After months of denial, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford today publicly admitted to smoking crack approximately a year ago in "one of my drunken stupors." Late this afternoon, Ford held a press conference to apologize for his conduct, but will not resign and vows to stand for re-election next year.
Last May, Gawker alleged there was a cellphone video which showed Ford smoking crack and tried to raise $200,000 through Kickstarter.com to release the video. However, the story went cold when Gawker lost contact with the owner of the video and couldn't produce it.
However, the story was reignited last week when the Toronto Police recovered the video. Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair stated, "The video files depict images that are consistent with what has been previously reported." Blair added that he was "disappointed" by what he saw. Ford continued to deny the allegations and early this morning his brother, Doug Ford (who is a Toronto City Councillor) called on Blair to step down. But within hours, the Mayor did an about face.
I wrote an article in the spring about the allegations against Ford. At the time, I expressed skepticism when Gawker couldn't produce the video. So what are my thoughts in light of today's revelations?
Well, I still think Gawker and the crack dealers who tried to consumate this deal deserve each other. Nothing has also changed about the fact that the Left has wanted to oust Ford from office by any means necessary, crack or no crack pipe.
Nevertheless, Ford repeatedly lied to the public over these past months. Today, he says he has nothing left to hide. I'm not sure why I should believe that. From where I sit, I think Ford should step down.
However, the people of Toronto might think otherwise. Ford's popularity actually increased after last week's statement by the Toronto Police. As long as Ford maintains these numbers then he isn't going anywhere. It isn't inconceivable that he could be re-elected. But I wonder if Torontonians who have supported Ford will feel duped. It will be interesting to see what those numbers will be in a week from now.
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