Friday, July 29, 2005

Early Carty Money Weak

All along we've been noting the connections that Carty has with Ray Kest - they share the same political operatives, they both have plead guilty to Ethics charges, Ray resigned, and Carty on July 1, 1998, fined $400 and court costs. But in one important respect they couldn't be more different: Carty's initial mayoral campaign finance report is embarrassingly weak. Ray Kest took an early lead in fundraising in 2001, eventually blowing almost a cool million. It seems as though the folks who invested in Kest '01 are reluctant to see their money vanish along with Finkbeiner's political career this year.

How committed is "Carty's Team" not a contribution from Pat Nicholson, Bob Reinbolt, John Irish? There was a generous contribution from initial Carty Finance Co-Chair Paulette Huber of $1000 - but she and her title have been removed from his website already.

As relayed to me at 3:30pm today, Mayor Ford had raised roughly $150,000 this year, spent about $88,000, and has roughly $369,000 on hand. Keith Wilkowski, a late entrant, invested $10,000 himself and $10,000 from a family member, raised another $13,000 or so and has about $32,000 on hand. Carty and Rob Ludeman both have raised not much more than $7,000.

Now its early, this is the first mid-year report for municipal races, and the numbers reflect activity through June 30th - which happened to be the day Carty held a press conference finally announcing his intentions. So much for the $1,000,000 in campaign pledges he was rumored to have upon his entry. His finance chair held an all-morning collection session at the Toledo Club on June 30. They must have blown nearly all they collected on the theatrics of his plagiarised kick-off speech.
No wonder Finkbeiner's campaign manager didn't last 3 weeks. (per the Carty website.) The recent rumors about Finkbeiner's money woes appear accurate - though I wouldn't rule out a lowball strategy anticipating the release of the weak initial finance report.

We'll have to see how Mayor Ford's considerable advantage in money converts into political capital. It's a tough but eminently winnable race for him.

Next public reporting deadline later in the fall.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Study Finds N.Y. Smoking Ban Helping

Study Finds N.Y. Smoking Ban Helping

By CANDICE CHOI, Associated Press Writer Wed Jul 27, 9:30 PM ET

Bar and restaurant workers in New York are suffering fewer sore throats and runny noses since the state's workplace smoking ban went into effect, health officials reported Wednesday.

The reduction is linked to the dramatic decline in employees' exposure to second-hand smoke, according to findings published in the August issue of Tobacco Control, a public health journal. Prior to the smoking ban in 2003, employees reported being exposed to 12 hours of smoke over a four-day period; that figure dropped to 12 minutes in 2004.

While there were no significant changes in upper-respiratory symptoms like coughing, the report found notable declines in a range of other symptoms, said Dr. Matthew Farrelly, the study's principal investigator.

Symptoms of runny noses, irritated noses and sneezing went from being reported by 54 percent of the workers prior to the law to 12 percent a year after it went into effect, according to the report.

The incidence of sore and scratchy throats dropped from 42 percent to 17 percent in the same time frame, while the incidence of red and irritated eyes slipped from 67 percent to 25 percent.

The saliva of the study's 32 participants was measured for levels of cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine and a marker of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Cotinine levels in participants declined by 78 percent within the first year after the law went into effect, according to the report.

William Van Slyke, spokesman for the state's Health Department, said he expects to see continuing declines in work-related exposure to second-hand smoke as the state continues to go after businesses that violate the ban.

The smoke-free law, which went into effect July 2003, prohibited smoking in virtually all places of employment. There is currently a 93 percent compliance rate among New York's bars, restaurants and bowling facilities, according to the state Health Department.

Vendors that violate the ban can be fined $2,000 per citation.

__

On the Net:

http://tc.bmjjournals.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Southwyck

The decision by Larry Dillin to enter into a business agreement with the owners of Southwyck Mall for redevelopment makes for a great day for Toledo and NW Ohio. Mayor Ford was the catalyst - and his quiet and effective style is mirrored in the cool professionalism of Mr. Dillin. Reject cynicism and be happy for the businesses and residents of South Toledo.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Clinton in Ohio Calls For Dem Unity

LIVE BLOG FROM COLUMBUS - Sen Hillary Clinton of NY has started her speech painting a picture of the American Dream in 2020.

"A message of hope & freedom." "We've given our police & firefighters what they need."
"Mayor Coleman's son in Iraq." "voluntary national service has also helped protect the homeland." "Its not us against them, its a world united after finishing off the terrorists. beat tyrrany & nihilism." "we'll take tough action, including eliminating poverty.

