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Klein protests Fischer's public service spots

Mayoral candidate Bill Klein has lodged a campaign protest with the city, saying that Mayor David Fischer is getting what amounts to free advertising on television and radio in the form of public service announcements.

The protest, filed Monday, claims that Fischer's image has been appearing in announcements aired over the city-owned television station, which broadcasts on Channel 35 and is carried on the local cable Channel 15.

The protest further states that water conservation radio spots produced by the Southwest Florida Water Management District that feature Fischer have also been cropping up on local radio stations.

The protest notes that St. Petersburg attorney Roy Harrell is chairman of the water district and a Fischer supporter.

Water district officials quickly responded to the allegations, saying the conservation program was first developed in 1993, the public-service spots were made last year and public officials from Pasco, Hillsborough and Manatee counties as well as Tampa have participated in them along with Fischer.

Police union mailing

to benefit Klein

ST. PETERSBURG _ Bill Klein's mayoral campaign will receive a generous boost from the police union later this week with a $5,700 direct mailing.

Legally bypassing the state's $500 cap on campaign contribution, the Police Benevolent Association has agreed to make an independent expenditure for the Klein campaign.

PBA president Jack Soule declined to say the nature of the mailing, but said the independent expenditure was the largest he could recall from the PBA.

Klein faces Mayor David Fischer in the general election March 25.