Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Blaise Ingoglia pays for Web site to oust two commissioners

BROOKSVILLE — Last year, home builder and professional poker player Blaise Ingoglia argued through his "Government Gone Wild'' seminars that Hernando government was on a bloated spending spree.

At the final 2007 county budget hearing, Ingoglia vowed 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 to provide tax relief for property owners.

On Thursday, Ingoglia announced how he would make good on that promise.

In a new video he has posted at www.takehernandoback.com, Ingoglia takes aim at Democratic commission incumbents 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 Ingoglia said he has launched to question the leadership skills of Rowden and Kingsley. The price tag on his campaign tops $28,000.

Ingoglia plans to pour that money into the airing of a 30-second television commercial across cable news channels beginning Monday. Also planned are radio commercials and use of a mobile advertising truck.

In addition, Ingoglia has sent out postcards to about 10,000 property owners in Hernando who have bought their homes since 2005, and additional fliers and yard signs are planned to send people to the Web site and deliver the message that Kingsley and Rowden must go.

"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 Utilities 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.

"Anyone who would watch that video and still vote for Rowden and Kingsley would have to be awfully partisan or awfully uninformed,'' Ingoglia said.

Both commissioners dismiss Ingoglia's campaign to unseat them.

Rowden has strongly defended her record, pointing to the commission's lowering of the property tax rate over the last several years. She also blasted Ingoglia, saying his history of building homes for investors to flip and encouraging people to buy homes they couldn't afford were the very activities that caused the housing boom and bust that has cut deeply into the economy.

"He was the builder, predator who preyed on these poor people,'' Rowden said. "He's the problem. He's not the solution.''

Kingsley called Ingoglia's new push "a Republican partisan campaign.''

Ingoglia denied that partisan politics had anything to do with what he is doing. When asked why Stabins wasn't included in his campaign to oust incumbents, he said there was a reason that would benefit Hernando County residents. But he said he would not reveal what that reason is until after the election.

Stabins said he didn't know why he got a pass on Ingoglia's campaign against incumbents. "I am still a Republican,'' he said.

On the new Web site, Ingoglia does endorse only Republican candidates, including Rowden's opponent, John Druzbick; Kingsley's opponent, James Adkins; the Republican running for supervisor of elections, Shirley Anderson, and Gene Magrini for School Board. While the school race is nonpartisan, Magrini is a registered Republican.

Kingsley said Ingoglia is trying to draw attention to his cause.

"He doesn't realize how inconsequential he is,'' Kingsley said. "He's got such a huge ego. This is all about Blaise. It's ranting from a narcissistic egomaniac.''

Kingsley said the record shows that tax rates are way down, county government now is working more efficiently than it has in a long time, and the commissioners have been responsive to their constituents.

As for Ingoglia's assertions to the contrary, Kingsley said: "He just wants to see himself on television.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Blaise Ingoglia pays for Web site to oust two commissioners 10/16/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: A proud moment for civic involvement in Hillsborough County

    Editorials

    It took private citizens less than 24 hours to do what their elected leaders in Hillsborough County could not for the past three months: Find the moral fortitude and the money to move a century-old Confederate war memorial from outside the county courthouse. Thursday's achievement was a lesson in leadership to county …

    The Hillsborough County Commission dithered for three months over moving the Memoria in Aeterna monument from the old county courthouse.
  2. Fort Myers woman arrested for doing cocaine off iPhone in parent pick-up line

    Bizarre News

    A Fort Myers woman was arrested Tuesday after police saw her snorting cocaine off her iPhone while in the parent pick-up line at a Lee County middle school.

    Christina Hester, 39, faces two different drug-related charges, according to police records. [Lee County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 5 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  4. Editorial: Pinellas should join lawsuit challenging new state law

    Editorials

    The Florida Legislature has been on a cynical, constitutionally dubious quest to render local school boards powerless. The most direct assault is a new state law that strips school boards of much of their authority when it comes to the creation and funding of charter schools. It's time for the Pinellas County School …

  5. Editorial: Fix funding unfairness in Florida foster care system

    Editorials

    Many of the children in Florida's foster care system already have been failed by their parents. The last thing these kids need is to be failed by bureaucracy, too, and yet that's exactly what appears to be happening because of a needlessly rigid funding formula set up by the Florida Legislature. Child welfare agencies …

    The Legislature may have had good intentions when it came up with the funding plan, but it’s obvious that there is some unfairness built into it. The funding may be complicated, but the goal is simple: Making sure every child in need gets the help he or she needs.