At first, Ellis Black’s 2014 personal financial disclosure omitted 491 acres of farmland, including his home, that he transferred to a limited partnership two years earlier. He amended the disclosure in October to include the property after we asked about it. He did not, however, include partial ownership of six single-family homes that he transferred from his own name in 2012. A 1998 attorney general’s opinion holds that a candidate must disclose corporate real estate holdings if he has “a legally enforceable right to use the land for his own personal enjoyment or profit.” Black said he saw no need to disclose the homes because they’re not producing income.
Last week, both the Los Angeles Times and The Nation put the spotlight on a little-known but influential conservative nonprofit that creates “model” state legislation that often make its way into law. The American Legislative Exchange Council has helped craft some of the most controversial — and industry-friendly — legislation of recent years.