Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial Records, Basic Information

My feelings about her being anointed as a senator are well known around these parts.  I'm just wondering how was it that she sat on the transition team for obama and demanded records of future team members ( appointed and not elected in some cases) and now refuses to hand over hers. In the NY times article below she says IF ( read as AFTER I'm chosen) I'm chosen * cough * anointed , then ONLY shall I show you my financial records or any records.

Missed in all of this recent hoopla and by practically everyone were reports weeks ago that Uncle Ted Kennedy offered a Blago like deal to Paterson, stating that by having her anointed, it would mean great things for Paterson in 2010 (indirectly)- because more money would be freed up for his reelection run in 2010. Now, it was not as juicy as blago's rant on tape but it was the same level of cronyism.

If she were applying to be, say, an undersecretary of education in Barack Obama's new administration, Caroline Kennedy would have to fill out a 63-item confidential questionnaire disclosing potentially embarrassing text messages and diary entries, the immigration status of her household staff, even copies of every résumé she used in the last 10 years.Caroline Kennedy is actively seeking appointment to the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

If she were running for election to the Senate, Ms. Kennedy would have to file a 10-part, publicly available report disclosing her financial assets, credit card debts, mortgages, book deals and the sources of any payments greater than $5,000 in the last three years.

But Ms. Kennedy, who has asked Gov. David A. Paterson to appoint her to succeed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton -- and who helped oversee the vetting process for Mr. Obama's possible running mates -- is declining to provide a variety of basic data, including companies she has a stake in and whether she has ever been charged with a crime.

Ms. Kennedy declined on Monday to reply to those and other questions posed by The New York Times about any potential ethical, legal and financial entanglements. Through a spokesman, she said she would not disclose that kind of information unless and until she becomes a senator.

"If Governor Paterson were to choose Caroline, she would, of course, comply with all disclosure requirements," said the spokesman, Stefan Friedman.

Mr. Paterson's office said his choice for the Senate would undergo the same background check as any cabinet-level officer in Albany, including verification of employment and education, a review of tax returns, and a criminal background check by the State Police. The governor's vetting process drew criticism this fall when it surfaced that his top aide at the time, Charles O'Byrne, had failed to pay income taxes for five years. The Paterson administration has since said it is requiring more extensive background checks.

The Senate's self-imposed ethics rules do not require any disclosure by potential appointees, although sitting senators are required to file financial disclosure statements by May 15 each year. (The latest filing by Ms. Kennedy's uncle, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, showed a net worth of at least $43.8 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which ranked him the seventh richest senator.)

But several ethics experts, good-government advocates and scholars, who called Ms. Kennedy's situation highly unusual -- because of her overt pursuit of the job, her celebrity and her lack of previous political experience -- urged her to reveal information on her finances now, if only for appearances' sake.

Ms. Kennedy made headlines around the world last week after alerting the governor that she wanted the job. She then began a public tour, meeting with political leaders around the state, and quickly cemented herself as the dominant contender for the seat.

"Precisely because there is no campaign or election, she should be more willing to disclose and subject herself to a greater level of public scrutiny than is required," said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a nonpartisan watchdog group. He noted that other major contenders for the Senate seat -- officeholders like the attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, and Representative Kirsten Gillibrand -- have mounted runs for office and filed public disclosures before.

Others wonder if Ms. Kennedy's unwillingness to disclose personal information suggests she lacks the stomach for the kind of intrusive questions that could come her way as a candidate in 2010.

"If this were an open primary, and all the people seeking that position had to run, she'd have to make all those disclosures, so why not in the appointment process?" said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, a watchdog group that lobbies for tighter ethics rules. "She can't simply ride in on her name recognition or place in history. The voters and people of New York deserve that full disclosure."

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, another watchdog group, warned that requiring financial disclosure by "anyone who is speculated about" for such a vacancy could be untenable. "I would think it would be up to her," he said. But he called Ms. Kennedy's campaign for the appointment "kind of unique."

So far, on her tour, Ms. Kennedy has taken just 11 questions from reporters, has granted no interviews, and responded only in writing to inquiries about her positions on significant issues.

"She needs to deepen the public's idea of who she is," said Paul Light, a professor at New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. "To the extent she can be more transparent, she dispels the notion that it's all about her name. We obviously know that she's quite wealthy, but beyond that, we don't know much about where she gets her income, how she's invested, whether she has followed her own principles in her investing activities, and so forth. That would be very useful to know."

Ms. Kennedy also has not had to disclose the names and salaries of the people working for her in her bid for the appointment. Lawyers have assured her that federal campaign-finance rules do not apply in this situation, her aides have said.

Ms. Kennedy also avoided disclosing any information about her finances while working as chief fund-raiser for the New York City Department of Education. She took the three-day-a-week job -- director of the Office of Strategic Partnerships -- in October 2002 at $1 a year, intending at the time to step up to a $90,000-a-year salary, but she later decided to forgo the salary. Taking it would have required her to file disclosures with the city's Conflicts of Interests Board, officials said.

