Our cautious governor | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Our cautious governor

Posted By on Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I wish I was Mike Beebe. No, I don't want to be governor. I wish my investments were all in bonds and CDs, not the ruinous equity mutual funds on which my own retirement rests.

The subject comes up because I was interested to note the newspaper report that Gov. Beebe's annual financial disclosure statement reported only income from his job as governor. It noted that he also reported 12 business holdings worth more than $12,500.

It was my understanding that income from such business holdings must be reported in the income section of the report in the ranges given -- either more than $1,000 or more than $12,5000. That's typically how other public officials handle investment income. The state Ethics Commission instructions for the form, in a sample form, even lists interest from a bank account as an example of reportable income. Further note: Beebe has always only reported holdings, not income. I don't think that's enough, but I'm still waiting for clarification.

I've asked the governor's office about this difference in Beebe's reporting. (It could be, but I doubt, that his income doesn't exceed $1,000 in any of the 12.) But in the meanwhile, I thought it worth noting that Beebe's cautious style is mirrored in his investment portfolio. The items, all valued at more than $12,500: CDs at four banks; a money market account; six municipal bond holdings (city of Little Rock, the Alma, Beebe and Crossett school districts, the Conway Public Facilities Board and the White County Hospital); and a preferred income account in Ginger Beebe's name at a Searcy bank. No Bank of America stock for him to worry about. Lucky guy.



From Matt DeCample of the governor's office:

holdings also generate interest. If the Ethics Commission would like us to like to denote the attachment under income as well, we'd be happy to amend and re-submit. Our emphasis was on making sure the full list of holdings was part of the SFI.

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