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Morning Brew: Ford dodges prosecution and gets boost in the polls, TCH raid finds guns and swords, freezing rain and snow coming, and city hall snubs Hero burgers

Posted by Chris Bateman / February 26, 2013

toronto cyclistRob Ford won't face charges over apparent breaches of the Municipal Elections Act revealed in an auditor's report earlier this month. The city's compliance audit committee voted 2-1 against handing the case over to a prosecutor. The investigation into the mayor's election finances found his team overspent by $40,168 and accepted improper loans and favourable credit terms from companies owned by the Ford family. How do you feel about the decision - did the city make the right call?

Despite the setbacks, Ford's popularity seems to be climbing, according to a new Forum Research poll. The survey of 806 Torontonians found 48% approval for the mayor, up from 45% around Christmas time. The results show Ford is especially popular among those over 65 and in families earning under $20,000 a year. Have the recent court battles made him stronger?

The back-and-forth over the TTC's decision to award a sole-sourced contact extension to the company running its subway newsstands, bakeries, and lottery booths is "political and unfortunate," according to TTC chair Karen Stintz. The Commission is considering opening the contract to all bidders, possibly at the expense of a multi-million signing bonus from the original deal.

A police raid on Toronto Community Housing properties has found an arsenal of weapons, including a sawed-off shotgun, several handguns, swords, and ammunition, after a month of violence that's seen five young people fatally shot. The sweep, dubbed "Project Walk In," found several weapons in readily accessible places, leading one officer to call them "community guns."

That Texas low making its way into southern Ontario will bring mixed slow and all round sloppy conditions later this afternoon. Right now weather experts are calling for between 5 and 15 centimetres of snow by tomorrow morning, with slushy conditions early evening. Be safe.

Former mayor David Miller says new Premier Kathleen Wynne should focus on getting shovels in the ground on new transit lines as soon as possible, saying if we build it, riders will come. Miller says the city should start work on the projects it can fund while it works on paying for the rest. Good plan?

Streetcar service took a nasty hit on Queen East and Kingston Road yesterday after a city garbage truck pulled down overhead electrical wires. Power was temporarily cut to the Russell Yard and shuttle busses had to be deployed on several routes during the rush hour.

There'll be no Angus beef with that gravy at City Hall. The government management committee has cancelled a winning bid by Hero Certified Burgers to operate a stand in Nathan Phillips Square, deciding to find a company with a more diverse culinary offering instead.

Finally, think you know Toronto's neighbourhoods? An online game lets you put that knowledge to the test against the clock. The idea is to quickly click on the neighbourhood boundary when the name comes up at the top of the screen. The lower the time the better.

IN BRIEF:

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: "Ten Second Pause" by cookedphotos/blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

62 Comments

HAHAHAHA / February 26, 2013 at 08:17 am
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I wonder how many lefties cried themselves to sleep last night. He easily has the next election in the bag, go Ford go!
Joe Public / February 26, 2013 at 08:21 am
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Now the clowns (I'm looking at you @AdamCF) who brought this vexatious litigation don't want to pay for their mistakes. Funny how the law never applies to LIEberals.
steve replying to a comment from Joe Public / February 26, 2013 at 08:33 am
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Fascinating the right is so used to the lack of transparency, integrity and honesty that they believe all politicians are like that. Their only argument is who had the right to be corrupt, it is who they support of coruse. They are unable to fathom that anyone they oppose to can have have integrity, be transparent and honest.
Tim / February 26, 2013 at 08:34 am
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How stupid are poor people and seniors? It's like all the single moms in regent park who were mike Harris ra ra ra during the election then got shipped to Scarborough and etobicoke shortly thereafter
DL / February 26, 2013 at 08:46 am
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Karen Stintz needs to go. Has there been a worse agency head than her in Toronto's history? She has no clue.
Joe Public replying to a comment from steve / February 26, 2013 at 08:50 am
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Anytime you want to respond to my actual comment instead of the voices in your head feel free.
808 / February 26, 2013 at 09:00 am
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City Hall wants diverse food? Whatever happened to that "Toronto a la Cart" fiasco?
steve replying to a comment from Joe Public / February 26, 2013 at 09:02 am
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I did. It's all left and right and conspiracy theories for you. You have demonstrated that in past comments.
Joe Public replying to a comment from steve / February 26, 2013 at 09:12 am
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As I said anytime you want to reply to the comment I posted here today feel free. If you want to go find my old comments and reply to them in the respective threads you should do that as well. My comment made no reference to the left or conspiracies, it simply says that Adam Chaleff Freudenthaler should be held responsible for his actions and pay Rob Fords legal bills because he had his days in court and lost.
PMR Smith / February 26, 2013 at 09:12 am
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Anyone know how much gravy Robby has stopped?Either in dollars or as a % of the multi billion dollar budget??

