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Municipal Mayors in Movies


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With Toronto Mayor Rob Ford being in news recently, opportunity to throw out movie titles of movies with good/bad/misunderstood/corrupt, etc. mayors in them...

 

"The Great McGinty" being an obvious one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_McGinty

 

"The Last Hurrah": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Hurrah_%281958_film%29

 

"The Mayor of Hell": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mayor_of_Hell

Not exactly a film about a city mayor but title could apply to Toronto if changed to "The Mayor From Hell."

 

The mayor in "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Taking_of_Pelham_One_Two_Three_%281974_film%29

 

The Munchkin Mayor in "The Wizard of Oz."

 

Bob Hope as "Beau James": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_James

 

For those unaware of shenanigans in Toronto, this animated news item from TomoNews in Taiwan is sort of a "Rob Ford Scandal for Dummies":

 

 

A nitpick with the video is that it was Toronto police, not the RCMP, who investigated and recovered the so-called "crack cocaine video" allegedly featuring the mayor.

 

And while the mayor hasn't backed his Cadillac Escalade over news reporters and flattened them, yet, he's come close...

 

And think guy sitting on mayor's back while he's flying and then at computer is supposed to be the mayor's friend Alexander Lissi:

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/11/01/rob_ford_crack_video_scandal_court_appearance_today_for_alexander_lisi.html

 

Toronto media having a field day coming up with front page headlines:

 

"The Mayor's Office Rocker" from Saturday:

http://eedition.torontosun.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

 

And "Nightmayor on Ford Street" from Halloween:

http://www.680news.com/2013/10/31/toronto-sun-releases-free-rob-ford-afternoon-newspaper/

 

Of course, to be fair, the mayor says he's innocent and has no intention of resigning... And in Ontario, a municipal mayor can only be removed from office is he/she is charged AND convicted of a crime AND imprisoned. And that's only if the imprisonment keeps them away from city business for more than three months (that's why they get turfed - for being away for three months and not the criminal conviction). They can also be convicted of "corrupt practices" under "The Municipal Act" and then removed from office by a judge but that has never happened in Ontario.

 

So I think Rob Ford is going to be around for some time...

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In old movies and early television shows, the town Mayor, no matter the size of the town, always had more power and influence than Mayors of similar sized towns in reality. These small town Mayors would throw their weight around and citizens would defer to them as if they were royalty. Over the years, I've lived within at least two blocks of past Lincoln Park Mayors, and they never, as far as I've witnessed, put on any airs. Just went around as if being Mayor was just another job.

 

The only Mayor I can think of who behaved as a "movie Mayor"( threw his weight around, acted like royalty, etc.) was former Detroit Mayor KWAME KILPATRICK. And look where it got him!

 

Sepiatone

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Oh well, he could be innocent, Twinkle, who knows????

 

And I forgot to mention that in the realistic-looking animated video by TomoNews

 

http://us.tomonews.net/rob-ford-rsquo-s-crack-smoking-video-finally-found-by-police-111955

 

that makes a reference to Brian De Palma's "Scarface" (1983), it is true that the mayor did say that next year's mayoral election is

"going to be a bloodbath"

(http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/mayor-rob-ford-says-2014-campaign-will-be-a-bloodbath-1.2254963).

 

But we'll have to wait and see if he ever comes out with the line:

"Say hello to my little friend!".

 

Other films with a mayor/municipal politician theme are:

 

"Torchy Runs for Mayor": http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/471/Torchy-Runs-for-Mayor/

 

"Together Again": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Together_Again_%28film%29

 

"The Mayor of Casterbridge": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mayor_of_Casterbridge_%281921_film%29

 

"Key to the City": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_to_the_City_%28film%29

 

"The Mayor of 44th Street": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mayor_of_44th_Street

 

"Mayor Nair": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayor_Nair

 

"Thunder Over Arizona": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049851/

 

"Il Cappotto": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Il_Cappotto

 

"Roman Scandals": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Scandals

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Nov 4, 2013 7:18 PM

Made a change...

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<< Oh well, he could be innocent, Twinkle, who knows???? >>

 

Well, about 15 minutes ago, Mayor Rob Ford admitted to the media that he did smoke crack cocaine. Who knows what else he's going to admit to?? So, I have to take the above statement back...

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Not entirely off topic: I went to my polling place and voted for the next NYC Mayor, *Bill de Blasio* today. The polling place is in the apartment building next to mine, and I ran into *George S. Irving* who lives there. George, who just turned 91, is one of the great character actors of musical theater, won a Tony once. He's done a fair amount of TV, but hardly any films. His wife is the late great *Maria Karnilova*, who created the roles of Tessie Tura (Gypsy) and Golde (Fiddler on the Roof) on Broadway.

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> Wasn't former NBA great Dave Bing also a recent mayor of Detroit? How was he?

