Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Nominate Mini-Gord For Stephen Leacock Prize

In case you do not know, the award is named after the great Canadian humourist and is "for the best book of humour." Just package a number of mini-Gord columns together and it is the medal winner for sure!

Take last Saturdays' column "Smear targets Francis." Please. I laughed so hard as I read the column that I almost had an accident, if you know what I mean.

Shhhh, don't tell anyone. Most people would think this is all award-winning political satire but we in Windsor know it is the truth. No one could make this stuff up.

Imagine a columnist getting all offended and talking about someone smearing the Mayor when he wrote a column casting a cloud of suspicion over the entire City Council when he talked about a corrupt Councillor and has still refused to reveal his or her identity. And his newspaper seems to be going along with it.

That makes a mockery of the concept of Freedom of the Press and the right of a reporter to protect a source.

And then, talk about smearing, the columnist says:
  • "Basse, a retired RCMP officer who himself exudes decency and honesty, refused to speculate on the identity or motives of the unseen puppet masters, but anybody can guess. The election cycle starts in a few weeks, on the heels of a nasty strike."
I cannot believe how he did it but there he goes after CUPE again. Kapow CUPE supporters on Council. You just got dinged!

And watch as he goes after a reporter colleague but putting it in the words of the Commish:
  • "Basse also accused the media of playing a major role in the attempt to smear Francis.

    "The media has blown this all up," he kept saying in an accusatory tone. "I don't understand how you could blow it up like this."

    Nobody disagreed."
Of course, no one diagreed with Basse. Some members of the media were probably laughing themselves silly at this whole foolish spectacle and could not speak. They are fortunate they did not have an accident too.

Here is something hilarious. It is the second time in recent months that mini-Gord has gone after this same reporter. Nothing like mini-Gord personally destroying his own paper's credibility.

And then he takes on his Editorial Board with this comment of Basse to really rub the salt into it:
  • "As Integrity Commissioner Earl Basse pointed out this week, a potentially blockbuster real estate deal by its nature has to be discussed behind closed doors."
Yet his Editors had said previously:
  • "Francis clearly didn't provide Marra, other councillors and, by extension, Windsor taxpayers, with all the information he might have. Even if the meeting wasn't confirmed until Tuesday, Francis could have divulged the fact he had spoken with Kilpatrick just days earlier and had tentative plans to meet with him in less than 48hours.

    The fact he didn't is puzzling but speaks to both Francis' tendency to err on the side of secrecy and the difficulties of negotiating a multi-million dollar public infrastructure deal in these uncertain times with Detroit...

    Still, the way Francis handled Marra's relevant query rankles given the fact these negotiations have been shrouded in far too much secrecy already. If there were reasons why Francis felt it best to keep certain facts from councillors and taxpayers, he should have elucidated them clearly rather than providing a vague response that omitted relevant details."

Those are real knee-slappers. Who is fighting whom now? I do not have the ability to write this kind of funny stuff.

Oh there is more. Consider for instance the Integrity Commish comment about the Edgar (aka Eddie)/Kwame investigation:

  • "In retrospect, I should have dismissed it," he retorted.

    Until the media "blew it all up" this week, he said, he had planned to answer the taxpayer question via "a small paragraph in my annual report."

So why then did the Commish feel the need to meet with Francis since it would serve no worthwhile purpose since the Mayor's conduct was exemplary? Why pretend that he was examining Edgar when they only met briefly? Why did he tell Bruce McLeod he viewed the complaint as serious? Why do anything, when he said:

  • "Basse described his brief investigation as "an inquiry, not an allegation. It is not a probe."

HUH, what the heck does that mean? It's all gibberish to me.

See what I mean about a farce. Who would believe it!

No one doubts "Basse, a retired RCMP officer who himself exudes decency and honesty" but consider this about a person who is in such a key position:

  • he does not seem to know what his authority is under the Municipal Act from reading his Leakor report
  • he has still not explained how he could undertake an investigation about Jones without a complaint
  • he has not explained how holding a press conference to release a report which no one has claimed they have seen yet meets the requirements of the Municipal Act, and
  • he has still not reported on another Mayor Francis complaint filed back in May.

And then he tells us what the Municipal Act says:

  • "Not only was Francis was fulfilling his duties properly when he met with Kilpatrick, Basse said, "he would have been in violation of the municipal Act" had he NOT met the Detroit mayor privately."

Errrr, Commish, which section is that?

Here is a real hoot:

  • "some accuse Basse of fuelling the media frenzy by delaying his report for 14 months. "In retrospect, I should have dismissed it," he retorted.

    Until the media "blew it all up" this week, he said, he had planned to answer the taxpayer question via "a small paragraph in my annual report.""

Let's see now, "in September, 2008, [Council] appointed Mr. Earl Basse as Integrity Commissioner for the City of Windsor."

According to Mr. McLeod, he handed in his complaint the day after Basse was appointed.

The Municipal Act states:

  • "Report to council

    223.6 (1) If the Commissioner provides a periodic report to the municipality on his or her activities, the Commissioner may summarize advice he or she has given but shall not disclose confidential information that could identify a person concerned."

Here is the joke. It is almost the end of November, 2009 and we have not yet seen a 2008 Annual report! It is overdue whether it should have been reported on a calendar basis or on a yearly basis from date of appointment.

But that is all small stuff humour. Talk about your dumb "Eddie Francis' political enemies." These people make the crooks in the "Home Alone" movies look like geniuses.

  • "Every resident in Windsor can rest assured that one day they will hear a far-flung friend or relative ask: "Hey, what's up with that mayor of yours? Isn't he being investigated or something?"

    Tell them the LBJ story -- and that 2010 is an election year. The smarter ones will understand right away what happened."

Heck, if the "Eddie Francis' political enemies" had any brains and wanted to smear the Mayor, they would not have filed a complaint back in 2008, which most people would have assumed would have been investigated and a report issued within a few months, they would have waited until near the election date and filed the complaint so that Edgar would be smeared RIGHT BEFORE the election with no hope of exoneration!

See what I mean about stupid.

Moreover, the "Eddie Francis' political enemies" missed their opportunity. Basse's Leakor report came out (although never reported by the Star) and said the leak came from the City. Why not leak about the Francis/Kwame investigation then? Why wait for a week and a half? Those enemies are fools. The finger would have been pointed at Edgar, not Jones.

Here is why the "Eddie Francis' political enemies" are the epitome of dumbness...they gave the story to the Star who had the chance to create a defence for the Mayor in the Kwame story rather than giving it to Daryl Newcombe of Eh-channel who broke the other leak stories. Sheeesh!

As for language, Shakespeare would have been proud: Mayor Eddie Francis' political enemies, smiling that creepy old Texan's smile, persons unknown, an unknown councillor or councillors, unseen puppet masters, slimed us. It just does not get better than this.

Oh, oh....I cannot write any more. I am laughing too hard...I have to run again....excuse me now!