Really?It's true. Under Toronto election laws individuals can donate up to $2,500 to the race for mayor. Depending on how much you donate, contributors are eligible for a rebate of up to $1,000, paid for by Toronto taxpayers. Toronto is one of the few jurisdictions where donors who don't live in the city are eligible for reimbursement.
In 2010, Rob Ford reported $1.86M in donations over $100, of which $624k came from donors living outside Toronto (1/3 of the total). By applying the donation reimbursement rules to each donor, including the $1,000 maximum per person, Toronto taxpayers were on the hook for $279,162 in refunds paid out to non-Torontonians.
This total assumes that everyone who could claim a refund did, and ignores donations between $50 and $100 that earned a 75% refund but were not included in the city's electronic reporting. Some of the donors living outside of Toronto could still be Toronto landowners, but there is no way of tracking that information.
Why should I care?All of the major candidates in 2010 relied on outside money. Smitherman actually raised a bit more than Ford - $716k, also 1/3 of his total. Over half of Mammoliti's mayoral money came from non-Torontonians, while Rosso and Pantalone raised 15% and 25% respectively. It should be noted that while raising outside money is pretty slimy, it's not against the rules. Ultimately it's a "pox on all their houses"-type situation here.
In Ford's case this is rather at odds with his claim that he's there for Torontonians, or as he told Fox News, to "fight for the little guy". Maybe by "little guy" he meant the 344 non-Torontonians from places like Woodbridge, Brampton and Richmond Hill who contributed more than $500 each (for a total of $580k) to his 2010 campaign.
On the other hand, Ford's experience with national fundraising should come in handy when he runs for prime minister.
How do I know you're not lying?http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2013/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-59639.pdf