The Maryland guy who campaigned for U.S. Senate two years ago wearing a white Colonial-style periwig has found another venue for offbeat political expression.
Daniel "The Wig Man" Vovak is making a movie: The Blue Dress, A Comedy About Bill & Monica.
I had no trouble taking Vovak seriously as a Senate candidate. (He ran against Michael Steele in the GOP primary.) But I'll confess to having doubts about his fitness for movie-making, even though he made some funny campaign videos, including one that showed his wig getting fluffed and sprayed to the strains of Vivaldi.
But Vovak has made some headway with folks in the movie biz, like the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, which lists a casting call for The Blue Dress on its Web site. When the office holds its annual party this weekend for those shooting movies in Philly, Vovak will be there.
"I just ordered a new wig for this event," he said.
Why is he doing casting and filming in Philly?
"I don't want the movie to have a tone of politics because there's not a single political statement in the movie."
One part has already been cast: Paula Jones will play herself.
The former Arkansas state employee who claimed that in 1991, then-Gov. Bill Clinton propositioned her by pulling down his pants, will accompany Vovak to the Philly film shindig.
I thought Vovak was pulling my leg about Jones, but Kirby Middleton, Jones' Dallas-based agent, confirmed that she has agreed to appear in the movie and that she will fly in from Arkansas, where she works as a real estate agent, for the Philadelphia event.
"We haven't signed any contracts," Middleton said. "She's verbally agreed to do it."
Middleton said Jones, who settled her lawsuit against Clinton in November 1998 for $850,000 but lost most of that to legal fees, has pretty much put her encounter with the former president's distinguishing characteristics behind her. But Vovak's movie project appealed to her.
"She's not trying to capitalize on this stuff," Middleton said. "Paula's kind of like, 'I want to be a mom and a wife, and I really don't want to get involved in a bunch of stuff. But at the same time, when something like this comes along, I think, why not?' "
That, and Jones thought that Vovak seemed like an OK guy. Of course, this is a gal who agreed to meet Bill Clinton in a hotel room, so is she a great judge of character?
"She thought [Vovak] seemed to be pretty honest and upfront," Middleton said. "He had told me they call him The Wig Man."
(The wig stuff was news to Sharon Pinkenson, executive director of the Philly film office. But she didn't seem unduly alarmed when I told her one of her party guests will sport headgear not usually seen outside Independence Hall.)
Vovak, a professional ghostwriter who once lived out of a car called Air Ford One, isn't saying how he'll raise the money for the movie. But the Bethesda resident thinks he can do it for $1 million.
"I believe that every dollar Ken Starr spent was worth it, as far as a movie producer is concerned," Vovak said. "It saved me $40 million in research."
Frederick boss has his own bailout plan
Why wait for Washington to fix what ails the economy? The owner of a Frederick steel company came up with his own "private stimulus incentive package." He recently gave all 50 of his steel workers $600 checks.
"I was just so tired of watching the bad news, and everything was gloom and doom," said Metropolitan Steel President Rick Hill.
Not that business is good at Metropolitan, which makes the steel infrastructure used for office buildings, shopping centers and other things people aren't building so much of lately. It's been bad for about a year, so Hill has been putting away money in a rainy-day fund.
Then it occurred to Hill, while he was getting coffee at 7-Eleven, that hoarding might not be the best way to go.
"That's money that's not doing anybody any good," he said. "Instead of holding onto it and waiting, put it back into circulation. ... I could have an impact at least in our little map-dot of the world."
Hill hopes other employers - attention, Sam Zell - follow suit.
"I think a lot of this is mental," he said. "We just have to change the attitude."
Connect the dots
Who says Maryland Republicans have lost their way? A big "Rebuilding for Victory" event at the Baltimore Hilton on Oct. 30 will raise money for the state's GOP candidates. Headliner: G. Gordon Liddy. Tickets are $125 to $1,250, depending on how close you want to get to the Watergate figure. ... Signs that the race for Congress in the 1st District is tight: the call went out yesterday for volunteers to march in the Perry Hall Halloween parade on behalf of Andy Harris. "We're only a couple weeks away from election day ... and Perry Hall is very, very important to Andy!!!" reads the message from Al Redmer, the former Republican state delegate and ex-state insurance chief. It's important to Redmer, too. If Harris beats Frank Kratovil and moves up, Redmer would like his Senate seat. ...