Escambia County Politics

Transparency Challenge for District 2

May 10, 2010

The race in the Republican primary for Escambia County District 2 is a dogfight. The top candidates – incumbent Gene Valentino, former County Administrator George Touart, State Rep. Dave Murzin and newcomer Karen Sindel – all have had their financial status challenged at one time or another.

Valentino is a millionaire, who filed $750,000 lawsuit over a foreign investment. Touart is a partner in a Mississippi company that did business with Escambia County’s contractors in areas other than this county. Murzin’s main job for the past 12+ years has been tied to the state legislature. Touart supporters are attacking Sindel over her homestead exemption.

The only way for the voters to get a clear understanding of the financial and business dealings of these four candidates is for them to release their personal income tax returns for the years 2004-2008–and 2009 if available.

Let’s see what they each have made since Hurricane Ivan and how they made it. The IN will scan the returns (with tax ids redacted) and post them on this blog.

If President Barack Obama and Gov. Charlie Crist can do it, then these candidates can also. It should be the first question of any candidate forum: have you released your tax returns for the past five years?

Which candidate will truly be open and honest with the voters?

  • Michael Canty May 11, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Rick, on this one I have to disagree with you.
    I know a good many people who would run for office or have encouraged others to run. If I made money from county contracts, then, fine, I disclose it. But my consulting fees from projects that have nothing to do w/govt? No. So, although somebody like me who might run for dog catcher or bait handler simply sits out because my life is private.

  • Old Pcola May 11, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Great idea – why not challenge everyone running for office, whether county or city related, to do this?