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KSIB is a free public service for Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Osceola County, and Central Florida featuring news and blogs, Carl Cricket, Behind The Scenes, Your Voice, local politics, and advertising opportunities in and around Kissimmmee and St. Cloud (Osceola County) Central Florida. KSIB.net has been linking Osceola County since 1995.

Courthouse Almost Renamed,Politics, SPEED WILL KILL! PLEASE, SLOW DOWN!more..................

| by Carl Cricket | August 19th, 2014 | 3081 words

A new week, a weekend of political influence peddling, and citizens concerned speaking up, and out! Ahhhhh, we absolutely love the fresh smell of napalm early in the campaigns, no matter the campaign, including the one started by someone from Orlando, to name a county building after another Orlando area resident, who still is alive, walking, talking, breathing, and just like us, currently working for a living. (Well, hopefully many are working!)
Of course, we’re referring to that funny little item number 6, on the Consent Agenda, of all places to hide it! However, the Osceola Commission Board Chair yanked it from the Consent agenda and tabled it for later discussion/consideration. Now, of all the people to have requested that OUR Osceola County Courthouse be renamed The Judge Belvin Perry Courthouse, we would say that the upcoming Chief Judge Lauten, once again of Orlando, should be the LAST guy to involve himself by trying to muscle a County NOT ready to rename OUR courthouse after anyone,let alone a living,breathing walking/talking human being…..from Orange County!

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Rating: 4.6 out of 11 votes cast

St Cloud Chamber's Politics In The Barn Held, But NOT In St. Cloud, NEW Ad On Wheeler Seems To Tell The Truth?, Can A Candidate Actually BUY His Seat?

| by Carl Cricket | August 14th, 2014 | 3378 words

The Saint Cloud Chamber of Commerce’s Politics In The Barn, had an out of town location this year, the event having been held at the Osceola Council on Aging on Highway 192 more so near Kissimmee than Saint Cloud.Perhaps this is an example of things to come with rumors of the St Cloud Chamber and the Kissimmee Chamber merging? Either way, we have the full results posted below;

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Rating: 4.3 out of 52 votes cast

BEFORE You Re-Elect A Candidate, Check This Out! OUR Question, What About Local Candidates Such As Certain County Commissioners And School Board Member? Does It Apply Too?

| by Carl Cricket | August 9th, 2014 | 695 words

This post has been brought to us and you from the Sunshine State News, an online informative daily “news” offering!

For some Florida legislators, politics is more profitable than business. Especially if you serve on the governor’s Cabinet.

Financial statements filed with the Florida Ethics Commission show some politicians grew their personal wealth substantially last year. Members of the governor’s Cabinet increased their wealth by an average of 51 percent.

Attorney General Pam Bondi joined the millionaire club last year when her wealth increased to $1,238,633 – 58.6 percent higher than in 2012.

Some increases were more modest. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam increased his fortune by 8.5 percent, while Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s nest egg jumped up 7 percent.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Cantera is the exception. His wealth hasn’t increased or decreased since he was sworn into office.

Lawmakers also reaping

Senators haven’t done too shabbily, either. State Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Kendall, grew her bottom line by nearly 100 percent – up to $395,200 in 2013 from $198,000 in 2012.

State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, had a 43.7 percent increase in the same period, and state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, saw his fortune go from $463,243 to $652,906 – a 41 percent increase.

But growing wealth among state officials isn’t limited to Republicans. State Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, reported being $75,000 in debt in 2011. By 2012, that debt had been reduced to about $32,000, and in 2013 it shrunk to $6,663.

Senate President Don Gaetz, R- Niceville, remains the wealthiest senator in the Florida Legislature with a personal wealth of more than $26 million.

According to a study by government watchdog agency IntegrityFlorida.org,, in 2011 the median net worth of all Florida legislators increased 15 percent. Florida Watchdog reported in 2012 the median net worth increased around 10 percent.

Dan Krassner, director of Integrity Florida, a nonpartisan research institute and government watchdog group, said many lawmakers get significant income from special interests who lobby the Legislature.

“The Legislature has created disclosure loopholes so conflicts of interest are easily hidden or just made legal,” he said.

But not everyone in the Florida state government is getting richer. For example, state Sen. Thad Altman, R-Melbourne, lost 10 percent of his wealth, reporting a net worth of $899,676 in 2013.

Where the growth comes from

The financial disclosures don’t explain how public officials raised their personal wealth, but the growth likely isn’t related to their salaries.

The financial disclosure from Scott shows he has $43 million invested in RLSI-CSP Capital Partners LLC, and another $4.36 million invested in AG Super Fund LLP. His residence in Naples is worth more than $13 million, while his Montana home is worth another $1.5 million.

Bondi, whose salary is set at $128,972, increased her wealth through the value of her personal residence, which jumped from $665,000 in 2012 to $720,000 in 2013. In 2013, Bondi also added a one-third interest in a condominium, valued at $277,928.

Senators also rely on personal business to increase their wealth, since their salaries are set at $29,697 annually, plus per diem.

Integrity Florida published “Corruption Risk Report: Financial Disclosure” in July 2012, which pointed to a number of problems:
Net worth, assets, liabilities, business interests and income sources are self-reported and never audited.
Assets are easily hidden in spouses’ names.
Flawed blind trust policy enables officials to hide assets and get away with conflicts of interests.
Financial disclosure is just a snapshot from one day of the year, allowing officials to secretly engage in major transactions throughout the year undetected.
The ethics commission is prohibited from independently investigating questionable disclosures or potential conflicts unless a citizen files a legally sufficient complaint.
Legislators are allowed to work for lobbying firms, companies who lobby state government and state government vendors.
Many lawmakers have consulting firms, law firms or other business interests, but fail to reveal if their clients have business before the Legislature or state government.

Krassner applauded Scott and lawmakers for passing a major ethics reform in 2013 that required the online posting of financial disclosure reports on the ethics commission website.

“The public may now access two years worth of officials’ disclosures, which for the first time enables an online comparison of changes from one year to the next,” he said.

That law also required the ethics commission to bring to the Legislature a proposal for an electronic filing system for financial disclosure by December 2015, he said.

Rating: 4.3 out of 81 votes cast

Thursday evening candidate Forum In Saint Cloud Brings Candidates & Voters Together

| by Carl Cricket | August 5th, 2014 | 250 words

Below is the invitation the Cricket received Friday Afternoon. We’re told ALL candidates are expected to attend the event which will provide some insight for voters to grasp on their candidates. Once again, this forum is being sponsored by the Osceola Ballot Initiative, Inc. and will, once again, be moderated. We’re also told questions from the audience will be accepted AFTER the candidates have addressed the questions put to them by the group’s moderator.

This event is wide open to the public and wise voters who would like to view the differences between the candidates are encouraged to attend. ALL candidates have been contacted and, so far, only one candidate, Wade Davis, has NOT responded to the several messages left for him. ALL other candidates will be attending from the District 5 School Board Seat and candidates for the Saint Cloud Council. To vote snart, you must get smart….on the candidates.

The American Legion Post 80 is also sponsoring the event and have been gracious in providing their hall in which the event will be held. So, a BIG THANK YOU American Legion Post 80 for helping the citizens to learn about the candidates who want their votes!!

A political Forum will be held August 7, 2014 from 6:30 to 9pm at the American Legion Post 80 1019 Pennsylvania ave in St Cloud.

Candidates for Osceola County School Board District 5 and City Council Candidates for the City of St Cloud will be in attendance to answer questions regarding their respective races.

Please plan to attend this important event!

Rating: 3.6 out of 62 votes cast