RICHMOND, JAN. 17 -- Gov. L. Douglas Wilder filed a required conflict-of-interest statement this week that documents the record number of out-of-state trips Wilder has made in the last 12 months and details gifts worth about $20,000.
According to the statement of economic interest, as it is formally called, the gifts received by Wilder include a painting by Washington artist Sam Gilliam, valued at $5,000, and a silver sword, worth $200, that was a gift from the Saudi ambassador to the United States. All the gifts listed in the statement are legal.
Wilder, who observed his 60th birthday today, also has collected $30,000 to $35,000 in honorariums, which are not shown on the statement.
His press secretary, Laura Dillard, said all of that money will be given to his alma mater, Virginia Union University, for a library that will bear his name.
Among Wilder's more recent trips were three to Washington Redskins games at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium and a Thanksgiving vacation to Montego Bay, Jamaica, aboard a plane owned by Northern Virginia developer Albert J. Dwoskin. The governor reimbursed the state $225 for each of the football games he attended via the State Police helicopter, the statement showed.
Wilder's statement, filed with the secretary of the commonwealth on Tuesday, indicates that he has divested some of his holdings since last year's report.
Gone this year is his $100,000-plus interest in the Interstate Guaranty Insurance Co., a Pennsylvania company in which Wilder was chairman of the board and a major stockholder, and income from his law firm, from which he resigned the day before his inauguration.
The statement also indicates that Wilder has disposed of rental property in Richmond that had been held in trust for him. The HLS Trust still owns land in the governor's name in two rural counties in Virginia. The governor also retains more than $50,000 worth of stock in the Richmond Marriott Hotel and rental property in Richmond, according to the statement.
Washington was by far the most popular stop on Wilder's agenda, averaging a trip a week there. Next came New York (six) and Los Angeles (five), with most of the country's other major cities also on his itinerary: Chicago (three); Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Dallas and Baltimore, twice each; plus single visits to New Orleans; Nashville; Memphis; Houston; Des Moines; Indianapolis; Cleveland, Columbus, Ohio; New Haven, Conn.; Minneapolis; Natchez, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; Charleston, S.C.; and Aspen, Colo.
The governor, who has given up objecting to speculation that his trips are designed to raise his national political profile, visited almost as many news organizations as he did cities.
Wilder billed the state for about 50 of his 90 out-of-state trips, while the cost of others was picked up by sponsoring organizations or political supporters, such as Alexandria businessman Mark Warner, Fredericksburg hotel owner Larry Silver and Dwoskin.
Dillard confirmed that the governor did not disclose several trips he has taken on private aircraft, such as trips to an Eastern Shore estate owned by Virginia Beach developer Dan Hoffler aboard Hoffler's helicopter.
Dillard said Wilder displays some of the gifts in his office and at the Governor's Mansion, and has put some in storage.
Other gifts included a $400 marble desk clock from Bloomingdale's, a $200 jewelry box from the consul general of Japan, a $200 Texas-style hat from H. Ron White, a $400 crystal decanter of Absolut Vodka from its importers, a $360 Steuben crystal bowl from Neiman-Marcus, a $620 ivory-handle Colt revolver from the U.S. Marshals Service and a $5,000 pastel print from Lilienne Emrich. The Gilliam painting was a gift of Eddie N. Williams for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.