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The Buzz

The reporter was questioning Congressperson Forever Sam Gibbons about his re-election race this year and wasn't pulling any punches.

"So," the reporter asked, over the long-distance telephone tie to Washington, D.C., "what is it with Congress anyway? It's not very popular right now. It's been one scandal after another after another. What's wrong?"

"The people that the people send here, that's one of the problems," Gibbons replied. "If people would let me select who they send here, I could certainly improve on the quality of the place."

"But, sir," the reporter said, "you're one of those people. The people have been sending you for 30 years."

"It's the other people," Gibbons insisted.

We're certainly glad he cleared that up.

Isn't politics delectable, Buzzers? It leads grown, if not mature, adults to do such delicious things to themselves and others. To wit:

Gorgeous Big Jim Selvey, he of the long-running mouth and waning days on the County Board of Commissioners, will not go quietly into the night, dears.

Jungle Jim is stalking wrongdoing wherever it exists and has recently uncovered a heinous state of affairs.

It seems that in the county's courtrooms and in offices of the county's constitutional officers there are, right there for everybody to see, flags with yellow fringe on three sides.

Gasp!

Don't you know, Jim asked county guru Fred Karl, that flags with yellow fringe are military flags, designated so by the president of the United States _ whoever he, she or it happens to be _ and that civilian flags have no fringe?

Well, you could have blown us over, Buzzers. We had no idea flags came in military and civilian models.

We always thought the yellow-fringed versions were dress-up, for special occasions, like the birthday of William Henry Harrison and Idaho Statehood Day (it looks great in the Potato Parade).

Gentleman Jim wants those fringed interlopers removed to a military area and replaced with the proper unfringed models.

There are those who believe Jim himself has come unfringed.

If we were running for sheriff of anyplace this year, we wouldn't want to be a grad of Tampa's Chamberlain High School, Buzzers.

Jim Gillum, the madcap marshal of Pasco County, who thought nobody would notice when he put his girlfriend on the Sheriff's Office payroll at a pretty healthy tax-paid salary, took it on the chops in the Republican runoff 10 days ago.

That he lost was stunner enough, dears, but to get just 30 percent of the vote?

Gracious!

Jim-boy's old high school chums, a k a Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells and Hillsborough County Sheriff-Wannabe Cal Henderson, must be having serious bouts of sweaty-upper-lip syndrome, hoping the anti-Gillum backlash doesn't become an anti-Chamberlain backlash.

Stay tuned.

Members of the Florida Public Service Commission gathered at the Tampa Convention Center a few days back to hear from the masses about TECO's proposed rate hike.

Predictably, nobody liked the idea of a huge jump in local electric bills.

But how about that rate hike out in the lobby, folks?

At the food kiosk set up to feed the angry hordes, an itsy bitsy bag of Eagle chips was going for $1.25.

Ditto a small red apple.

Plain hot dogs _ plain, we repeat _ were $2.75.

As it happens, dears, the hot dogs out at the Lightning game at the Fairgrounds were going for the same princely sum.

But at least at the game, the audience had something to cheer about.

Why would John Lemanski, recent muckety muck at the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce, be following Fab Freddie Karl as Freddie makes the county administrator's rounds?

Is Lemanski going to work for Channel 8?

Or does John-Boy have his eye on the job Karl is abandoning next year?

Watch this space.

Personal note to super-sleuth Bruce Breslow: It wasn't a mistake. We were protecting your cover.

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