How many kilometres of subways has he initiated,funded,whatever??

PMRS
Twix / February 26, 2013 at 09:29 am
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Finally level heads at city hall, so sick of our tax payer money being wasted on the lefty witch hunt against the mayor. Time to get back to cutting the land transfer tax, cut taxes and down size government. That is what us the taxpayers elected him to do. The lefty sideshow is finally over, let's get back down to business.
Steve replying to a comment from HAHAHAHA / February 26, 2013 at 09:32 am
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As a left handed person, I find being called a "leftie" incredibly offensive! Rise up my left handed brothers and sisters and take back the name! Also I did cry myself to sleep last nite but that was mostly due to my crippling angina.
vampchick21 / February 26, 2013 at 09:41 am
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Oh for the love of....can we just once, JUST ONCE, have a political discussion in this city without degenerating into "Evil Lefties" "Evil Neo-Cons" stale rhetoric? The 1950's America called, they want their witchhunt back. See, it's this "us vs them" bullshit that has totally fucking stalled anything and everything in this city, this utter and complete inability to even want to work together to get what needs to be done, done. It's bullshit and it needs to stop.
cathy replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 26, 2013 at 09:54 am
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It does tend to make conversations useless, doesn't it?

I laughed a couple of years ago when the insults towards the "mushy middle" started. Like it's somehow wrong to look at both sides of a problem and try to figure out a solution instead of just agreeing blindly with someone because of their political affiliation.
Poll Cat / February 26, 2013 at 09:54 am
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So Ford is polling big with elderly poor people who answer their landline phones. Big whoop. Hey Everyone Else, get out and vote in the next municipal election and then we'll see how things go.
Alex / February 26, 2013 at 10:02 am
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I thought in another article they said lots of councillors overspend by a few ten grand in elections, and since the overall budget they use is so much higher (actually it seemed kind of ludicrously high for just a municipal election), it really wasn't a big deal. I don't like that the election finance laws are regularly broken, but if it's already so expensive that no one who isn't rich or well connected can legitimately run then I think that is the issue they should be focusing on. Maybe much lower limits on election spending?

Yes, please just build something with what you have! We've spend decades making huge comprehensive plans and never having enough funding for them, so we do nothing. Just get funding for one thing, build it, and then focus on the next. It's not the most efficient or well planned way to build transit, but realistically it's the only way we'll get anything built in this town.
Marc replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 26, 2013 at 10:05 am
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Canadians are a very petty people. They hide behind an image of progress and cool-headedness, but in reality they are some of the most vindictive, revengeful people I've ever met. As you can see on every post made in any Canadian newspaper or news site ever, Canadians will sling insults and be dismissive as opposed to discussing the matter at hand.

The sooner you accept that Canadians are more concerned about being right and the balance of their pocketbook, the less frustrated you'll be about the state of politics in this country.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from cathy / February 26, 2013 at 10:07 am
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It goes round and round in circular insults and nothing gets done, and the worst part is, we all fall for it. And it's worse when you see politicians actively encouraging it. It fustrates me to no end. It almost seems like a good way to just ride out your mandate without actually doing any real work.
Captain Obvious / February 26, 2013 at 10:08 am
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Ford's going to win, guys. Suburban policy drives this city and until the megacity is taken out back and shot, Scarborough and Etobicoke will still be telling old Toronto how to live in a big city.
Maria / February 26, 2013 at 10:13 am
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The picture shows the awful state of disgrace of our streets. Look at the pavement, looks like Mexico City, not Toronto.
W. K. Lis / February 26, 2013 at 10:14 am
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The "real" reason Hero Certified Burgers will not operate a stand in Nathan Phillips Square, its not KFC.
nardl blarn / February 26, 2013 at 10:16 am
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it's a shame how uppity city hall are re. the hero burger thing. Remember, this is just for a concession stand in the brutalist concrete part of the city- a busy yet not particularly attractive place. I heard one of the councillors complaining on the radio that he wanted somewhere that would showcase toronto chefs.