 

Bing for years was a successful business man in the Detroit area. As Mayor, he didn't do much to iimprove the city, but he at least didn't make it any worse. He unfortunately inherited too many problems from too many past Mayors to be able to be very effective. Today will be his last day in office. He chose not to run for re-election.

 

Today, Detroit residents are voting for a new Mayor, and there's the remote possibility that the city might have it's first white Mayor in 40 years. I'll let you know the results.

 

Sepiatone

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Yes, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford not the first or only rotten apple that spoils the barrel...

 

Just remarkable in the case of Toronto as the city has long had a reputation as a prim and proper place.

A long-time nickname of the city is "Toronto the Good" - coined by a 19th century mayor.

 

And also remarkable as Mayor Ford is a right-wing conservative who is no "bleeding heart" in regards to drug dealers and users.

He's said in the past he believes in the "tough love" approach to drug users and dealers, etc....

So it's just rather bizarre what is happening.

 

The mayor said he's innocent and remaining in office, and now he says he's guilty and he's remaining in office.

 

And very little anybody can do about it. By law, he can be charged with a crime, convicted and sent to jail and still be mayor for the first three months in jail. It's only if the mayor is away from city business for more than three consecutive months that the mayor can be removed from office.

 

Anyway, this is playing out in the international media and there will be more to come as the alleged "crack video" is evidence in the criminal trial of the mayor's alleged drug dealing friend Lisi.

It'll eventually be shown in court and there will probably be more news from this Lisi guy on the mayor.

So whatever... Just FYI to American friends on this scandal in Canuckland...

 

More movies about bad mayors/municipal corruption are:

 

"Chinatown": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinatown_%281974_film%29

 

"Afraid to Talk" ("Merry-Go-Round"): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022612/

 

More information on the above film here: http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/forgotten-pre-codes-afraid-to-talk-1932

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The Rob Ford case is a fascinating illustration of the loyalty that a hard core constituency of voters will have to a populist politician. He has survived outragious behaviour and scandals that would have long ago killed the career of other politicians.

 

It will be interesting to see the next poll to come out to see if Ford's admission that he lied to the people for the last six months about drug use, blaming the media (calling them "maggots" at one point), will impact his popularity. His latest approval rating about a week ago actually went up 4 or 5 percent among Toronto voters, though the majority still think he should either step down or, at least, take a leave of absence to get help for his addiction or addictions (booze, for sure, quite possibly crack, as well).

 

Ford's modus operandi when confronted by a scandal has always been the same, and he remains consistent with this latest incident. It's always initially DENY, DENY, DENY the allegation, and blame the messenger. Then, when he's cornered and exposed as a liar, he becomes contrite and apologies, saying it will never happen again.

 

With the latest incident, in which the Toronto police chief had a press conference stating that a video of Ford smoking a drug (crack?) does exist, after months of Ford saying there was no video and he didn't smoke crack, Ford and his brother (a Toronto City councillor) are now attacking that police chief for being poiltical, and asking him to step down while the TO police force continue to investigate the mayor.

 

Incredibly, through all this, his base of voters (nicknamed "Ford Nation") remain loyal, with comments like "Nobody's perfect," indicating they they will vote for him again in the October, 2014 mayoralty election. And with the division that can take place in the vote opposed to Ford, especially if a lot of left wing candidates enter the field (Ford is a fiscal conservative) it is far from inconceivable that if he is still around then, that he could, indeed, get re-elected.

 

As I said, it's fascinating stuff, in a horror show kind of way since it makes Toronto a laughing stock, especially since there is no legal mechanism to get rid of Ford as long as he is not convicted of a crime. (They don't seem to think the video is enough evidence by itself since it's a challenge to prove what he's actually smoking, I suppose).

 

A lot of Ford's voter support comes from people who care about their pocketbook rather than the moral character of their city's representative. Some of them will continue to vote for a politician who they feel is saying them money through taxes (or lack of them) and really don't care about much else that he does.

 

Ford is a man in personal crisis and in deep denial that he has any addiction issues. His "Ford Nation" that say they continue to support him only succeed in enabling an addict. That also applies to his very politically aggressive councillor brother (Doug) who also minimizes the mayor's drinking problem, saying he just shouldn't do it in public to excess.

 

Thinking of other populist politicians, of course, always makes me think of Huey Long ( aka Willie Stark in All the King's Men), among others.

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As promised, the election results in Detroit show that MIKE DUGGAN, a former Wayne County prosecutor and head of the Detroit Medical Center finacial task force, is the new Mayor. The first white Mayor of Detroit in 40 years, which of course is irrelevent, but still surprising since in the past, many Detroit residents voted for the BLACK candidate who, to them, came off as being "more black" than their opponent.

 

There's also an entirely new city council, replacing many who've been on that council for up to 20 years.

 

This should be interesting.

 

Sepiatone

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