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Bob Bell’s Oily Non-Disclosure

Oh, my. Remember Bob Bell? The muskox poachin’, campaign finance violatin’ State Senate candidate running against Hollis French?

Well, he decided a while back that he was above the financial disclosure laws that applied to all those other candidates. And then a citizen complaint was filed against him with the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC).

And APOC gave him the bad news that yes, the law actually applied to him, no matter how super-special he thinks he is. So, what’s he doing now?

Stonewalling.

Yes, Mr. Bell continues to violate Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) disclosure laws by failing to disclose how much his clients paid him, according to a decision by the APOC staff.

APOC Executive Director, Paul Dauphiniais wrote in a revised staff report dated September 19, “Although Mr. Bell did disclose his client list and the total aggregate gross income from all F.R. Bell clients on his September 18, 2012 amendment he did not list the amount of income from each client as required by AS 39.50.030(b)(1)(C). Mr. Bell asserts that he is unable to provide all of the client information required. He claims that he is not in a position to do so as a result of agreements with clients and permission from the company. Staff disagrees with this assertion and believes that Mr. Bell is required to list income from individual clients absent an exemption from this requirement.”

Alaska law requires all elected public officials, and those seeking office, to disclose to voters their financial interests and income every year, including the names of their clients, what work has been done for them, and how much the clients are paying. You can understand how this might be a good thing. Like, say, for example if Bob Bell had revealed (after the last APOC ruling) that two of his clients were BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc. and Exxon Neftegas Ltd. Which he did.

“Bell continues to hide significant information about his personal financial interests from the public,” said Alaska Democratic Party Executive Director Kay Brown. “We now know that his clients include subsidiaries of BP and Exxon, which have a major stake in multi-billion dollar decisions that will be made in the legislature. Bell should come clean and disclose how much these multi-national giants are paying him, as the law requires.”

I know! That uppity Ms. Kay Brown has the temerity to ask Mr. Bell to play by the rules. Imagine.

In his response to the complaint filed August 12, Mr. Bell argued that because he sold his shares of the company into an internally held trust, he was not obligated to disclose his clients.

According to APOC – um, not so much.

In a written decision dated Sept. 6, the APOC staff concluded that Bell “violated disclosure laws in 2012 by failing to disclose the 2011 F.R. Bell and Associates client list to the public.” Bell then filed his still incomplete disclosure on Sept. 18, continuing to withhold required information, upholding a long tradition, apparently. He was also fined for reporting errors in 1995.

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Comments
12 Responses to “Bob Bell’s Oily Non-Disclosure”
  1. VoiceofReason says:

    Do you find it ironic that people will instantly bash someone who has worked around oil for most of their life? Bell was not simply handed the company that he runs. He may take a slice of the profit but I feel that since he built the company from the ground up, he has the right. If you are looking at oil as a bad thing in Alaska, then think of what Alaska would be like without it. If not for oil, what would Alaska have? People tend to forget the amount of jobs and economy growth that is spurred on by oil exploration and drilling.

    The same people that think oil drilling in the North Slope is damaging the ecosystem/killing off the animals have probably never stepped foot above the Brooks Range. There have been the few unfortunate accidents (Valdez for example) that have created doubts in the minds of those opposed to oil exploration, but for the most part these do not compare to level of industrial accidents/polluting that occurs in the lower 48.

    The next time you think oil is really screwing over Alaska, take that check the state pays you every year (endorsed by Big Oil) and burn it.

    • Jeanne Devon says:

      I believe he is being criticized for not disclosing how much he has made from an industry which is the centerpiece of the largest legislative issue of the day. He wants to be in a position to influence whether the state gives $2 billion a year to oil companies, and will not disclose how much he has received from them.

      This is not about vilifying oil. This is about someone who has a clear conflict of interest and is refusing to disclose it, even after being asked to do so by the organization that provides oversight.

      “Why are you being so mean to the oil companies?” is a convenient (and transparent) smokescreen.

    • Carol says:

      Jeanne has responded to you and I will also. This is about a guy thinking he is above the rules, the rules don’t apply to him. Not about the oil companies. It’s about Bell’s arrogance regarding the laws.

    • StElias says:

      “The next time you think oil is really screwing over Alaska, take that check the state pays you every year (endorsed by Big Oil) and burn it.”

      You know, a lot of hard core Alaskans bristle at this frequently uttered remark. Perhaps it could be more appropriately stated like this: “The next time Big Oil has their sensitivities hurt due allegations they are wronging (screwing) Alaskans, they should take their billion dollar profits from said oil and burn them along with their annual bonus checks.”

