In a display of anti-military sentiment and sheer political tone-deafness Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner asked the Marines, who were scheduled for exercises days in advance, to leave immediately.
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.
"He did not want them practicing and drilling in a highly visible area."
I have no doubt that the repercussions from this incredible act of stupidity will be swift and sure. The Blogosphere is awash in this story and Carty Finkbeiner's name is, even as we speak, becoming mud. As Toledo is not Berkeley, I am sure that the good citizens will make this putz pay dearly.