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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hernando commission critic targets incumbents

16

October

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In 2007, Hernando County home builder and professional poker player Blaise Ingoglia ran a series of seminars titled "Goverment Gone Wild.'' His point: He thought Hernando county government had become bloated with tax money during the run-up of the real estate market.

At the final 2007 county budget hearing, he promised to spend $25,000 of his own money to unseat the incumbents in this year's County Commission races because, he said, they had not done enough for taxpayers. This week, Ingoglia announced he would make good on that promise.

In a new video he has posted at http://www.takehernandoback.com/, Ingoglia takes aim at Democratic ccommission candidates Diane Rowden and Chris Kingsley. Republican incumbent Jeff Stabins, also on the November ballot, is not mentioned in the video or on the Web site.

The video is a key part of a larger media campaign that Ingoglia said he has launched to question the leadership skills of Rowden and Kingsley. The price tag on his advertising, fliers and mobile message truck tops $28,000, he said. "I'm doing this because of my promise last year that I am going to look out for residents of Hernando County,'' Ingoglia said Thursday.

In the 22-minute video, Ingoglia repeats many of his "Government Gone Wild'' arguments and displays the headlines from recent months as the county has endured a variety of scandals, ranging from charges of racism in the Utilties Department to the firing of the county's emergency management director to the recent termination of the property manager for making obscene phone calls.

Ingoglia sets the blame for those events and the oversized government squarely at the feet of Rowden and Kingsley.

Both commissioners said they dismissed Ingoglia's campaign to unseat them.

Kingsley called it "a Republican partisan campaign'' and said it was designed to feed Ingoglia's ego. "It's ranting from a narcissistic egomaniac,'' he said.

-- Barbara Behrendt, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:37am]

    

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