Following up on the story of the jerk Toledo mayor who told Marines to leave his town because they would “frighten people,” there are now calls from his fellow politicians to apologize. Via the Toledo Blade:
The pressure was on yesterday for Toledo’s Carty Finkbeiner to apologize to a company of U.S. Marine Corps Reservists whose weekend urban-patrol exercises on downtown streets were canceled by the mayor.
Five city councilmen, one of whom is a former Marine, called the order an embarrassment and demanded the mayor apologize – similar to calls from hundreds of people locally and on Internet blogs across the nation.
Former Marine and Vietnam War veteran John Schaub, 62, the owner of Holland Dry Cleaners in western Lucas County, said news of the mayor’s order brought tears to his eyes.
“I’m not an emotional guy, but after I put the newspaper down, it just really hit me,” Mr. Schaub said.
“We are at war and no one seems to understand that, so we should be rolling out the red carpet for these kids so they can be trained.”
As I noted over the weekend, Finkbeiner has quite the history of being a fink.
He gave a McCain-ish statement in response to his critics (a la “I respect your opposition”):
“For those who disagree with my priorities in terms of safeguarding Toledoans, we may disagree, but you have my respect,” the statement said.
The mayor refused to meet with the Marine commander on Friday:
Brian Schwartz, spokesman for Mr. Finkbeiner, acknowledged that Major Brooks asked to see the mayor Friday, soon after the battalion was ordered to leave, but was denied a meeting.
“The mayor was in another meeting,” Mr. Schwartz said.
Councilmen Frank Szollosi, D. Michael Collins, Joe McNamara, Michael Ashford, and Mike Craig spoke to reporters yesterday at Government Center and presented a proposed resolution apologizing to the Marines.
The resolution needs eight affirmative votes to be immediately considered during tomorrow’s council meeting.
Council President Mark Sobczak said the mayor had made arrangements for the Marines to come back to Toledo and use the vacant North Towne Square mall.
He declined to comment on the proposed resolution since he had not seen it.
The mayor’s statement, which was sent to media outlets after the 3 p.m. news conference ended, opened with the line: “Frank Szollosi can play politics with anything. It is what he does best.”
Mr. Szollosi dismissed the statement.
“His attempt to deflect responsibility for the situation is pathetic,” Mr. Szollosi said. “And this is completely not political.”
Mr. Collins, a Marine from 1963 to 1969, said the situation is an embarrassment for the city.
Indeed, a staining shame.