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Gov. Gibbons Asked to Fill in the Blanks on Disclosure

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 By Michael Clifford/Jamie Folsom, Contact
March 8, 2007

A Nevada public interest group is calling for Gov. Jim Gibbons to fill in the blanks on the amended financial disclosure form he filed Tuesday with the Secretary of State. The governor did not include information about gifts he received for his legal defense, arguing the money was donated for private purposes. The governor's attorneys argue state law requires disclosure only of gifts received for political purposes.

Jim Hulse, with Common Cause Nevada, wrote Gov. Gibbons asking him for more information.

"I don't see a difference there. If someone were to give a politician a gift for personal use, is that somehow exempt from the law?"

Four months after his legal defense fund was formed, Governor Gibbons disclosed the names of donors who contributed $169,000. Hulse criticizes Gibbons for stating his intent for full disclosure, while failing to disclose when these donations were made. The dates for those contributions could be crucial to deciding if any laws were broken. State law prohibits politicians from receiving gifts during the legislative session and 30 days before and after each session.

Hulse believes Gov. Gibbons should reveal exactly when those $5,000 and $10,000 donations were made to his defense fund.

"It makes me wonder. I don't want to make any accusations without having all the evidence in front of me, but one of the reasons for the disclosure law is to discourage contributions for the purpose of influencing legislation or administrative decisions."

Hulse adds Gibbons is trying to show he supports disclosure while refusing to follow the law.

"He either wants full disclosure or I infer from what his lawyer says; that they may want to disclose only those things that are for political purposes. That's part of my confusion."

Having not yet received Hulse's letter, the governor's office is declining comment.

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