After more than a decade of surveying the accumulated wealth of Members of Congress, Roll Call has found the institution’s first official billionaire — and this lucky fellow is a man very much in the news today.
Sen. John Kerry (Mass.), the Democrats’ presidential nominee, and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, are worth, by conservative estimates, at least $900 million and possibly as much as $3.2 billion.
This milestone was, in large part, responsible for the increase in the collective net worth of the 50 richest Members of Congress. The total worth of the top 50 Members rose from $2.6 billion in 2002 to $3.1 billion in 2003.
The competition isn’t very close. Rep. Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.) landed in second place with about $475 million — quite a bit less than in 2001, when Roll Call speculated that Houghton’s net worth cracked 10 figures during a period when his stock holdings in Corning Inc. were soaring.
Pinning down a single figure for Kerry’s net worth is a more difficult task because of the the imprecise nature of Congressional financial-disclosure forms. Members are not required, for instance, to disclose how many shares of a stock they own, but only to broadly estimate the value of their holdings.
Roll Call’s roster of the richest is based on the disclosure forms filed with the House and the Senate. These forms estimate net worth by combining minimum assets and minimum liabilities. For example, if a holding is valued at between $500,000 and $1 million, we assess its value at the minimum — $500,000.
Assets held by spouses and dependent children are included as part of total net worth. This factor helps keep individuals who married wealthy spouses on the list year after year. Kerry and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are among those who fall into this category.
For this survey, Congressional disclosure forms are a reference point but not the end of the story. We combine their data with information drawn from the Members’ home newspapers, the Forbes 400 and, in the case of Kerry, the Los Angeles Times.
When all is said and done, we have a list of the wealthiest 50 Senators and House Members. As in our previous efforts, we have had to do some estimating, but we present our list with a good deal of confidence that it is a close approximation of the true state of individual Congressional wealth.
This year, the top 10 remained largely the same, with only one major drop: Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.), who fell two notches.
Further down the list, however, the ordering underwent a definite shakeup.
Whereas last year’s minimum to achieve top-50 status was a mere $3.2 million, today’s elite must have at least $4.8 million — 50 percent more.
A number of last year’s members were not able to make this jump. For instance, even though Rep. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) increased his net worth from $3.2 million last year to $3.7 million this year, he was unable to retain his spot on the list. Rep. Ken Lucas (D-Ky.) and Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) also dropped off.
One of the biggest surprises may be Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.). Although his 2002 disclosure forms showed him to be a multi-millionaire, his 2003 forms revealed for the first time a trust that holds more than $5 million. The newly disclosed trust catapults him halfway up this year’s list into a virtual tie with Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) at $9.3 million.
Last year’s freshmen who made the list — Reps. Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.), Chris Chocola (R-Ind.), Katherine Harris (R-Fla.), Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) — all remain on this year’s list in similar spots.
Chafee has reason to be disappointed this year. His estimated net worth dropped from $71.3 million to $51.6 million in the past year. The decrease was a result of his trust funds dropping in value. The $20 million drop only sent him three spots southward, however, from eight to 11.
Discounting Kerry, the partisan breakdown of total wealth is fairly even: Democrats control $1.06, billion while the GOP controls $1.04 billion. There is a big difference in the number of Members each party has on the list, however: The GOP outnumbers the Democrats, 30 to 20.
But Democrats do cluster in the upper echelons of this list. This, along with their smaller number of Members, means that Democrats hold a higher average amount of wealth per Member of Congress on the list. Even when Kerry’s average-skewing $1 billion is eliminated from the equation, Democrats still average $55.6 million per Member on the list, while the Republicans average $34.8 million per Member on the list.
1. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
While the estimate of Kerry’s wealth in last year’s list had him at $600 million, a new study by the Los Angeles Times has estimated his net worth to be somewhere between $900 million and $3.2 billion. Of course, little of this money is actually John Kerry’s; the vast majority belongs to his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Kerry’s wife inherited a fortune of almost $500 million in 1991 when her husband, food-manufacturing heir and then-Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), died in a plane crash. Since then, she has diversified her portfolio, and it has grown to more than $1.3 billion.
