Democratic vice-presidential candidate Geraldine A. Ferraro released amended congressional financial disclosure statements yesterday, making several additions and changes while maintaining her claim that she doesn't have to list her husband's holdings.
Ferraro, whose family finances have been a matter of controversy throughout her campaign, acknowledged at a news conference in August that there were errors and omissions on the annual financial disclosure statements she has made since she entered the House in 1979. She blamed them on inadvertent mistakes by the family accountant, Jack Selger, who prepared the forms for her to sign.
The amended forms released by the campaign yesterday disclosed a $60,000 capital gain in 1978 and a $3,000 drop in her income as an assistant district attorney and private lawyer the same year.
Other changes included increases in the income and value of several savings accounts, a previously undisclosed bank loan, the purchase of a bond worth $15,000 to $50,000 for her mother in 1982 and payment of expenses on several speechmaking trips, including one to Rome in 1980. Ferraro also listed a different title for her husband's business.
Anthony Essaye, an attorney for the Mondale-Ferraro campaign who worked on her finances, said yesterday that despite the number of changes, "when you take it that the purpose of the form is to show conflicts, where her investments were, the changes aren't really significant." He attributed many of them to a strict reading of House instructions by Ferraro's new accounting firm, Arthur Young & Co.
Paul D. Kamener, director of the Washington Legal Foundation, which filed a complaint that has led to a House investigation of Ferraro's disclosure statements, said Ferraro's amended forms showed "wholesale changes. She can't lay these at the doorstep of some accountant."
He said he hoped House investigators will pursue the newly disclosed changes in Ferraro's forms and his main complaint that she was required to list the financial holdings of her husband, New York realtor John A. Zaccaro.
Essaye said the Arthur Young firm read the House instructions so strictly that it included on the amended form for 1978 "gross rental income" of from $5,000 to $15,000 from her half interest in a building, even though expenses were higher than the rents and she never received any of the income. She later sold that building to pay back illegal loans her husband had made to her first congressional campaign.
The amended 1978 form also said she earned $6,904 as a prosecutor and $5,900 in private legal fees that year. The original form said she earned $9,000 as prosecutor and $7,000 as a private attorney that year.
The amended 1978 form also shows that she received a capital gain from the liquidation of J.E.B. Realty. That information was not on her original House disclosure form, but when she released her tax returns in August, she listed a $60,000 capital gain from the transaction.
The original form for 1980 declared "none" in the box asking for gifts of transportation, food or entertainment, but the amended form shows that Ferraro was furnished with round trip airfare to Rome to attend a meeting by the Angelli Foundation and to Texas for a Women's Campaign Fund meeting.
Her amended form for 1983 includes several more reimbursements for trips around the country. Essaye said "there was a lack of communication" between Selger and Ferraro's office in gathering the information about trips. "He never got the information," he said.
Ferraro's amended form for 1982 lists her holdings in Dreyfus Liquid Fund as being worth between $15,000 and $50,000. Her original form for that year said her Dreyfus holding was worth less than $5,000. Essaye said he didn't know how Selger or Ferraro could have made a mistake of that magnitude.