Toronto mayor Rob Ford is in the news once again today with new allegations about his misuse of city resources. For many Torontonians, this is yet another addition to a long list of embarrassments for Ford; but for Peter Lynn, it’s just another row on his spreadsheet that details the many scandals that have befallen the controversial mayor.
In light of Ford’s most recent controversies, Lynn’s spreadsheet has now been picked up by media sources such as Blog TO and VICE Toronto. JNM Journal spoke with the man behind behind the spreadsheet to discover his real thoughts on Ford and his many blunders.
JNM Journal: What motivated you to make this spreadsheet?
Peter Lynn: Rob Ford is already in campaign mode, claiming that the next election will vindicate him. I fear that he’s not wrong—or, at least, people will forget if not forgive his many blunders. I wanted to have a definitive list of reasons for my otherwise sane friends and neighbors not to make the mistake of voting for him again. Frankly, there was already a long list of such reasons last time around, but it’s just gotten longer.
JNM: When did you start the list? Was there a certain event that prompted it?
PL: I think the tipping point had to have been when Ford skipped out on an important council meeting and then his own libel trial to coach football, which he’d recently gotten himself into trouble with due to the misuse of city staff, phones and cars and then the diversion of TTC buses to carry his team around while everyday people were kicked out into the rain. It really showed where his priorities were.
JNM: Did you just use mainstream news sources to get your information?
PL: Most of my information comes from mainstream news sources such as the Toronto Star, which, as you know, pursues its vendetta against Ford by printing all the facts about him. But even a former Ford cheerleader such as the Sun has contributed to the record. Other sources would include blogs such as Torontoist. I don’t have an annotated list of sources, but it’s all Googleable.
JNM: How much time went into compiling all of this information?
PL: This was the product of a few dull mornings. It took at least a few hours to fill in the background, though it’s now easy to drop in a quick update as each new scandal crops up.
JNM: Why did you think it was important to make this spreadsheet?
PL: I thought it was important because of Ford’s Teflon nature. As each new scandal bounces off him, it actually buries the ones beneath it in the pile. It’s illuminating to be able to look back on his complete resume of shame and failure.
JNM: What are your personal thoughts about Rob Ford?
PL: As a comedy fan, I find Rob Ford an endless source of entertainment. As a concerned citizen and taxpayer, I find him an endless source of frustration and embarrassment. While Ford recently boasted about Toronto surpassing Chicago in population, Chicago’s mayor is a former White House Chief of Staff, while Toronto’s is a Chris Farley character. He’s the culmination of an anti-intellectual, populist right-wing movement that prizes ideology over facts, creates its own alternative reality, and is unworthy of the name conservatism because it wastes more than it saves. He’s duped voters—and himself—into thinking he’s a regular Joe, when he in fact lacks the common man touch in two ways: firstly, because he’s a rich boy and secondly, because he’s turned himself into the village idiot.
JNM: It seems like you put this together just as a concerned citizen (correct me if I’m wrong), so what do you do in your day to day life when you’re not compiling data on the mayor of Toronto?
PL: When I’m not acting in my capacity of concerned citizen/ungrateful plebeian subject [a reference to the VICE article that linked to his spreadsheet], I’m just a regular office drone and smart aleck. I’ll remain vague on the details of my employment, but suffice it to say my position requires close attention to detail and sweating the small stuff.
JNM: Do you think people are truly aware of the magnitude of Ford’s missteps? I consider myself a Ford scandal aficionado, and some of the items on your spreadsheet were still news to me.
PL: I don’t think people have been truly aware of how unfit Ford is for office; otherwise, they wouldn’t have voted him in there in the first place. If voters had critically examined his past deeds or current platform instead of swallowing us-versus-them rhetoric and empty promises, Toronto could have at least chosen a mediocre mayor over a truly abominable one. But he craved the spotlight, and now that he’s gotten there, he’s discovered it’s a lot brighter, hotter, and harsher.
You can follow @Peter_Lynn for future updates to the Rob Ford saga.