Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Giambrone Bows out of Mayoralty Race After Following Tiger's Lead

It is rare for a political sex scandal to hit the news in Canada, so for it to happen in Toronto in a municipal race is unbelievable. The Toronto Star broke the news Tuesday that Councillor and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone had an affair with a 19-year-old university student while living with a woman partner (you can just feel the excitement in that newsroom). The woman he had the affair with sent The Star copies of his text messages. After all the politicians caught out in the US and UK the last few years, after Tiger, one has to wonder why men in the public spotlight continue to leave a trail of breadcrumbs for pissed-off-women to trumpet to the world. But I digress. When confronted with this evidence, Giambrone chose to follow Tiger's lead instead of Letterman's. He chose to downplay the evidence, instead of taking his time, taking a deep breath, and coming clean like Letterman did on his show. Does anyone remember or care about Letterman's bad behaviour? No. Are people still waiting, patiently, quietly, to pounce when Tiger finally emerges? Yes. Bad judgement call number one.

Like a certain Conservative federal politician, Giambrone couldn't keep sensitive information to himself and told the 19-year-old about the TTC fare hike before it was announced. Meanwhile he was unrepentant in restricting token sales to the rest of us, his proletariat. Bad judgement call number two.

There seems to be some idea that the partner beside him when he announced his mayoralty bid was simply there as political eye candy, to give him credibility as a family man. I don't know where Giambrone got the idea that one has to have a woman on one's arm in politics, that's such a 1950s idea. Bad judgement call number three.

A producer in the Astral media empire says that he went out on a date with Giambrone, says he was not mistaken, that it was an honest-to-God date. Giambrone later told The Star he had several affairs with women. Yet in an age when the leading mayoralty candidate for Toronto is living with his male partner, when as Royson James points out, nobody gives a crap about a politician's sexuality, it sure is passing strange that Giambrone would try to cover up his bisexuality. Giambrone seems to have some issues with being bisexual, which probably led him to get his political eye candy, have several affairs with women, and then not to come clean when caught out. Bad judgement call number four.

Wouldn't it be nice for once to have mature, mentally healthy men and women representing us, leading us, men and women unafraid to confront unpleasant situations and debate people of opposing views? But I digress.

To top it off, Giambrone held the shortest, most pointless news conference I've ever heard this morning. Take a sip of coffee, and you'd have missed it. Basically, he reiterated the statement he made to the Toronto Star, which they printed in full on the front page this morning. I have a few issues with that statement.

Giambrone said,
"I have broken my own moral code." Men caught out in sex scandals say this a lot; it's like standard BS to make it seem like really, they have moral codes, like normal folk. But people with real moral
codes that mean something to them don't break them as flagrantly and as often as Giambrone did. Maybe under extreme duress when life is falling apart around one, but not when life is good as it has been for Giambrone.

Giambrone then said,
"I...offended the values I was raised with..." No kidding. But goes on to say,
"I have always tried to live by [them]." Uh, no. He had multiple affairs, he lied to his partner, he lied to his parents and grandparents, he lied to the public when he got caught, and he did all this over a period of time long enough and at an age old enough to know better that no one could say with a straight face "I tried." Bullshit. Horse manure. Dog poop. The guy didn't care about those values until suddenly they were what was going to save his political behind. I'm getting quite fed up with hearing these men say such things. If the values mean so much to them, how about living them, especially once they hit the limelight. The latter acknowledgement that being in the limelight means pulling up one's pants at least would show some thought, some sense of what success takes.

Anyway, back to that press conference this morning. Some speculated that he lost emotional control and ran out of the room, which is why it was short. No such thing. He said, "Finally..." And then he clearly ended it as one would a press conference. This young man has so little courage, so little integrity, so little sense of what it takes to be a mature human being, to be a political person, that he sent his Executive Assistant out to announce to the press that he was bowing out of the mayoralty race. Unreal. I've never heard anything so bizarre, so lacking in judgement and connection to reality from a politician, as this morning when Giambrone had his EA announce he was stepping down but remaining as Chair. This boy is hanging onto power by his fingernails. I get this picture of his elders shooing him out to the press, forcing him to apologise and to bow out of the mayoralty race, but no way Jose is he -- stamp foot -- going to let go of his TTC Chair.

I hope voters finally get some sense and toss him out on his rear next Fall. He has not exactly been the best constituency politician either, ignoring local concerns. And this week's behaviour is more of the same, more of it's all about Giambrone, not about the good of those around him or the good of the people he's running to serve. But if there's one thing about voters in Toronto is they don't recognize good leaders. I bet Giambrone is counting on that.

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