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Toronto Election 2014


Is Rob Ford’s reelection campaign being run by amateurs?

(Images: Christopher Drost)

(Images: Christopher Drost)

At this early point in the 2014 mayoral campaign, nobody has ruled out the possibility that Rob Ford will win reelection, but here’s one reason it’s doubtful the mayor will have an easy victory (you know, aside from all the scandals): his campaign is apparently in disarray.

What many outside city hall don’t realize is that Ford Nation has undergone a bit of a regime change over the past three years. Nick Kouvalis, the conservative political operative who is credited with having engineered Ford’s 2010 victory (and who later briefly served as the mayor’s chief of staff), is now working for the enemy, John Tory, who launched his run for mayor on Monday. Doug Ford is acting as his brother’s campaign manager this time around, and he has been evasive when questioned about who else is working on Rob’s reelection. “We have the people on our team,” he told reporters last week. “We don’t need the establishment, and, you know, 200 generals.”

And now the Star is saying that campaign manager Doug may have bungled an essential task: not losing the precious reams of voter data compiled for the Ford campaign by Kouvalis and company during the 2010 election.

According to the Star, Doug has been claiming that Kouvalis is “refusing” to turn over copies of the Ford campaign’s 2010 voter database, which includes contact information for supporters. Meanwhile, Mitch Wexler, a data contractor who built voter profiles for Ford during the campaign, says he gave two copies of the data to the mayor’s brother in 2011. The implication is that Doug may be blaming others for his own mistake. The Fords may have lost the keys to their own kingdom.

Political campaigns live or die by their ability to identify and motivate supporters, and so it’s impossible to overstate how damaging it would be to the mayor’s reelection hopes if he weren’t able to lay hands on his voter data. In her book Crazy Town, Star reporter Robyn Doolittle writes that Ford’s voter database was drawn directly from reams of phone records compiled over the course of his decade as a city councillor. Many of the names on the list were residents he had personally assisted with problems—grateful constituents who would gladly vote for him in good times or bad.

Voter data was one of the things that separated Ford from his competition in 2010, and the lack of it could separate him once again, this time to his detriment.

  • Richard Sharp

    John Tory, Olivia Chow and Karen Stintz will divide the rational, intelligent vote. Ford may bumble to victory with his throng of idiots (i.e. Ford Nation).

    The only hope is that Toronto Police are cleverly timing the release of their information, knowing that possible charges against Ford cannot get him kicked out of office and that Ford can tie up charges via lawyers and the court, and that voters have very poor memory. I’m betting that the police will release the charges in the middle of the election campaign and will attempt to lower Ford’s popularity when it is most needed.

    The soap opera continues…

  • Roy Schulze

    You know what might be worse than losing your 2010 voters list, Doug? Telling everyone you’ve lost it!

  • Maddoggy2012

    The Ford incompetence continues to rise to the surface. Doug is not looking too good theses days. I suspect he took a big hit when the polling showed he would not be re-elected as a councilor and the Provincial PC did not want him. Now he sees that Rob is not going to get re-elected and he is beside himself.

  • Konstantine


    Such incompetence, I love it, one more step in seeing these two clowns go away forever.

  • wolfshades

    I’d say it doesn’t really matter if he had the records or not. So much disgust has been generated by the Fords that many of those who didn’t vote in the last election will be sure to vote in this one. It’s not that anyone’s pro-Tory, Stinson or Chow – so much as anti-Fords.

  • Sacfat

    LOL – especially when he’s been critical of Tory and others for not being as capable and competent as them!

  • Diva4

    Ford’s campaign slogan” “Nobody’s Perfect.”

  • Ben Johnson

    I think “Pobody’s Nerfect” bumper stickers might play better with Ford Nation.

  • ZachSwan

    And anyone who is on the verge of moving their vote from Ford to one of the other candidates will see comments like this twat’s above ^^ calling them “idiots”, and they’ll be emboldened to raise their collective middle fingers to the Richard Sharps of the world and do everything they can to get Ford re-elected. Hell, I’ve never even considered voting for Ford but I despise this smug elitist crap coming from Ford’s opponents so much that I just might consider it.

  • ProudCanuck

    Not a Ford fan, but RC just changed my mind. People like RC is not helping the anti-Ford movement by calling voters of the democratic elected councillors “IDIOTS”.

  • Nick

    Oooo, stick it to the man, Zach, by voting for a train wreck. Awesome!