She's talking health care. "All Americans should have access to preventative healthcare. Must stop hurting American business by forcing them to shoulder such a great burden." "patient centered Health care. cutting administrative costs. incentives to prevent childhood obesity & other unhealthy practices.

Reduce barriers to middle class & poor access to higher education.

Fiscal responsibility.

Parents given more tools to do hardest job in America.

Not substituting ideology & politics for science. No cloning, reverse ban on stem cell research. Beat Parkinsons & Juvenile Diabetes.

Trade agreements would require 'economic impact statements' on how they effect America.

Spending more than ever on research & development.

We welcome relationships based on love. Reduce number of abortions, protect women's choices on reproductive health.

All our votes get counted in 2020."

"In 4 years, they've taken our bridge to the 21st century and turned it into a tunnel to the 19th century. Let's unite Democrats."

She closed very strongly, sounding the moderate tone that got her husband elected President twice. In a sentiment that Lucas County Dems should take to heart, she called for cease fire among Dem factions, and unite to defeat the far right and lead the country progressively. And her last line: "There is nothing better than making dreams come true."

DLC Report Updated - Gov. Vilsack Shines

LIVE BLOG FROM COLUMBUS - We're not simply concerned about 05 and 06. We are looking at building a record of solutions for 08.

The Democratic Leadership Council rolled into Ohio this weekend. The themes: Opportunity, security, reform and responsibility. No mention of NAFTA - which the DLC once championed. They should be held accountable as their style of trade agreements have cost Ohio tens of thousands of jobs.

Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman, a national officer of the DLC, has been talking up his record. Today Senator's Carper, Bayh, and Clinton will speak. Carper is speaking now.: "Good jobs good schools, and freedom from crime & terror." "Democrats cannot be pro-jobs and anti-business. Nor should we be lap dogs for big business." "Labor, environmental, and human rights laws must be enforced within our trade agreements." "Charter schools" - a point I disagree with.

10:53am Sen. Evan Bayh is about to pass the gavel to incoming DLC chair Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

A continuing concern I have about the DLC - its relationship with the House of Labor. Though the AFL CIO is having a historic and rancorous meeting in Chicago as we speak, there is precious little labor presence here. Firefighters President Harold Shaitbarger did address the hall from Chicago. Once, the DLC was led by friend of labor Dick Gephardt. Today, in Ohio where labor has done so much for working families and Democratic candidates - here is a leadership group without labor. That's a problem.

Bayh is upbeat, almost Clintonesque. He's talking about strength and that occassionally we need to use force to defend ourselves. "On their watch N korea has become an assemblyline for nukes, on their watch our alliances have been frayed, that the situation in Iraq has been terribly mismanaged"

"we went to war with the army we had, but without the equipment they needed to protect themselves. That's not strength its incompetence."
"the time has come for a declaration of energy independence. we'll invest in hybrids, biofuels, lightweight materials - it is essential to setting our children free."

11:41 am - Best speech: Gov. Tom Vilsack. Community. Sacrifice. Rights & Responsibility. Here is a link to his speech.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

On The Trail - Week Nine

"Noe Stole Millions" screamed the headline this week. Money that belongs to Ohio's taxpaying citizens and businesses, dedicated to assisting injured workers, has been funneled into the political campaigns of George W. Bush, Bob Taft, and Lucas County Commissioner Maggie Thurber, among others. Before abruptly resigning earlier this month, Lucas County Republican Chair Sally Perz made a decision to have the local GOP keep Noe's stolen money, used to pay for Thurber's sleazy '02 attack ads, instead of paying it back. I thought the GOP fancied itself the party of higher morals?

Everyday this week I encountered talk of how pitifully Montgomery, Taft, Petro and Blackwell failed to discharge their responsibilities. State sources tell me that Ohio & DC GOP leaders are trying to talk Blackwell into postponing his anti-tax ballot initiative on account of worries about Republican turnout. The Democratic slate in 2006 has its best chance in a generation.

It hasn't been a month since he's dropped the pretense and already Carty cashed out his campaign manager. When his website went live on June 30, someone named Bob Kinney held the title. As of July 17 his name has been removed and replaced by John Irish, longtime Kest deputy, as "Grassroots Coordinator." Many insiders assumed it was Irish calling the shots anyway, with the crack political insight of fellow Kest gangers Lichtenwald & Duffey (Irish's temporary boss in the Treasurer's Office - nice to see the Kest machine still politiking from One Government Center until the clock runs out on them in September.)

