Voting now open for worst footnote of 2009!

Each year at this time of year, we try to come up with the worst footnote of the year — the one that rises above the rest. For the past two years, in the spirit of Web 2.0, we’ve asked footnoted readers to cast their votes and this year, we’re continuing that tradition by asking readers to vote on the stinkiest disclosure of 2009.

Despite the economy being in the dumps, there was plenty of material to choose from — so much so that Sonya, Kristen and I had difficulty winnowing down the list to just five. But here’s what we’ve come up with (with the links to the actual posts):

  1. Martha Stewart getting a $3 million retention payment for remaining at Martha Stewart Omnimedia (MSO).
  2. Chesapeake Energy disclosing it spent $12.1 million to purchase Aubrey McClendon’s antique map collection.
  3. InfoGroup saying the cost of the yacht for former CEO Vinod Gupta was really $873,078 instead of the zero that it had previously reported.
  4. Freddie Mac, which took more than $50 billion in money from the government to stay afloat, giving its new CFO a $1.95 million signing bonus in addition to other goodies.
  5. Ross Perot Jr. asking for — and getting — a $1.1 million tax gross up after collecting over $950 million by selling Perot Systems to Dell.

You can cast your vote for the worst footnote here. Voting will remain open through Dec. 30 and we’ll post the results on Dec. 31.