McNamara goes after opponents in television ad

Spot links mayoral rivals to ‘cronies,’ ‘double-dippers’

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  • Mayoral candidate Joe McNamara will begin airing a tough message on area television stations today, boosting himself as the candidate of change, and two of his opponents as linked with political cronies and shady “political bosses.”

    The 30-second ad pictures Mr. McNamara in a series of vignettes with what appear to be average Toledoans in places of work and play.

    “The insiders who’ve been ruining our city can’t stand him, but the people who want change are all with him,” the narrator says.

    “He’s Joe McNamara, the one candidate who will shake things up. He’s got the toughest ethics pledge our city’s ever seen,” the ad says later.

    The phrase “double dippers” accompanies a grainy black and white photo of Mayor Bell. He retired as city fire chief and state fire marshal before running in 2009 and has been criticized for hiring a number of retired city administrators for top echelons in his administration.

    And the word “cronies” is said when a picture of Mr. McNamara’s only Democratic rival, Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez, flashes on the screen. Mr. McNamara contends Ms. Lopez rewards her office’s employees who volunteer for her campaign with raises and promotions. The campaign has mailed postcards comparing Ms. Lopez with Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was accused of giving important jobs on his staff to people who worked for him politically.

    “The double dippers and political cronies don’t like him, but Toledo families love him,” the narrator says of Mr. McNamara.

    He is one of eight candidates vying for two slots on the general election ballot in the Sept. 10 primary. The only other mayoral campaign with a TV ad so far is that of Councilman D. Michael Collins, an independent who released his ad on Friday.

    His commercial says he has “the experience that matters and a six-point plan that will change Toledo.” The plan includes reducing taxes, creating jobs, balancing the budget, and lowering water rates for seniors.

    Mr. Collins is pictured at his desk in council chambers and standing with the presidents of the police and firefighter unions that endorsed him. It ends with a young boy saying, “Collins cares.”

    McNamara campaign spokesman Andrew Grunwald said all the people pictured in Mr. McNamara’s ad live in the Toledo area and were not paid for their appearances. He said the ad will reach a lot of voters.

    “This ad illustrates that Joe is not the candidate of political insiders but is the candidate of the people,” Mr. Grunwald said.

    “I think any objective view would say political insiders have not been happy with Joe. We’re a campaign with momentum because of average voters and working-class families that have stepped up and said they want to be part of change,” Mr. Grunwald said. The change that he’s talking about is that “it’s not going to be favors given out to friends. He’s going to do things because it’s the right thing to do and not because someone told him to do it.”

    Asked how he knows that “Toledo families love him,” Mr. Grunwald said that is based on conversations Mr. McNamara has had with people and the grass-roots support the campaign is getting.

    As of Friday afternoon, Mr. McNamara had purchased $21,475 worth of time on WTOL-TV, Channel 11, from Aug. 25 to Sept. 2. More commercials and ad buys are expected before the Sept. 10 primary. Mr. Collins paid for $4,760 worth of time on WTOL for the period of Aug. 26 through Sept. 10.

    B.J. Fischer, a Bell spokesman, said that campaign will also air TV commercials.

    “We think that Mike has an important story to tell, including eliminating the city’s deficit and hiring police officers and firefighters, and we will be using broadcast and cable TV to tell it,” Mr. Fischer said.

    Diane May, a Lopez campaign spokesman, said Ms. Lopez will also have TV commercials.

    Candidates competing on the Sept. 10 ballot include independent Alan Cox, Libertarian Michael Konwinski, and unendorsed Republican Opal Covey. Don Gozdowski is a write-in candidate.

    Contact Tom Troy: or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.