Carty went through staff at a similar clip when he was Mayor - so much for kinder & gentler. And who would have guessed veteran mayoral staffer Mary Chris Skeldon would have gotten punched not on Carty's watch, but Ford's? She's the greatest! What a disappointment Carty missed the first Mayoral debate of the season this past week. Tied up in a lawsuit stemming from a botched job when he was Mayor. Last bit of Finkbeiner scuttlebutt: word is he's unhappy with his fundraising. Another name removed from the website was finance co-chair Paulette Huber. Who's next? He should fire the candidate, retire, and act like an elder statesman. Have some grace, man, your 66 - young enough to enjoy retirement.

Keith Wilkowski was quite aggressive during the initial debate. Accused Mayor Ford of being "frozen in ice." It was apparent he's not been on the trail in some years. Though intelligent & friendly, he relied on canned sound bites and was too quick to say what he thought the housing coalition wanted to hear. Case in point: He answered first the question about restoring CDBG (neighborhoods money from HUD) to 2001 levels. "Yes, I would." Trouble is, the Republican Congress has reduced CDBG each year, in fact Bush wanted it eliminated this past year. Where would we get the millions here in Toledo to replace the lost federal funding? Keith has drawn support from Finkbeiner, both financial and political. Word is he's gained 7 points in an internal poll at Carty's expense. I'd rather have Finkebeiner in the general though, he's easier to beat.

Mayor Ford continues to raise money briskly. I attended two of several successful events this past week. He has made a huge television buy for a local candidate, and has the best run campaign in the city. His volunteers aren't simply a traveling party.

Council race continues to move along. Berry & Sobczak focusing on super signs - but Vasquez and Shanahan are doing more and better in Democratic precincts. Sobczak & his volunteers are always alone on the trail, never with their man Finkbeiner. LucasCountyDemocrats.org council candidates seek out Mayor Ford everyday, especially on the weekends. Teamwork is always better politics, and a good indication of how people act once their in office, too.

Finally, both the local parties have nearly non-existent council slates: GOP (2) and Dems (1). It reflects failure and weakness.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Send A Marine To Congress

So came an email from Senator Max Cleland the other day. A special congressional election in SW Ohio has captured the attention of Washington and observers from across the country. Paul Hackett, a Iraqi War veteran and Democrat, is now fighting in arguably the most Republican House District in the state - and he's got a shot at victory! His website is here.

First thing, with the August 2nd special election approaching, act now and make an on-line contribution.

Check out all the news on the race at OH-2 blog and GrowOhio.org, where activist Tim Tagaris is in Batavia, Ohio and environs covering the historic campaign.

Why is this important? No Democrat has ever represented this part of Ohio in Congress, and dissatisfaction with Ohio's economy, the war in Iraq, and the Republican culture of corruption have Democrats gaining momentum in the fight for solutions.

Consider a road trip down I-75, its just over three hours to OH-2 from Toledo. A win here would have back-breaking impact for us in 2006.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Toledo's Economic Momentum

First, some good news:

GM is calling back employees who were hit by layoffs several months ago. WTOL News 11 reports that 500 Toledo-area employees will be back to work by August 1st. UAW Local 14 President Oscar Bunch even predicts a 10% increase in the number of transmissions they'll be assembling.

Thursday afternoon's Toledo City Council Finance Committee will include a report about a continuing, significant increase in city income tax reciepts versus last year. So far, small business has been the real driver in the economic boost - and no Administration in the midwest has recieved a national SBA award for its small business initiatives except Mayor Ford's Toledo. With GM's decision to put people back to work, our income tax reciepts will continue to blossom, and Toledo retail and restaurant business can expect a nice bump, as well.

Second, sobering analysis by UT's Urban Affairs Center, in a pdf report on Business Tax Revenue in the Toledo Area. Not only has Toledo's business income tax reciepts gone down the past five years, Oregon, Maumee and Sylvania have seen decreases as well. It underscores the importance of the public and private sector working together across geographic and political boundries in a cluster approach to development.

Supreme Court Brief

People For the American Way has just released a 10 page report on President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, Judge John Roberts, Jr.

Am I paranoid thinking that President Bush announced his choice for the SC on the same day Eric Rudolph was sentenced to life in prison for murder at family-planning clinics?