Although she runs a large charity out of the various trust funds her late husband left to take care of the family, its disbursements would not be enough to drain the fortune to under $1 billion.
As with many of the very richest Members on this list, Kerry’s disclosure forms are at best vague. Whenever possible, the Senator uses the category “Over $1 million” instead of a category that might give a more definitive sense of his wealth, such as “$5 million to $25 million.” A look at the disclosure forms does show that Kerry has at least $165.8 million, however, and plausible estimates put that number a great deal higher.
Further complicating the process of making estimates is the fact that many of Kerry’s wife’s assets are kept separate from her husband’s, and that he refuses to discuss the family’s wealth, on the grounds that it is a private family matter.
In addition to the many millions Kerry and his wife own in stock, they also have a fair amount of money tied up in real estate. Their properties include a $5 million home in Idaho, a $9 million beachfront property in Nantucket, Mass. and a $4 million estate in Pennsylvania.
2. Rep. Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.)
Where wealth is concerned, Houghton is another semi-mystery. Once again, he has filed one of the most densely packed disclosure forms in Congress — this year it checked in at almost 350 pages — yet Houghton refuses to discuss his wealth with the media, saying that the topic is personal.
The most recent estimate of Houghton’s wealth by Forbes magazine has him at $475 million. Much of that is tied up in stock of Corning, the family business. After skyrocketing in the 1990s due to Internet-driven demand for fiber-optic cables, the stock has settled at about $8 a share. He still owns $5 million to $25 million in stock.
A great deal of Houghton’s money is also tied up in the Elisabeth Houghton Trust. Somewhere between $22 million and $100 million resides in various funds and equities in that trust.
3. Sen. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.)
Although Corzine’s financial disclosure forms show him to have at least $95 million in assets, estimates of his wealth by Forbes place his net worth closer to $300 million.
Corzine, first elected to the Senate on a self-funded campaign in 2000, made his millions as chairman of Goldman Sachs. Although he stated as a candidate that he would divest himself of the stock, he still has declared at least $25 million in stock as well as smaller amounts in Goldman Sachs-run funds.
Corzine’s portfolio also has an international flavor. He has investments in the London and Italian stock exchanges, as well as at least $100,000 invested in the Republic of Argentina and at least $2 million in Japanese banks.
Other major invesetments include at least $25 million in a blind trust with JP Morgan, $1 million in the Clinton Multistrategy Fund (a hedge fund), $25 million in undeveloped land in Colorado and $1 million in undeveloped land in Atlanta.
4. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
Kohl’s net worth is much higher than the $132 million minimum listed in his disclosure forms. In last year’s Roll Call list, Kohl — who sold the department store Kohl’s a quarter-century ago — was estimated to have $250 million. But since his forms this year show at least $20 million more in earnings, we’ve bumped up his estimate to $270 million this year.
Kohl owns an NBA franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks, which grossed more than $70 million last year before expenses. He also has a blind trust worth at least $50 million. From this trust, he derives $1 million to $5 million in income annually.
Kohl has at least $5 million scattered in five different accounts, plus roughly $1 million in cash. Besides the Bucks, Kohl’s biggest business venture is a “horse-breeding operation” in Wyoming worth at least $5 million.
5. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
Rockefeller, the great-grandson of oil tycoon John Rockefeller, continues to reside near the top of the list.
He holds three blind trusts. One is valued at more than $50 million, while the other two are valued at $30 million to $75 million.
In addition, he owns more than $1 million in PepsiCo stock and more than $1 million in a Northwestern Mutual life insurance policy. He also owns stock in Cox Communications and Illumina Inc.
6. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)
Harman retains her No. 6 spot, picking up another $1 million this year to increase her total to $117.1 million.
