Editor’s Note: The online version of this story has been updated to reflect amendments filed by Members or released by the Clerk of the House after Roll Call’s print deadline.
This article was researched, reported and written by Jennifer Yachnin, Paul Singer, Melanie Zanona, Rachael Bade and Jessica Estepa.
While the economy stagnated in 2009, the personal fortunes of Congress’ wealthiest Members underwent seismic shifts — at least on paper.
Roll Call’s annual survey of the 50 Richest Members of Congress found the personal fortune of Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) exploded in 2009, nearly doubling his minimum net worth, while the bottom line for Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) shrunk by more 70 percent.
Not to mention Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) — owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks — who now appears to be the poorest Member of Congress.
But while it’s all based on a version of the truth — the annual financial disclosure reports that Members must file each year — none of it is necessarily accurate.
Under federal law, Members must disclose their personal investments and liabilities, but only in broad categories, shielding the exact value of any asset or debt.
To determine the richest lawmakers, Roll Call adds up the minimum value of total assets reported by each Member on their annual financial disclosures and subtracts the minimum liabilities.
An asset valued at $5 million to $25 million is counted at the lesser amount, as is a liability valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Those ranges mean that a Member’s fortune can shift dramatically should an asset swing into the next category, even if the real change is a few thousand dollars up or down.
Lummis, for example, lost more than $12 million from her apparent minimum net worth in 2009 when each of her three Cheyenne, Wyo.-based cattle ranches dropped into the $1 million to $5 million category. The actual change in value of the ranches is not revealed on her report, nor is she required to state the difference, but it is a good bet that she is not $12 million poorer this year.
The way a Member reports an asset can likewise shift a lawmaker’s minimum net worth.
In his 2008 financial disclosure, McCaul detailed an investment account held by his wife, a portion of which was valued at $25 million to $50 million. In his most recent report, McCaul appeared to report the two items separately and valued each at $25 million to $50 million, a decision that nearly doubled his apparent minimum net worth.
Then there’s Kohl, whose enormous wealth is effectively erased by the reporting categories.
The Wisconsin Democrat estimates the value of his NBA franchise at “over $50 million,” the maximum value provided on the financial disclosure forms. But Forbes estimated in December 2009 that the team, the least valuable in the NBA, is worth $254 million and carries a debt of $22 million.
Roll Call’s methodology focuses solely on information made available through the disclosure process and does not evaluate outside data.
Kohl hung on to the penultimate place on Roll Call’s 50 Richest list last year, but the addition of two new loans valued at $5 million to $25 million canceled out his assets in 2009, theoretically rendering him $4.65 million in the red. But he’s still probably richer than almost anybody else in Congress.
Although Members must disclose information on assets such as investment accounts and rental properties, lawmakers are not required to disclose the details of personal residences — including second or vacation homes — or other economic indicators, including valuable artwork, antiques or automobiles not held for investment.
Such details long propelled Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner into the ranks of the wealthiest Members, but his decision to convert his hyperdetailed personal financial report — including disclosure of his traveler’s checks and stamp collection — to the standard form and value ranges leaves the Wisconsin Republican off the list this time around.
It has become old hat: Kerry is the richest Member of Congress for the 13th time in the 15 years since his 1995 marriage to Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow of the late Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), the scion of the ketchup fortune.
The value of Kerry’s disclosed assets bounces between $200 million and $300 million each year, and his liabilities hang a little below $50 million. However, in various years other estimates have placed the family’s net worth at probably three times the value shown on Congressional reports. Assets held in the name of a spouse can be reported as being worth “over $1 million” no matter how far over that number the actual value falls.
Kerry’s minimum net worth as reported in his 2009 financial disclosures ticked up to about $188 million, 12 percent higher than the previous year’s $168 million. The minimum value of one Heinz family bond fund rose from $42 million to $45 million, and the number of assets listed as being worth more than $1 million rose from 129 to 141, which is still shy of the 180 assets in this category that Kerry reported for 2007.
The Senator also trimmed the minimum value of his liabilities from $47 million to $44 million.
The California lawmaker’s fortunes dipped slightly in 2009, but Issa nonetheless maintains his claim as the House’s richest Member.
According to his 2009 financial report, Issa cashed out a money market fund valued at more than $50 million. He reported buying numerous mutual funds, including 10 accounts valued at $5 million to $25 million and one investment account valued at $25 million to $50 million.
Issa also reported selling numerous municipal bonds, with a combined minimum value of $22 million.
But Issa, who founded Vista, Calif.-based Directed Electronics, which manufactures car alarms, maintains the bulk of his fortune in two corporations that own and operate office and industrial properties in California: DEI and Greene Properties Inc., valued at more than $50 million and from $25 million to $50 million, respectively.
Issa also reported an investment in Viper, a similar real estate firm, valued at $5 million to $25 million.
Issa reported one new debt, a line of credit from Merrill Lynch valued at $1 million to $5 million.
