Toronto Mayor Rob Ford not too long ago chastised reporters for failing to ask the “correct questions” when it came to his crack-smoking habits. So when a reporter asked him if he had been drinking recently (as caught on video) he answered in the affirmative.
And he didn’t deny trying to imitate the Toronto police chief by using a Jamaican accent and cursing. Of course, he didn’t apologize, either.
The bombastic (to put it mildly) mayor defended himself, saying that it was his own time and, “What I do in my personal life, with my personal friends, that’s up to me.” Ford continues to fail to grasp that, as mayor and an, ahem, public servant, his time really is the public’s time, too, in the sense of leading by example.
If nothing else, Ford, who is running for re-election, should be concerned that voters will use their personal time to go to the polls and vote for someone – anyone – else.
Speaking of politicians, former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell and wife, Maureen, were recently charged in a 14-count indictment alleging that they engaged in conspiracy and fraud to help out the head of Star Scientific Inc.
Supposedly, Virginia’s former first couple received more than $165,000 in luxury gifts and loans. Ironically, Star Scientific didn’t get much of significance from the deal, bringing to mind the old saying that “an honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.”
House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, finally graced the “Tonight Show” featuring Jay Leno and came loaded with some zingers. Asked whether Republicans are to blame for the government shutdown, Boehner said: “Yep … You learn that a leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.” We guess he didn’t realize that sometimes it’s better to walk alone than run with a bad crowd.
Anyway, he said more on this topic and others, and got a few laughs about the mispronunciation of his name (“But thank God my name wasn’t Weiner”).
It’s not quite Spy vs. Spy – for those who remember the old Mad magazine characters – but Howard Zemsky must feel a little like he’s living in two different worlds. As co-chairman of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, he has been Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s go-to man on deploying the Buffalo Billion that the governor promised to help reignite the city’s economy.
But Zemsky also wears another state hat, and this one is putting him in conflict with Cuomo. As chairman of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, part of his job is to advocate for the authority and on Thursday, he found himself criticizing – mildly – Cuomo’s state budget proposal, which raises NFTA funding by only 1.35 percent.
Zemsky left the most pointed criticism to NFTA Commissioner Henry M. Sloma, but it’s definitely an awkward position. Still, as bizarre as it is, Zemsky is wearing his two hats adroitly.