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Donna Shalala has until late July to file financial disclosure


As her opponents picked at her time on corporate boards, Donna Shalala received a second extension this month allowing her to delay the disclosure of her personal finances with the U.S. House of Representatives.

Shalala's disclosure, originally due May 15, is now due July 27, roughly one month before the Democratic primary to replace U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in Congress. Shalala requested a second extension -- which is not unusual -- on June 12.

"Donna Shalala believes in complete transparency and in that spirit will comply with all legal requirements pertaining to the release of her financial disclosure documents," said Fernand Amandi, a political consultant with the Shalala campaign.

Under House ethics rules, Shalala must file at least 30 days before the primary, meaning she'll be unable to delay her disclosure any longer without incurring a penalty. Amandi said the campaign will meet the late July deadline.

But state Rep. David Richardson, one of Shalala's four primary opponents, questioned Tuesday why Shalala needed to delay revealing her finances. Richardson has hoped to use the frontrunner's tenures on the boards of UnitedHealth Group and Lennar -- two massive corporations with somewhat controversial histories -- to undercut her lead.

Richardson himself filed for two extensions, but that was roughly a year ago. His campaign says they're concerned about the timing of Shalala's extensions, now that the primary election -- and the release of absentee ballots -- is just weeks away.

"All the other candidates in this race have disclosed their personal financial information, as required by law," said Richardson, one of Shalala's four primary opponents. "Why won't she make a timely filing? What is she trying to hide from the voters?"

As for Shalala's opponents:

*Matt Haggman listed his net worth between roughly $1.4 million and $3.7 million. The assets he listed, including those of his wife, Danet Linares, include five life insurance policies, a slew of IRA accounts, and Danet Linares P.A. The couple reported approximately $250,000 in income during the previous year, including $103,870 from Haggman's job with the John S. and James . Knigh Foundation, which he left in July. 

*Michael Hepburn, an academic adviser with the University of Miami, listed no assets. He reported $27,000 in income last year through his job at UM and reported between $100,000 and $250,000 in student loans.

*Richardson's assets are worth between $1.25 million and $2.5 million. He disclosed between $500,000 and $1 million in a tax-deferred IRA-type account, and roughly the same amount invested in a Fidelity government money market fund. He listed between $15,000 and $50,000 in income from Student Transportation Inc (a school bus contractor), and between $100,000 and $1 million from SYW LP, a New York-based hedge fund.

*Kristen Rosen Gonzalez listed assets that include her Alton Road home, which she valued north of $1 million and a trust fund she valued between $500,000 and $1 million. She said she can't touch the trust fund until she's 60. She is paying off a home mortgage worth between $250,000 and $500,000.

Rosen Gonzalez earned about $76,000 last year from her job as a Miami Dade College professor and her salary as a Miami Beach commissioner.