Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lunsford Discloses Huge Assets; Where's Fischer's Form?

W. Bruce Lunsford has filed his candidate financial disclosure report with the United States Senate Office of Public Records. It's a glimpse into the world of the rich who want to be famous. Greg Fischer, in contrast, appears to have missed the April 20th deadline, in yet another violation of the laws governing candidates for federal office.

We anxiously await to see whether Fischer's disclosure form was lost in the mail. As a candidate for federal office who does not file annually, the Ethics in Government Act required Fischer to file his financial disclosure form 30 days before the primary, that is, April 20th. If Fischer fails to file the form, he is subject to a fine or even referral to the Department of Justice.

It's just one form out of many that candidates must file, and yet it reveals the difference between the two men, or at least their campaigns.

Lunsford signed and dated his form April 17, 2008 (three days early) and took no chances on it arriving late; he sent it via UPS Next Day Air -- in which he has invested.

At this point, nothing jumps out from Lunsford's form except that he is very, very rich. The diversity of his investments is also striking. The man owns interests in everything from the frivolous -- races horses, film-making companies, amusement parks --to more conventional assets -- real estate, mutual funds and health care-related companies.

Whereas many of us have one mortgage, Lunsford has many, scattered around the country. And whereas many of us have mutual funds or savings accounts, Lunsford has interests in limited liability corporations and limited partnerships -- just page after page of assets. That includes many funds with Goldman Sachs; these appear to be the sort limited to high net worth individuals.

Not to incite any class warfare, but as I place my $ 2 bet on the Derby, I will think of Lunsford, who valued his thoroughbred horses at between $5 million to $ 25 million. That's a lot of horse flesh.

Fischer, on the other hand, is the horse who couldn't get loaded into the starting gate.

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