THE TRUTH

Okay, we are now in the midst of a crisis and so I have adapted myself as such to do something long called for but seldom accomplished: the telling of the truth, which is recognized and spoken by God and all children but few adults in today’s world, least of all any politicians. God, our creator was long ago the creator of speaking the truth, even as Jesus did to Pontius Pilate and, of course, the majority, including myself, of Christian communities know him as Jesus Christ and we also all know how He ended up.

We’ve all also known for 60+ years that the two biggest, well-worn, existential threats to our very existence, are nuclear Armageddon and climate change. A new, obviously, at this time in history, existential threat has now been added to that list, COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus pandemic.
These three threats need to be addressed immediately and, obviously, need to be reversed in order, attacking the symptoms, causes and curing of the Corona Virus pandemic asap, if not sooner, as we sometimes say, and in this case, we for sure say.

I suggest, being as we are all “quarantined” anyway, that we should all sit down and write, that’s right, write. Easy for me to say, as I am a writer anyway, right? But, I say it is just as easy for anyone to say much less do because what other choices do we have? Watch television? Play with our children or go out of our home or office? But, isn’t that just what we’re trying to avoid? By sitting at our computer(s) and creating a story? So, here we go, I use the plural tense, as using my imagination and knowing that you (readers) are all already in front of your computers you can easily open up a blank page after reading this and begin your own story, with but a little guidance here.

If you try to write truth you must first understand that truth is tough; it will not break. The greatest friend of truth is time the greatest enemy of truth is prejudice and the constant companion of truth is humility and when you see the truth, proclaim it without asking who is for it or who is against it, because, many times, the truth wishes only to appear. What governs men is the fear of truth but, I say to you, that, in the end, the truth will prevail even when no one cares if it prevails or not because, like I said, the greatest friend of Father Truth is Mother Time.
And, your question is now, what? How do you write the truth? Why, as easily as you say it: I am 74 years old (if I was female, of course, I’d be 29?). I have been happily married for 46 years and have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. See, how easy it is to write the truth. Hard, cold facts. Think it’s too easy?

Okay, then, take this truth: I have a younger sister and older brother who, in 2008, 2 years after my mother died, my sister, 7 years my junior and my brother 1 year my senior, colluded together, I learned later, to steal as much as they could from my share of my mother’s will, which included all her and my dad’s assets, which was mostly CD’s & securities in the bank. My sister got an accountant and a lawyer and the power of attorney from my mother, just before she died, and then, after a year and a half of waiting and excuses, she sends me a check for $102 K, a nice check huh? But this was money she had gotten tax-free, G.W. Bush passed an estate tax to be $0 and I personally had copies of both my mother and father’s wills. They both said split it 3 ways. My sister, acting as a power of attorney, my brother having told me, even as he had been named the executor of my father’s will, that he let my sister be the P.O.A and she had taken care of the taxes (he lied) and now, in 2017, on a visit to my sister in Tallahassee, my brother had had a few beers and we were all eating lunch in a restaurant and my mother’s will came up when I asked my brother how much money my mother had had in the bank and he answered: “Oh man, a lot, way over $500K. Needless to say I was flabbergasted and an argument, a big argument began that has yet to be settled, almost 2 years ago now. So, as you can see, truth is not always easy to state as factual. Well, let’s just say that when you state a truth you must be ready, if the liar is present, for the one who is lying to deny the truth and cling to their lie, sometimes even forever or until their dying day. Temptations will ever come. So, now it is your turn to write some truths.

WE ARE ALL IMMIGRANTS!

The problems here are simple & obvious: #1 you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The Republican majority party wants to go against the E-Verify for reasons they really cannot identify because they don’t want to be specific on making a law that would mean the three biggest employers in the State of Florida: agriculture, tourism & construction, would have to “lose” money by having to check the immigration status of the workers they hire. Now, “everyone” knows these “undocumented” immigrants provide the majority of workers for those aforementioned three biggest employers: agriculture, tourism and construction. In agriculture farmers grow but very seldom do much, if any, of the picking, sorting, labor-intensive work needed to take their products to market and depend on illegal and/or undocumented workers to do this work for them and for slave-labor wages. As for the tourist industry: if the kitchen staff, wait staff, cleaning staff and other unskilled labor in the State of Florida were to suddenly disappear the workers subsequently hired would substantially lower the wages of all the managers and assistant managers because the wages of the people who really do the heavy lifting would go up, even as in the construction industry, those identified by their jobs as laborers, carpenters, roofers, electricians, plumbers and helpers would not be immigrants but trained workers, in union-represented jobs and these workers would be paid much more than undocumented workers, most of whom are paid cash by the greedy contractors whose accountants always keep “two sets of books.” Many of these workers are also not trained properly enough and seriously endanger the lives of their fellow workers by “learning” many skills on the job instead of in an apprenticeship program.