Also to pass along, the latest Democracy Corps public polling analysis.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Carty & Kest Gang Weaken Party

In their ham-handed attempt to deny the Democratic endorsement to Mayor Ford, Carty and the Kest Gang have abandoned a critical element of party leadership: candidate recruitment. In the process they've substantially weakened the present and future prospects of the Lucas County Democratic Party. Not that any of this matters to those end-of-the-line Carty and Kest Gang leaders...their sole enterprise, sadly, is the Finkbeiner coda.

16 people have successfully completed petitions for At-Large City Council. Of them, 11 are white men, 2 are white women, and just one black man, black woman and Latino each. If not for the recruitment by LucasCountyDemocrats.org, there would be no diversity to the council slate: Phil Copeland, Karen McConnell-Hancock, Karen Shanahan, and Bob Vasquez - I am proud to run with an accomplished, balanced slate - small business women, children's counselor, labor leader, younger and older, male and female, some with political experience, some without. Differences of opinion on things, and all with imperfections, but Democrats who were recruited to work together to win an election and move Toledo in a positive direction.

Last summer Carty & the Kest Gang rigged the rules of the LCDP to withhold endorsements until the September municipal primary. Absolutely transparent bidding for Finkbeiner at Mayor Ford's expense - and party leaders didnt have the decency to be honest about it. They added insult to injury by turning around and interpreting their own rules to go ahead and confer endorsements on candidates who were their "friends", those seen as at least neutral in the Mayor's race, if not suck-ups to Carty and the Kest Gang.

Now, many have written "Frank, Kest is gone, give it up!" But wait! On Finkbeiner's own website is listed "John Irish - Grassroots Coordinator" Joined by Dennis Duffey and Bill Lichtenwald, whose proud images also emblazen the Finkbeiner website, I think you'd have to concede: The Kest Gang rides again! Even better scoop: The rumor in One Govt Center is that Domenic Montalto, another longtime Kest deputy, is set to join the staff of the Board of Elections by September. The man has always seemingly been nice to me, but then is part-and-parcel of kicking me out of the Democratic Party.

If these guys had been successful in 2001, the City of Toledo and NW Ohio would have suffered the indignity of having to remove Toledo's Mayor from office (remember Kest brokered a deal with a special prosecutor and was forced from public office) What kind of effect would that have had on potential investment and job attraction to our city? Ahh, but some people just don't learn, and have snuck around like kids in a race for high school class president attempting to secure another term for Carty Finkbeiner - whose honesty, it now appears, has been slack since he was a young man and returned the "Young Man" award for fudging accomplishments....all the way to 2005 and plaigerising in yet another tired, rah-rah kick-off speech.

Back to the issue: Carty and the Kesties are about saving their jobs and moving onto the 22nd floor. No care for the 2006 or future prospects of the Democratic Party. No care for the damage they inflict on loyal, traditional Democratic constituencies.

Here is the line-up for At-Large Council, when certified by BoE:
(Vote for up to six)

Lucas County Democrats.org
Frank Szollosi, Karen McConnell-Hancock (re-election)
Phil Copeland (retain)
Bob Vasquez, Karen Shanahan (elect)

Endorsed Republicans
George Sarantou (re-elect)
Dave Schulz (elect)
Joe Birmingham (elect - to Council District 6 in November) after Wade K takes Treasurer's Office after sick, shameful Carty & Kest Gang "banana republic-style" backroom deals, with Com. Thurber's help, that installs TWO unelected Kest Gang interlopers (Bob Reinbolt, Dennis Duffey) ahead of endorsed Democrat and rightly elected Treasurer-elect.

Republican
Betty Shultz (re-elect)

Endorsed Democrat "pay no attention to the rules, boys, he's a Teamster"
Mark Sobczak (elect)

Democrats
Bob McCloskey (elect - current District Councilman)
Jason Schreiner (elect - current Whitmer Gov't teacher)
Tom Meinecke (elect)
Terry Shankland (elect)

Green Party
Mitch Balonek (elect)

Independents(?)
Ernest Berry
Robert Tilton

Sunday, July 17, 2005

On The Trail - Week 10

Literally on the trail this past week, hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with Mountain Mentors. It was my third trip in four years. Missed my family but greatly enjoyed the wilderness and lending a hand to some Toledo kids who hopefully had a transformative experience. Check back for pictures from the summits we bagged and some of the brook trout we caught.

Hit the campaign trail today: Festivals worked: St. George's, St. Thomas, Irish. Festivals I attempted to visit, but had already ended: St. John's Pt. Place, and African-American. Festival missed: Our Lady of Lourdes. I also spoke at a rally to stop child abuse over at Wildwood MetroPark with Congresswoman Kaptur, and finished the day at a house party for Mayor Ford in Old Orchard. Fortunately, my wife and son traveled with me the whole afternoon and evening.

