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Sink keeps assets in blind trust; out of her sight but also the public's

When Alex Sink became Florida's top financial watchdog almost three years ago, she put her assets in a Sink2 blind trust, which she said would help her avoid conflicts of interest.

Yet Sink's effort to avoid potential conflicts and hold herself to a self-proclaimed higher standard has an unintended consequence: There is less public disclosure about her finances than other officials and greater uncertainty as to whether she is deciding matters in which she may have a financial interest.

Why? Because blind trusts are not regulated in Florida and there are no rules guaranteeing that officeholders' financial dealings are being handled independent of their public duties.

In fact, the Florida Commission on Ethics once ruled that one of Sink's predecessors could not avoid conflicts of interest by creating a blind trust and parking his financial holdings in it. Now a candidate for governor, Sink dismisses the reasoning, saying her blind trust is still the best way to go above and beyond the state's ethics laws.

"It's blind because I don't know what's in there. "


-- Adam Smith