The simple and easy answer here is to document these workers with “open arms,” much as those in the late 19th century were welcomed, as they fled their home country’s wars, violence and impoverished conditions. It would be but a simple task but if only we had a human being POTUS who actually led this country with even a modicum of a heart but, alas, such is not to be, in this White House, at this time.

And so we have a time that will worsen, as Trump will start cracking down, as he already has showed signs of doing, by taking away any and all government programs that help any poor people, including their children and rewarding the super-wealthy by having them pay little, or even, no taxes, exactly as he does, providing an example that if every single citizen duplicated we would have no government, as Capitalism depends solely upon money and Donald Trump means to have it all, or as much as he can personally get, and any way he can get it appears to make no difference to him.

We live in a time when the POTUS is spending enormous amounts of the people’s money, of course it is the government’s money, but, as Trump pays no taxes, he cares not as he does the devil’s work and builds his wall. Everyone with a brain realizes the drug cartels go underneath these walls and have been doing so ever since they began building them and the cartels built tunnels to countermand them many decades ago.

But, unfortunately, like I said, Trump thinks only of himself and what he, personally, will gain. Okay, this is how he thinks: he realizes that he needs to look good, so, he will ban Sanctuary cities because, after all, who occupies “Sanctuary Cities?” Not any registered voters, that’s for sure. And so, very soon, Trump will begin closing them down, hurting, of course, the little children the most but making the devil, Trump, look fine, which is all he’s interested in. The problem with this is, of course, we have ¼ million immigrants that pay no taxes and are paid in cash by people who wish to, like Trump, avoid paying taxes. The “illegal” immigrants, including their “innocent” children, actually pay more taxes then Trump himself, every time they buy food, eat in a restaurant, buy clothes, etc. And, being poor, working people, but working for cash, they cannot get any tax refunds.

Now, of course, the businesses that depend on these workers to stay in business, like many of the businesses owned by so many legislators, who realize that 253,500 jobs, $10.7 billion in earnings and $1.25 billion in state & local revenue could be lost. We know what Trump will do, close down sanctuary cities but what about the State Legislature? Especially those with skin in the game? 

OUR WEAPON IS OUR VOTE.

Today Monday, January 20, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a man I greatly admire, for his courage, his truths spoken so clearly and defined by his actions when marching for all of humanity’s civil rights.

Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as ‘right to work.’ It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone. Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights. We do not intend to let them do this to us. We demand this fraud be stopped. Our weapon is our vote.” —Martin Luther King, speaking about right-to-work laws in 1961.

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”—Martin Luther King Jr.

My name is Keith G. Laufenberg and I am, presently, the lone democrat running for political office in Hernando County, as all seats are currently held by republicans. I am running to replace the present representative: Blaise Ingoglia, of District 35, in Hernando County. For the past 4 months I have been busy qualifying for this position by collecting 1207 signatures from registered voters in Hernando County to waive fees I would have had to pay, without having first gotten those signatures.

I have spoken to far too many parents of young people who are living in their parents’ home or are on a shoestring budget as a single parent and it bothers me quite a lot. This is a very diverse section of our population, some with college degrees, many with just high school degrees, or less, many who appear to wind up in untenable situations simply because of low minimum wages, student loans, car payments or even pay-day loans. Working couples who fall behind their monthly rent payment because of their children or themselves having hospital and/or dental bills, along with too many other money problems that cannot possibly be foreseen. In the city of Spring Hill, we greatly need sidewalks where far too many neighborhoods have none, roads with potholes in them need repairs; people need to be able to get to a safe park for a walk or run or exercise because they live too far away and have little children they cannot even take for a walk or bike ride because no sidewalks are in their neighborhoods. Bicycle riding is so dangerous in these neighborhoods and accidents happen so frequently that these mothers sit inside their homes and watch their children who are playing with an i-pad, watching TV, running around inside the house or sitting in a high-chair crying. This is a big problem in Hernando County.

