Ever notice how certain politicians remind you of pigeons? Well, maybe it’s just me, but somehow, when I see them preen and position themselves to try to show themselves in the best possible light, I get that impression. Or perhaps it’s because of the way they always seem to be trying to outmaneuver one another. Most likely though, it’s that whenever a bunch of them are positioned over you, well, you know what you can usually expect.
Just in case you are wondering why I’m in a bad mood, its because I just read about Mayor Joe Fontana of London, Ontario. The following is the condensed version of an article in The London Free Press, May 4, 2013 article by Chip Martin:
Nearly $8 million raised for hungry school kids and to fight HIV/AIDs went into the pockets of Joe Fontana and fellow directors of his charity...A government audit found with so much money going to benefit its directors and their businesses, and many more millions spent on fundraising and sunk into tax shelters, Trinity Global Support Foundation had strayed from its charitable purpose….It invested and lost $7 million in an investment fund operated by Fontana’s boyhood chum Vince Ciccone, who founded Trinity in 2007…The organization improperly paid over $865,000 to individuals and corporations related to the organization’s directors… Fontana, then between his jobs as London MP and London mayor, was paid $41,000 in “consulting fees”…Fontana became a Trinity board member in 2008, when Ciccone asked him to join, and chairperson after Ciccone left in 2010 amidst securities charges related to his Ciccone Group….Fontana and Ciccone were pals as youngsters in Timmins and later became partners in Advance Property Management in London. Fontana stepped down as Trinity chairperson late last year, but remains a board member.The payments also included $325,000 apiece to Ciccone and board member Carmine Domenicucci for arranging a $7-million investment in Ciccone’s numbered company… Ciccone was paid another $25,625 for “management fees…Other payments included nearly $38,000 to Ciccone’s wife, Karen Thompson-Ciccone, for “consulting fees,” to Trinity vice-president Patrick Holmes $47,500 for “financial services” and to Fontana’s son, Ugo Joseph Fontana, $62,730 for “services as president.”” Our audit has also revealed insufficient separation between the organization’s operations and the personal business and financial interests of those responsible for its operation,” said the letter outlining reasons for withdrawing Trinity’s charitable status.Too much was spent on fundraising and plowed into tax shelters whose purpose is to help Canadians avoid paying taxes...and left too little for Trinity to pursue its stated goals of feeding hungry school kids through lunch and snack programs in Canada and to provide pharmaceuticals to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean.
I wrote this poem some time ago while thinking only of pigeons, but it kind of reminded me of Mayor Joe and one of his cronies. Some may think it unkind to make fun of someone when they’re in trouble, but then I think of all those hungry little kids without any lunches, and those desperate sick people without medications and I wish I’d written a poem about turkey vultures instead.
A Bird’s Eye View
Ostentatious Ollie and his friend Pretentious Pete
Sauntered to the corner where their friends were apt to meet.
Ollie stopped at every window as he passed each shop or store
To glance at his reflection—“One just couldn’t ask for more,
Than to have such utter beauty in a body so sublime!”
In such a thought he revelled for the twenty-second time.
Pete had made no protest when his friend so often stopped,
For he himself thought likewise—“My physique just can’t be topped!
And little did he notice whether china, clothes, or shoes
Were spread behind the windows where they both admitted their views!
“I have the nicest eyes by far— a most amazing grey!”
“I’ve never seen a finer coat on anyone today!”
Just as they neared the corner they both began to strut—
Each thinking “No one’s better!” Just then Ollie hit a rut
And faltered in his footsteps— falling headlong with a thud!
Emerging from the gutter, with his coat all drenched with mud,
Pete gasped at him in horror, and guffawed with sheer delight!
Then Ollie flew into a rage and pushed with all his might
Against his pompous portly pal who quickly was upended
Into the mud with a leaden “Thud!” where all his pretensions ended!
For up in a flap rushed all his friends to get a better view
Of the dirty dripping Ollie and the puddled Peter too!
And thus Pretentious Peter and Ostentatious Ollie
Paid the price of vanity and suffered for their folly,
For muddled by the puddle and befuddled by the mud
Their mighty soaring egos— came down crashing with a thud!