Harman, herself a former high-powered attorney, is married to the founder of Harman International Industries, a Forbes 500 company that manufactures high-end stereo equipment. In addition to a salary in excess of $1 million, Sidney Harman also owns $30 million to $75 million in company stock.
Harman also controls a large amount of real estate in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. These holdings are valued at $1 million to $5 million.
7. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
Issa, the founder of a profitable car-alarm company, holds steady this year at No. 7 on our 50 Richest List. Issa reported assets of almost $108 million last year. A large portion of his wealth is tied to real estate.
His main asset is DEI LLC, a corporation that holds a number of rental and industrial properties in California. It is valued at more than $50 million — almost half of his total assets. He also has a stake in Greene Properties,Inc., which is valued from $5 million to $25 million, and also deals with rental properties and light industrial sites.
All of Issa’s remaining assets are tied up in mutual funds and municipal bonds. He has at least $1 million in each of 42 separate mutual funds, including $5 million in the Pioneer High Yield Fund alone.
8. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.)
Hayes, the heir to a textile and hosiery fortune, jumps two spots in this year’s list, from 10 to 8. Although aided by a drop in net worth by Chafee, Hayes did boost his net worth by more than 15 percent, exceeding last year’s total by almost $8 million over last year.
His primary asset is a trust valued at $39.5 million. In addition to stock in a number of utilities, Hayes owns $3.7 million in General Electric stock, $1.4 million in 3M stock, almost $2 million in the Altria Group Inc. and $3.2 million in Pfizer.
Even with $57 million, Hayes has some liabilities, the biggest of which is a loan of at least $500,000 for a new airplane.
9. Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.)
Banking tycoon Taylor continues to skyrocket up the 50 Richest List, climbing to No. 9 with an estimated $55.3 million in assets. He climbed 10 notches last year, then added another two this year, for a total gain of 12 places (and almost $40 million) over two years.
Taylor’s primary asset is a holding of $50 million or more in the Financial Guaranty Corporation, based in Asheville, N.C.
Taylor’s finances have been a point of controversy in the past; in 2000 tax collectors claimed he owed $48,000 in property taxes, and they threatened to garnish his Senate earnings. Additionally, Taylor’s bank last week settled a wrongful death lawsuit out of court brought by the children of a South Carolina couple slain in a deadly bank robbery at a branch in a Greer, S.C., trailer park. The terms of the settlement are sealed by court order.
Taylor is also a partner in Major Land and Timber, which is worth from $1 million to $5 million. He also has at least $1 million in the Taylor Family Trust.
10. Rep. Doug Ose (R-Calif.)
Ose, who is heavily invested in the mini-storage unit industry, remains in the top 10 this year, holding steady at about $52.5 million. His single biggest asset is Ose Properties No. 6, which owns securities and real estate in Sacramento, Calif. The company is valued at $25 million to $50 million.
Ose has a number of other, smaller real estate ventures. Ose Properties No. 8 is worth from $5 million to $25 million, and Properties No. 2, 3, and 5 are all worth at least $1 million. The holding company of all these ventures, Ose Properties Inc., is worth at least $5 million as well.
Ose LP and Mellow LP, worth from $5 million to and $25 million each, are Ose’s other major assets. Ose LP invests in securities and holds interests in the Gold River Racket Club, Natomas Racket Club and the Laguna Creek Club. Mellow used to hold a percentage of Melenco Inc., and four family trusts, but it was dissolved and redistributed.
11. Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.)
Chafee, the scion of an old-line New England family, dropped back three spots and almost $20 million in assets this year. He reported only $51.6 million in assets this year, compared to $71.3 million last year.
The primary reason for the drop is a dip in the SD Chafee Blind Trust, which was worth almost $43 million last year but was worth only $33.6 million this year. The joint banking account he maintains with his wife, Stephanie, also took a hit this year, dropping from $1 million to $5 million last year to a possible minimum value of $500,000 this year.
His wife’s Weehoose Farm remained steady, still worth more than $1 million, and the house that the two share also held steady at $250,000 to $500,000.
12. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Feinstein dipped one spot on this year’s list to No. 12, after tying Taylor at 11 the year before.
A large portion of Feinstein’s wealth comes from her husband, Richard Blum. He lists personal properties in locales both close-by (Washington, D.C.) and far-flung (Port Louis, Mauritius).
Feinstein is the main beneficiary of the Dianne Feinstein trust, which is valued from $1 million to $5 million. As many wealthy Senators do, she keeps a large portion of her assets in a blind trust to ensure there is no sense of impropriety in her voting.
The Bertram Feinstein trust also owns stock in a number of companies, including Northwest Airlines, Playtex Products and more than $1 million in the Perini Corp.
13. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.)
Fitzgerald derives the bulk of his fortune from shares of the Bank of Montreal, which are valued at $25 million to $50 million. The rest of his assets are also in bank shares: He owns stock in John Hancock Bank, First Midwest and Charter One Financial, among others.
Fitzgerald’s major purchase this year was of a 5.2-acre parcel of land in McLean, Va. He paid for it by selling off at least $3 million in Bank of Montreal stock.
14. Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.)
Edwards is another big climber this year, moving up five slots and almost $7 million in total assets. The first in his family to attend college, Edwards amassed a fortune through his legal practice.
In addition to the more than $400,000 in cash that Edwards has at his disposal, he also owns assets worth $1 million to $5 million in American Europacific, the Atlantic Trust Equity Income Fund and the Atlantic Trust Mid-Cap Growth Fund.
In addition to Edwards’ investments, he is also owed from $5 million to $25 million by his Edwards for Senate Committee. Although dwarfed by the fortune of his presidential running mate, Edwards and Kerry, should they win the presidency in November, would combine to be the wealthiest duo ever to inhabit the White House, surpassing President Bush and Vice President Cheney, who themselves are no slouches.
15. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.)
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the sixth Frelinghuysen to serve in Congress, holds steady at No. 15 this year, adding just under $1 million to his total assets in the past 12 months.
Frelinghuysen’s old-money assets include at least $1 million in such companies as IBM and Eli Lilly and Co. and at least $7 million in Proctor and Gamble stock.
16. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)
Lowey is another big climber this year, rising four spots in the rankings and increasing her wealth by half again as much to raise her total from $12.2 million to almost $18 million in assets.
The majority of their earnings are held in a series of funds, including a Lebenthal Portfolio of New York Tax-Free Bonds, which contain at least $1.84 million in bonds, and the Lowey Family Investment, which contains almost $4.2 million in total assets.
Lowey’s husband, Stephen, is a partner in the law firm Lowey, Dannenberg, Bemporad & Selinger and contributes a fair share to the family fortune. His law firm’s profit-sharing plan provides at least $1 million in assets, as does his interest in the law firm.
The couple also owns shares of a wide range of companies, including Time Warner, Pfizer, WalMart and Wells Fargo.
17. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, dropped three spots and almost $3 million on this year’s list, putting her close to her 2002 total.
Her husband, Paul, owns a number of real-estate developments in California, including seven separate properties that are worth between $1 million and $5 million. The couple also own a vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million.
Although her assets total almost $23 million, Pelosi’s liabilities have kept her from climbing the ranks of this list. She has almost $6 million in liabilities in the form of mortgages on rental properties.
In addition to her real estate holdings, Pelosi holds stock in Emulex, Fastnet, Genetope Corporation, Johnson and Johnson and JetBlue.
18. Rep. Porter Goss (R-Fla.)
Goss, Bush’s nominee to head the CIA, slipped one spot this year, even though his total is more than $2 million higher than it was last year.
Goss, who inherited a family farming business, has a diversified portfolio. He holds at least $1 million in companies as varied as General Electric, IBM, 3M, WalMart and Retreat Farm Produce. He also owns at least $500,000 in undeveloped real estate on Fishers Island, N.Y.
