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Published: Wednesday, 11/2/2005

Ford challenges jobs claim, calls Finkbeiner a liar

Toledo Mayor Jack Ford yesterday called his opponent, Carty Finkbeiner, a liar, saying the former mayor "has reverted to his long-standing pattern of diverting from the truth" in accusing Mr. Ford of not having "a clue about creating jobs" during the mayoral debate Saturday evening.

Standing across Stickney Avenue from the Jeep plant, Mr. Ford presented reporters with charts and statements regarding job retention and creation during his four years in office. He said his administration has overseen the creation of about 8,200 jobs and the retention of about 12,300 others.

He also took on other statements Mr. Finkbeiner has made in recent days, including those about businesses leaving Toledo and Southwyck Shopping Center, and made a couple of accusations of his own: that Mr. Finkbeiner stuck him with an unstable budget and exaggerated other claims.

Regarding Owens Corning: "If my opponent wants to take credit for keeping them here on his watch, I'll take credit for keeping them here on my watch."

As for Southwyck: "My opponent had eight years, and did nothing but try to develop a competing mall" at the Fallen Timbers site in Maumee.

And the budget: "This was one of his fibs: 'I gave you a balanced budget.' He said that. He knew we were in a decline, and he was handing me a structural decline."

And when Mr. Ford called him on it, the mayor said, "he could only look in a spacey way into the heavens."

Asked about lagging behind Mr. Finkbeiner by 26 points in a Zogby International poll for The Blade and WTVG-TV, Channel 13: "I may tell people tough things, I may make tough decisions, but I don't lie."

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