Sneed: Toronto’s Ford tops even Chicago’s political high jinks
By Michael Sneed November 22, 2013 9:36PM
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Toronto Councillor Doug Ford, at a Chicago Blackhawks game against the San Jose Sharks in February. Provided photo
Updated: December 25, 2013 6:38AM
The Ford story. . .
There is no city like Chicago for political shenanigans.
That is . . . until the city of Toronto broke ground with its monkeyshines.
Their Canuck run amok even has Chicago connections.
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is now garnering international headlines for a penchant for crack cocaine, drunken stupors, spewed obscenities and a driver who was charged with trafficking marijuana.
Ford, who is denying he has an addiction problem and refusing to give up his job despite a groundswell of criticism, has two Chicago connections.
◆ No. 1: Not only has Ford visited Chicago because it is a sister city to Toronto, but Ford was once the chief financial officer of a label company in Wood Dale his father founded in 1962: Deco Labels & Tags, where his brother Doug is listed as the company’s president.
◆ No. 2: Ford also has a top Chicago newshound on his trail: Former Chicago Sun-Times Editor-in-Chief Michael Cooke, now the editor of the Toronto Star, which broke the story so juicy it could be considered the culmination of a career.
“Thank God for old fashioned news reporting,” Cooke told Sneed.
“The investigative reporting I learned from Sun-Times reporters Tim Novak and Chris Fusco helped me immeasurably in working with reporters here,” he told Sneed.
“There is no doubt about it,” added Cooke. “Those guys [Novak and Fusco] give a master class in journalism. Our reporters have done a sensational job.
“Everything in this story was a surprise. [Ford] lied. And lied. And then lied some more. This story has crack-smoking, hookers...”
“Yet this guy still commands sizeable support,” Cooke added.
◆ Backshot: Ford’s embarrassing behavior also drew the ire of the Toronto Argonauts football team, when he showed up on television wearing one of their jerseys during a press availability.
◆ Sneed shot: Yikes! Check out the photo Sneed obtained of Ford wearing an XXL Chicago Blackhawks jersey, emblazoned with Patrick Kane’s No. 88 on his sleeve — while watching the Hawks play the San Jose Sharks last February at the United Center.
◆ Upshot: Sneed is told Ford, who visits the family company in the Chicago area occasionally with his brother, Doug, was. . . “ very well behaved during the February visit,” according to a top Sneed source.
“Who ever figured the guy would be the star of a story like this one.”
The royal set. . .
Blimey! In case you’re interested, Queen Elizabeth and her cranky husband, Prince Philip, celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary Wednesday. Their son, Prince Charles, the heir to his mother’s throne, has pissed off his neighbors in the Duchy of Cornwall because they are afraid he is going to mine under their property. He has informed them he owns the mineral rights on their land.
I spy. . .
TV’s Judge (Greg) Mathis was spotted dining on southern cooking Thursday at Nouveau Tavern. . . and country music star Eric Paslay at Chicago Cut.
Sneedlings. . .
The Quinn bin: The first thing Gov. Pat Quinn did after signing the same-sex marriage bill was get on a plane to the tornado-struck town of Washington, Ill., to help raise funds for the ravaged residents . . . Condolences to the family of Celeste Gabinski, who lost her beloved brother, Dr. Thomas Kropidlowski, last Saturday at the age of 64. No brother had a better sister . . . Congratulations to Sun-Times sports writer Adam Jahns and wife, Colleen, on the birth of their son, Ryan Kevin, Friday. . . Saturday’s birthdays: Miley Cyrus, 21; Snooki, 26, and Robin Roberts, 53. . . Sunday’s birthdays: Katherine Heigl, 35; Linda Tripp, 64, and Sarah Hyland, 23.