Sunday, February 17, 2008
Last July, on this blog, I described my trip to the Powder River Basin and touring the coal mines of that region. I also pointed out that the trip had been sponsored by the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives. I'm glad I made the trip and it provided me with a good bit of information on coal extraction and how each company reclaims the mined land. Unfortunately, the topic came up again this week when an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter called and asked why I didn't show the trip on my annual Statement of Financial Interest. Simply put, I didn't realize I was supposed to include it. I immediately filed an amended report on February 14th, showing this as a gift on my statement. An article in Sunday's paper points out my mistake , along with several other legislators who apparently made the same error. I am personally embarrassed because I should have realized this needed to be on the original report that was due on January 31st. Although my July blog report and a subsequent statement during a civic club speech should show I didn't intend to deceive anyone about the trip, it is a mistake I shoudn't have made; and I apologize for that.