Unknown

By A BCer in Toronto
Published: November 5, 2010 14:37 ET in home

A number of rather interesting stories have been percolating out of the Rob Ford campaign team since they successfully steamrolled their man into the Toronto Mayor’s office a few weeks ago. They’re to do with the strategies and tactics that helped turn a right-wing councillor, despised equally by his peers and voters alike for over a decade, who few gave a chance to win in Canada’s most liberal city, with a political “end the gravy train” movement a La Tea Party and Sarah Palin.

I’m certainly very interested in their strategy around messaging and communications. Their message discipline and definition of narrative was admirable, and as a political communications junkie I think there are lessons to be learned from the Ford campaign. As long as the good accompanies the bad and truthful.

But some of the revelations and tactics that his campaign team are putting out there and freely discussing? Well, they’d be better left undisclosed.

We’ve already had lots of coverage of the fake Smitherman-supporter Twitter account that the Ford campaign created to (successfully) obtain an audio recording that was potentially damaging to Ford, as well as try to subtly influence the online discussion:

Rob Ford’s campaign team created a fake Twitter account and wrote more than 150 messages under the guise of being a George Smitherman supporter during the Toronto mayoral campaign.

The news came to light this week in and extensive profile by The Globe and Mail that a deputy communications director set up the fake account to flush out a potentially damaging audio tape.

Fraser Macdonald, 24, created a fake profile for a fictional woman named Karen Philby.@QueensQuayKaren

Through the account, the user appealed to a man, Dieter Doneit-Henderson who had an audio tape of Rob Ford seemingly promising to buy him OxyContin off the street, in order to do damage control & save his skin the story was spun into masses of lies that are now pouring out like a dyke! No pun intended!

Whats extraordinary is that Philby/Fraser MacDonald/Rob Ford profile remained active, smearing mayoral candidates throughout the campaign, including Smitherman and Ford, all while posing as a Smitherman supporter.

For the full details on the Twitter initiative, read the features from the Globe and from Macleans, and Torontoist has the full stream.

And today we have another revelation from the Ford dirty tricks team:The Rob Ford campaign had one of its members anonymously call John Tory’s radio show and berate him about his integrity as part of a successful strategy to keep Tory out of Toronto’s mayoral race.

Nick Kouvalis, Ford’s deputy campaign manager and now the mayor-elect’s chief of staff, told a forum Friday morning that his success in preventing Tory from reconsidering his decision not to run “was a huge victory for Rob, so he took John out and Rob won because of it.”

Now, I’m not going to pretend for a moment that these were unique situations. Sneaky, underhanded, even morally unquestionable tactics are hardly unheard of in the annals of political campaigning. So these revelations aren’t unique in that regard. They are however an affront to Democracy in Toronto.

What’s worse is that they’re talking about them. Nay, boasting about them! These stories aren’t being leaked, or unearthed by investigative journalists. Senior members of the Ford campaign team members are openly boasting of their dirty tricks successes.

Such stories aren’t unique in gutter politics. But boasting about them certainly is.

It’s rather astounding, frankly, to see these backroom boys out there boasting about their awesomeness & the platform failure that was the “integrity” of Rob Ford. I’m sure it feels great for them to feed their egos and see stories about their awesomeness, but that’s just not how this business is supposed to work. They call it the backroom for a reason.

And they’re have tarnished their candidate, soon to be Mayor and thereby have done him a  Gross Disservice!

Ford’s job now, and it’s going to be a big one, is to try to bring the city and a divided council together to get support to pass his agenda, and address the not insignificant issues facing the City of Toronto.

He needs to grow the tent. These sorts of stories don’t help. John Tory WAS reportedly interested in helping Mayor Ford, until these vicious attacks became clearer to John Tory. He stayed out of the race because of the Hate and discrimination that was this election!

These guys have forgotten that it’s not about the staffers. It’s about the candidate. People don’t want to see how the sausage is made. And, frankly, no one cares about process stories anyway. There’s only downside here.

The truly awesome don’t need to brag about their awesomeness. They let the results speak for themselves.

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One response »

  1. Dieter Doneit says:

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