more than enough to eat at home.")

• Mar. 2014: Is reported to have made racist comments about his constituents ("Nobody sticks up for people like I do, every f---ing k—e, n----r, f---ing w-p, d-go, whatever the race. Nobody does. I'm the most racist guy around. I'm the mayor of Toronto") and lewd comments about his wife ("You can f--- her if you want, in front of me") fresh off his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live

• Apr. 2014: Takes leave of absence to go to rehab amidst reports of a new video showing him smoking crack as recently as April 26, 2014

Susan Fennell scandals

• Nov. 2000: Elected mayor of Brampton

• Feb. 2008: Charged over $9,500 to city credit card during trip to Miami

• Feb. 2011: Charged over $10,000 in travel expenses to Whistler, Saskatoon and the Philippines

• Jan. 2012 to Dec. 2013: Expenses billed to the city, including on-call driver and luxury SUV, total $410,000

• Mar. 2014: Documents reveal Fennell requested to suspend her pay for November and December 2013

• Apr. 2014: Audit of Fennell's and councillor's expenses by Deloitte Canada under way

Vote in the poll on the right side of the page or leave your comments below in the Comments Section.

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(11) Comment

By May | MAY 27, 2014 05:15 PM
A College drop out, inheritor of family wealth, substance (Food, alcohol, drug) abuse sufferer, if that is the "average" man in Toronto. I think I am glad I live outside the GTA. You get what you vote for. Please read about the candidate in your region and get out and vote. As the saying goes, "You are known by the crowd you hang out with." There are no excuses or crying into your teacup as to who is running this or that city.
By redbaron | MAY 17, 2014 10:12 PM
@Joe: there is one other, susan fennell. There really is no more deserving politician than her when it comes to turfing out. The writing was on the wall years ago, but she still hoodwinked a lot of people. Term limits would have prevented the dishonesty and abuse of her and others. What kind of person hangs around asking for reelection when scandals abound, the stench left behind disgusting!
By joe 2 | MAY 17, 2014 04:11 PM
This is really not a male/female issue. Therei is no human being other than Rob Ford who would not have resigned long ago in his position. And that is why he is still news. He is a mystery in politics. Everybody loved Freddie Freeloader too and that is perhaps his charm for many naive Torontonians. The jury is still out on Fennell but unless she has something magical to say in the next few months she will be toast as well not just because of her actions but because of the media overload.
By redbaron | MAY 16, 2014 05:24 PM
The truth matters,,,enough is enough....there is no scandal. The coucillors knew what i was doing all along,,,after all they were here the last 10 yrs....not my fault they gave me a generous allowance, or approval to travel the world on a city dime. What was not said but inferred: : there is nothing wrong taking advantage of dummies if they dont know they are being taken advantage of...who said there is a dummmy born every minute?
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By redbaron | MAY 15, 2014 07:06 PM
Fennell believes she has done nothing wrong in promoting her own organizations, the ones she has lent the name of herself and prestigious office to on many occasions. Her true calling is as a social butterfly..most of her career spent on everything but acting as a ops do not a mayor make.
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