Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - August 28, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Rocky’s riches: Public’s itch to see all may go unscratched
The Odar Rapids Gazette: Wed , Aug 28, 1974 7/^
By Donald Smith
117 ASH I\( 1 ION — Americans hoping V* to catch a glimpse into the world of the very, very rich when Vice-president-designate Nelson Rockefeller’s confirmation hearings begin in congress may be disappointed
Precedents set by Gerald Ford s confirmation last,.year indicate that Rockefeller will have considerable control over how much personal financial data is released to the public lj> the house judiciary and senate rules committees
"The committee will be inclined to follow the precedents set during the Ford hearings,’ said a reliable judiciary source “They will be very solicitous of tin* right of privacy, and properly so.’’
The committee will release whatever it considered “appropriate.’’ the source added, but it would probably be sympathetic to objections from Rockefeller.
Congressional leaders have been careful to point out that the object of their investigation 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 C. Byrd (I)-VV Va.), majority whip and a member of the rules committee.
Rockefeller, whose net worth has been estimated at between $4(1(1 million and SHOO 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" regarding his wealth He also pledged to cooperate with congress during the confirmation process
Ford s records
In fact, there is no legal requirement for elective federal officials to disclose their 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, information about charities to which he had contributed and the amounts not be disclosed Later he dropped this objection 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
How glorious it ii — and al so how painful — to be on exception.
Alfred de Musset
statement would be published, judiciary committee source.
The conflict of interest issue, not much of a problem for Ford, looms large for Rockefeller
Conflicts of interest usually arise when government appointees ha' c lobs 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 1953. 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 1989 Packard was allowed to put the 3(1 percent bloc of Hewlett-Packard stock ho 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 exat t extent of Rockefeller’s fortune 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 holdings of $1(1.(MMI or more that are subject to regulation by state agencies. The reports must be updated whenever there is significant change in financial status.
In 1988, Fortune magazine placed the net worth of Rockefeller, his four brothers and one sister, at more than $20(1 million each with an annual income of about $5 million each Ferdinand Dun berg, in his 1904 book, “The Rich and the Super-Rich”, said Nelson Rockefeller was worth about $500 million
The family fortune, based on grandfather John I) Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company, is dispersed in three major areas real estate, such as the Rockefeller Center in New York City; family trusts, many administered by the Rockefeller Brothers, Inc , and “venture capital,” such as the International Basic Economy Corp. (IBKC), designed to encourage development in impoverished nations
The Rockefeller family had given away an estimated $2 billion as of 1907 through 14 family foundations The most heavily endowed is the Rockefeller Foundation, which had assets in early 1972 of $831 million It is second only in total assets to the 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 Citizens’ Research Foundation place the family’s contributions to Nelson’s various races from 1952 to 197(1 at $25 million
Although wealthy, Rockefeller championed the welfare of the common man He once lectured an annual board meeting of Standard Oil that “the only justification for ownership is that it serves the broad interest of the people. We must recognize 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 responsible for his image as a liberal Among other things he
Stressed the coordination of transportation policy as a factor in “creating a more favorable economic climate’’; pushed increases in state aid to education; 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 extend state health and welfare programs
Opinion Page 2
Way with words
To whom ‘whom’ may concern
By Theodore M. Bernstein
i i is leaving? When a news-
VV paperman writer, “Five families told who they wanted for mayor," we have to assume either that hi1 is not letter-perfect in grammar or that he is defying a centuries-old rule of syntax.
Anyone who knows his English could tell him that the pronoun is the object of the verb wanted and therefore should be whom That’s what it says in the book, but ifs not what is said by the vast majority in the streets, in the homes or even in the classrooms.
Half a century ago ll L. Mencken in “The American Language’’ said, “Although the schoolma’am continues the heroic tusk of trying to teach the difference between who and whom, whom is fast vanishing from Standard American, in the vulgar language it is virtually extinct." And a century before him Noah Webster denounced whom as useless and argued that common sense was on the side of Who did he marry?" Mencken continues “Even in England. says the OKI), and on the highest levels, whom is ‘no bulger current in natural colloquial speech
It is not only that whom is useless and senseless the word is in addition a complicated nuisance. Think, for example, of the puzzle-solving needed to determine the proper pronoun to use iii each of these sentences
“A suspect whom the pollee identified as John Jones was arrested
Theodore M. Bernstein
“A suspect who the police said was John Jones was arrested
Or look at this sentence: “Whomever (whoever?) she marries will not be the boss in her home.”
The pronoun in the objective case form serves no purpose in the language and should be dropped, except when it follows immediately after a preposition a'nd “sounds natural” even to the masses, as in “To whom it may concern,” or, “He
By Jim Fiebig
IN OCTOBER of 73, Herbert Stem, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, turned his back on the future and announced. “The worst of inflation is behind us The peanut-si/c source of Stein’s unfounded optimism was an (14 percent decline in retail food prices the month before.
At the time, I suggested that Stein was full of. well, unfounded optimism
Then in May of this year. Agriculture Secretary Earl But/ said food prices would rise no more than 12 percent in 1974. despite the fact that they had already risen 8 percent prior to his prediction
At the time. I suggested that Bul/ was full of the same thing Herbert Stein was full of (unfounded optimism).
Sure enough Last week the agriculture department scrapped its 12 percent forecast and warned us to stand by for an additional 4 percent to 5 percent hike in
married the girl for whom he had risked his life."
Dropping whom will be neither radical nor unprecedented The wiping out of case declensions of pronouns has been going on for centuries. Mencken cites the instance of the distinction between ye, nominative, and you, objective, which disappeared as long ago as the 15th Century If our fathers had the good sense to simplify and strengthen the language, why shouldn't we have similar good sense?
New York Times Syndicate
the cost of eating before January The reason for the projected Kj percent rather than 12 percent increase in retail food prices?
A summer drought throughout the Midwest reduced crop production estimates
How convenient for Earl But/ and all the other owners of cloudy crystal balls. Now, whenever they are asked why food prices continued to spiral upwards — against all their predictions — they can raise their eyes to heaven and blame “an act of God.’
Sooner or later. God gets blamed for everything.
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