It's a concession stand which would require fast food. Also, for families or visitors on an already stretched budget whatever is there should have food at the lower end of the price scale.

Isn't hero burger one of the big success stories of toronto fast food? At least they didn't go for a mcdonalds or something there which would have been terrible. Now instead the councillors want to replace this with some hoity-toity place so they can walk steps to have the sort of lunch most of us would never be able to afford on a consistent basis.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Marc / February 26, 2013 at 10:18 am
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*eyeroll* Yeah, cause no one else ever does it anywhere else in the world.
Joe Public replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 26, 2013 at 10:20 am
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Instead of ranting why not start posting better comments. It is trivial to elevate the debate. Picking the TCHC headline as an example can anyone clarify why it took the deaths of four minors this year before a sweep was done? Surely the police are / were aware that there are weapons being stored in these areas. Are there other seemingly simple steps that we could take as a city to continue this momentum?
paul / February 26, 2013 at 10:21 am
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Could it be that to the average non politicized voter it all looks like one big witch hunt by butt-hurt political idealogues? Nah. Must be the stoopid poor seniors and stoopid poor people mucking it all up for those who claim to work for them.

I'm sure they're grateful the control-freak privileged socialists are more focused on stuff like bike lanes for middle-class jittery cyclists and the evil of plastic bags.

vampchick21 replying to a comment from nardl blarn / February 26, 2013 at 10:23 am
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I think the major problem with outdoor food stands/carts/trucks in this city is the red tape that's in place. I recall reading an article somewhere that pointed out that the licensing for such things is very archaic and is part of the reason the A La Cart thing failed miserably. I was in NYC last June for work and was astounded at the variety of food you could purchase from a street vendor, and expressed my utter jealousy to my NYC based co-workers. I think one of the things we need to do in this city is modernize our licensing system for street food vendors.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Joe Public / February 26, 2013 at 10:40 am
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*eyeroll* yeah, cause you didn't do anything at all along those lines, you're so much better than the rest of us. Regarding the sweep at TCHC, it's hardly the first one they've done, it's the latest one they've done. Toronto Police have an ongoing presence in high risk areas, although clearly it's not enough of a deterant for some individuals who feel that violence and crime is the only option open to them. At the risk of being accused of being a "Hug-A-Thug" supporter, a wider range of activities made avaliable to youth in high risk areas is something we should invest in. Not every kid likes football or basketball. Some like arts, some like science, some like math, some don't know what they like and the opportunity to find that out and give them a real way out of poverty is only to their benefit.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from paul / February 26, 2013 at 10:42 am
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You aren't helping.
Captain Obvious replying to a comment from Maria / February 26, 2013 at 10:43 am
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That's a heavily used downtown road in a major city. So, yes, it does look like Mexico City. And NYC. And SF. And Chicago. And Tokyo. And Paris (seen their roads lately?).
Jill replying to a comment from paul / February 26, 2013 at 10:49 am
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let's not forget the bullet bans, I love having the socialists tell me how we should live *rolls Eyes*

I am just glad Ford is mayor, he is there for the every day person and families.
nardl blarn replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 26, 2013 at 11:25 am
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Completely agree- even in London, which isn't known for "street food" in the same way as New York is, there are plenty of diverse food vendors in the street markets which seem to be around almost every corner. Here in toronto we get hot dogs plus two burger and poutine food trucks by city hall (admittedly it's amongst the best poutine in the city but, still, a sarcastic hurrah for variety). I understand the amount of red tape involved to provide anything else is completely prohibitive. If not, I don't imagine there would be a desire to make a concession stand at city hall embody all our hopes dreams and desires for street level food vending. That, and the city councillors are being very vain by expecting a flashy restaurant and rejecting the humble hero burger.
Alex replying to a comment from nardl blarn / February 26, 2013 at 11:30 am
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I thought Hero Burger was really expensive? I don't see how they could possible compete with all the food trucks already there that are much more affordable.
McRib replying to a comment from Marc / February 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm
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Canadians are no better and no worse than every other nation when it comes to insults and being dismissive of differing opinions.

