UPDATE: Take Back Toledo wins petition language battleWritten by Scott McKimmy | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Take Back Toledo, a group attempting to recall Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, claimed a victory April 15 by announcing that the language on the recall petition stands up to state law, despite public contention that the wording violates Ohio Revised Code.
Brian Schwartz, an organizer for the group, told Toledo Free Press that Clerk of Council Gerald Dendinger received word from independent council, Columbus lawyer Donald McTigue, as well as acting City Law Director Adam Loukx, that the petition language is valid, and validation by the Lucas County Board of Elections will continue until 20,000 signatures have been confirmed or all signatures have been checked.
“My conversation with Jerry was very short; he just informed me that he was going to call the director of the board of elections, [Linda Howe], and tell her that he, in his opinion and based on the advice of counsel, that our petitions were valid in their language and to please continue in the validation process,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz added that about 17,000 signatures have been confirmed, saying that he anticipates the process to be complete by morning on April 16. On validation, the petition will likely be placed on the primary election ballot in September. During the interim, Schwartz said Take Back Toledo will promote its cause to encourage voters to oust the mayor.
“The gathering of these signatures was a very concentrated effort that required all our mental and physical resources; that’s been the goal,” he said. “So once we know that we got there, we’ll step back and regroup and figure out how to carry out the campaign.”
WSPD Program Director Brian Wilson, a charter member of Take Back Toledo, had sharp words for the group’s critics.
“It all came out according to plan. We were not sweating bullets or biting our nails over the decision or the amusing [April 15] Blade editorial which prematurely ejaculated its opinion about the “sloppiness” of what we did; that merely that marginalizes the credibility of The Blade, and the irrelevant, stupid, idiotic, agenda-driven, inexperience of the leadership of The Blade,” Wilson said. “We paid a lot of money to get this done, and we were fortunate to have deep pockets to buy the manpower to overcome the incredible apathy that has seized Toledo for generations with Democratic politicians, criminal administrations and fiscal irresponsibility typified by Finkbeiner. It has been amusing to watch the gaggle of uninformed ignoramuses gathering at blog sites; these are people with uninformed opinions who hide behind anonymity, vacant of intellectual ammunition. This is a triumph for the people who truly care about Toledo; it’s one small step for Toledo, one giant leap for economic development.”
Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller contributed to this report.