Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ax the Tax

(Funny story from my friend Mark),1,3476939.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

Guetzloe: Just call me 'Ax the Tax'

The anti-tax crusader sues to have the phrase included as part of his name on the ballot.

By Mark Schlueb | Sentinel Staff Writer

July 28, 2004

Doug Guetzloe has built a reputation by shoe-horning himself into most every tax controversy in Central Florida.

Now he has gone to court for the right to remind people of that reputation.

On Friday, Guetzloe sued in Orange Circuit Court to force elections officials to print his name as Doug "Ax the Tax" Guetzloe on the ballot when he runs for Republican Party state committeeman in the August primary.

Orange County Supervisor of Elections William "Bill" Cowles has refused. Elections officials say letting Guetzloe have his way will open the door to all manner of crazy nicknames.

Guetzloe calls the decision a travesty of justice.

"Ax the Tax" is the name of his company, but he said it's also his nickname.

" 'Ax the Tax' is what I'm known for," Guetzloe said. "A lot of people don't even know my first name."

He said he thinks one of his harshest critics, Orange County Republican Party chairman Lewis "Lew" Oliver, is behind the ballot decision.

Oliver disagreed.

"He is attempting to put on the ballot the name of a for-profit company that puts money in his pocket," Oliver said.

"Nobody calls him 'Ax the Tax.' "

Perhaps even worse in Oliver's opinion is the fact that Guetzloe is running for a Republican state post but has, on occasion, supported Democrats. Guetzloe has in the past supported Orlando Mayor John "Buddy" Dyer and City Commissioner Patricia "Patty" Sheehan, for instance.

Cowles' lawyer, Assistant County Attorney Diego "Woody" Rodriguez, speculates that a slippery slope could lead to candidates such as John "Champion of the People" Doe.

"It would lead to some ridiculous results in terms of what gets on the ballot," Rodriguez said.

Guetzloe argues that we've already fallen headlong over the slippery slope.

He points toa handful of examples around the state: Pinellas County Commission candidate "Downtown" Virginia Brown; a fire-district candidate from Palm Harbor named Mark "W+9" Weinkrantz; and "Sister" Blackmon Milligan of Panama City, who is running for state attorney.

And don't forget a candidate for Republican precinct committeeman right here in Orange County named Darrin "Scooby" Phipps.

"Why does 'Scooby' go on the ballot and not 'Ax the Tax' Guetzloe?" he asked.

Mark Schlueb can be reached at

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