Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ludeman Hurts Finkbeiner

The expected mayoral campaign announcement Wednesday afternoon by my colleague on Toledo City Council, Rob Ludeman, hurts the stealth effort of Carty & the Kest gang. Finkbeiner loses potential GOP votes, as Ludeman emerges as the sane alternative to Finkbeiner to most Republicans. Finkbeiner loses potential GOP contributors, who have to be looking for a positive Republican development amid their other trauma. Ludeman presumably retains the GOP favored media firm Hart Associates, who did Finkbeiner '97 (Then what are Carty's options for media firms with political experience?) And Finkbeiner continues to lose time - by far the most important resource of any campaign.

In '93 Carty won with Republican votes, this time they'll go to Ludeman - who earned rock solid GOP support city & county wide in 2000. In '97 Carty won by well less than 2000 votes, despite netting nearly 9 out of 10 votes in the central city (this year, advantage Ford).

Maybe Finkbeiner is just playing a ratings gambit - local TV is currently in a ratings period by which advertising rates get set. His decision to not run would be great news for WTVG ABC 13 - but would be devastating for Carty's enablers, the Kest gang. This big split in the Lucas County Democratic Party perpetuated by Finkbeiner would then amount to nothing but a sell-out. He exploits the party and keeps his Sunday morning talk show (which probably had a minor ratings spike during his stealth mayoral campaign this spring, which probably means a raise) - all at the expense of leading some good Democrats to make the wrong decisions, badly damaging the party precisely at the moment we should be stepping it up for 2006.

Its simple: the anti-Ford folks are now split into two groups. Republicans and some independents will track for Ludeman, Democrats and some independents for Ford, while Carty and the Kest gang will have to pin their hopes on the confused.

Its funny to hear Carty play the populist card, railing on about leaders stepping up and leading on economic development. He lambastes our business community, even though the Chamber has led an effort to raise $7,000,000 to $9,000,000 for a privately funded Regional Growth Partnership. He belittles elected officials even as Mayor Ford and Commissioners Wozniak & Gerken have put the full force of the City of Toledo and Lucas County into efficient, rational, and increasingly aggressive joint ED efforts - with the cooperation of the Port Authority, the universities, some of the suburbs, and the private sector. The next step will be hiring a top national economic development professional to lead the RGP, and to house the city & county ED teams under one roof.

The bottom line is that leaders are working together now - something Mayor Finkbeiner acutely failed to achieve.


Blogger BerkeyDavid said...

I agree with you on this. Ludeman will be much more attractive than the wild - eyed Carty.


9:35 AM  
Anonymous Mike Wiley said...

I don't know if I agree. Carty, despite his negatives, has a record of getting things done. That's what voters remember now that Ford does not seem to be getting things done. Never underestimate Carty, he always seems to pull out a victory.

6:09 PM  
Anonymous Robert Walden, Jr. said...

Today's WTOL online poll shows Finkbeiner as being more harmful to the Mayor than Ludeman. Carty's "It's Just Not Right" TV show gives him constant TV exposure, as if he's still solving problems in Toledo. The mayor will have to counter the public’s perception that everything that's gone wrong in Toledo on HIS watch the past 3 years has somehow been his fault (or failure), rather than having been inherited from previous administrations.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Walker72 said...

I just woke up from the news... Rob Ludeman seems to be running for Mayor? He is a nice guy, but from the TV, he seemed less than enthusiasitic. Maybe just nerves.

Still, that charisma thing IS important. Tonight's highly unscientific WTOL online poll is statistical nonsense, but still important. Somehow, Carty can conjure up the perception that he would be a better Mayor than Jack Ford... and he is not even in the race? Wow! Mayor Ford has done some remarkable things during a tough economy, but how many people (other than those reading this stuff) really know that? Perception is everything. Carty seems to be perceived as better-- he does not have to be so to win. It is completely illogical, but psychology journals are full of data on humans acting illogically. How did George Bush beat John Kerry despite his lousy record, and despite being intellectually assaulted on all 3 televised debates? Dunno, but,the guy had some charisma. OK, there were some dirty tricks, but, people perceived him as a better leader and more likable. It does not matter if he IS either. The majority thought he was, and voted accordingly. Similarities abound if Carty jumps into the fray. Here's hoping for logic-- or, is it better "spin?" Fun stuff, but it has serious consequences for our community. Lets make it right, not just complain about it from behind camera two...

