Here’s the latest press release from Farid Khavari’s independent campaign for governor of Florida. His running mate (and occasional IPR correspondent!), Darcy Richardson, weighs in on money and politics in the Sunshine State:
BLIND WOMAN’S BLUFF: RICHARDSON ASSAILS SINK ON FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE
October 6 — In theory, “blind trusts” allow politicians to craft policy and enforce rules without regard to which side their bread might be buttered on.
“It’s a nice theory,” says Darcy Richardson, independent candidate for Lieutenant Governor, “but in reality blind trusts are far better at insulating politicians from public scrutiny than they are at protecting the public from self-serving politicians.”
One gets the distinct feeling that Richardson might have been staring directly at Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink if she’d been at the Rabbit Ridge Homeowner’s Association meeting in Jacksonville, where Richardson spoke to more than a dozen people on Tuesday evening.
“Sink would like us to believe that she has no idea how $9.2 million of her personal wealth is invested,” said Richardson, 54, of Jacksonville, who joined independent gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari as his running mate last month.
“But while she may not have all the details, she certainly has a grasp of the general investment principles involved. It’s an incredible stretch to suggest that she has no idea how her actions as Florida’s Chief Financial Officer will affect that portfolio. The main effect of the blind trust is that her financial interests and their possible consequences are shielded from public view.”
“Sink’s trust isn’t truly blind and is more like one with impaired vision or possibly blind in only one eye,” quipped Richardson.
“Given that her blind trust is managed by her husband’s law partner and other longtime associates, it’s hardly reassuring to Florida taxpayers that she can now shield her substantial financial holdings from the public by listing her blind trust as part of her annual financial disclosure form,” said Richardson.
“While proclaiming to hold herself to a higher ethical standard, the CFO has, in effect, created a situation where there’s even greater uncertainty about possible conflicts of interest in her financial dealings.”
She’s being too clever by half, said Richardson.
Should wealthy Floridians be barred from public office, then? No, says Richardson, but he does want to see their finances locked away in the safest place possible during their terms of office.
That place? A general deposit account at the state bank Khavari has made the centerpiece of his campaign platform. “They won’t be able to play the stock market, but they’ll earn basic interest on their balance. Their fortunes will be tied to the fortunes of the state of Florida. That removes any incentive to sell the people of Florida short.”