First, from Toledo’s NBC 24[extracts] and then, below the star line, questions for Mayor Finkbeiner.
From NBC 24:
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner on Friday ordered some 200 members of Company A, 1st Battalion, 24th Marines from Grand Rapids, Michigan, out of Toledo just before the unit was supposed to start a weekend of urban warfare training downtown.The rest of the report is here.
The mayor’s spokesperson Brian Schwartz said, “the mayor asked them to leave because they frighten people. He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area."
Toledo police said they knew about the training and had approved the unit’s use of the Madison Building and the Promenade Park area. The training was scheduled to start Friday afternoon and last until Sunday. Police said the unit’s presence would have a minimal impact on the city.
Police issued a press release earlier in the week saying the marines would be wearing green camouflage uniforms, operate military vehicles, carry rifles, perform foot patrols, and fire blank ammunitiion during the exercise.
Schwartz said there was a breakdown in communication between police and the Finkbeiner administration that led to the mayor’s action.
“The marines drilled here three times during the Ford administration and once under the Finkbeiner administration. After the last visit, the mayor told then police chief Jack Smith, that he did not want the marines back. Smith failed to inform the current police administration of the mayor’s feelings,” Schwartz said.
NBC24 spoke to Jack Smith, who recalled that after the marines’ last visit, he and the mayor had a heated exchange about the training.
“He told me he did not want them, as he put it, 'playing war in Toledo,'" Smith recalled. "I told him, as a former marine, that if one young marine’s life is saved because of training he or she received in Toledo, Ohio, then it was worth the inconvenience.”
Questions for Mayor Finkbeiner, a Democrat :
We understand you don't want the United States Marines training in Toledo.
Are we right to assume you have great respect for both your fellow Democrats, Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and would welcome either or both of them to Toledo to test their latest attack strategies against one another?
Can we assume you'd welcome Obama and Clinton to Toledo even if their parades, security and crowds inconvenienced thousands of Toledo residents?
Do you have a favorite as between Obama and Clinton? Have you publicly endorsed one of them? News organizations aren't saying.
Surely by now you’ve made a choice. Why aren’t news organizations reporting which of the two you support?
Or is either one OK with you so long as whichever of them is President helps you keep the Marines out of Toledo?
Final question: If the Marines decide to “take a pass” on defending you and your fellow Democrats in Toledo, what are your security plans?