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Published: Sunday, 10/31/2004

Columbus TV ads use Toledoan to blow smoke

Eleven bite-size Lemmon Drops, all but one with a "best by Nov. 2" sticker on the wrapper:

  • Surely the good people of Columbus won't be duped by Toledo bar owner Arnie Elzey.

    Mr. Elzey is appearing in television commercials there, urging voters to reject the smoking ban that was approved by Columbus City Council in June. In his on-air testimonial, Mr. Elzey says that "somebody changed the rules overnight" in Toledo and that "the public and city council were blindsided."

    That's not how I remember it.

    Perhaps Mr. Elzey forgets that he was one of 13 members on the Smoking Ban Task Force, which held its first meeting more than four months before Toledo City Council voted for a ban. Plus, it's not like there weren't warning signs two years earlier -- the Toledo-Lucas County Board of Health enacted a countywide smoking ban in 2001, only to see it struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court.

    Blindsided? I don't think so.

  • I'm surprised one of the presidential campaigns hasn't produced a television ad, for airing only in northwest Ohio, that links its opponent to embattled Lucas County Treasurer Ray Kest. After all, that low-road tactic has been used by candidates in at least two local races.

  • Is it too late to change the rules for electing Lucas County commissioners? If not, let's lump the four candidates together and have the top two vote-getters take office. I suspect I'm not the only person who would prefer to vote for both candidates in one of the races -- be it Harry Barlos vs. Pete Gerken, or Lynn Olman vs. Tina Skeldon Wozniak -- and skip the other contest.

  • Congratulations in advance to voters in the Lake Local school district for passing the five-year, 1.25-percent income tax. (You will make good on your I.O.U., right?)

  • Prediction: The presidential election won't be nearly as close as the polls suggest. Either President Bush or Sen. John Kerry will score a convincing victory. We'll know the winner before midnight.

  • Take a stroll around Levis Commons, the new $55 million "lifestyle center" in Perrysburg, and you can hear the sound of dollars being sucked out of Southwyck Shopping Center. The sound will become increasingly louder starting the day after Thanksgiving.

  • It used to take only four words to sum up the programming on WSPD-AM (1370). That is, "Bush good; Kerry bad." Now, with Election Day in sight, it takes seven: "Bush very good; Kerry very, very bad."

  • Not that I'm rooting for this scenario, but wouldn't it be the ultimate "flip-flop" if Mr. Bush won the popular vote and Mr. Kerry prevailed in the electoral tally? Some would call that a double dose of karma -- for the Republican smugness after the 2000 election and for their branding of Mr. Kerry in the 2004 campaign.

  • Raise your hand if you thought gas prices would be anywhere near $2 a gallon this close to the election.

  • On Tuesday, Toledo will have the opportunity to move into Rust Belt Boulevard's exit lane. If voters reject the measure to modify the smoking ban, the city will be able to flip on the turn signal. However, if the stuck-in-the-past mentality prevails, and Issue 4 passes, the city may want to start buying Rust-Oleum in bulk.

  • John Mellencamp's "Cherry Bomb" is a song about a thirtysomething man reflecting on some of the silly things he did in his younger years. (Sing it, John: "When I think back about those days, all I can do is sit and smile.") So it's in that spirit I admit to having voted for John Anderson in the 1980 presidential election.

    OK, your turn.



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