Unruh’s Speaking Fees Nearly Equal His Salary

Times Staff Writer

In his annual conflict-of-interest statement, state Treasurer Jesse M. Unruh on Monday reported receiving $42,400 in speaking fees last year, much of it from organizations with a stake in California’s multibillion-dollar bond business.

The amount virtually matched Unruh’s state salary of $42,500 a year.

Unruh, who oversees investment of state funds and sale of state bonds, also reported receiving $8,000 in travel expenses in connection with several trips--about half of it from bankers, bond brokers and others in the financial community.

“We don’t consider it a conflict of interest,” Christina Youngblood, Unruh’s press secretary, said of the speaking fees. “Mr. Unruh is frequently called upon by members of the financial community to give comments and share his expertise on financing. He gets a large number of these requests; some he accepts and others he doesn’t.”


He also reported receiving $3,600 worth of 1985 Super Bowl tickets from New York brokers--a total of 60 tickets in all, according to Youngblood. Two tickets he kept for his own use, she said, and the others he distributed to friends.

The annual statements of economic interests, filed with the state Fair Political Practices Commission, are required of all top-level state officials and are intended to force officeholders to disclose any potential conflicts. The reports require descriptions of real estate holdings, investments, outside income, gifts and honoraria.

Among the disclosure statements released by the commission was that of Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy, who reported receiving $4,368 from the government of Israel, the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations for traveling expenses for a trip he and his wife took to the Middle East last fall.

McCarthy also received $1,687 from the government of Canada for air fare, hotel accommodations and expenses in connection with a trip he made to Montreal and Ontario in the spring for a conference on telecommunications. He also reported that Grosvenor Properties, a San Francisco firm, picked up the cost of a $3,183 Christmas party for McCarthy staff members at one of the company’s hotels.


State Controller Ken Cory reported receiving $1,412 in professional basketball tickets and entertainment expenses from Los Angeles Lakers’ general manager Jerry West, from the owners of the Sacramento Kings and from Sacramento lobbyist Donald K. Brown.

State Supt. of Public Instruction Bill Honig reported receiving $9,600 in travel expenses and for writing newspaper articles and delivering speeches last year. The largest payments came from the Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, which sponsored a task force on teaching as a profession, and from the Institute for Contemporary Studies, which paid Honig $1,500 for contributing a chapter to a book.