Billy Long doesn't like it when people start nosing around into his affairs, financial or otherwise.
Roseann Moring, News-Leader political writer, has this story in this morning's News-Leader: Long: Auction business sold piecemeal:
Q: When Billy Long was campaigning for Congress last year, he told constituents that federal law would require him to dissolve or sell his auction business. Earlier this year, Long told the News-Leader he had done so.
But several readers have pointed out that the Missouri secretary of state's website lists Billy Long Auctions, LLC and BILLY LONG, INC. as "active" and "in good standing," respectively.
They wanted to know whether Long actually had dissolved his business.
A: Here is what Long had to say, through a spokesman: "We consulted with the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the Ethics Committee, on what I had to do with my business before I was sworn in. The ... property was sold off piecemeal to various individuals and on July 31st it will be administratively dissolved for not filing the yearly paperwork."
A spokeswoman for the secretary of state said that is a common and legal way to end a business license.
It should be removed from the website at that point.
According to the Congressional Ethics Committee website, Congress members are banned from owning or participating in some kinds of businesses, including law practice. That is intended to prevent lobbyists from avoiding reporting requirements by funneling gifts through a politician's personal business.
Frequent bus riders will recall that earlier this month, when Long released his financial disclosure forms, the bus stopped here: million-dollar-billy-part-duex, Hot Diggity Dawg. Here's what Long reported to the FEC on his financial disclosure statement:
1. Sole Proprietor- Billy Long Auctioneer- this business was terminated on December 31, 2010- no business after that date.
2. Member- Billy Long Auctions, LLC - resigned this position on January 1, 2011, no longer a member after that date.
3. President- Billy Long Auctioneers, Inc -- resigned this position January 1, 2011, no long an officer or shareholder.
4. President- Billy Long, Inc -- resigned this position January 1, 2011, no longer an officer or shareholder"
Which Billy Long Auction business was sold piecemeal? #1? #2? #3? #4? Which one is Bob Kollmeier running. Why is Kollmeier on Billy's payroll as "Ag advisor" making $60,000 plus a year?
Remember when Billy said, “You have to sell your business. If you have a fiduciary business, you have to sell that, so I’ve gotta walk away from a business I built up for 30 years. Who’s gonna buy it without me there? Answer: Nobody. Whoever I sell it to has to take my name off of it. Now, what’s it worth? Absolutely nothing."
Despite his protesting "Who’s gonna buy it without me there?" Well, someone apparently did. As of 04/30/2011 Billy Long, Inc was still in business with a new president, treasurer and secretary: Barbara Long, Billy's wife.
"What's it worth?" We don't know because the transfer of ownership didn't show up on Billy's financial disclosure statement. We know who bought his hay and how much Billy got for selling his tractor and brush hog. What did Billy do with his shares of Billy Long, Inc? If he sold them or gave them away, shouldn't that have been reflected somewhere in his financial disclosure? If he put those shares in a blind trust, shouldn't that have been reflected somewhere in his financial disclosure? If he gave them to his wife, shouldn't that have been reflected somewhere in his financial disclosure?