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Oregon House Speaker Karen Minnis submitted a new ethics disclosure form Tuesday to the state that reported for the first time a 2005 trip she took to Israel courtesy of the Portland Jewish Federation.

Minnis, R-Wood Village, said she mistakenly assumed she had reported a nine-day trip last fall to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and upper Galilee, estimated at $4,000. Her action follows reports by The Oregonian last week that seven former and current Oregon legislators failed to disclose expenses-paid trips to Hawaii by the Oregon Beer and Wine Distributors Association.

"I thought it was on there, and I was appalled that it's not," Minnis said. "I'm just embarrassed that it isn't."

Oregon law permits lobbyists to wine and dine legislators and other public officials, but they are required to report any such spending over a certain amount: $148 in 2005.

Other state legislators and public officials on the Israel trip were senators Ryan Deckert, D-Beaverton, and Bruce Starr, R-Hillsboro, and State Treasurer Randall Edwards. Deckert and Edwards both reported the trips on their disclosure forms, which were filed in April and cover events in 2005. Starr did not report the trip.

Starr and Deckert could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The agenda included drives through Jerusalem and Tel Aviv -- known as the "city that never sleeps," according to the itinerary -- as well as briefings on anti-terrorism, security and Middle East politics. They met with business officials, including representatives from Nike.

Paul Romain, a member of the Jewish Federation, organized the trip, but the tab was paid by the federation, a non-profit group that raises about $4 million a year for social programs in Oregon and abroad.

"It has nothing to do with beer and wine," said Romain, the beer and wine lobbyist who organized the Hawaii trips. "It was an economic development trip put together because the state had just invested $50 million" in a private equity fund.

Charles R. Schiffman, the federation's executive vice president, said his group organizes trips frequently and sometimes takes public officials. He said the group sends a letter stating the value of the trip so it can be reported.

"We feel it's important for community leaders and for anybody in an official position to understand the Middle East," he said.

"They can't have an effect on foreign policy, but . . . the point is many of them go from the state level to a national level."
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