Since then, Ms. Kennedy has been a vice chairwoman of the Fund for Public Schools, the nonprofit arm of the strategic partnerships office. A 2006 state law required that the board members of all nonprofits "affiliated, sponsored by or created by" a city government submit detailed disclosure forms. But on Dec. 10, the city told an Assembly committee that the Fund for Public Schools would be exempt from the law, reasoning that the Department of Education is, legally speaking, a school district, not a city agency -- even though the mayor has control over the schools.

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Comments

25 Comments

A couple of comments...

At this point, I'm having a problem with all of this Kennedy-hate. As is evident from the reality that folks are jumping the shark on disclosure--which in and of itself is interesting for other reasons--generally speaking it's over the top.

There are rumors--and strictly that so they could be totally bogus for sure--floating around political circles in NY that the Governor has already made up his mind, and it may be a male, based upon a slip-of-the-tongue by Charlie Rangel in a public comment he made a few days ago.

And, perhaps more importantly, the fact that financial disclosure has not been requested of her speaks more to the speculation in the previous paragraph than anything I could say on the matter, too!

That being said, I think a paragraph in the diarist's own blockquote kind of sums up my sentiments...


Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, another watchdog group, warned that requiring financial disclosure by "anyone who is speculated about" for such a vacancy could be untenable. "I would think it would be up to her," he said. But he called Ms. Kennedy's campaign for the appointment "kind of unique."

A little over a week or two since the basic Kennedy story's gone public? I mean...this level of animosity is getting ridiculous!

by bobswern 2008-12-22 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

I submit in all fairness, we did to hillary and she had boat load of exp compared to caroline. the party has an aversion to dynasties.  It's " change" from the old guard.

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-22 08:08PM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

Did we?  I don't remember that in either Senate run and I was paying attention.

by Jess81 2008-12-22 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

And you're aliveandkickin!  I just realized.  The way you're throwing a tantrum and calling everyone gay is a dead giveaway.  Like that's the worst insult in the world.

by Jess81 2008-12-22 10:07PM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

apart from being now named as yet another new handle , how do and where do you get me calling people gay?

I mean at some point even morons like you need to check my history before accusing me of gay bashing.

I probably have a hint of why a homophobe like you would say something ridiculous like that i.e when I tease your kinds with having a man crush on Obama because you always associate any 'policy/issue' talk with an attack on Obama .  

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-23 04:02AM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

"Re: Fair enough (0.00 / 3)

Neef and Sumo= This like watching two little butt buddies go back and forth on who is going to play catcher or pitcher.

Why you so afraid of me being black? is it because I don't fit your criteria of being a subtle bigot?

by MumbaiBurns on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 11:56:54 PM EST "

by Jess81 2008-12-23 04:08AM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

"Re: I don't think you understand (0.25 / 4)

Come again, because all I see in your responses on this board is a fresh set of knee pads being tried out for the benefit of your Obama man crush club.

by MumbaiBurns on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 03:05:59 PM EST "

by Jess81 2008-12-23 04:10AM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

You call that being called gay... I was hinting at  kneeling down at the pedestal of the O altar.  

move along and just stick to down rating comments that don't fit your partisan views  

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-23 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...


"Re: Fair enough (0.00 / 3)

Neef and Sumo= This like watching two little butt buddies go back and forth on who is going to play catcher or pitcher.

Why you so afraid of me being black? is it because I don't fit your criteria of being a subtle bigot?

by MumbaiBurns on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 11:56:54 PM EST "

by Jess81 2008-12-23 04:26AM | 0 recs
Re: A couple of comments...

Good catch Jess. And yes his "style" is an awful lot like alive. Samd M.O. with multiple fake outrage diaries.

by venician 2008-12-23 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

I thought Caroline was a democrat?

by obama4presidente 2008-12-22 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

Yawn.  Yeah, yeah.  Off with her head and all that jazz.

You're quite possibly the most ineffective sock puppet I've ever seen.  Lamb Chop is rolling in her grave.

by fogiv 2008-12-22 10:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

OK a first a style issue.

First the use of the word "anointed"  when speaking of Caroline Schlossberg. You do realize that anyone Gov. Patterson appoints will be "anointed."

As to her financial records. So far sounds to me like she is playing by the rules. She will release her financial records when required to do so. As this point she isn't required to release anything. And if we are going to fair where's Cuomo's or any of the other contenders records?

I also don't get all the angst. What happens if it goes to Cuomo? There is just a good a chance of this happening. Where's all the outrage of yet another political family/dynasty getting anointed? Getting all pissy over a family name, especially a family name that has served Democrats very well over the years seems a bit much.

And finally. I have no dog in this fight. I no longer live in NY. And my sense most of the outrage on the blogs is coming from folks she won't even represent which makes it even sillier.

by jsfox 2008-12-23 03:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

Some reasonable points here.  I think it's important to note the difference in Cuomo's and Kennedy-Schlossberg's respective career trajectories though.  AC has more relevant experience.  And although the idea of a CKS appointment rubs me the wrong way, I think the animus directed at her is more than a little over-the-top.  

