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Jim Norman qualifies, sets up three-way fight for Tampa-based district

Though his status on the state elections website hasn’t officially switched to “qualified,” state Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, has submitted his final paperwork to make the ballot. That includes his financial disclosure form, which discloses his wife's infamous property in Arkansas. Sort of.

Norman said he included the home out of an “abundance of caution,” though he denies he is required to include the home on his list of assets.

“This is in no way an admission that this is my asset or that I have any ownership interest in the investment property or that I have received any reportable gift,” Norman wrote in an attachment to his disclosure.

It was his financial disclosure form, of course, that landed Norman in hot water during the 2010 election and in subsequent ethics cases. He did not disclose a $500,000 gift to his wife from a local businessman that was used to buy the Arkansas home. (Incidentally, Norman’s latest filing lists the home’s value at $325,000.)

Here’s Norman’s full explanation of the home (the scan on the Division of Election site is difficult to read):

I believe that I have not received a gift and that a report is not required. However, on October 15, 2010, a Circuit Court judge, Second Judicial Circuit, Leon County, Florida (Case No. 2010-CA-3014) ruled than an investment made by a third party with my wife in the amount of $500,000 was, in her opinion, an indirect gift to me. I strongly disagree with that conclusion, but, in the abundance of caution, I have added that entire amount to my list of assets and have disclosed it as a gift on this report. This is in no way an admission that this is my asset or that I have any ownership interest in the investment property or that I have received any reportable gift. The trial court has been ordered to dismiss the case which makes her order a nullity.

Please also see Opinion of the First District Court of Appeal filed October 27, 2010 (Case No. 1D 10-5485) reversing and remanding the Final Order referred to above.

-- Lee Logan

Comments

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whasup

Obviously the proper way to buy influence with a politician or pay them off for their services is to give the bribes ... er, I mean ... gifts to their spouses.

That way it doesn't count, right?

(wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

But heck, on the federal level--as the John Edwards trial showed--one doesn't even need to give the gifts to the spouse, one can give directly to the candidate.

And folks wonder why the country's going to hell in a hand basket.

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