Aug 28, 2005

Toledo Mayoral Candidates At Beaner's Cafe

Share

Left: Host Roland Hansen calling the event to order

The gathering of mayoral candidates at Beaner's Cafe was billed as an opportunity for the general public to meet those who wish to next occupy the 22nd Floor of One Government Center. In some ways the event was a microcosm of the campaign itself.




Opal Covey, of course, brought with her the latest revelation from God, in which He informed the citizens of Toledo that "over half the city will disappear" if Opal is not elected mayor.




Don Gozdowski again devoted most of his five minutes to apologies; this time he offered his regrets to Covey for calling her a "fruitcake," and praised the Prophetess for her "courage and conviction" in bringing forth her inspired predicitions. He also renewed his calls for a campground on the east side of the Maumee.



Earnest, Eagle Scout-like Martin Okonski laid out his vision of a monorail public transportation system for the city. The first phase will be a line that links the struggling Southwyck Mall with downtown Toledo.



Rob Ludeman reemphasized his dedication to making Toledo business-friendly, and stressed that job growth is the key to revitalizing the city. Low-key as ever, he nonetheless came across as a knowledgeable and thoughtful candidate.



The most energetic and polished speech came from Keith Wilkowski, who made a convincing case for change from "the leadership of the last 12 years" that has led Toledo to its current situation. Confident, calm, and bright, Wilkowski seemed to make an excellent impression on the room.


I was most impressed today, oddly enough, with Mayor Jack Ford. He defiantly stood by his record, even going out of his way to defend his controversial position on the citywide smoking ban. This was a more engaging Ford than I have seen in a long time, and he even (gasp) cracked a joke at the end of his five-minute speech. He made his way around the coffee shop, speaking with almost everyone present.

Perhaps it is too soon to count Jack out, folks.

The best exchange of the day? This happened long after most attendees had finished off their lattes and espressos, and occurred when Carty Finkbeiner finally arrived (he had just returned to Toledo from his Michigan vacation). Smiling, shaking hands with the few remaining people, he was spotted by Opal Covey in her Megaphonemobile.

Opal, who had been in the middle of a 110-decibel amplified prophecy when she saw Carty, began to go on the political warpath.



"What kind of city do we live in when a mayor can sieze a person's businesses and padlock them out?" she asked, referencing her late-1990s evictions and animal cruelty cases. "What kind of mayor is Carty, who will steal a million dollars from Opal Covey and make her have to go on welfare?"

Carty's smiling, friendly reply: "God bless you, Opal!"

A classy move by a man with the reputation for hotheadedness, and perhaps exemplary of the "mellow" Carty who we are told has evolved in the past four years.

Few questions were settled in this less-than-formal affair, and few undecided minds were likely swayed to one candidate or another, but there are certainly worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in Toledo, Ohio.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jack still lost my vote.

historymike said...

My vote is still "undecided." I will say that I have narrowed it to four.

:-}

Anonymous said...

Why are you sucking up to Ford?

liberal_dem said...

So Carty shows up just after the other candidates left? My, my, he surely does have cunning timing.

Gladhander, big mouth, and coward returns to the scene albeit late. That's Carty in a nutshell!

historymike said...

So I am "sucking up to Ford" by saying that he looked more engaging?

Give me a break, pal. He has a lot of ground to make up, but he looked good today.

Lisa Renee said...

Mike, thanks for the update, I wanted to go but was packing stuff here in hopes of moving.

Looks like if my miracle comes thru we will actually be living in Toledo again. Have to check to see the rules as far as eligibility for the election though I know I'll miss the primary.

It would have been fun to meet you guys and see if Frank guessed who I was - lol

:-)

I agree with you on not counting out Ford. While more money is not always a factor it doesn't hurt and he will it appears have the ability to outspend the others as far as advertising. I have to admit I still favor Wilkowski at this point. However he's going to have to do more to get his name out there to be able to pull it off.

historymike said...

I wonder if Wilkowski got started early enough to make up ground.

He has consistently been one of the best speakers, and seems to be the most at-ease of the candidates.

The guy has been everywhere in the last month, but I begin to wonder where he would be in the polls if he had got his campaign moving in, say, early March.

Anonymous said...

Ford HAS to look more engaging, Mike, did you see the polls? He has no choice but to try and invent a personality in 3 weeks time

historymike said...

True anough, anon. When a candidate is supposedly 20+ points behind, he or she had better try something else.

Frank said...

Enjoyed briefly meeting you today, and would have sat down for a drink at beaners but had to roll.

One of my favorite campaign tactics is the sound truck. Its a vestige of the pre-TV, old retail politics of the 30's & 40's. Though often used with a recorded message driven to and fro by a volunteer, its most inspired use is by a candidate willing to deliver a message, improv-style. I give a grudging nod of respect to Opal for engaging voters with it.

WTVG 13 ABC violated anyone's sense of fairness by their support of Carty & Co demagoguery - while the man and his team were actively campaigning and raising money. His approval rating should be high as he was on-the-air for a few years. Mayor Ford has been on-the-air a few weeks.

We'll see, should it be a Ford-Finkbeiner general, how the debate-dodger does when there's no place to hide.

Nice photos and capsules from beaners - this stuff is fun, isn't it?

Frank said...

I might add Carty has used the TV gig tactic before. Prior to one of his other failed runs for Mayor, he talked an elderly furniture company executive into making Finkbeiner the company spokesmodel. Carty hawked loveseats and La-z-boyz on TV ads paid for by the company and then jumped into the Mayor's race. Check out the microfiche circa '88.

Roland Hansen said...

Thanks for the report, historymike. You really summed it up nicely and accurately.

Anonymous said...

Good coverage. The Blade never picked up on it.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
historymike said...

Spammers, DIE.

toledojoey said...

thanks for the play by play. nice blog too, by the way.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Mike,

Thanks for the excellent report!

re: "A classy move by a man with the reputation for hotheadedness, and perhaps exemplary of the "mellow" Carty who we are told has evolved in the past four years."

I will admit that Carty does appear to be more polished and more engaging, mainly due to his “on the air” stint at WTVG.

What you are seeing these days is The mellower, new and improved, Carty. He’s campaigning for The Old Carty, who is on vacation until after the election.

Then, he’ll be back…

The voters have either forgotten about The Old Carty, or are being totally taken in by The New Carty’s con job.

A Mellow Mayor Carty?

Just wait until after the election is over and The Old Carty, The EVIL Carty gets back from his vacation and is ready to get to work.

Then, it’ll be déjà vu all over again… (God help us all.)

I really hope that I'm wrong on this, but I don't think that I am/will be. (And, my vote will not be in support of my expressed opinions.)

historymike said...

I guess time will tell, Hooda.

If nothing else, this is one hell of an interesting race.

Roland Hansen said...

With the passage of time having occurred, I wonder what people think of the "new" Carty vis-a-vis the "old" Carty.