Watchdog: $700,000 in Gifts Given to Biden, Others in DC

Image: Watchdog: $700,000 in Gifts Given to Biden, Others in DC

Monday, 23 Dec 2013 03:56 PM

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A not-so-secret Santa gave away a satchel full of pricey gifts to powerful D.C. politicians and lawmakers in 2011 and 2012, Watchdog.org reported Monday.

The Vulcain Cricket, a high-priced timepiece dubbed "the presidents' watch" because it has been given to Presidents Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, has been spied on Vice President Joe Biden's wrist, reports Hodinkee magazine, the bible for watchmakers.

Tourneau sells the line by Keijo Paajanen of Helsinki, Finland, for $11,650, and it retails elsewhere for $1,900 to $6,900.

But according to Biden's Public Financial Disclosures Report, his "50s Presidents' Watch Automatic Steel" was listed as worth a mere $800 in his Public Financial Disclosure Report, Watchdog's database shows.

Congressional rules set gift limits at less than $100 from any single source. But there are 23 categories of gifts that don't have a monetary cap, including informational materials, commemorative items and free attendance at certain events.

The vice president's timepiece is among $700,000 in gifts given to government politicians, Cabinet members and a Supreme Court justice in 2011 and 2012, Watchdog reports.

In 2011, Attorney General Eric Holder listed two $500 tickets to the BET Honors show that he attended in a "personal capacity" with his wife. All told, he spent $2,500 on tickets for various events.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was given $3,000 in compensation for a basketball tournament in Miami.

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