There are plenty of politicians who are totally bonkers, but few really commit to it like former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. This guy is in the news for violating his city’s conflict of interest laws and has been removed from office. Of course, he’s appealing, but chances are his public service career is over. For those who haven’t been following the saga, this will be a shocking introduction to the utter insanity of Rob Ford. Here are his ten biggest scandals.
Gets Removed From Office, 2012
Everything came to a head in November of 2012 when Ford was forcibly removed from the position of mayor. The reason was due to inappropriate use of city resources – as a City Councilman, he used his official letterhead and seal to solicit funds for the Rob Ford Football Foundation, a private organization that supports high school athletics programs (Ford played football as a teen).
Government officials warned Ford multiple times to stop doing it, but he refused and eventually voted in City Council that it was OK for him to do it because… he wanted to. Needless to say, once lawyers got involved a very different story was told, and as of this writing Ford’s out of a job.
Attacks A Reporter, 2012
Rob Ford’s relationship with the press corps has been uneven, to say the very least. When you make as many blunders as he does, the media isn’t going to give you an easy go of it. In 2012, Ford was trying to get the city to sell him a plot of public parkland next to his house, an unusual request.
The Toronto Star sent a reporter to check out the property and research a story. When Ford saw the man walking (in a public park) and taking photographs, he ran up to him and started screaming and threatening to punch him unless he dropped his tape recorder. Freaked out, the reporter dropped it and fled. Ford refused to apologize for the situation, of course.
Calls 911 Because Of A Comedy Show, 2011
In October of 2011, Ford was met outside his front door in the morning by Mary Walsh of long-running Canadian TV show This Hour Has 22 minutes. Walsh’s gimmick is that she plays a suburban housewife who dresses like Xena, Warrior Princess and ambushes local politicians with ridiculous questions.
Instead of gamely playing along or walking to his car with a “no comment,” Ford bleated like a baby pig, ran inside the house and called 911. Twice. After the cops didn’t come fast enough, in his second call the mayor screamed at the poor 911 operator, calling her a bitch and yelling “Don’t you f---ing know? I’m Rob f---ing Ford, the mayor of this city!”
Helping A Buddy Cop Pills, 2010
Say what you will about Rob Ford, he’s certainly a guy who will go out of his way to help a friend. When a man named Dieter Doneit-Henderson opened communications with Ford to discuss his comments about the gay community, Ford seemed very eager to build bridges.
Dieter brought up his fibromyalgia, a painful nervous system disorder, and then asked Rob Ford if he could get him some oxycontin to treat it. So much for socialized medicine! In the phone call, Ford says he doesn’t know what Oxy is but he’ll try to find some, and then asks how much it goes for on the street!
Domestic Violence Call, 2008
As a City Councilman, Rob Ford was under a lot of pressure. It boiled up in his legendarily crazy speeches, but he also took it out at home. In 2008, his wife Renata called the police on Ford, claiming that he’d assaulted her and threatened to kill her. The cops demanded that Ford vacate his own house, so he went to his parents’ house.
When the Councilman went back the next day to shower and get a change of clothes, they had another confrontation and Renata called 911 again. The pair managed to patch up their differences in marriage counseling.
Rob Ford On Asians, 2008
Ford’s interactions with minorities have been notably rocky, as he really doesn’t have any grasp on political correctness. On a City Council debate about holiday shopping hours, the subject somehow got changed to Asian manufacturing companies, at which point Ford broke out with a demented spiel that included such lines as “The Oriental people, they work like dogs. They sleep next to their machines. They’re slowly taking over.” Ford later apologized… for using the world “Oriental.” He should have said “Asian.”
Rob Ford Vs. Bikes, 2007
One of the most dependable political positions in Rob Ford’s career has been his eternal dislike for bicyclists. Sure, his massive bulk probably couldn’t fit on a bicycle without looking like something out of the Guinness Book of World Records, but that’s no excuse for his legislation.
Ford commented in 2007 that “roads are built for buses, cars and trucks, not for people on bikes. My heart bleeds for them when I hear someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.” Not realizing that dedicated bike lanes would actually decrease traffic fatalities, Ford voted to remove existing bike lanes on some of the city’s main thoroughfares.
Kicked Out Of A Hockey Game, 2006
He’s Canadian, so of course Rob Ford has strong feelings about hockey. But when you’re serving in public office, it’s probably not a great idea to get blasted at a Maple Leafs game and verbally abuse people.
In April of 2006, Ford attended a home game, drank too many beers and started going buckwild on a couple in the neighboring seats, asking the man “Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?” He was ejected by security, but the shocked couple identified him because he left a business card behind. Ford first denied even going to the game but later admitted it was all true.
Rob Ford On AIDS, 2006
If you study the political career of Rob Ford, you’ll quickly learn that he’s not the best public speaker. He puts his foot in his mouth so often he’s got cleat marks on his tonsils. Ford is also a social conservative, meaning that he votes against programs for the gay and lesbian community all the time.
When asked in 2006 about his reasons for voting against $1.5 million in funding for AIDS prevention programs, Ford replied “It is very preventable. If you are not doing needles and you are not gay, you wouldn’t get AIDS probably.” Needless to say, medical professionals and gay rights activists both let him know how totally wrong he was.
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Pulled Over For DUI, 1999
This just recently came to the public’s attention, as it happened before Ford took office. When visiting Florida with his fiancée, Ford was pulled over outside of Miami by the cops, who noticed that he had bloodshot eyes and reeked of alcohol. When he was pulled out of the car, Ford raised his hands and yelled “Go ahead, take me to jail!” He also had a bag of marijuana on his person.
During his mayoral campaign in 2010, the arrest came up and Ford denied he had been driving drunk, claiming that he got arrested for failing to take the breathalyzer test. Eventually, he was forced to confess to everything.