Eye On Boise

Labrador failed to disclose businesses

Here's a news item from The Associated Press:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican congressional hopeful Raul Labrador failed to include his past role as president of a company that sold self-help kits on legal immigration to America in a U.S. House of Representatives filing this year. The financial disclosure form, required of all congressional candidates, also doesn't list Labrador Properties, LLC., according to a review of campaign and public records by The Associated Press. The form requires candidates to report any position held in the current calendar year and past two years. Labrador reported his position as Labrador Law Offices president in his March filing. But Idaho Secretary of State records show Labrador Properties and Labrador Group, Ltd., which operated under the business name www.rapidimmigration.com and was dissolved in May 2008, should have also been included. Labrador says he didn't think the inactive businesses qualified for listing on the disclosure and he'll fix it; click below for a full report from AP reporter Jessie Bonner.

Labrador fails to disclose company roles on form
By JESSIE L. BONNER, Associated Press Writer

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican congressional hopeful Raul Labrador failed to include his past role as president of a company that sold self-help kits on legal immigration to America in a U.S. House of Representatives filing this year.

The financial disclosure form, required of all congressional candidates, also doesn't list Labrador Properties, LLC., according to a review of campaign and public records by The Associated Press.

The form requires candidates to report any position — paid or unpaid — held during the current calendar year and during previous two years.

Labrador, a state lawmaker and immigration attorney challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick for Idaho's 1st Congressional District seat, reported his position as Labrador Law Offices president in his March filing.

But Idaho Secretary of State records show Labrador Properties and Labrador Group, Ltd., which operated under the business name www.rapidimmigration.com and dissolved in May 2008, should have also been included.

Labrador said Friday he didn't think the inactive businesses qualified for listing on the disclosure.

"I will do whatever it takes to fix my filing as soon as possible," Labrador said.

Disclosure is important because it allows the public to learn of potential conflicts between a lawmaker's vote — or a candidate's campaign donors — and any family interests.

Annual reports filed with the secretary of state's office show Labrador Properties was still in operation as of February. Labrador and his wife formed the real estate company in 2005 but later decided to abandon the venture, he said.

The company has only listed one property, he said, and it was a home that belonged to Labrador's mother and was sold five years ago after she died. Labrador said he thought the company was defunct and only recently learned his wife had been keeping up the paperwork, filing annual reports with the state.

Labrador Group was also formed in 2005. Labrador, in his role as president, created an assumed business name of rapidimmigration.com on Feb. 2 of that year.

On the website, the company sold kits that varied in price for books and CDs with information on how to obtain temporary visas and other avenues to legally immigrate to the United States. A book with information on how to obtain an exchange visitor visa to work as a child care provider cost $54, for example, while the CD-ROM was priced at $32.

While some packets included forms seeking the same information as a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services questionnaire would ask, the materials included a disclaimer and noted that rapidimmigration.com would use the information to fill in the federal application forms.

The site also directed visitors to Labrador's law office in Idaho, where he filed annual reports with the secretary of state in 2006 and 2007. The company was listed under Labrador's law office in Nampa when it received an "F'' rating by the Better Business Bureau in Boise, which received a customer complaint more than two years ago over "delivery issues."

"It just wasn't profitable, so I sold it," said Labrador, who was on vacation with his family in Florida when reached for comment and couldn't remember the exact date his former company shed the Web site domain.

An annual report was not filed at the beginning of 2008 and the state dissolved the business later that year.

Labrador has openly touted his expertise as an immigration attorney on the campaign trail, calling for the federal government to send the military to secure the United States border with Mexico. His legal work was targeted earlier this year in his GOP primary battle with Vaughn Ward, a decorated Iraq veteran heavily recruited by national Republicans.

Ward questioned Labrador's credibility, saying his job — and his absence during a statehouse hearing earlier this year where lawmakers killed a bill targeting employers who hire illegal workers — make him a less-trustworthy choice to represent western and northern Idaho.

Labrador accused Ward of using his heritage to suggest that he can't be trusted on immigration. Labrador was born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. As part of his legal work, Labrador represents clients before immigration judges, sometimes to help them remain in the United States after they've violated laws and are subject to deportation.

During his campaign, Labrador has consistently said the federal government must enforce existing laws, secure the border with the military and require illegal immigrants to return home before applying for legal U.S. residency.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.




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Betsy Z. Russell





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