An early look at this year's financial disclosures
Most personal financial disclosures by members of Congress won't be released to the public until next month, but some interesting disclosures have already trickled out so far.
Take Norm Coleman. The Republican from Minnesota refuses to concede to challenger Al Franken in his apparent Senate re-election defeat, but his financial disclosure is a concession of sorts. Instead of filing an annual disclosure typical of any member of Congress staying in office, in April he filed a termination report along with all other departing members.
One of the latest filings released was for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who filed his termination report with the Senate this month. As the Associated Press reported today, Stevens disclosed a debt of between $1 million and $5 million in legal fees to Williams and Connolly LLP, the firm that represented Stevens in his corruption case regarding past omissions on disclosure forms. A jury found Stevens guilty last fall before Stevens was defeated in his reelection campaign, but the case was dismissed in April after a judge found prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense.
And Barack Obama filed his termination report in March, reflecting his departure from the Senate in November to move across town to the White House. President Obama disclosed that in January he received a $500,000 advance against royalties for an abridged version of his book Dreams From My Father, in addition to receiving nearly $2.5 million in royalties during 2008 for his two books (Dreams and The Audacity of Hope).
Today is the deadline for members of Congress and their top staffers to file personal financial disclosures covering the 2008 calendar year. LegiStorm will be posting the disclosures as soon as they are available.