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Published Oct. 27, 2008

Not to be outdone, Republican property appraiser candidate Pam Dubov has a radio ad that responds to a spot her opponent, Democrat Ben Friedlander, began airing Oct. 14. In that ad, Friedlander tries to link Dubov to last year's land scandal involving Property Appraiser Jim Smith.

Dubov's ad is a scorcher and it's running on the same station, WDUV 105.5, as her opponent's.

It begins, "Failing and desperate, politician Ben Friedlander has resorted to vicious and unfair attacks on his opponent, Pam Dubov." The spot goes on to mention some nice things that the St. Petersburg Times editorial board has said about Dubov and lists some credentials.

Then, "Makes you wonder: If Ben Friedlander would assault a woman's character to get himself elected, what would he do if he ever gains real power? Can we really afford a bully like Mr. Friedlander as property appraiser setting the values of our property?"

Things get hairy over Rays fan 'dos

Sporting a freshly shaved blue Rayhawk, County Commissioner Ronnie Duncan had strong words at Wednesday's opener of the World Series for other elected officials who haven't jumped on the Rayhawk bandwagon.

He and Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard were shorn that day for a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County.

Duncan said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker and County Commission Chairman Bob Stewart were "wusses" for not getting Rayhawks, a Mohawk worn by Rays fans, sometimes dyed blue.

Baker said two weeks ago that his mother told him a Mohawk wasn't "mayoral." No word yet on why Stewart, who threw the first pitch Wednesday, didn't have one.

"He's a wuss," said Duncan. "Why is it that the guy who threw the first pitch doesn't have a Mohawk?"

Duncan was laughing when he said it, so we are pretty sure he was joking.

Only two leaders stick with Pier talks

Mayor Rick Baker and the City Council planned three brainstorming sessions to discuss the future of the historic Pier and how to spend $50-million earmarked for improvements.

Then they skipped out on the discussion and attended celebrations for the Rays instead.

Only council members Leslie Curran and Karl Nurse bothered to attend the city's three visioning sessions in recent weeks.

Curran attended a session on Sept. 29, the same day the Rays hosted a party at Straub Park to celebrate making it to the playoffs. Baker and other council members attended the party.

Nurse was the only elected official to join 30 residents for a visioning session at the Coliseum on Monday. Baker and other council members chose to celebrate baseball with a city-sponsored party at the Pier, of all places.

Kalimnios focuses on energy independence

Candidate for the 9th Congressional District John "Johnny K" Kalimnios says he has come up with some answers for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

The 42-year-old father of two issued a recent news release that outlines his ideas, including hydrogen from water, methanol from human refuse materials and He3'Deuterium Fusion. (Don't know what that is? Kalimnios says to check out his Web site at

In the release, Kalimnios also criticizes his opponents, Republican incumbent Gus Bilirakis (for his position on offshore drilling) and Democrat Bill Mitchell (his experience as an attorney who litigated against oil companies). The title of his press release? "Drill, Baby, Drill, or Sue, Baby, Sue?"

Kalimnios, a retired police officer and business owner, said he has put a year of research into the plan.

Times staff writers Will Van Sant, Cristina Silva, Rita Farlow and Demorris Lee contributed to this report. visit Bay Buzz at