While still short of the $225 million fortune she reported in 2007, Harman’s wealth appeared to rebound in 2009 by more than $40 million, or about 36 percent.
Harman’s fiscal recovery stems largely from an increase in the value of one of her husband’s holdings in Harman International Industries to more than $50 million. That account was valued at $25 million to $50 million in 2008.
Harman’s own holdings in her husband’s audio products company — which manufactures electronics under the brand names AKG Acoustics, Harman Kardon, Infinity and JBL — remained level at a value of at least $5 million.
In addition, Harman reported growth in the value of four family trusts to nearly $80 million, up from about $64 million in 2008.
Harman’s husband, Sidney Harman, bought Newsweek magazine from the Washington Post Co. in August, but that transaction is not included in Roll Call’s estimate because it is not reported on Rep. Harman’s 2009 disclosure form.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Newsweek purchase included $50 million in liabilities.
The West Virginia Senator, a descendant of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, saw his minimum net worth swell by about 1 percent in 2009.
Rockefeller’s wealth is concentrated in three blind trusts, with a combined minimum value of at least $80 million. The largest of those trusts, an account with JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York established in 1934, is valued at “over $50 million.”
Rockefeller’s spouse, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, the daughter of former Sen. Charles Percy (R-Ill.), owns “over $1 million” in PepsiCo stock, and the family listed another trust with Lincoln Financial Group valued at “over $1 million.”
She also reported two accounts that each increased to at least $1 million in 2009, including an investment fund previously valued at $500,000 to $1 million and the Rockefeller Group Equity Fund III, also previously valued at a minimum of $500,000.
The Senator listed $5.05 million in debt from two loans, nearly all of which is attributable to one account from United National Bank valued at $5 million to $25 million.
Rockefeller continued to chip away at a smaller loan from JPMorgan Chase, which dropped in value to at least $50,000 in 2009 from at least $250,000 in 2008.
McCaul once again claims the largest percentage increase in wealth among any Member on the list, nearly doubling his wealth between 2008 and 2009.
But it is unclear whether McCaul’s fortune really increased by nearly $36 million or whether it was simply a reporting glitch.
According to his disclosure report, McCaul’s spouse, Linda McCaul, owns a stake in “LLM Partners Ltd., Family Limited Partnership” valued at $25 million to $50 million.
She also reported a stake in “LLM Partners, Ltd., Invest in LLM Family Investments” valued at $25 million to $50 million.
But in his 2008 financial disclosure report, McCaul reported both of these assets under a single entity, valued at $25 million to $50 million.
Although it is possible the combined accounts were worth as much as $50 million in the previous year, Roll Call considers only the minimum value of each reported asset, or $25 million for its 2008 tally.
Because McCaul now reports the accounts as separate assets, he receives twice the credit — boosting his total by $25 million with a single account.
McCaul’s minimum net worth has more than sextupled since his first financial disclosure report covering 2004, when his minimum net worth hovered around $12 million.
Warner’s net worth appeared to slump about $2 million last year, but with really rich people, a couple million bucks is probably a rounding error.
Warner was a telecom mogul before he ran for public office, and his investment portfolio still indicates more than two dozen assets worth $1 million to $5 million each, but Roll Call rounds those all down to $1 million. He also reported three investment funds worth at least $5 million each, but he had five a year earlier. In 2009, he made seven stock purchases worth more than $1 million and 12 stock sales worth more than $1 million.
Warner also trimmed the minimum net value of his liabilities from about $3.4 million in 2008 to about $1.4 million in 2009. Most of Warner’s assets are wrapped up in blind trusts that he does not directly control.
Polis probably didn’t lose $15 million last year; the disclosure forms just make it look that way. A year ago, he reported having a Goldman Sachs bank deposit worth at least $25 million. This year, he listed his Goldman Sachs deposit as down to a minimum value of $50,000, but he bought about a dozen new investments worth $1 million to $5 million each. For Roll Call’s tally, each of those counts as $1 million, though they could be worth five times that.
Polis’ assets are spread across dozens of investments, but he generated his money as an Internet entrepreneur.
Polis expanded his family’s Blue Mountain Arts greeting card and publishing business online, and the company was sold in 1999 for $780 million. He also founded ProFlowers, an online florist, which later became Provide Commerce and was sold to Liberty Media in 2006 for $477 million.
He still reported several investments worth at least $5 million, including a Boulder Internet services company, the online photo company LifePics and an Asian investment portfolio.
Buchanan boosted his minimum net worth by more than 11 percent in 2009 after reducing his debt by $3.75 million.
The Florida lawmaker, whose empire includes auto dealerships, real estate and investment accounts, reported paying off mortgages and lines of credit valued at a minimum of $4.25 million. He also dropped a $500,000 second mortgage on a Florida investment property and a $1 million loan tied to Suncoast Ford dealership from his annual report.
But Buchanan added a $1 million debt for the purchase of an Embraer Phenom aircraft and increased the debt tied to one of his auto dealerships by $500,000 to a minimum loan of $1 million.