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

Jack's biggest ememy is...Jack. Carty and Rob are mere secondary issues in the election when compared to the Mayors 4 year hibernation in office. Jack has been by far the most "hands-off" Mayor ever, only to awaken during the election year and launch a P.R spin campaign like never before seen in this town.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Sepp, if anything Jack Ford is his own worst enemy. Jack has done nothing for thr past three years, and Toledo's falling apart like a proverbial house of cards. Jack's good at pointing figures and making excuses, but that can only go so far. The taxpayers are fed up with Jack's lip service, and they'll vote him out.

Rob Ludeman probably stands to gain the most here because most people still remember Carty Finkbeiner's public gaffes and controversial decisions. I think if anything, Jack will lose the primary while the election will be between Carty and Rob. All Rob has to do is stay on the offensive and never give up anything to Jack or Carty, and the mayor's position is his for the taking.

Despite the Blade's backing and the backing of all Toledo Democrats (after Jack's unceremonious defeat), Carty will lose the election because people will suddenly remember how lousy he was (now that Jack's a lame duck and a non-factor). Also, the Democrats will be divided going into the primaries, and Jack and Carty will be slinging mud at each other big time (with an unsuspecting Rob Ludeman walking past the primaries). Since Jack will lose, it will be too late for the "A Team" Democrats to "kiss and make up with Carty."

6:25 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

I disagree with the last post's analysis. Rob could very likely clip Carty out of the primary - then go down versus Ford in the general.

Also disagree with their bearishness on Toledo - I was downtown Saturday and the place was jumping. Its as though a few of these anonymous posters are missing my point about why Toledo should be proud - learn from the OI 1981 - 2005 experience, and move forward.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

Frank, of course downtown would be "jumping" during a ballgame. What about the other six nights last week? Bearishness? Missing the point about why we should be proud of Toledo? Don't mistake criticism of a bad situation for outright bashing of Toledo. I love living here! I had left the city for over 8 years and lived in places that most people would consider "better" than Toledo and I returned here. It's home and always will be. The criticism comes from watching the local businesses rolling out in droves for the suburbs. It's also the blatant cronyism and lack of ethics we see in the local government. Our strapped for cash city had a chance to sell, yes, SELL the edison steam plant to a developer. Tough times call for tough decisions so Mayor Ford decided to give the land away and 300 thousand in taxpayer dollars to a pair of campaign contributors. (of course those reelection donations had nothing to do with it) When the public hearing was scheduled, council stalled until the people who came to speak had no more time to wait, most likely due to having to work or raise kids... simply left. The public saw this whole thing for what it was...a sweetheart deal for campaign donors to your guy. Your response (and the rest of council's) was to ignore the will of the people. That leads me to think you either blind or just another lucas county crony. If you really love this city, break out of the "lucas county politics" mold and get out of the "go along to get along gang" ruining our city. I would'nt be here raising my kids if I didn't love it here.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Finkbeiner getting things done? I've read this a lot lately on this site. Could it be that Finkbeiner was just fortunate to be in office during the Clinton era economic boom where just about every city had a surplus? How hard is it to manage a city with a surplus? Not sure Carty should take the credit for this anymore than Ford shoud take the blame for the national and state economic downturn...

Might it be that Carty's "In your Face" style only makes it SEEM like he did more than Ford does with his subtle relfective style? Kind of like the loudmouth we have all worked with who gets more attention but less accomplished that those of us who complain less, work harder, and are more disciplined?

Besided "Keeping Jeep" which may have been a macro economic force...I seem to remember Carty most for his brilliant idea to ship hearing impaired folks to live by the airport, pretty flowers, and the occasional chest thumping run ins with city officials.

I lived out of town at the time and still saw Toledo's Mayor embarrassing us on TV. I'd much rather have Ford being low key than Carty being low class.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

I'm sure the LCDP could have come up with way better candidates than Carty or Ford. The problem is that not many folks who would make great a mayor are ready to step up and be ripped apart by the blade at every turn. It seems that if JRB likes you, you get a free pass. If not, expect a Tom Noe style expose'on everything they can dig up. It's shamefull that there may be someone out there who can make a difference in this town but, not willing to have his or her charactor attacked while doing it.

12:31 AM  

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