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Published: Friday, 10/28/2005

Group's 'voter guide' is lacking a disclaimer

A "voter guide" distributed at a community event went into a lot of detail about its favorite candidates - but not a lot about who the group was.

That could violate state election law, which requires political literature to carry a disclaimer.

The Toledo League of Young Voters, which also has another name that can't be printed in this newspaper, distributed its "Voter Guide" at a public forum at the Zablocki Senior Center on Lagrange Street Tuesday night.

The guide endorsed mayoral, council, and Toledo Municipal Court candidates, and passage of ballot issues. It provided a Web site address for a national organization, but no disclaimer.

Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State's Office, said literature paid for by a committee that raises money for political purposes should state the name of the committee that paid for it and the name and address of an officer. The penalty could be a fine up to $500.

Katie Duris, a 22-year-old downtown worker and a contact for the group, said it got $200 from the League of Independent Voters Political Action Committee in New York City to produce the guide. She said about 300 copies were distributed.

"Pretty much it's a bunch of young voters that are annoyed with a lot of stuff that happens in Toledo, so we put out our own slant on how we see things, and our own take on politicians," she said.

Another member of the group, Joe Donlin, 26, said he would find out if a disclaimer is required before reprinting the guide. He said the league has a core of 12 to 15 people.

The group came together last year in response to efforts to mobilize young voters for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, Mr. Donlin said.

Mayor Jack Ford received the endorsement of a disabled citizens organization yesterday at Walbridge Park. Shelley Papenfuse, a spokesman for Citizens With Disabilities, said, "this group certainly believes that Mayor Ford has given a voice to the disability community."

The group credits Mr. Ford with settling a federal lawsuit requiring curb ramps, construction of an accessible play set at Walbridge, creation of the Mayor's Commission on Disabilities, passage of the "visitability" ordinance requiring new homes to be accessible, and approval of a $300,000 loan of federal funds for construction of 14 accessible apartments in Point Place.

Mayoral candidate Carty Finkbeiner yesterday said Toledoans need to move more and eat less - and coincidentally, he has a few ways to help.

Citing rising levels of obesity and related health problems, Mr. Finkbeiner said he had assembled a team of local doctors and fitness experts to guide him if he is elected.

He said he would establish a fitness office within the parks and recreation department or mayor's office.

"Under a Finkbeiner administration, the city will commit to adding several miles of walking and biking paths each year and we will work on converting Rails to Trails to allow citizens uninterrupted walking, running, roller-blading, and bicycling," he said at a news conference in Ottawa Park.

He said he would focus on self-contained walking/biking trails and asking developers to add trails to subdivisions.

City Council at-large candidate Karen Shanahan yesterday added her income tax release to that of council members Phil Copeland and Bob McCloskey, in response to a Blade request.

According to the return, Mrs. Shanahan and her husband, Herbert, had an adjusted gross income of $74,521, including her salary, IRA distributions, and Social Security benefits, in 2002, and they paid $8,558 in federal taxes.

Their 2003 adjusted gross income was $97,249, with $12,349 in federal taxes. In 2004, their adjusted gross income was $54,660, on which they paid $4,456 in taxes.

- Tom Troy and Vanessa Winans



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