"Man Without a Party
Another American city has declared war on the U.S. Marines, reports the Toledo Blade:A company of Marine Corps Reservists received a cold send-off from downtown Toledo yesterday by order of Mayor Carty Finkbeiner.
The 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines, based in Grand Rapids, Mich., planned to spend their weekend engaged in urban patrol exercises on the streets of downtown as well as inside the mostly vacant Madison Building, 607 Madison Ave.
Toledo police knew days in advance about their plans for a three-day exercise. Yet somehow the memo never made it to Mayor Finkbeiner, who ordered the Marines out yesterday afternoon just minutes before their buses were to arrive.
"The mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people," said Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.
We got to wondering: To what political party does this Carty Finkbeiner belong? The Blade does not tell us, so we tried checking some other sources. WNWO-TV, the local NBC affiliate, didn't tell us. Neither did the Fox station, WUPW-TV, or the CBS outlet, WTOL-TV.
Maybe the Toledo press corps figured everyone locally already knew Finkbeiner's party, so it wasn't necessary to mention. So we tried the media in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the Marine company is stationed. But neither the Grand Rapids Press nor WOOD-TV sought fit to mention the mayor's affiliation. Neither did the Associated Press.
But wait! The Toledo Blade came through in the end. In a second-day follow-up story, we find the following in paragraph 13:Mayor Finkbeiner, a Democrat, said yesterday that he ordered the Marines out because he did not want a repeat of the last time the Marines' battalion trained downtown in May, 2006.
This isn't the first time Finkbeiner has found himself in a nationally noted kerfuffle. In 1994, the New York Times reported that the newly elected mayor "suggested at a staff meeting that a way to resolve complaints about airport noise would be to move deaf people into the neighborhood." Even back then, the paper did not see fit to identify his party.
Contrast this with a Times book review from just this past weekend. The paper doesn't even wait until the first paragraph to tell us the party ID of its subject: The headline reads "R, North Carolina." The subject is former senator Jesse Helms and his backward views on race. How much do you want to bet that the Times never has and never will use a similar headline for a biography of Theodore Bilbo or Ben Tillman or Robert Byrd?"
For those keeping track, Carty used to be a Republican, when he first entered politics. He was then an Independent for a while but has been a Democrat for years.