Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Is Star Reporter Doug Schmidt Looking For A New Job

I know times are tough for Canwest and other papers. I suspect that jobs for journalists are not in big supply. Accordingly, a reporter needs to be careful in what he/she writes.

So how does one explain City Hall Reporter Doug Schmidt's BLOG "Schmidt City?

And how does one explain how it was pushed by the online Star?

I mean really... he has to work at City Hall and here he smears a number of the major players in language that even I would not dare use and mocks others. Seriously, he seemed so protective of the establishment in the published Star. Why remember how he has gone after Junior in the past!

  • Another such message came from the fact only Jo-Anne and Ward 1 Coun. Dave Brister joined Mayor Eddie Francis for the clock’s dedication, also attended by Bangladesh’s top guy in Canada, High Commissioner Yakub Ali. Not one of the four councillors representing that downtown strip of Ouellette Avenue bothered to show (Alan? Caroline? Fulvio? Ron?). Dave and Jo-Anne offered no comment — but took my bait and impishly rolled their eyes — when I asked why."

  • I’d called her [Ward 2 Coun. Caroline Postma] to ask why she left Monday night’s council meeting early and thus missed the high-octane debate and super-tight vote to give Assumption Church quintuple the city’s normal maximum contribution for a heritage restoration job.

    The final vote was 5-4 in favour of the church’s $250,000 request. Caroline, who represents the ward where the crumbling church stands, told me she was “leaning towards not giving,” which would have forced tie-breaker from Eddie, he of recent notorious stinginess (at the clock dedication he told me it was too hypothetical a question to say how he would have broken a tie)."

  • Control freak megalomaniac strikes again

    Well conspiracy theorists, listen up, ‘cos that city hall megalomaniac has done it again.

    Mayor Eddie Francis, dubbed a “control freak” even by admirers, is now master and commander over all our garbage and blue boxes, after being appointed the Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority’s chairman on Wednesday.

    That leaves maybe a few sand traps at Roseland Golf Course as about the only public things left around here that aren’t directly controlled by hizzoner Eddie.

  • Is there any wonder he’s so keen on getting Windsor included in the next Canadian cities edition of the board game Monopoly? Once that foothold is established, pretty soon Eddie’d be erecting his homes and hotels from Mediterranean to Boardwalk — he’d be the true Chairman of the national Board.

    “I knew this was going to happen,” he told me after I pointed out his empire-grasping antics and the optics following his EWSWA ascendancy.

Doug also told us that Edgar

  • Let’s see, he’s already chairman of the Windsor Police Services board, chairman of the Windsor-Detroit Tunnel Corporation, chairman of Windsor Airport — a.k.a. Your Quick Gateway (Windsor) Inc. — and chairman of Enwin Energy, which falls under the corporate roof of Windsor Canada Utilities Ltd., which, ummm, yes, Eddie also chairs.

    He’s a commissioner at the Windsor Utilities Commission — “I think I’m vice-chair,” he told me — and a director with the Windsor-Essex Development Corporation, as well as a mere member of countless other entities, including committees of council (where he sets the agenda) and loftier stuff like the Great Lakes Mayors group and Canada’s Big Cities Mayors caucus.

What he should also have told us is how many of these postions are paid, how much Edgar gets and how he is NOT required to share all of his money with his Council colleagues. It might explain his huge salary.

Aha, that might have been a clue. He did NOT do the obvious. THAT would be going waaaaay too far!

He seemed tough against some but was he and seemed sympathetis towards others but was he? Could it be all a front? Could this be part of a plan/counter-plan that only a master political mind could think up? Was this an effort by the Eminence Greasie that even Doug did not know about?

Consider his latest BLOG in which he both attacks and praises the Mayor "City critics be damned!" Did someone get to him and explain the facts of journalistic life:

  • "The agenda was stuffed with juicy stuff like the audit of the messy 400 Building fiasco — bad, dumb stuff, for sure, the city’s hired guns tell us repeatedly, but nothing seriously “criminal” — as well as another six-figure taxpayer dollar request for another study on the airport “cargo village” dream. Of course, that guaranteed the public gallery would be teeming with citizen watchdogs bracing for a night of political whack-a-mole, the chief “mole” being the guy with the gavel (or, as is the case here, the guy with the finger on the microphone mute button).

    But no sullen cowering from the dais. A combative Eddie demanded evidence to back up allegations, he challenged loosely flung factoids, stared down bluffs and cut down the blusterers. More than once he lectured on “correcting the misperceptions” that council “at times may look to ignore the facts.”

    Citizen auditors demanded answers to “unanswered questions” on the 400 Building affair and that the criminals behind it be outed and dealt with. Eddie asked the real auditors whether there was “one sliver or ounce” of proof of “malfeasance.” The top gun Toronto lawyer the city hired to conduct the $658,000 probe replied he found “nothing evil or corrupt.” Those politicians and bureaucrats involved simply ignored laws — not criminally, remember — governing how multimillion-dollar contracts are awarded."

Why he is almost playing Gord's game of hitting at Edgar while seemingly standing up for him so no one can criticize him. Or was this his way of getting back into favour? It is so baffling.

However, consider this statement in his BLOG:

  • "Share all your election and civic news and views, tips, event info, insider secrets and gossip worthy of a blog with Windsor Star city hall reporter Doug Schmidt."

Really, no one reads Star BLOGs except...well no need to go into that after seeing what happened to certain reporters who were too honest in their BLOGs. You don't fight City Hall.

What about this scenario---someone reads this statment and foolishly takes it seriously and gives Schmidt some juicy insider gossip---such as the BLOGMeister will announce his candidacy for Mayor on Februrary 14, Valentine's Day with the slogan:

  • "I want to capture the hearts of Windsorites!"

Of course, Schmidt publishes it as he is entitled to do. Lo and behold Edgar gets some great insider info that he can plan against that he might otherwise may never have picked up.

Poor Doug---he probably has no idea that he is being used in this fashion. Who cares what he writes as long as he obtains sensitive political information. He can suffer the consequences at the appropriate time when he is no longer of use.

Think I am making this up. I was accused early on when I started writing this BLOG of pretending to be deliberately anti-Edgar so that Edgar opponents would contact me and then I could tell Edgar who was acting against him in the City! My response was simple: my mind does not operate in that diabolical a fashion.

That's politics, dear reader, Windsor-style.