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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Financial disclosures going on-line

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Today's the deadline for Arkansas elected officials to file statements of financial interest. They are filed on paper with the secretary of state, which has already posted those from several state constitutional officers on-line. Others will filter in. The link is to a page that allows searches for all.

Unfortunately for prying eyes, the state's reporting requirements are badly out of date. Income and holdings are reported in two categories — more than $1,000 and more than $12,500, so it's impossible to make conclude much from them.

Gov. Mike Beebe, for example, reports income of more than $1,000 each from one bank and one securities firm and more than $12,500 each from two banks and one security firm. How much more than an aggregate minimum income of $39,500 does he receive? No way of knowing.

Beebe further lists 13 certificates of deposit or municipal bond holdings worth more than $12,500 each, plus another worth more than $1,000, or a minimum value of $163,500 in aggregate. Given low CD and bond yields these days and what we know of the minimum earnings the governor has reported, I'd guess an aggregate value 15 times greater than that. Or up.

Beebe reported no free gifts during the year. His bowl game jaunts, courtesy of UA and ASU, occurred in 2012. Look for them next year.

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