Rob Ford ‘didn’t call me back’: Olivia Chow attack ad takes aim at the core of mayor’s brand
The Olivia Chow campaign wants Torontonians to know it’s not just reporters who have waited in futility by the phone for Mayor Rob Ford to return their call.
A new ad from the Chow campaign features a Toronto woman named Laura who says she called the mayor 20 times about the TTC and has yet to get a phone call back.
“Rob Ford is always bragging that he’s too busy to do this or he’s too busy to do that because he’s calling people back. Well, he didn’t call me back,” Laura says in the video, with a bright, neat-looking kitchen in the background. “It got to the point where my friends would tease me if I would show up late somewhere and I’d say it was the subway. They’d tease me and say ‘Well, did you call the mayor’s office?’
“I have Rob Ford programmed into my phone and he’s never called me back.”
The Chow campaign says Laura is a real person, not an actor, who walked into their campaign office several weeks ago and told them her story.
“When Rob Ford is asked about hanging out with gangsters, he says he’s a great mayor because he calls everyone back. Laura called about 20 times. She’s still waiting,” says the text accompanying the video.
Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor’s campaign manager and older brother, was told about the ad by the Post and he called it “not accurate” and “disingenuous.”
“He returns more phone calls than any politician in the country … no one even comes close,” Councillor Ford said Thursday morning. “As for Olivia Chow, [Mayor Ford] returns more calls in a week than she does in a year. Shows up to more houses than she does in a lifetime and everyone knows Rob Ford is famous for returning phone calls.
“When [Chow] says someone calls 20 times… she’s an outright liar.”
The Chow campaign says Torontonians can expect similar ads aimed at challenging Ford’s key campaign statements in the future.
“Olivia’s taking direct aim at the core of Rob Ford’s brand. Take buses. He says he’ll stand up for the little guy, but cuts TTC funding to make buses more crowded,” Chow’s communication director, Jamey Heath, said.
Since he was a city councillor, Ford has long said he returned all of his constituent phone calls, and even as mayor he hands out a phone number for people to call him. More than a few Torontonians have been surprised when Ford returned their call to address issues as common as potholes.
When he lost many of mayoral powers last November after admitting to smoking crack cocaine after months of denials, Ford complained that his office was losing the ability to return phone calls.
The mayor has claimed to receive 138,000 emails, 123,000 phone calls and 22,000 personal phone calls a year and said cuts to his office have limited that ability.
At 22,000 calls a year, Ford would be returning 60 calls a day.
Councillor Doug Ford says the mayor returns phone calls until 11 p.m., sometimes making a 100 calls a day. He doesn’t think it takes away from the mayor’s other responsibilities.
“We’ve dealt with macro-level items over the last three years, we ended up getting more done than the previous administration did in seven years,” Councillor Ford said.
Mayor Ford is holding his campaign launch Thursday night at Toronto Congress Centre in Etobicoke and his campaign says they are expecting “thousands.”
Councillor Ford said it will be the biggest event in his 30 years of politics.
“Both [John] Tory and Chow is getting nervous and you can quote me on that,” he said.
Rob Ford â€˜didnâ€™t call me backâ€™: Olivia Chow attack ad takes aim at the core of mayorâ€™s brand