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U.S. Senate Ethics panel to Mo GOP: Forget about Carnahan's husband

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 30, 2009 - Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's U.S. Senate campaign gleefully circulated Tuesday copies of the recent decision by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics to dismiss a complaint filed against her in June by the Missouri Republican Party.

The GOP had accused Carnahan of attempting "to conceal information on her state and federal financial disclosure forms'' about a business, Antolinez International Trade, registered by her husband -- Juan Carlos Antolinez -- with the state. None of the disclosure forms mentioned it.

Carnahan said that's because her husband never started the business, and had simply reserved the name in case he did.

The U.S. Senate Ethics panel agreed with Carnahan, ruling that the GOP complaint "lacked substantial merit."

Carnahan's lawyer has sent a copy of the dismissal to the Missouri Ethics Commission, which governs state campaigns, to recommend that the commission reject the GOP's state complaint on the same issue.

But just to be on the safe side, her campaign said, "To address any concerns the Missouri Ethics Commission might have, we have amended the relevant reports'' so that they now mention the non-existent business.

The Missouri GOP issued the following statement this morning from executive director Lloyd Smith:

Robin Carnahan was forced to come clean and report Juan Carlos Antolinez’s company, which three months ago she claimed didn’t even exist.  Her new filing raises more questions about her response to our initial complaint, the nature of the business, and why it was absent from her disclosure forms for so many years. You would expect better from the person whose job it is to maintain business records in the State of Missouri.”

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.