Goss has also invested in a number of funds, putting between $1 million and $2.25 million in various Mellon funds.
19. Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.)
Frist, the Senate Majority Leader, lost almost a million dollars in net worth this year, and as a result dropped three spots on the 50 Richest List.
The former heart surgeon’s father and brother founded the health care company HCA. Today, his main asset is a blind trust that is valued at somewhere between $5 million and $25 million. He holds nine other blind trusts as well, which are worth at least $9 million.
In addition to the trusts, Frist purchased stock in fast-food retailer Wendy’s and owns commercial real estate in Nashville, Tenn. The only income he receives is from his Senate salary; he is on nonacademic leave without pay from Vanderbilt University.
20. Rep. Chris Chocola (R-Ind.)
Chocola, former chairman of a farm-equipment manufacturer, is another representative on this list who managed to gain in overall net worth (almost $3 million in Chocola’s case) while still dropping on the overall list (down two spots from last year).
Chocola’s single largest holding is cash; he has between $5 million and $25 million in cash and equivalents. He also has between $1 million and $5 million in American Securities, and at least $500,000 in Dollar General and Dorchester Capital.
Chocola remains the highest-ranked freshman member of Congress on this list.
21. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
Clinton owes a large portion of her wealth to her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and the impressive speaking fees he commands.
The former president received $4.35 million for speeches in 2003. This includes $500,000 for a single speech in Tokyo that was canceled (with the proceeds donated to charity). Addresses in Lisbon and Barcelona ran about $250,000 apiece.
Sen. Clinton was no slouch herself, earning $2.3 million in advances and royalties from Simon & Schuster for her best-selling book, “Living History,” which is a record for a sitting Senator. The Clintons also have at least $1 million in Citibank deposits, and at least another $1 million in a qualified blind trust.
Not listed on this year’s disclosure forms are the two Clinton residencies — one in Northwest Washington, D.C., worth $2.85 million, and one in Chappaqua, N.Y., worth $1.7 million.
The Clinton household’s largest liabilities, not surprisingly, remain the staggering legal bills Bill Clinton piled up during his impeachment hearings. The law firms Williams & Connolly, and Wright, Lindsey, and Jennings were paid at least $1.1 million by the end of 2003. There also was an outstanding liability between $500,000 and $1 million.
22. Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.)
Harris finds herself at No. 22 with $11.6 million in assets.
The major financial asset on her disclosure form is BHG, Inc. stock, which is valued at somewhere between $5 million and $25 million. In her final year as Florida secretary of state, she reported assets of $11.5 million. Her husband, Anders, holds the other major asset: at least $5 million in shares of Intercon Marketing.
Harris and her husband also have a home in Sarasota, Fla., that is valued between $1 million and $5 million.
23. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
McCain derives much of his fortune from his wife, Cindy, who is an heiress to the Hensley liquor fortune.
As well as his salary from serving in the Senate, McCain receives a pension of $51,763 for his years in the Navy and $159,139 from Random House in royalties (which he donated to charity).
In addition to several trusts, Cindy McCain also owns a residential property in Arizona valued at more than $1 million. Mrs. McCain also holds more than $1 million in Anheuser-Busch and Hensley and Co. stock.
The McCains have a number of liabilities, including one worth at least $850,000 to Bank One in Phoenix.
24. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)
Dole moved up eight spots, and almost $1.4 million, in this year’s list.
While no specific numbers are available, her husband’s speaking honoraria are likely the main reason for the increase in Sen. Dole’s wealth. Last year, former Majority Leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole (R-Kan.) picked up more than a million dollars in speaking fees. This year appears to have been more of the same, with 30 appearances across the country.
The Doles also have between $1 million and $5 million in a Balentine Global Equity Index Fund, as well as a 119-acre estate in Kansas and a checking account in Riggs National Bank worth at least $1 million apiece.
25. (tie) Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
Alexander is the highest ranked Member to crack the top 50 for the first time this year.