  • loper

    I don’t think RC’s comment is derogatory… in fact it’s factual. Given the information we know about Rob Ford, good and bad, you really would have to be an idiot to vote for him.

  • Konstantine

    Evidently, Ford’s definition of perfect is not being addicted to crack. This makes a ton of us perfect.

  • ACMEsalesrep

    I think it would be sufficient to ask “Is Rob Ford’s reelection campaign is being run?” given that it appears to be lurching about at random.

  • David Church

    Seriously? Your decision on who gets your vote swings on whether you like a random comment left by a total stranger on the TOLife website?

    Now that’s idiotic.

  • David Church

    If a random comment “changed your mind” then I suspect you were a Ford fan all along.

  • Steve Fleck

    The incompetence of both Fords never surprises anymore. It’s truly spectacular. What’s really rich is, no matter what the blunder, mix-up, mess or lie is, either Ford will tell you right to your face that “Everything is great. Never better, and we are doing the best job ever”!

  • Al Jourgenson

    Way to lend credence to Richard’s apparently accurate depiction of Ford Nation as a “throng of idiots.”

  • Al Jourgenson

    “Is Rob Ford’s reelection campaign being run by amateurs?”



    It’s true: Doug Ford looks awful these days. Every photo of him is worse than the previous one. When your 320 lb. crack-smoking alcoholic brother starts to look healthier than you, it’s time to book yourself a check-up. The wheels have definitely come off the Ford Nation bus. I’m waiting to see which Ford registers as a candidate for councillor in Rob’s and Doug’s former ward….Kathy? Randy? Diane Ford? Renata? Anyway, this is no time for complacency. Every eligible Torontonian needs to get out and cast a ballot on October 27th.

  • christinaarcher

    Fords making mistakes? Can’t do that, can we Doug.

  • luganman

    are you really that stupid?

  • luganman

    nobody’s perfect
    but most imperfect people don’t smoke crack while in drunken stupors while consorting with criminals while lying repeatedly. (fact)

  • Khar99

    Despite what the Fordfanboys recite over and over again, there is simply no way this man will be re-elected. He averages two or three scandals or cockups a month (we’ll call it 20 to go until election day) is in constant need of an appropriate adult and is barely performing any of the duties of a real Mayor of Toronto even now. What is to ‘re-elect?’

  • Steve Bako

    Certainly not a Ford fan but I can bet my every $$$ that the BOzos will be back at City Hall thanks to the millions of bozos called Torontonians who will put this guy back in power. Last election I predicted this visionless bozo called FORD etc would bring Shame to Toronto!!! I was right ! Now he will play on y’all emotions again and you will vote him in! bet some $$$ anyone?!!!

  • Midnightmurph

    If the police had or have any intention of laying charges against Ford then they should already have done it, or do it NOW, otherwise they are not doing their job and instead are playing politics which is NOT their job. Do you find that rational and intelligent? Maybe it is, maybe it’s not, but it certainly is NOT the police force’s job to decided a vote. As you so bluntly put it Mr. Richard Sharp,only the “throng of idiots(Ford Nation)” and the other vote-eligible citizens of Toronto have the right to decide who works for them running this city.

  • Midnightmurph

    Who would you vote for? Adam Vaughn? It’s guys like this that are destroying the city. He criticizes Rob Ford all the time for not doing his job, meanwhile making comments like “Why not? I’ve ignored him for the last 3 years” when asked if he thought ignoring Ford was a good idea, showing that he has NEVER even attempted to work with the man to better the city. Doesn’t matter anyway, as Adam Vaughn would never run for mayor because he knows he could never get the votes. Only the small group of leftist-elitists that live in his riding would vote for him, and he only cares about what they want, he has never cared about the city as a whole. I think a vote for anyone like him would be more idiotic than a vote for Ford. I think you should stop reading “The Toronto Star”, it’s affecting your ability to make your own decisions……

  • Midnightmurph

    Simply no way? Are you willing to wager on that???

  • Khar99

    Yeah man. Have your guy call my guy and we’ll set it up.

  • macduff1987

    the criminal investigation is ongoing. ergo, the police will lay charges if and when they are ready. not before and not ‘NOW’, as you insist; but, in fact, not until the moment they’ve built their case to their professional and evidentiary satisfaction.

  • Savannah

    How about you let them finish the investigation before demanding charges be laid? The investigation is only a few months old.