Bushs’ Gifts Last Year Included Fishing Equipment, Ivana Trump Robes
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Could it be that President Bush has never met a fishing rod he didn’t want?
He has an ample collection, judging by the fishing gifts he receives each year and chooses to keep.
Last year’s take was 19 rods and 10 reels, along with fishing accoutrements such as a tackle box, according to Bush’s annual financial disclosure report released by the White House on Thursday.
Bush also got at least nine golf clubs, a golf bag, golf balls and other golf accessories.
The president took in a similar bounty of golf and fishing gear last year.
″The president plays golf and is certainly an avid fisher and he decided to keep those gifts,″ White House spokeswoman Judy Smith told reporters.
Any gifts the president decides to keep that are valued at more than $100 must be reported on the annual statement that also is filed by other top government officials.
Among last year’s were three bathrobes and two sweat shirts valued at $290 from Ivana Trump. Trump’s spokeswoman, Lisa Calandra, said Trump was Plaza Hotel president last year when Bush visited New York and she sent the gifts to his room, as is customary with heads of state. The robes were white terry cloth with a Plaza logo on them, she said.
The Bushes kept $21,329 worth of gifts from 75 individuals last year, the report shows.
-A $265 briefcase from actor Dan Aykroyd.
-Eight neckties worth $558 and two scarves worth $268 from band leader Lionel Hampton.
-A $1,245 handbag from designer Judith Leiber for Barbara Bush, the most expensive gift the Bushes kept.
-A $225 belt buckle from aviator Chuck Yeager.
The gifts the president does not keep are given to the National Archives or his presidential library. He also can send gifts he receives to others.
Bush’s report also showed his blind trust, where he put his assets when he became vice president in 1981, rose in value by $55,000 to $1.29 million.
In addition to the blind trust, Bush listed among his assets $74,000 in three banks and the White House credit union.
He also owns a vacant lot in Houston worth $79,000, up from last year’s $55,000 valuation; and their Kennebunkport, Maine, home, valued at $2,196,000, the same as the previous year.
Vice President Dan Quayle, meanwhile, reported assets valued at $993,017 to $2.37 million, with one liability: a mortgage of up to $250,000. Quayle and his wife, Marilyn, reported receiving $19,537 worth of gifts.
Most of Quayle’s holdings were in his family’s newspaper group, Central Newspapers Inc. His wife earned between $15,001 and $50,000 on the suspense novel she wrote with her sister.
The Quayles’ assets include a portfolio of stocks Mrs. Quayle inherited last year from an aunt, valued at between $12,012 and $180,000.
The stocks include many companies that have interest in the workings of the White House Competitiveness Council, chaired by Quayle, which works to ease regulatory burdens on business.
Among them are Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., Amoco, Petroleum and Resources Corp. and Eli Lilly and Co.
Among the gifts the Quayles kept were four pair of boots, a skirt, vest and wallet, all worth $1,940, from boot maker Rocky Carroll of Houston. They also got a framed photograph from Queen Elizabeth II worth $170.