The primary reason for Alexander’s jump is his stock in Processed Food Corp., which went from being worth between $1 million and $5 million two years ago to being worth between $5 million and $25 million last year.
Although saddled with $1.75 million in liabilities, including at least $500,000 for a mortgage on undeveloped land, Alexander still sailed into the top half of this list after missing out his first year in the Senate.
25. (tie) Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.)
Dayton lists only $4.6 million in assets, but the heir to the department store fortune that includes the hot retailer Target has at least $10 million, according to various reports.
He owns between $1 million and $5 million in a blind trust, as well as at least $1 million in Wells Fargo stock. He also owns between $500,000 and $1 million each in Corning and Target.
Once, Dayton had a much higher net worth, but he spent at least $12 million of his own money on his bid to win his Senate seat in 2000.
Forbes lists his family as one of America’s richest, with an estimated net worth of almost $1.5 billion.
27. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Having spent the majority of his life serving the people of Massachusetts, Kennedy has not been able to amass a fortune of his own.
Instead, his nearly $10 million in total assets comes mostly from trusts established by his father, Joseph P. Kennedy. The senior Kennedy’s trusts are worth somewhere between $9 million and $45 million.
In addition to the money his father left him, Kennedy has a parcel of undeveloped land in Louisiana that is worth at least $100,000 and several Fidelity funds worth a total of at least $110,000.
28. (tie) Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
Lautenberg continues to derive his wealth from a company he founded with friends from childhood: the paycheck-cutting giant Automatic Data Processing.
He holds $1 million to $5 million worth of stock in the company. The majority of his assets, however, are tied up in three blind trusts, one of which is worth at least $5 million. The other two are worth $2 million to $10 million.
The Senator also owns a condominium in Vail worth at least half a million dollars and Genentech stock worth $250,000 to $500,000.
28. (tie) Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)
Upton is the highest ranked House newcomer to the list. The stems from a trust that was not reported on last year’s disclosure form.
The newly reported trust, which Upton says was established separately from him and which he has no control over, has a value of at least $6.5 million. This trust alone would put him on the 50 Richest List; it contains at least $5 million in Wrigley stock and $1 million to $5 million in Whirlpool stock.
In addition to the assets held in the trust, Upton has at least another $1 million in Whirlpool stock, another $500,000 in Wrigley and $250,000 in PepsiCo stock.
30. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.)
Miller dropped one spot and almost $1.3 million this year.
The bulk of Miller’s assets reside in Ponoma First Federal, where he has an account valued $5 million to $25 million.
Miller also has three real estate holdings in his home state valued at $1.5 million to $3 million, as well as at least $500,000 in Miller Development Co. Common Stock.
General Electric is Miller’s primary stock holding; he owns $500,000 to $1 million of the company. He also has money in United Airlines, American Airlines and Citibank.
31. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.)
Emanuel perked up by better than $1 million this year, jumping five spots to No. 31.
Like other Members, Emmanuel owns one blind trust worth at least $5 million and several smaller trusts worth $1.75 million to $3.5 million.
Emmanuel’s other primary assets are an equity fund worth at least $250,000 and a stake in Chilton New Era Partners worth $250,000 to $500,000.
32. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)
Sensenbrenner was another big gainer this year, picking up $1.3 million and rising five spots on this year’s list.
A primary reason for the increase was the success of his Kimberly-Clark stock, which went from a valuation of $500,000 to $1 million last year to $1 million to $5 million this year.
Sensenbrenner also has at least $1 million in Merck stock, $500,000 to $1 million in the Altria Group and a $250,000 retirement account with the state of Wisconsin.
33. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.)
Petri owes much of his good fortune to the success of his Walgreen Co. stock, which is worth $5 million to $25 million.
Petri has a diverse portfolio, listing at least $1 million in stock in U.S. Bank and Berkshire Hathaway, as well as smaller stakes in American Express, Dole, AT&T Wireless and Lloyd’s of London. Petri is also a partner at Lloyd’s Underwriting Insurance Risks.
