Pawlenty files amended forms
By Patrick Howe
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty moved Monday to correct his 2001 and 2002 economic disclosure reports to acknowledge that he owned a company that took payments for his consulting work with a pay-phone company run by a friend and political benefactor.
He also released a copy of his contract to do the work and planned to file another lapsed report with a lawyers oversight board.
Pawlenty described the refiling as an effort to correct his only potential major lapse regarding his relationships with several telecommunication companies, including one accused of cheating customers.
"With today's actions, the governor is working to set the record straight and address any confusion or oversights regarding forms," spokeswoman Leslie Kupchella said. In a letter to the campaign finance board, Pawlenty said he refiled the forms to "allow for possible alternative interpretations" of the law. He says he believes his original report was "appropriate."
Democrats were unsatisfied.
They demanded still more information during a news conference. Two senators and a representative asked for Pawlenty's 2001 and 2002 tax returns.
Kupchella said Pawlenty properly paid required taxes and wouldn't release his tax returns.
The disclosure forms have spaces to report "securities" -- stocks and bond holdings worth more than $2,500 -- as well as "sources of compensation." The second space is where public officials and candidates are asked to check whether they are a director, officer, owner, member, partner, employer or employee of an organization.
Pawlenty listed his company along with his stock holdings, but he did not list it as a source of compensation. Campaign finance experts questioned his reports after Pawlenty told reporters that he'd established the company, Bamco, specifically to accept the money he earned as a consultant.
Democrats maintain the larger question is whether Pawlenty was expected to do any work for his monthly stipend. If not, they say, it could be regarded as an illegal campaign contribution.