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Published: Monday, 12/8/2008

Finkbeiner lashes out at recall drive organizers

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner lashed back at the backers of a recall effort Monday, accusing them of seeking to gain more power and wealth, but of not having Toledo's best interests at heart.

The mayor said most of the people involved in Take Back Toledo are not Toledo residents.

The mayor attacked Perrysburg developer Brian McMahon, WSPD General Manager Andy Stuart, and Sylvania Township developer Tom Schlachter over their business activities.

"Mr. Schlachter lives in Sylvania Township. Yet this man who has never lived in Toledo wants to take back Toledo," Mr. Finkbeiner said. "Not on my watch."

Mr. Finkbeiner accused WSPD-AM, 1370, of violating the Fairness Doctrine in not allowing him to respond to what he said were "vicious, one-sided diatribes" over the last three years, and said he would ask Congress to investigate WSPD.

Program Director Brian Wilson said the Fairness Doctrine doesn’t exist anymore, having been abolished by President Reagan. He said Mr. Finkbeiner would be invited back if he apologizes for having accused the station in the past of airing falsehoods.

The mayor accused Mr. McMahon of misleading the community over a series of projects going back to the 1980s, and said Mr. McMahon "hoodwinked" the citizens of Toledo over his claim to have a "perfect" intermodal site at Toledo Express Airport and that Mr. Finkbeiner was denying him water.

Mr. Finkbeiner said no railroad was interested in the site.

If the recall petition succeeds, the question would go on the September primary ballot. If voters approve, Mr. Finkbeiner would be removed from office for his last three months. Mr. Finkbeiner hasn’t said whether he’ll seek re-election.

The mayor made his statement in Toledo City Council chambers, packed with his city directors and commissioners, as well as political supporters. There were also supporters of the recall effort in the group.

Mr. Finkbeiner summarized the economic development activity that has occurred during his terms as mayor, going back to 1994.

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