Petri has one major liability — a loan from Merrill Lynch worth $1 million to $5 million.
34. (tie) Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-N.C.)
Ballenger made millions in the company he founded, Plastic Packaging. He still owns $5 million to $25 million worth of company stock.
Beyond his Plastic Packaging stock, Ballenger has a diverse portfolio, owning stock in Goodrich, Intel, Time Warner, Wendy’s and Verizon.
He and his wife also own a rental property in North Carolina worth at least $50,000 and bonds worth at least $450,000.
34. (tie) Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.)
Dreier’s net worth holds steady at $7.6 million this year, even though he dropped a spot in the rankings.
Dreier’s main asset is the $5 million to $25 million that he owns in Tiffany Major, a company based in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo. He also owns $1 million to $5 million in Viacom stock.
Also included in Dreier’s portfolio are substantial shares of Oklahoma Publishing stock (worth at least $500,000), SureWest Communications (worth at least $50,000), and John Hancock Financial (worth at least $50,000).
36. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.)
Rehberg’s largest asset continues to be the ranch that his family owns. Rehberg Ranch Estates is listed at being worth $5 million to $25 million.
The reason for Rehberg’s sudden 14-place drop, however, is that an asset listed on last year’s form — Rehberg Ranch Estates Marketing, which had a value of at least $5 million — does not appear on this year’s form.
Rehberg also has a number of liabilities, including a development loan valued at $1 million to $5 million.
37. Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.)
Bradley dropped a couple of spots on the list this year, though he still reports almost $7.4 million in total assets.
The bulk of his net worth comes from a trust with the Wilmington Trust Co. He has almost $4 million in various stock holdings, including Chevron, Exxon and Cisco Systems.
Most of the rest of his wealth stems from trusts in the names of his dependent children. He has somewhere between $3 million and $15 million in three different trusts managed by the Wilmington Trust Co.
38. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
Shelby’s wealth continues to rise. Two years ago, it almost doubled to $6.3 million. Last year, he added another $1 million. He holds steady at No. 38.
Shelby’s primary asset is an apartment complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala., that is valued at $5 million to $25 million and earns the Senator $100,000 to $1 million in income every year.
Additional real estate ventures include Shelby’s residences in Washington, D.C., and Tuscaloosa, each worth about half a million dollars. Shelby also owns $1 million to $5 million in Tuscaloosa Title Co.
39. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
Smith reported fewer assets this year, enough to drop him 14 spots in the rankings to No. 39.
Smith’s largest asset remains his company, Smith Frozen Foods, which is valued at $5 million to $25 million. Separate pension and profit-sharing plans the company gives him are worth at least a combined $350,000.
Other assets include shares of Garret Packing and Tollgate Co., worth at least $750,000.
40. Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.)
Although reporting the same amount of total assets as last year, Graham dropped six spots this year to 40th place.
His primary asset remains the golf resort that Graham owns in Florida, which is valued at $5 million to $25 million on his disclosure forms.
Graham also owns stock in a number of companies, including Wells Fargo, WalMart, Bank of America and Viacom.
41. (tie) Rep. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
Isakson gains one place and more than $1 million since last year, clocking in at No. 41 on this year’s list.
A real estate executive before entering politics, Isakson’s single largest holding is a 12-acre parcel of land in Georgia worth $1 million to $5 million.
He also reports a diversified stock portfolio, including shares of Genzyme Corp., Liz Claiborne, Winnebago, McDonald’s and Patterson Dental.
41. (tie) Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)
Pearce checks in at No. 41 largely due to his holdings in Trinity Industries.
In addition to an undisclosed amount of income his wife receives from the company every year, Pearce owns $5 million to $25 million in stock of the company, which is one of the largest producers of transportation, industrial and construction equipment in North America.
In addition to the shares of Trinity, the Pearce’s also have at least $500,000 in the First National Bank of Hobbs, N.M.
43. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)
Doggett inched up one spot and gained almost $1.4 million since his appearance on last year’s list.
