Diary

As Mel Brooks Might Put It . . .

It’s good to be a Kennedy:

Like it or not, roughly 7,000 employees of New York City file 32-page disclosure forms each year divulging personal information about their family finances in an effort to bolster confidence in open government.

But when Caroline Kennedy was employed by the city Department of Education from 2002 to 2004, as the chief executive of the Office of Strategic Partnerships, she was not required to file, even though two people who worked for her had to disclose information about their finances.

City officials have offered a variety of explanations over the last few weeks why Ms. Kennedy did not have to meet this filing requirement despite her title and the responsibilities she has cited in her efforts to convince the public that she has the experience to take Hillary Rodham Clinton’s seat in the Senate.

City officials have most often pointed to Ms. Kennedy’s decision to accept $1-a-year in salary. More recently, Joel I. Klein, chancellor of New York’s schools, explained that she was ultimately exempt from the requirement because the department did not deem her to be a “policymaker.”

On Friday, Ms. Kennedy’s spokesman, Stefan Friedman, declined to comment on the issue.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire who takes $1 a year from the city, is required to file disclosure forms each year. At least three of his appointees who have worked for nothing over the years have also filed — a sometimes awkward process, but one intended to serve as a conflict-of-interest safeguard for city officials and the public.

So, if Caroline Kennedy wasn’t a “policymaker,” that would show that she has even less experience to back up her campaign to be the next Senator from New York than previously advertised.

And if she was a “policymaker,” she benefited from favoritism, now didn’t she?

Either way, it looks terrible. And yet, Caroline Kennedy may indeed be appointed to the United States Senate. Say this for Sarah Palin; at least she ran for the political offices she sought. And she won.