Damned if you do

. September 11, 2013.
GUN-FOR-HILDO-BYTE

By the time you read this, it will all be over. Well, not quite, as you’re about to see.

The demands of deadlines being what they are, this column is being written before we know the outcome of the September 10th municipal primary election,  By now you already know something we don’t: namely, which two candidates will be facing each other in the general election for Toledo Mayor come November.

Put another way, since the incumbent is almost assuredly one of the two, you now know which challenger will face off against Mikey B. Put a third way, you already know whether A Lo is in or out.

Since we’re unsure of the eventual outcome, we’ll have to write this column from both electoral possibilities. Did A Lo advance to the final round, or did she return to the Auditor’s office a bit worse for wear?

Option one: Anita vs. Bell

That would mean she survived the most blistering personal attacks we have ever seen in local city politics. Or at least since the twenty oh one attacks on former Treasurer and then-Mayoral candidate Ray Kest, and his foibles ended up being indictable.

A Lo has been accused of mismanaging personal finances because she has a mortgage, car loan and student loans on the books. She has been called Toledo’s Josh Mandel, a relatively obscure reference to allegations that State Treasurer Mandel filled his office with his frat buddies and other unqualified undesirables. She has been accused of wasting tax dollars on undeserved pay raises for political cronies. Perhaps worst of all, she has even been called Carty on steroids. That one had to sting a bit.

Her personal accuser has been fellow Democrat—and purported nice guy—Councilman Joey McNamara. While Joe Mac eschewed taking the incumbent to task for policy mistakes, and paid little attention to other major and minor challengers for the office, he has spared no expense in repeated and often bizarre attacks on the fellow challenger from his own party.

Now that she has beaten him to the Primary prize, what will he do? Can he possibly attempt to heal the rift he and his political ambition created by doing the unthinkable and endorsing her in the general election against Mikey B.? After he used tens of thousands of dollars in the attempt to discredit her personally, politically and professionally? Making her drain large amounts of her campaign funds simply in response mode, thereby giving Bell a huge advantage in the home stretch?

If labor organizations disliked Joey before he turned nasty, they like him even less since he used the campaign as a personal smear job on their chosen candidate to unseat Bell, thereby virtually assuring the incumbent's re-election. How can J Mac ever hope to get back in their good graces?
He has also turned against his own Party and a fellow elected Democrat. How can Party leadership trust his allegiances in the future, should he ever attempt to seek political office again? If she pulls it out and defeats Bell, her current position as County Auditor will be open for appointment by the Party Executive Committee. Any hope Joe Mac may have had of gaining that seat is surely up in mud slinging smoke.

Option two: McNamara vs. Bell

Or maybe scenario two has played out, and Anita lost, leaving Joey to face ol’ Bell Bottoms in November. Can she possibly throw her support to McNamara after he used tens of thousands of dollars in the attempt to discredit her personally, politically and professionally?

Will labor reverse course and support Joe Mac, after he used the campaign as a personal smear job on their chosen candidate to unseat Bell, thereby virtually assuring the incumbent's re-election? How can McNamara believe he will ever be back in their good graces?

And what of the Democratic Party? Since McNamara focused all his fire power against one of their own, how can Party leadership ever trust his allegiances in the future?

Option three: Collins vs. Bell

Wait, scenario two sounds uncannily like scenario one. Try scenario three, in which McNamara’s mud slinging turns so many voters off that D. Mike Collins sneaks into second place and faces Bell Bottoms in the general election. Anita would still be really, really mad, as would labor, who would probably swing support to Collins, and the Ds would be so angry at assuring four more years without a D on the 22nd Floor they would most likely never support McNamara again.

Which sounds uncannily like the first two scenarios.

We got a message for ya, Joey, baby. It seems like you slung so much mud that large portions boomeranged right back on your own self. We don’t know as we write this whether you’re on to November or out on the street. But it doesn’t seem to matter
Once you decided to go negative, we predict you were damned if you did, damned if you didn’t.