Sunday, September 12, 2010

Smitherman estranged from brother who endorsed Ford

He’s not his brother’s keeper.
Mayoral candidate George Smitherman made it clear Wednesday that he has nothing to do with his older brother Arthur — and that was the case before the newly announced city council candidate endorsed Smitherman’s rival, Rob Ford, in the Toronto Sun.
“It’s well known that my brother has no relationship with his siblings and that he’s running,” Smitherman said Wednesday.
He called his brother’s political manoeuvres, “his choice, his business.”
Smitherman’s older brother registered to run for city council in York West (Ward 8) late last week.
The truck driver said on Tuesday that he has no axe to grind against his brother but he’s supporting Ford.
“I’ve never agreed with my brother in terms of political philosophy,” Smitherman said, adding he is neither right-wing or left-wing. “I have to be honest and straight forward with you when I tell you I’ve had very little contact with him since my father passed away in the early ‘90s”
Erika Mozes, George Smitherman’s campaign spokesman, said Arthur has been estranged from George and his two sisters for 20 years.
Mozes said Smitherman’s two sisters support him and are holding a family barbecue for him on the weekend.
The campaign had planned and announced the event before Arthur Smitherman publicly endorsed Ford.
“We wouldn’t want that to turn into some sort of circus at all,” Mozes said. “It’s not unusual that George’s brother wouldn’t be invited to that event because he is estranged from the family.”
The former deputy premier isn’t focused on his brother’s lack of support.
“George would rather talk about the issues and the campaign,” Mozes said. “It’s not like his brother is running against him. I think he said it actually at a scrum (Wednesday) morning, where he said, ‘This is somebody who shares my last name.’”
Councillor Rob Ford welcomed the eldest Smitherman’s support.
“Taxpayers are sick and tired of the tax-and-spend ways of George and his friends,” Ford said in a statement provided by his campaign. “Obviously his brother is no different than the average over-taxed Toronto resident”

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