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. 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.


Anonymous Micah said...

Some serious mud-slinging goin' on, and it's only week nine!!

1:03 AM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

I noticed the Ford website doesn't even list who is on his team, though I'm assuming Jim Ruvolo is still his campaign person.

Sounds like turnout was pretty low for the first debate, hopefully more will attend the next ones.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Larry in Toledo said...

Frankie is a typical Democrat. Never mind who lost money, BWC and workers of Ohio. Don't either bother mentioning National City in Cleveland losing 71 mil and MDL losing over 100 mil.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

I have heard some interesting "scuttlebutt" too. Carty's court case and family vacation were scheduled long before the debates were. Strange that the scheduling had to be inflexible enough to exclude Finkbeiner. Could be true or just another "trumor".
More railings about (cue sinister music) "The Kest gang"? When Ray was run out on a rail, were the other democrats supposed to just quit politics? C'mon.
Frank, do you really know John Irish and Dom personally? I've known those guys for a good 20 years. both are decent and honorable men that have done more to get democrats elected than most others I have known. I think you have a bias towards them only because they worked for Ray. Instead of bashing those guys constantly because they are from the "other faction" Find some common ground and reach over.

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lyle from Oregon says ...

The hypocrisy from this posting reeks! The whole cobra/mongoose situation in the party is atrocious, and you just play right into it.

And while both parties are having their problems fielding slates, you see people like that Dave Schulz guy everywhere (I think he's an R) and rarely see any other candidates.

In politics, there are three things to remember for success: hard work, personal loyalty, and a long memory. Trashing Carty, after you ran his campaign not that long ago, hardly shows personal loyalty. Get a clue!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Frank said...

Thank for the hint Lyle and Sepp. Careful observers of local politics would tell you I tried mightily for unity within Democratic ranks. Alas, the personal loyalties of Finkbeiner, Irish, Duffey, Lichtenwald allowed is hardly reflected in the letter so many of received "banishing" us from Democratic Headquarters, after rigging rules to deny our endorsement and right off the bat kicking us off the Executive Committee. I worked hard for them 8 years ago, I haven't forgotten any of it. They broke their bonds with me by the dishonest way Finkbeiner has further split the party, by "hate is good." We'll unify after we kick their butts.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Lisa Renee said...

Frank, on

it still has this listed:

Paid for by Lucas County, Keith Wilkowski, Treasurer

Has Keith stepped down or is he still treasurer of a dems organization that doesn't endorse his running for mayor?

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Sepp said...

The lucas county democrats are in such tailspin they have no idea who's an alied with them or against them. Remember when it was only the republicans they worried about beating?

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank you need to see what is really happening. Ford is a looser and always has been one. He ran in a safe disctrict as a rep and didn't do much on council. In fact the sargeant at arms at one point didn't know where he resided. Toledo is in a down spin and Ford's lack of action is only accelerating the collapse. To his advantage in the race is taht Ludeman acts deader the Ford, Wilkowski overannalyzes everthing, and Finkbeinrer and rest are crazy.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

A loser, huh? Elected City Council President. Elected Ohio House Democratic Leader. Elected Mayor of Toledo. Good dad. Advanced degrees. Doesn't sound a loser to me.

8:24 PM  
Blogger historymike said...

Must respectfully disagree about the "best-run campaign" comment, Frank.

I have seen both campaigns in action, and I have to give the nod to Carty's team, who really have their stuff together. Jack's got a good organization, but Carty's people are definitely running a tighter ship.

The other campaign teams are still in first gear.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

Again, historymike, a campaign is more than people in shirts surrounding an overstuffed ego. Carty's campaign manager is no more. That's not the sign of a tight ship, but a sinking one.

8:41 AM  

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