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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Wednesday, August 28, 1974 - Page 7

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 28, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Rocky's to see all riches: Public's itch may go unscratched The Cedar Rapids Gazelle: Wed.. Aug. 28, 1971 By Donald Smith _ Americans hoping In i-ad-li .1 glimpse inlu the wnriil uf the very, very rit-h when Vice-president designate Nelson Rockefeller's cnufir. inalion hearings in rmigrexs inuv hi1 Precedents set by (ierald Kurd's con- firmation last year indicate llial Rockefeller have considerable con- trol uvi-r him iniirh personal finaiirial data is released in (he public Ijy the hciu.se judiciary and senate rules committees "The committee will he inclined In follow the precedents set during the Kurd said a reliable judiciary source "They will lie solicitous of the right of privacy, and properly so Tile committee will release whatever it considered "appropriate." the source added, but it would probably be sym- pathetic to objections from Rockefeller. Congressional leaders have been careful to point out that the object of their iniestimation into Rockefeller's finances is not to titillate the public. "The important consideration is to make sure there is no conflict of interest." said Robert Ryrd Ya.l. majority whip and a member of the rules com- mittee. Rockefeller, whose net worth has been estimated at between million and SHIM million, always has been secretive about his finances. After President Ford announced Rockefeller's nomination, the former New York governor promised to comply with "whatever the law says" rewarding his wealth. He also pledged to cooperate with congress during the con- firmation process. Ford's records In fad, there is no legal requirement for elective federal officials to disclose (heir personal finances or to divest themselves of holdings while serving in office. Nor are they required to place their holdings in a trust, as Rockefeller suggested he might do. In Ford's case. Cooperation with congress during confirmation meant supplying the committees with a statement of his net worth and copies of his federal income tax returns for the last six years. Ford initially asked that, if his income tax returns were made public, informa- tion about charities to which he had con- tributed and the amounts not be disclosed. Later he dropped this objec- tion and left it to the committees to decide whether to publish the returns. They decided against publication because disclosure was not required by law. However, the committee did release Ford's statement of net worth, which was not very long. Rockefeller's statement necessarily would be long and complicated. "I don't think at this stage you could predict one way or another whether the Insights How glorious it is and how pocnfji to he an ex- ception. Alfred Mussef statement would be published." said a judiciary committee source The conflict of interest issue, not much of a problem for Ford, looms large for Rockefeller. Exception Conflicts of interest usually arise when government appointees have jobs in which they might influence government decisions, such as contract awards, in their areas of special interest. For example. General Motors President Charles Wilson was required to sell his stock in the company when he was named secretary of defense in 1SI5.1 And congress required Robert S. McNamara to sell his Ford Motor Co. holdings instead of putting them into a trust, as he had proposed, when John F. Kennedy named him to the top defense post. A major recent exception was David Packard, President Nixon's appointee as deputy defense secretary in 1969. Packard was allowed to put the 30 per- cent bloc of Hewlett-Packard stock he and his wife owned into a complicated trust arrangement after he claimed sale would adversely affect the value of the stock held by other persons. The exact extent of Rockefeller's for- tune has been impossible to determine. Under a 20-year-old "Code of Ethics" law administered by the New York secretary of state's office. Rockefeller filed limited financial disclosures in 1959, 1972 and 1973. The law requires only that certain public officials list all their hold- ings of or more that are subject to regulation by state agencies. The reports must be updated whenever there is sig- nificant change in financial status. In IMtiti. Fortune Ui" net worth of IttM'kffellei his loin- brothers and i.nc sish-r. al more than S'.'IHI million each with an acuiu.il income- nl about million .-ach l-Vnluianrl l.unberg. in his IMB4 hook "The Un-h tin-Super-Kirn' .said Isnn Itc.c ki-fcllcr was worth about million Tin' family fortune, based on grand- father John I) Rockefeller's Standard Oil I ompany, is dispersed in three major areas, real estate, such as the Rockefeller Center in .New York City; trusts, many administered by the Rockefeller Bnilhers. Inc and "venture such as the International Basic Kconomy Corp designed to en- courage ih'vrliipHU'Ml in impoverished nations The RcickefelliT family had given away all estimated ?J billion as of through H family foundations. Tin- mos( heavih endowed is the Rockefeller Foundation, which had assets in early 1H72 of million It is second only in total assets to Ford Foundation, which is more than three' times as large as Rockefeller The Rockefellers have not skimped in helping .Nelson's political career, either. Conservative estimates by the Citixens' Research Foundation place the family's contributions to Nelson's various races from 1952 to at SlTi million. Liberal Image Although wealthy. Rockefeller cham- pioned the welfare of the common man. He once lectured an annual board meet- ing of Standard Oil that "the only jus- tification for ownership is thai it serves the broad interest of the people. We must the social responsibilities of corporations and the corporations must use their ownership of assets to reflect the best interests of the people." That was in 1937, when Rockefeller was 29 years old. Later, as governor of New York, civil rights became a priority in Rockefeller's policies. This interest was largely re- sponsible for his image as a liberal. Among other things he: Stressed the coordination of transpor- tation policy as a factor in "creating a more favorable economic pushed increases in state aid to educa- tion; worked to inject private capital in the construction of low- and middle-in- come housing; pioneered in establishing statewide air and water pollution control measures; and supported moves to ex- tend state health and welfare programs. Congressional Quarterly WfD.-rHUaS.-fRI.-5AT. ONLY 1 0-Speed 26" Bike Ken's or Women? LITTLE BOYS' POLYESTER SLACKS Our Beg. 44 '4 Days BOYS' KNIT TURTLENECK POLO SHIRT 2 ?9 76 4 Days Rugged washable polyester slacks ith all-around oistband Foil nlors Sties 4 7 Views Ideas Insights Judgments Comments Opinion Page 2 Way with words To whom 'whom' may concern By Theodore M. Bernstein 
                            

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