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The Pitfalls of Reporting Investments

February 21, 1991

Respecting the furor created in certain quarters over candidate Shirley Griffin's failure to report some investments, allow me to inject a bit of levity into an otherwise un-newsworthy situation.

As a former candidate and supporter of Mrs. Griffin's candidacy, I can attest to all the pitfalls and difficulties of following the changing policies and reporting requirements of the Fair Political Practices Commission, especially when operating on a shoestring budget!

What has been bantered about in the press to date is a flawed comparison of oranges and apples! There is a sizable difference between failure, for whatever reason, to report a small and non-influential investment in a large conglomerate and receiving political contributions and perks from local groups and PACs who, by their actions, stand to benefit financially by decisions made by the recipients of these donations, our duly elected City Council!

In addition, according to the local papers, many of the candidates not only in this election but the one in 1989 erroneously reported personal residences at values exceeding $100,000. Economic interest reporting regulations state that personal residences are excluded unless used for business purposes and then only that portion of the home used for said business is to be valued. In view of this provision, I suppose a case could be made that some candidates, not including Shirley Griffin, were padding their reports to make themselves appear more affluent and more successful than they really are! Or, perhaps they too made an honest mistake!

Obviously, these lackluster accusations stem not only from animosities within City Hall, but also from inept and poorly drawn bureaucratic regulations which many times serve only to make black appear white and vice versa.

RICHARD SEELEY

La Crescenta

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