      We must admit that, since the Sagavanertak finds, the economic infrastructure of Alaska has exponentially multiplied to the point it would be fiscally catastrophic for fossil fuel revenues to disappear. Also true, some of this wealth has caused a few good things to happen.

      As for me, a 73 year hard core Alaskan, I was doing just fine financially and otherwise when the production boys showed on the scene with their distain for locals. The exploration types had been here since the early 50s and were a different breed. Good decent people. The production types bought our politicians and have tried their darndest to do to us what they did to Louisianans.

      No, I realize it would be very tough sledding, but I would rejoice seeing all leave and return to Houston. After all, it is Alaskan oil and it was those “carpetbaggers” who forgot they came up here at our invite. Maybe my grandkids can manage our resource development better than my greedy generation has.

  2. StElias says:

    Worth the price of admission yesterday was to attend the Anchorage Chamber meeting (Oct 1st) and witness Bell get his diplomatic, or lack thereof, butt handed to him by Hollis French. A distinct difference in tactful, academic logic separating the two. French came across as a sincere, open minded statesperson with the interests of all Alaska at heart. Both individuals were well mannered and gentlemanly in their discourse. Bell set himself apart from French though by extreme narrow-mindedness concerning options for future oil development. His parochial rhetoric was so biased that even the most impartial of observers realized he was bought and paid for by big oil.

    Bill Wielechowski was excellent in his delivery as usual and Berta Gardner came off pretty good as well.

    Although Bob Roses looked pained in attempts to restrain himself from becoming a loose cannon he did manage muddle through with minimum trumpeting of big oil’s party line and right wing fringe litmus test babble.

    The best of all though was the two forum clowns, Don Smith and Paul Kendall.

    I almost felt sorry for Kendall. He lost his train of thought so often when it was his turn that he was off topic and wandered all over the map. He better take a barbituate, hyper pill, prosac, or something before his next engagement as he was so shrill I thought he might pop something. The man is possessed with the age old move the capital issue to the extent that dominates his every thought. Perhaps, once or twice, he may have been onto an issue which I possibly could have shared his take on but he was so incoherent throughout that I’m not sure.

    Smith, he hasn’t changed a bit over the last 48 years. Still paranoid that we are too dependent upon “Uncle Sugar”. I recall during his two terms back in the late 60s he was bitterly opposed to the state building an airport on Gravina Island at Ketchikan, he was perfectly content with relegating Ketchikan folk to having to connect at Annette Island then take another 20 minute flight by seaplane over to Ketchikan. He got off to a bad start against Gardner yesterday when beginning his opening remarks his nose was out of joint over a minor introduction error, so he attempted to admonish the chamber moderator for calling Gardner the “incumbent” and him the Senate challenger (Actually, she is an incumbent State Representative). In doing so he got himself tongue tied and burned up half his opening minute. Looking around you could see eyes roll, “Who Gives a S—t”. Later he went off on a tirade over health care uttering that in a few weeks Romney would be in and the Republicans will take over the entire Congress then all health care would be rolled back or done away with. I don’t think the crowd was enamored with that spiel either. Somebody behind me said “he must have health insurance” and someone else piped up “He does Tier One; State”. Don is a classic example of a Politician who has been resurrected by his party’s dramatic move to the far right in recent years. I had to chuckle though; he was right behind me in the chow line before things got underway and was bitching up a storm over having to fork out 30 bucks for lunch.

    • John says:

      The only spending Smith has opposed on the school board is spending money to transport homeless children (as required by federal law) and allowing a non-profit organization to provide health care at Clark Middle school because if you let one non-profit provide a service to needy kids at no cost to the taxpayer, pretty soon all the schools will want non-profits to help our kids at no cost to the taxpayer.

    • John says:

      I guess Smith believes there is such a thing as a free lunch if you are part of the elite.

  3. AKblue says:

    Bob Bell has always seemed oily to me. Now he is proving it.

  4. Zyxomma says:

    Let us hope that Hollis French defeats this non-disclosure thug next month.

  5. UgaVic says:

    Let’s hope those who could elect him pay attention and decide not to. The best lesson he could possibly learn, of course that is IF he is capable, is to see his tush kicked to the curb for this behavior.

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  1. […] a more obedient legislature, would like to write our state’s laws. You know, the very ones he himself is unwilling to observe. It’s unsurprising Alaska law enforcement takes a dim view of such hypocrisy and has endorsed […]



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