Thursday, May 24, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio


'Stooges' comment, reaction prove theory is not reality

Some items while thinking Rod Stewart has a lot of nerve to schedule another concert in Toledo:

REALITY CHECK: In theory, Toledo's mayor is just two elections away from being President of the United States. (OK, it's kind of like, in theory, you are one lottery ticket away from winning a $200 million jackpot.)

But the odds of a Toledoan climbing to the top of the political ladder aren't as astronomical as you might think. After doing a bang-up job in Toledo, the mayor could be elected governor. And after doing a bang-up job in Columbus, the governor could be elected President.

It's a stretch, I know, but the potential is there. To return to reality, just insert the name “Carty Finkbeiner” and follow the progression.

After the Nov. 6 mayoral election, either Ray Kest or Jack Ford at least will be able to see the governor's mansion from the 22nd floor of One Government Center.

That political fast-track potential is why I hold the Toledo mayor's position in such high regard. Same goes for Toledo city council — because if you follow my twisted logic, a council member is just three elections from the White House. (He or she would have to be elected mayor first.)

While I respect the positions, not every politician commands respect. That's the rub.

Take Mr. Kest, for example. He referred to the eight council members who endorsed Mr. Ford as “stooges.”

Take Wade Kapszukiewicz, for another example. Supposedly, the eight council members were said to be personally offended by Mr. Kest's label — yet a photo in Wednesday's paper showed Mr. Kapszukiewicz in a Three Stooges tie. Granted, he wasn't alone with the public display of Three Stooges paraphernalia.


Kapszukiewicz: He was tied to the Kest 'Stooges' remark.

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I don't understand how someone can be “personally offended” by a comment and then turn it into a comedy prop. That kind of stuff belongs in high school or college elections. Then again, these are the same people who took the time in January to name the wild lupine as the city's official wildflower.

Mr. Kest gave us the first “Carty moment” of the campaign. And then council members turned it into a Dumb and Dumber skit.

In theory, Toledo's mayoral position isn't that far from the White House. In reality, we have some politicians who act like this is Hooterville.

SHADES OF FLORIDA: Here's hoping the Lucas County board of elections fares better in the general election than it did in the primary. When it comes to confusion, the mayoral race rivaled that of the 2000 presidential election in Florida.

On the night of Sept. 11, unofficial tallies had Mr. Kest edging Mr. Ford by 201 votes. Later that night, Mr. Kest's advantage was reduced to 89 votes. On Sept. 12, Mr. Kest's margin of victory was reduced to 10 votes.

Then, on Tuesday, the election board certified Mr. Ford as the winner. He received 41 votes more than Mr. Kest.

In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't really matter because the top two vote-getters advance to the general election. The stakes will be much higher on Nov. 6, and the election board needs to get it right the first time.

HALF A SIX PACK: Three questions this week. I'm offering 41 points for each correct answer. (Note: Click on the link below and check out reader response to last week's questions.)

1) Didn't Ray Kest's statement regarding Jack Ford — “He's basically a social worker, and I'm a certified public accountant.” — reek of pomposity?

2) Isn't Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's proposal to link work permits to school attendance a good idea?

3) Won't it be hard to keep a straight face when you hear the Republicans who bashed Hillary Clinton for running for the Senate in New York try to “justify” Elizabeth Dole's decision to do the same thing in North Carolina, even though she hasn't lived there for decades?

Russ Lemmon's column appears Sundays. Readers may contact him at 1-419-724-6122, or e-mail

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