A quick review of newspapers from last week, along with conversations with folks today, yields these observations:

Gotta check those petitions thoroughly before walking into the BoE. Ouch.

Carty actually did what Joe Biden was only accused of, and Biden dropped out back in '88. Carty plagiarized in his KICK-OFF speech. Here is a man with no shame, he's got no business being in a race for public office.

Bob Vasquez and Karen Shanahan continue to impress with their work ethic and ability to connect on the stump. Vasquez has worked with kids for 30 years, and has three brothers on the Toledo Police force. If he raises the money, he can win. Shanahan worked like heck for the Democratic ticket last year, and has the image of a younger Eleanor Kahle. These two are the most likely new members - notwithstanding the brand new, and expensive, Bob McCloskey billboards up all over town, outside his council district. Bob is working it, too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Plain Dealer: Chilled to the Bone

Good evening. I'm Steve Fought, substituting for Frank Szollosi. Guest hosts are never as good as the regulars (remember when Letterman was out of action?) and I don't pretend to be the entertaining host that Frank is, but I have agreed nonetheless to add my two cents' worth.

A news item caught my attention in Saturday's New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/09/national/09cleveland.html (registration might be required).

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Ohio's largest paper, has spiked (at least temporarily) two "profound" investigative stories dealing with corruption. Editor Doug Clifton claims he wants to print them, as do the reporters. It's "the newspaper" that doesn't want to print them, he says. I've never heard a "newspaper" speak, so apparently he means the management or ownership of the Plain Dealer made the call to deep six the stories.

Clifton said the information is "under seal" or something like that. He is being very cryptic--most likely intentionally cryptic--and he has raised more questions than he has answered.

1. What does "profound" mean?

2. He says the stories would be of "significant" interest to the public. What does that mean?

3. Clifton apparently told Editor and Publisher magazine the stories do not involve "Coingate" per se. One wonders whether that also means they don't pertain to the Bureau of Workers Compensation scandal. In my opinion, they are two different, but related scandals.

Not to question the advice of the Plain Dealer's lawyers, but Ohio's shield law would seem to protect PD journalists and their sources. Ohio's law is arguably somewhat stronger than the First Amendment since it also includes the word "restrain" as a prohibited government activity. (Ohio Constitution, Art. I, Sec. 11).

Is this a clue that the Plain Dealer's hidden stories necessarily have a federal angle, since federal law, which does not include a shield law as such, could be seen to override the state statute?

Doug Clifton's comments raise more questions than they answer, and they provide disturbing evidence that the press has indeed been chilled by the Judith Miller/Matt Cooper/Karl Rove/Valerie Plame-Wilson incident.

As if the scandals sweeping state government weren't already dramatic enough, the sudden loss of nerve by Ohio's largest newspaper is yet another plot twist--and a disturbing plot twist at that.

My personal opinion: newspapers have an obligation in a free society to bring forward information when it has "profound" importance. Otherwise, they forfeit their credibility.

The chilling effect of the Miller case appears to have the Plain Dealer in the deep freeze.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Lucas Co. GOP Chief Resigns

Sally Perz, who took over the Lucas County Republican Party (LCRP) chairmanship from Bernadette Noe, apparently resigned last night.

The LCRP recently made news by announcing that tens of thousands of dollars Tom Noe loaned to the LCRP (while his wife was chair) to benefit the Maggie Thurber campaign were being reclassified as contributions - thus, the party would be spared paying back the loan. Not a politically popular decision, with the prospect of that money somehow being siphoned from Ohio's injured workers via the Bureau of Workers Comp-Coingate scandal. Sally and her daughter, Allison Perz both testified in front of the Federal Grand Jury investigating alleged money laundering through Tom Noe and his associates to the Bush-Cheney re-election effort.

Sally Perz is a former State Representative from Maumee, and both women are leading regional advocates for charter schools - siphoning funding and support from our public schools.

We'll have to wait and see why she chose to resign (reportedly, her health) - and whether Commissioner Thurber (also caught up in this federal investigation and what appears to be an Ohio Ethics investigation) will follow the lead of her two former chairwomen. Word on the street is that indictments by that Federal Grand Jury might come down as early as July 15. Next up for the local GOP top spot, Joe Kidd? Or maybe Carty Finkbeiner's Republican campaign co-chair Jim Smythe? Anyone you'd like to suggest?

