Senate Democrats

REID GOES BEYOND ETHICS REQUIREMENTS, DISARMS GOP SMEAR CAMPAIGN

Washington, DC– Senator Harry Reid of Nevada today issued the following statement:

“Last month, Republicans openly boasted that they would engage in a campaign of personal attacks and smears to hold onto power in Washington. In recent days, we witnessed their latest attempt to do just that.

“Republicans may believe in cover-ups. I believe in ensuring all facts come to light.

“Last week, a highly misleading report by the Associated Press implied that I made a profit selling land I no longer owned. That article was wrong. Here are the facts: I bought the land in 1998, I sold it in 2004, and I listed my ownership of the land on official Senate disclosure forms every single year.

“Now I have taken an additional step. Today, I directed my staff to file amended financial disclosure forms noting that in 2001, I transferred title to the land to a Limited Liability Corporation. As the amended forms make clear, this routine legal move in no way altered my actual ownership of the land. On each disclosure form after 2001, I have added a note to clarify that the land already disclosed in detail on those forms was owned by me through the LLC.

“The Ethics Committee has not yet advised me whether I should file these amended forms, but even if I am not required to do so I am happy to go beyond what is needed to provide the fullest disclosure. The amended forms make clear what was true all along – I owned the land through the LLC when I sold it in 2004.

“Also, in the course of preparing the amended disclosure forms, my staff has identified some clerical errors and two minor matters that were inadvertently left off my original disclosure forms. First, in 2004 I sold about one third of an acre in my hometown of Searchlight. Second, a quarter acre of land that I received from my brother in 1985 appreciated in value above the $1,000 reporting threshold at some point in recent years. Both of these items will be listed on my amended disclosure forms.

“Finally, I have acted today to respond to another issue some plan to raise. I have sent a personal check in the amount of $3,300 to my political campaign to fully reimburse the campaign for donations it made over several years to the employee holiday fund in my apartment building. These donations were made to thank the men and women who work in the building for the extra work they do as a result of my political activities, and for helping the security officers assigned to me because of my Senate position. The donations came from my campaign – no taxpayer dollars were ever involved.

“When the campaign first donated to the holiday fund, its experienced lawyer William Oldaker advised us that such donations were permissible. The campaign’s current lawyer, Marc Elias, says the same thing. Nonetheless, I am reimbursing the campaign from my own pocket to prevent this issue from being used in the current campaign season to deflect attention from Republican failures.”

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