Mayor's race may become punch line for readers



Now that we finally know the exciting conclusion to that big municipal cliffhanger - who, oh, who will the Lucas County Democratic party endorse for mayor? - we can move on to actual campaign levity.

I'm not doing this alone, however. You're helping, as you'll see soon enough.

Ever since the primary, I've been waiting for some mayoral fun to break out - and that's saying something, given the original field of candidates which voters had to first mow down before finding our current two dandelion specimens.

Trouble is, this race has been such a snoozefest so far. Take, for example, the gymnastic attempt by Mayor Jack Ford's people to bend over backward and connect opponent Carty Finkbeiner with Ohio's Persona Non Grata of 2005, Tom Noe.

The Ford campaign and its allies suggest Carty's ethics are questionable because he bought Mr. Noe breakfast or lunch or a lollipop or something, a transaction the Fordites imply turned the Republican fund-raiser into Carty's close, personal political ally (to say nothing of ethical alter ego).

True, Carty did shell out more than $600 for a trolling-the-waters shindig that took place even before he announced his candidacy.

But, see, there's a problem with that whole Carty-bought-Noe theory, and it's this: The shadiness only emerges when Tom Noe is the one picking up the check.

Or are we really expected to believe that the guy beloved by waiters and waitresses throughout Columbus as the big-tipping host of the $$$ "Noe Supper Club" was won over by a poppy seed bagel and six ounces of tepid OJ?

Was Carty perhaps angling for some of Mr. Noe's now-renowned political generosity? Hmm. Perhaps. But if all you have to back up the claim is a validated parking slip from Mr. Noe's presence at a Carty gathering, well, try again.

As for the Finkbeiner forces, well, their entertainment value for Toledo voters has so far been worthless. If there's anything for which we should acknowledge Candidate Carty so far, it's that there's so little to acknowledge. Publicly, he has been the very picture of civilized comportment - not the guy we usually think of when we hear the name "Carty Finkbeiner." No fist-shaking, finger-jabbing, screaming or swearing, no objects hurled.

Well, we're tired of waiting for the fun to begin. Like grandma and grandpa, who had to make up their own goll-durned fun when they were kids, we're going to amuse ourselves with a reader contest.

The requirement: Come up with the best (read: not serious) campaign slogan for each candidate.

The rules: Submit as many as you like, just keep it clean.

The deadline: In my hand by noon Wednesday.

The prize: YOUR NAME HERE! OK, that and a commemorative 16.9-ounce plastic water bottle labeled "Carty Gets Results" (contents bottled in Ontario, I should add).

My own entries?

For Jack: Yes, it's been four years - it only feels like eight.

For Carty: I'm not really a mayor, but I play one on TV.