Some, though not all of the opposition to her pursuit of this seat clearly emanates from well-tended primary resentment.  CKS "betrayed" her sex and her home town senator when she swung behind Obama.  The idea that she would assume HRC's seat rubs some against the grain and colors otherwise reasonable opposition with an exaggerated tenor.  I wonder if in 100 years there will be commemorations like the Scots have for the Battle of Culloden, or something more like 9th of Av fasts for the destruction of Jerusalem.  Grievances often lie at the center of identities.  This can be constructive or destructive or both.  Anyway, part of it may come from an addiction to opposition.  We've been in the wilderness a while now.  It's not so simple to shift roles.  

by Strummerson 2008-12-23 03:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

You strum , you write well. But that does not mean that you make it an interesting read.  I don't know if you are stuck in some round table discussion at the speakers club in your head, but you made a short point ( valid points) into a thesis.

"commemorations like the Scots have for the Battle of Culloden, or something more like 9th of Av fasts for the destruction of Jerusalem"

At some point, the original point you trying to make gets muddied up because you have people trying to google ' what the hell was 9th of av fasts.."

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-23 04:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

Yes.  We have very different writing styles.   I prefer mine to yours.  Good luck and good health to you.  

by Strummerson 2008-12-23 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

I prefer your style to the unintelligible.  Keep at it.

by fogiv 2008-12-23 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

Cuoma, has already had his records released. especially given that he holds the highest law enforcement office for the state.

As to her financial records. If we demanded such of bill Clinton ( a spouse of the candidate running) not the candidate ( have no legal basis to have asked such), if we have Caroline Kennedy herself demand such records of other potential candidates when she was in the transition team and we also have all other players in the hat ( something around 6 names) already have their records public. Why is it that we don't seek the same of her?

she became a candidate 'running' when she came on publicly and announced she wanted the job i.e. a De facto candidate in running.

How can you / we treat her with kids gloves , demand that records be withheld when we demanded both Obama and Hillary to release theirs well before they had to actually (legally) do so?

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-23 04:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose Financial

And she said she would release financial records when required to do so. Just like every other contender for the seat. Requiring her to do so earlier just because she is who she is a weak argument.

Now that said, if there was some whiff of impropriety I would probably take your side, but there is not so I don't ;)

And I am not suggesting she be treated with kid gloves, but I also refuse to smack her around with a club when it's not called for.

If I were still in NY I would be at least willing to let her make her case to the Gov. and to me as a potential constituent. If she doesn't then I would say no and let the Governor know.

And here's a quote from Gov. Paterson regarding this appointment:

My responsibility as Governor is to appoint an individual who shows integrity, who has bold ideas to put our state back on track, and who will work with President Obama and Congress to move our country forward. Let me assure you that I take this responsibility seriously, and I will appoint our next Senator based on what's in the best interest of the State of New York.

FYI he posts at DKos on a somewhat irregular basis.

by jsfox 2008-12-23 05:05AM | 0 recs
because she's a Kennedy,

and as a Kennedy, she is entitled to Deity-like treatment, even tho she's never done anything worth while except share the last name of JFK. Its amazing the dishonour people showed to Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, but the hero worship of Ted's niece.

by Lakrosse 2008-12-23 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To

"Uncle Ted Kennedy offered a Blago like deal to Paterson, stating that by having her anointed, it would mean great things for Paterson in 2010 (indirectly)- because more money would be freed up for his reelection run in 2010."

Huh?  This isn't a deal.  Its a statement of a political reality.  Since the Senate seat would be easier to defend with a Kennedy holding it, donors would likely give more money to Paterson.  Its a simple prediction of how limited resources are likely to be allocated given varying sets of circumstances.

by XoFalconXo 2008-12-23 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To

that offer was not about the donors giving to Paterson directly. It was about the DNC allocating monies to candidates.

It is a quid pro quo though. ' you get more cash in your coffers ( direct benefit for the gov)from the party if you chose my gal'

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-23 05:43AM | 0 recs
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by efott 2008-12-23 06:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose

Did she refuse to offer these financial disclosures to the person who is vetting her for the job (Gov. Paterson), or did she merely refuse to offer them to the public?

The analogy to Kennedy's role on the VP search team is a good one.  Contenders for the VP position were required to make all kinds of confidential disclosures to the VP search team, but no one expected that they would make those same disclosures to the public.

There's nothing wrong with asking for transparency, but I don't think there's anything particularly scandalous about Kennedy's refusal.

by Steve M 2008-12-23 06:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Caroline Kennedy Refuses To Disclose

I think the non legal grounds for this request also stems from, that all other contenders are handicapped  ( which ever way you want to look at it)- by having their records on display.  

by MumbaiBurns 2008-12-23 07:23AM | 0 recs

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