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Spin Patrol nets hat trick for democracy

Notes from the campaign trail. . .

Last week Spin Patrol disclosed that a number of Tampa sports magnates had not registered to vote in Hillsborough County: New York Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner; Bryan Glazer, the son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer; and David LeFevre, governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

None was making his mark on that Big Scoreboard of Self-Rule, in spite of local governments' considerable involvement in building each one's team a home.

No longer. We are happy to report that all three have since registered. Glazer, as a Republican; and Steinbrenner and LeFevre, no party affiliation.

Power to the people.

BETTING ON A LONGSHOT? If you are a former county commissioner convicted of accepting a bribe, and you are now running to get your old job back, who gives you money?

Joe Kotvas, arrested by the FBI in 1983 and now running for the countywide Hillsborough commission seat as a Democrat, provides some answers through his campaign reports.

You give yourself money. Kotvas has helped himself to the tune of $1,900.

And in many campaigns, businesses make donations hoping to drum up a little work for themselves down the road. Other Kotvas campaign contributors include: Armando Arcos Bail Bonds ($200) and Tampa A-list defense attorney Bennie Lazzara Jr. ($50). Tampa restaurant owner Carmine J. Iavarone Jr. contributed $100.

Contributing the maximum $500 is Greater Ministries International, the Tampa religious organization the state recently investigated for allegedly selling illegal investments.

Pitching in with $200 is taxicab company MMG Transportation Inc., which Hillsborough County officials blamed for overbilling on Medicaid rides in February.

DUTIFUL DAUGHTER: Congressional candidate Jim Davis had the right idea when his campaign passed through a South Tampa neighborhood last weekend. No one was home at one house, so a leaflet was left, with a chatty, handwritten note at the top addressed to "Dear Stacy." Problem was, Stacy Frank was out doing some campaigning of her own _ for her mother Pat Frank, who is one of Davis' opponents in the Democratic primary. "Not only a good mother, but a good candidate for U.S. Congress," Stacy volunteered later.

Frank's campaign, incidentally, is trumpeting the endorsement from the Tampa chapter of the National Organization for Women that Frank is sharing with fellow Democrat Sandy Freedman. The dual endorsement surprised some observers who thought Freedman's selection by national women's political group EMILY's List gave her an exclusive lock on the NOW vote.

WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK: Ever since the Independence Day weekend, when state officials announced that Chris Vogel, the husband of Hillsborough County Judge Christine K. Vogel, would split a $6.56-million Lotto jackpot with three members of his family, the predictable question surfaced.

"There was some speculation that she may not seek re-election," campaign treasurer Helen Fouse said. And no, Fouse knew of no reason for the conjecture other than Chris Vogel's good fortune.

After putting that speculation to rest by filing re-election papers Monday, Vogel removed all doubt Friday when she returned to the bench without opposition.

JUST THE FACTS: Republican Larry Smith officially kicks off his campaign for County Commission District 6 at Carmine's Restaurant in Ybor City Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. . . . Democrat Frank Reddick will hold a social for his County Commission District 6 campaign Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at his headquarters, 400 E Palm Ave. in Tampa. . . . North Hillsborough Young Republicans sponsors candidate forums Thursday for County Commission, Aug. 8 for state House and state Senate, and Aug. 29 for state attorney. Each will be at 7:30 p.m. at Lorenzo's Italian Restaurant, 13134 N Dale Mabry Highway. . . . Congressional candidate Phyllis Busansky holds a $10-a-plate spaghetti dinner Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the West Tampa Convention Center.

_ Larry Dougherty and Richard Danielson were on Spin Patrol.

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