His primary asset is a rental property in Texas, which is valued at $1 million to $5 million and brings the Texan $15,000 to $50,000 every year in rent.
Doggett also owns stock in a number of companies, including shares of Apache Corp., AT&T, Bank of America and ChevronTexaco.
44. (tie) Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
Although her net worth held steady at just more than $6 million, Maloney dropped four slots to No. 44 on this year’s list.
Her main holdings are a series of rental properties around the country (one in New York City, one in Connecticut, and one in North Carolina) that are valued at $1 million to $5 million apiece.
In addition to her real estate holdings, Maloney owns more than $1 million in the Eaton Vance Tax Management Mutual Fund, as well as another $250,000 to $500,000 in a Wachovia Money Market Fund.
44. (tie) Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio)
Gillmor falls three spots on the list despite adding half a million dollars in assets.
His largest holding remains his stock in Gillmor Financial Services, which is valued at $5 million to $25 million. He also owns shares of AIG, Berkshire Hathaway, EZ Color and Inter-Tel.
In addition to his stock holdings, Gillmor derives a pension of $46,212 for his public service to the state of Ohio.
46. (tie) Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
By almost doubling his net worth from $3.2 million to $6.1 million, DeWine leapt from a tie for 49th place last year to a share of the 46th spot this year.
DeWine’s family founded DeWine’s Ohio Twine Co., which imported twine in the early 1950s, but has since entered the farming business.
DeWine’s portfolio includes a wide range of stocks. The biggest assets are shares of Keycorp and Amcol, both valued at $250,000 to $500,000. He also holds shares of Bally Total Fitness, Best Buy and Mesa Labs, among other corporations.
46. (tie) Rep. Anne Northup (R-Ky.)
Northup gained about half a million dollars in net wealth last year, but it was not enough to maintain her spot at No. 43. She dropped three places to 46.
Like Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Northup owes her fortune to sound systems. Her husband’s business, Radio Sound Inc., is the sole distributor of sound systems to Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Radio Sound specializes in developing sound systems for demanding environments.
Her main asset is stock in her husband’s company, which is worth $5 million to $25 million. She also owns stock in ExxonMobil, Heinz and Kraft.
48. (tie) Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
Nelson’s net worth dropped about $800,000 last year, which resulted in a 10-place drop on this year’s list.
The Senator has three assets worth more than $1 million. One is a U.S. Treasury Note, another is a parcel of real estate in his home state, and the final is a large chunk of Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway stock.
Nelson has an interest in several other parcels of real estate, including properties in Duluth, Minn., Omaha, Neb., Columbus, Neb., Chicago and Washington, D.C. Combined, they are worth $353,000 to $795,000.
48. (tie) Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
DeLauro appears on this year’s list in a tie for 48th place.
DeLauro’s primary asset is a 67-percent stake in Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research Inc., a Washington-based firm run by her husband, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg. Her share in the company nets the Representative $5 million to $25 million.
She has a partial stake in two other polling/consulting firms. The first is Greenberg Research, of which she and her husband own 100 percent, and Sun Surveys, in which she owns a 60 percent stake. Neither of these is as lucrative as Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, however: They are valued at $101,000 to $265,000.
50. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.)
Oberstar rounds out this year’s list of the 50 richest members of Congress. Oberstar dropped three spots to No. 50 despite adding $1.5 million to his wealth.
Oberstar’s single largest holding is in a Kurth & Co. money-purchase plan, an asset valued at $1 million to $5 million. He also has at least $250,000 in U.S. Treasury bonds, a Pimco PEA Value Fund and stock in Digene Corp.
He has a number of smaller assets, as well, including shares of XM Satellite Radio, Johnson & Johnson and the St. Paul Companies.
The 50 Richest column misidentified New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce's largest holding. Trinity Industries is a personally held company that deals with the personal funds of the Representative and his wife, and is not the nation's largest manufacturers of transportation, industrial and construction equipment.