This is not a good time to have a Hernando County Representative who allegedly serves our county but fails to address these problems because he is, all the while, serving no one but himself.

Blaise Ingoglia is the culprit here and he has a horrible record of legislation he has either sponsored, passed or helped to pass since first assuming this position in the legislature, six years ago. He has voted in tandem on anything the NRA sponsors, like Amendment 2, which gives life to the gun-show loophole. He has repeatedly voted for or against any bills that benefited himself or his donors, like drilling and fracking in the Gulf and, of course, spouts the Republican mantra of climate change being a hoax.

Several years ago, before he ran for public office, Mr. Ingoglia made a ridiculous, childish tape that he posted on the Internet, entitled “Government Gone Wild” which was more like Ingoglia gone wild and to which I have answered his ridiculous slogans and statements on my website.

Blaise Ingoglia’s name shows up in so many places concerning political shenanigans it’s hard not to imagine it’s something he works at daily even as serving himself appears to be a natural-born trait of his.

His political fund-raising and hard-line backing of the Republican Party, and of Donald Trump, eventually landed him in the State Legislature as District 35’s representative and then Chairman of the Florida Republican Party, in 2014 & 2015 respectively, as he sponsors self-righteous, ultra-conservative laws. https://tinyurl.com/rju77d7. Copy & paste url to see Ingoglia’s voting record for the past six years.

The all-Republican BOCC just recently, last October, 2019, sold 6 large lots, a total of 40 acres, for $408,000 to Mr. Ingoglia: lots that had been set aside for parks and recreation use.
And now, in the first few weeks of 2020, it has been reported that the BOCC was meeting to approve a redevelopment plan when, walla, one of these six lots shows up: a 6.3 acre piece of land that had been set aside to be used to serve the surrounding community, and this particular lot had been envisioned to become a community park with a playground, walking trails & recreation equipment, along with hopefully, some sidewalks for any area where people are forced to walk in the street because there are none. But now, there was this catch-22: because this is the same lot the BOCC sold to Blaise Ingoglia, a political representative who had just happened to solicit the BOCC by making a reportedly unannounced visit when he bid on six lots, including this 6.3 acres, which was accepted by the BOCC and sold to him, for $408,000. In other words, Hernando County’s representative for Spring Hill, Blaise Ingoglia, and the five Republican Commissioners broke the “Florida State Sunshine Law.” Sunshine laws are regulations requiring openness in government or business. Sunshine laws make meetings, records, deliberations, votes and any other official actions available for public observation, participation, and/or inspection.
Now, make no mistake about this: Blaise Ingoglia got these six lots because no other bids were ever, even considered and, as I mentioned both Ingoglia and the BOCC have countermanded the Sunshine Law, enacted in 1967 as well as the Public Records Law: both laws exist to ensure public access to government meetings and records. Talk about government gone wild?

It doesn’t surprise me a bit that Mr. Ingoglia and the BOCC broke this law as he voted in 2017, on HB 843, the same bill that would bestow on legislators the right to caucus (meet) to discuss upcoming bills in private, without any minutes being taken and it passed in the House but not the Senate. The BOCC have expressed their willingness to forget about the Sunshine Law and here now, is the proof,

John Mitten, a Rick Scott appointee to the BOCC, reportedly formed a coalition with Commissioners Jeff Holcomb and vice-chairman John Allocco. The commission vice-chairman traditionally becomes chairman, but, this time, vice-chairman John Allocco nominated Jeff Holcomb who had just recently been elected Chairman of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, taking it over from Mr. Allocco himself, even as Mr. Allocco had taken it over from none other than Blaise Ingoglia.

Now, John Mitten had been the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce government affairs committee and the Chamber of Commerce Chairman just so happens to be Marilyn Pearson-Adams, the Broker/owner of Century 21 Alliance Realty, the very same real estate company that Jeff Holcomb just so happens to be a real estate agent at and who just so happens to advertise and sell Blaise Ingoglia’s Hartland Homes. Holcomb has been a county commissioner since 2014, the same year Blaise Ingoglia became the Hernando County District 35 Representative. Why, my-my, what a coincidence.