The Sun comments read a lot like the Star comments, which read a lot like the Guardians comments, and the NYT, etc....

The reality is that people just like to hear themselves speak, and when it comes to the internet, to see themselves published on a webpage. The content matters little.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from nardl blarn / February 26, 2013 at 01:15 pm
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I think a little vanity is at play at the decision regarding the Hero Burger stand....lol....it's not 5 star dining, but it's a good burger as far as chains go! Besides, don't we have Winterlicous and Summerlicous to showcase Toronto chefs? (on the subject of food trucks in the city, I did come across a Tiny Tom's doughnut truck and a fish taco truck back in the fall in front of the Sony Centre! Don't know if that's a regular thing or a seasonal thing). I just think in the end that given the diversity of the city's population, the number of people who work downtown and only have a short time frame to grab a quick bite and the number of tourists on any given day, having a larger variety of offerings from street level food vendors is a wise thing to do. Good, quick, inexpensive food without pretentions, that's what should be on offer. And since we are becoming a bit of a foodie city, just another extention of that. Hell, a grilled cheese truck would be awesome! And someone making Vietnamese noodles like they do in Vietnam. And falafels. The list can go on!
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Alex / February 26, 2013 at 01:16 pm
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It's more expensive than most burger chains, but it's also tastier. :) If a chain is going to have a stand, I'd rather it was Hero's than McDonalds.
cathy replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 26, 2013 at 03:52 pm
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I went to New York and had the street peanuts the last day I was there. Then I was sorry because if I had known how good they were I probably would have just eaten peanuts the whole time. :)

I really don't see why we can't have something like that here. (Other than the inevitable complaints about peanuts in public and what if a child breathes the air by a peanut cart or eats one off the ground or touches someone who just ate a peanut...) It's not like they'd go bad or need to be refrigerated.
Jack / February 26, 2013 at 04:49 pm
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I wonder what the next attempted left wing power play will be to try and get rid of mayor Ford? How about a sexual assault scandal? Perhaps Adam Vaughan will accuse the mayor of touching him in his little boy parts as a kid? Clayton Ruby salivating at the thought...

Now that all this is past...please let city council members return to their job and keep the stupid distractions away.
Simon replying to a comment from Jack / February 26, 2013 at 06:10 pm
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The fact that you would attempt to reduce sexual assault by a public official to a "left-wing power play" is disgusting. Furthermore, given Mr. Ford's obscene sense of entitlement and multiple police visits to his home to stop him beating up his wife I don't think the prospect of more violence from Mr. Ford, sexual or otherwise, is a matter to scoff at or take likely.
Me replying to a comment from Simon / February 26, 2013 at 06:24 pm
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"The fact that you would attempt to reduce sexual assault by a public official to a "left-wing power play" is disgusting"-Really? Not like it isn't a fact of life. Just ask Judge Clarence Thomas.
EEEE replying to a comment from Simon / February 26, 2013 at 06:34 pm
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you lefties sound like broken records, nothing has been proven that he touched his wife.
Me / February 26, 2013 at 07:07 pm
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So, what story is related to the bicycle weenie sitting in the middle of the road texting?
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from HAHAHAHA / February 26, 2013 at 07:20 pm
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hahaha...you use the phrase "lefties".

you are reductionist and irrelevant and your age is showing! :)
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from Joe Public / February 26, 2013 at 07:22 pm
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hahaha...you use the phrase "LIEberals".