Thursday, July 07, 2005

On the Trail - Week 11

Going to start a weekly post counting down to the September 13 primary - talk from the campaign trail.

Campaigns are preparing for the Lagrange St. Festival this weekend. There are plenty of Ford signs up throughout the 4th ward - historically a stronghold of reliably Democratic Polish and African-American voters. Keith Wilkowski's headquarters is at the crossroads of the "Polish Village" Dexter & Lagrange. Tonight the windows sport his new blue and yellow yard sign. A few Carty signs have sprouted up here and there - but I understand the bulk of his effort is gathering the signatures on petitions due next Friday. Mayoral candidates need 750 signatures from registered voters. Traditionally, campaigns turn in close to the legal limit: 1500 signatures. Often a few wrong addresses or unregistered people will sign a petition, and the Board of Election staff won't count them. Occasionally, very bad things happen to a candidates petitions....

Heard today that Toledo Council candidate D. Michael Collins turned in his petitions with some incomplete information, which could threaten his place on the Sept. 13 ballot. He's running as an independent or maybe a Republican - haven't seen anything printed or a yard sign yet. I think he can go out and gather more signatures on fresh petitions and refile before next Friday's deadline, or he can appeal to the Board itself at the next BoE meeting. Either way, you try to get it right the first time, and you want the BoE to work with candidates to get them ON the ballot. If someone is willing to run for office, even Republicans shouldn't get bounced over technicalities.

Speaking of bouncing off the ballot: give credit to Allan Cox for pointing out that Carty Finkbeiner plead guilty to an Ethics law violation when he was Mayor, realized a $10,000 profit from Owens Corning's purchase of his condo, and his failure to publicly report the gain. Cox's interpretation of the Toledo Municipal Code and Charter suggests Finkbeiner ineligible to hold public office again. I remember Finkbeiner being very concerned about a "game ender" leading up to the 97 race - this could have been it. Mayor Ford's Law Director, Barb Herring, I understand signed off on an interpretation of the TMC that DOES allow Carty to run. Nice try Allan, but we'll beat Carty at the ballot box.

Council candidate Karen Shanahan (D) did a nice job Saturday at the Harvard Circle block party - signs, stickers and tee shirts everywhere. She and her husband Rex are working hard and have great energy. She has a fundraiser coming up - it would be good chance to meet them. I'll post details in the afternoon.

Mayor Ford had a huge event at his headquarters earlier this week, his campaign is really ramping up - it was fun to watch his crew out work Carty & the Kest gang over the holiday weekend. Sure, Carty had an edge at Harvard Circle - Irish lives right there, Carty down River Road a bit. But at the fireworks later, Team Finkbeiner got smoked. Ford even had guys in a pick-up truck holding signs cruising Summit St. and Int'l Park. Ford has an effective cable spot running, as well.

Waiting to see something from Wilkowski. The "running man" gambit made for decent TV, and he'll be in great shape if he keeps it up throughout the campaign. But besides the two signs in the windows of his office on Lagrange, haven't seen any signs in the old Polish neighborhoods.

Books closed on 6/30 for campaign finance reports. Our reports are due at the Board of Elections later in July, and become a public record anyone can access. It's always interesting to see who gave what to who, how much candidates have raised, etc. Council gets paid $27,500 a year. I probably raised and spent double that in 2003 to win the seat. Some can spend more and lose, some can spend less and win - and vice versa.

I enjoy walking neighborhoods and talking with all sorts of people. The 4th Ward has been great this week. Took plenty of notes about alley clean-ups and nuisance houses. Also got good reviews on the street resurfacing and police presence. From kitchen tables, porches, side yards, and through car windows I talked and walked in the evenings. Even hit the BA Sportsman Club and The Lion's Den on Lagrange.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Regionalism, Arena & Jobs

Click here for a timely story by the Toledo City Paper's Steve Steel on Regionalism and economic development.

Click here for PDF report summary of the Arena feasability study. And click here for the full Pizzuti arena study report.

Finally, click here for a nicely done recap & discussion of the recent East Side meeting on the Marina District.

Multimedia Message

I've corrected the link on my blog for DemsTV.com - if you haven't experienced it yet, you're in for a real treat.

Monday, July 04, 2005

4th of July, 2005



1744 American deaths and 13,074 Americans wounded since Bush started Iraqi war on March 19, 2003.

God bless the dead and wounded, the men and women who serve, and their families and communities.