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Who Makes Whom?

Key Funders, Endorsers and Backers of the Toronto Mayoral Candidates

by Gwalgen Geordie Dent

Toronto Election candidates
Toronto Election candidates

Joe Pantalone
Pantalone, the current Deputy Mayor, gets the bulk of his political support from
councillors who supported current Mayor David Miller including Howard Moscoe
and Gord Perks. A number of Miller-supporting councillors however, including
Adam Vaughan and Joe Mihevic, have abandoned Pantalone's campaign in recent
weeks going instead to George Smitherman.

While Pantalone has few major backers in terms of business or high-profile political
leaders, he is getting a high degree of backing from unions, media makers, agencies,
and artists.

Key Backers: Current Toronto Mayor Miller, Jack Layton, Michele Landsberg, Sam
the Record Man, Sarah Polley, Toronto and York Region Labour Council, Canadian
Auto Workers, Peter Tabuns.

Notable 2006 donors: Leslie Yager from Plazacorp (condo builder).

Key Funders: Jack Layton & Olivia Chow, Head of the Toronto and York Region
Labour Council, Head of the TTC workers’ union, Alan Menkes, (a major developer),
Sam the Record Man, Paul Sutherland (lobbyist), Paul Christie (lobbyist), lobbyists
from Sussex Strategy Group.

Note: Pantalone is the only candidate to have released his funder list before the
election. The law only requires that a list be released after the election.

Rob Ford
Ford has angered many on council for his focus on City spending. David Soknacki,
the City's former Budget Chief, argued in a Toronto Star editorial that Ford tried to
cut 'waste' at City Hall throughout his tenure as a councillor. His failure is attributed
to his bypassing attempts to gain support from councilors, going straight to council

His inability to build support on council as well as his decision to post councillor
expenses publicly made him a pariah, but the side-effect was that Ford, unable to
work in City Hall, sunk almost all his time doing constituency work instead. He's
allegedly a fixer with immigration cases, is very constituent focused and has major
backing in the Italian and Portuguese communities.

Ford's right-wing political leanings and conservative economic policies have made
him an attractive candidate for business and right-wing politicians on council and in
the Provincial and Federal governments.

Key Backers: Jim Flaherty (Conservative Finance Minister), Councillor Mike Del
Grande, Councillor Frances Nunziata, the Toronto Sun, (anti-Pride Parade) Pastor
Wendell Brereton, Merit OpenShop Contractors Association.

Notable 2006 donors: Greater Toronto Apartment Association (landlords).

Ford released his list as we were going to print. The list can be found at

George Smitherman
Smitherman was the original mayoral front-runner and has tremendous political
backing and an immense political machine.

Three former cabinet ministers under Harris have endorsed Smitherman along
with many other political stalwarts: Justin Trudeau (Liberal MP), John Sewell & Art
Eagleton, former mayors). Several backers of former right-wing candidate Rocco
Rossi have defected to the Smitherman campaign. Ditto for former candidate Sarah
Thomson. Smitherman has also seen key progressive unions back him (instead of
Pantalone) in the mayoral race including The Central Ontario Building Trades.

Many see Smitherman as being a municipal extension of the current provincial
Liberal government, as he was a minister in Dalton McGuinty's cabinet. Smitherman
has additional made no commitment to Mayor Miller's Transit city.

Richard Joy, The current Vice President for the Toronto Board of Trade worked for
Smitherman while he was in Provincial Government. The Board of Trade is officially

Key Backers: The Toronto Star, George Tory (son of former progressive conservative
leader John Tory), 38 Prominent Provincial Conservatives, the Liberal Premier and
several prominent Toronto Liberal MPP’s, Local 793 of the International Union of
Operating Engineers.




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