you are an unoriginal shill, and your hollowed-out soul is showing! :)
Yawn replying to a comment from bwoo-hoo ha-HA / February 26, 2013 at 07:23 pm
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Yawn, next............
GodisBroke. replying to a comment from EEEE / February 26, 2013 at 07:24 pm
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If Simon is Simon Tarses, it's because he wishes HE was touching Rob Ford's wife.
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from Twix / February 26, 2013 at 07:26 pm
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hahaha...you think this administration is about "doing something".

you have no grasp of what actually happens at city hall...and your naievty is showing.
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from Captain Obvious / February 26, 2013 at 07:33 pm
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hahaha...you think people in Etobicoke and Scarborough understand the nuances of policy.

you have no clue the effect demographics will have on the next election...your passing era is showing! :)
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from paul / February 26, 2013 at 07:35 pm
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hahaha...you use the phrase "socialists"

you are stuck in a bad 50s filmstrip...and your ridiculousness is showing! :)
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from Jill / February 26, 2013 at 07:47 pm
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hahaha...you are an adult, and yet you say things like *rolls Eyes*

you have too much time on your hands, Jill/Paul...your sad, lonely little life is showing! :)
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from Yawn / February 26, 2013 at 07:52 pm
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hahaha...you are an adult, and yet you can't even join a debate

you are boring...and your (equally boring) apathy is showing! :)
says replying to a comment from bwoo-hoo ha-HA / February 26, 2013 at 07:53 pm
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"you have too much time on your hands"
says the person who just did 7 posts in a row. Practice what you preach bub.
EEEE--YEAH!! she screamed replying to a comment from EEEE / February 26, 2013 at 07:58 pm
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"you lefties sound like broken records, nothing has been proven that he touched his wife."

Well, I touched YOUR wife, EEEE...and she LOVED it!
EEEE--YEAH!! she screamed replying to a comment from says / February 26, 2013 at 08:02 pm
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Hey "says"

I also touched your wife. And she ESPECIALLY loved it!

GodisBroke. / February 26, 2013 at 08:32 pm
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While you guys were posting, I did a lot more than touching with BOTH your wives!
Jack replying to a comment from Simon / February 26, 2013 at 11:57 pm
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I'd say that alleged sexual assault is about the next lowest point that Adam Vaughan et al. would stoop to...I wouldn't put it past them.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Joe Public / February 27, 2013 at 03:15 am
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It's not he that has the voices telling him to vote again their best interests, moron, its people like you.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from Jack / February 27, 2013 at 09:05 am
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Way to further actual discussion in politics. Yup, you really make some great points! [/sarcasm] Seriously dumbass, try not caving into the current style of pointless rhetoric that gets nothing done on either side and using your brain.
vampchick21 replying to a comment from bwoo-hoo ha-HA / February 27, 2013 at 09:05 am
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You are just an idiot. You waste space in comment sections, and I suspect in real life too.
bm nilsson replying to a comment from paul / February 27, 2013 at 10:50 am
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I am a low income citizen.I have no intention of voting for Mayor ford or his lacky brother doug.The audit decision should be read by all people who have a vote in the next election.The discussion and vote took approximately 30 minutes, to decide on a 50 page audit??? The vote was decided before the entered the room??? A week before the audit came out MAYOR FORD returned the 6 thousand in money orders from corporations and a five figure amount that was mentioned but since he repaid it a week before the audit came out all was forgiven??>?> Do you really think because I am poor that I will vote for this man!!!!!!NOOOOOOOOOO He should be investigated for fraud and that should wait until he loses the next election. This is a poor disabled persons opinion!!!!!Whom The fords have done nothing for including the seniors!!!!
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from vampchick21 / February 27, 2013 at 03:04 pm
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That's hurtful, vampchick21...you're off your game. Time was you could always be counted for keen insight or at least sage input.
bwoo-hoo ha-HA replying to a comment from Jack / February 27, 2013 at 03:21 pm
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Jack,

I don't know about Adam Vaughan et al, but your mouth sure looks pretty.
Joe (Paid Ford Shill) Public replying to a comment from Joe Public / February 28, 2013 at 09:18 pm
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Way to cherry-pick, Joe, you unimaginative hack.

How Ford keeps you on his payroll I'll never know.

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