And so, I, basically, have to undo everything Blaise Ingoglia has done. There’s an old saying that if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together. I want to go far and I ask for your vote for 2020. Martin Luther King Jr.’s mentor, Dr. Ralph David Abernathy once said: “When you pick a fight pick a good one.” He, of course was speaking of civil rights and so am I by asking for your vote, for this man, Blaise Ingoglia, has disdained us all, by his votes and his actions over the last six years.

BLAISE INGOGLIA’S “BUSINESS”

Blaise Ingoglia, who is the present House Rep. for Hernando County, District 35, has just recently purchased 40 acres of property zoned for use as parks & recreation lands, set aside for this very purpose, but that were sold to Ingoglia by the 5 County commissioners, all Republicans, who, in toto, laid them at his feet and accepted a, supposedly, unsolicited offer from Ingoglia, who is, after all, Hernando County’s District 35, representative in the State Legislature for the past 6 years (3 terms). Ingoglia was chairman of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, a position now held by Commission Chairman Jeff Holcomb and previously held by Commissioner John Allocco. Chairman Holcomb, a District 4 Commissioner since 2014 and a real estate agent for Century 21, Alliance Realty, actually sells Ingoglia’s Hartland Homes and advertises them widely on his company’s website.

In an article published in the Hernando Times section of the Tampa Bay Times, writer Barbara Behrendt wrote on Friday, November 8, 2019 that Commissioner Steve Champion stated that he: “didn’t realize that Hartland Homes was Blaise Ingoglia’s company” making this statement with a “straight face” and a licensed Realtor, who is also (as noted above) a Commissioner, sitting on the same commission, right next to him? BTW, Ingoglia was also the guy who “helped” get rid of the “impact fees” that anyone (think builders here) building a home must pay because of the “impact” building the home has on the county. The impact fee in Hernando County, in 2019, is $4,714 per lot and passes from the builder to the home-buyer. Ingoglia paid 405,000 for six Spring Hill park sites sold to him on Tuesday, November 5. 2019, and they include: 8 acres on Sheffield Road; 5.4 acres on Oleta Street; 8 acres on Norvell Road; 5.5 acres on Laredo Avenue; 6.3 acres on Pinehurst Drive; and 5.7 acres on Holiday Drive.     Now, it isn’t like these sites are one property: they are 6 separate sites, supposedly set aside for parks and recreation for the public. This means Ingoglia bought this land for approximately $10,000 an acre, property that is zoned, now, for 90 homes. If Ingoglia sells these 90 homes for an average of $200,000, he will gross $18,000,000 simoleons.

Waiving any impact fees doesn’t eliminate the cost of the infrastructure that these fees are paying for. Either new development or existing residents must pay the cost of needed infrastructure improvements. If new development, which puts additional demand on county facilities, doesn’t pay its fair share of this infrastructure cost through impact fees, then existing residents will have to pay those costs through higher fees or taxes and if the Hernando County Commissioners wave impact fees it hurts the taxpayers they are supposed to be serving, not to mention Blaise Ingoglia’s part in such an occurrence: he “wins” either way by getting the land for practically “nothing” and then paying no impact fees or if the impact fees are not waved, he (as all builders do) simply jacks the price of the new homes upwards.

 The costs of building anything for any “developer” (man with money) lies most heavily on the cost of the land which for Ingoglia was a “steal” as on the same day as Ingoglia was sold this property, 3 other county-owned parcels were sold or were about to be sold: one in Ridge Manor Estates and one in Weeki Wachee Acres and a 5.7 acre property on Cortez Boulevard at Blackbird Street that sold for $800,000 to Mahmood Akel, a local physician, by another unanimous commission vote and one on Cortez Boulevard, to which Hernando county’s real estate broker, Robert Buckner, recommended “an initial asking price of no less than $1 million” in a memo to the county commissioners less than 60 days ago. Buckner added this quote: “My goal, as the county’s real estate broker, is to achieve the highest market price possible,” he said but then added: “but understand a timely sale is also a motivating factor.” I would think he should have added: and the BUYER is also a “MOTIVATING FACTOR” as to the price.

BTW, the Hernando County Commission also approved a 2019-2020 spending plan that comes with a 14 percent increase in the general fund property tax rate and a 25% rise on Hernando County’s water bills; the largest hike in three decades.