Buchanan also reported transactions in his GenSpring Family Offices investment account that increased the fund’s value to more than $16 million in 2009 from about $13 million the previous year.
Lautenberg’s net wealth increased a bit from last year, but the more dramatic change is in the way he reported his assets.
The Senator is wealthy in his own right — he founded the data-processing company ADP — but his wife also has significant assets from a range of trusts and real estate investments. Lautenberg restructured his disclosure form this year to more clearly delineate which assets are his and which are his wife’s, which makes it difficult to compare this year’s form to last year’s.
Nevertheless, the total is a small upward trend, from a minimum value just more than $48 million to just shy of $50 million, with the purchase of several million dollars’ worth of bonds by one of his wife’s trusts.
As always, the vast majority of Feinstein’s assets are wrapped up in her husband’s myriad investment accounts, though she shares in several large assets, including an investment in Carlton Hotel Properties worth $5 million to $25 million.
Her husband’s portfolio added one major asset in 2009, a November purchase of more than $1 million worth of stock in Amyris Biotechnologies. In addition, several of his accounts showed increased value in holdings of the property management and brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis Group. The family also has two condominiums worth more than $1 million, one in Hawaii and one near Lake Tahoe.
Grayson’s wealth was stable in 2009, although his largest asset remained a claim against the now-defunct Derivium Capital for at least $25 million.
A South Carolina court ruled in 2009 that Derivium owed its shareholders about $270 million in lost profits and that Grayson’s share would be about $34 million. The South Carolina firm managed a Ponzi scheme in which investors turned over stock to Derivium in exchange for cash loans and the right to redeem the value later if stock prices increased.
The Florida lawmaker also reported a trust valued at $5 million to $25 million. He listed no debts.
Teague revised his financial disclosure forms in September to add $24 million to his minimum net worth, and earn a late entry into Roll Call’s 50 Richest Members of Congress.
In an amendment to his 2009 financial disclosure filed Sept. 3, The New Mexico Democrat revised the value of Teaco Energy Services, the oil services firm he founded in Hobbs, N.M., to between $25 million and $50 million.
The amendment boosts his minimum net worth to $25.52 million and elevates him to No. 12 on Roll Call’s annual survey, which was published Monday.
The Clerk of the House, which maintains a public database of financial disclosures, released the document Sept. 15, after Roll Call’s deadline for its annual survey of Member wealth.
Teague listed the asset with a value of between $1 million and $5 million when he filed his annual disclosure in May, and he failed to make Roll Call’s list.
Teague spokeswoman Kara Kelber said the lawmaker filed the amendment with the ethics committee following an audit of the company and its assets.
“The comprehensive audit resulted in a higher good faith estimate of the value of the company. Based on that finding, the Congressman worked with the committee to file the appropriate amendment to ensure that his financial disclosure statement was accurate and reflected this change,” Kelber said in a written statement.
Although Teague’s fortunes appear to have dropped by more than $15 million in 2009, the difference is likely to be the result of his switch from exact values in his 2008 report to the broad categories that most Members use to report their wealth.
While Roll Call tallied Teague’s major asset at $39 million in 2008, it was counted in 2009 as only a $25 million asset, the minimum value given.
The Speaker saw her apparent net worth — based largely on her husband’s real estate and investment portfolio — nearly double last year, though much of that could be the effect of the oddities of Congressional disclosure rules.
In 2008, she reported assets worth at least $25.28 million, which increased to a minimum of $29.74 million in 2009, mostly because of the addition of two assets worth $1 million to $5 million — an investment fund specializing in Asian ventures and a United Football League team, though the football team is also listed as posting a loss of $1 million to $5 million.
But the minimum value of the Speaker’s liabilities dropped significantly in 2009. A mortgage on a vineyard that had been valued at more than $5 million is now listed as being worth $1 million to $5 million. It is possible that the value of the liability only dropped from $5.1 million to $4.9 million, for example, but under Roll Call’s accounting method, the mortgage now counts as a $1 million liability instead of $5 million, and Pelosi’s overall liabilities dropped from $12.75 million to $8 million. Pelosi’s minimum net worth almost doubled, from $12.53 million in 2008 to $21.74 million in 2009.
After his stock portfolio took a big hit in 2008, Frelinghuysen reported his minimum wealth is up $1.75 million. The majority of his wealth comes from trust funds and a slew of investments, most of which increased in value in 2009.
The Garden State lawmaker still holds $1 million in Procter & Gamble Co. stock, while two of his family trusts invest at least $6 million in the consumer goods giant. The investments that gained value in this year’s report include Exxon Mobil Corp., Emerson Electric Co. and Medtronic Inc.
Frelinghuysen also owns unimproved lands in New Jersey and Massachusetts, which retained their combined minimum value of $350,000. He reported no liabilities.
Much of the Idaho Senator’s fortune is held in Idaho farm and ranch lands.
Risch owns four tracts of land in Idaho — ranging from 24 acres to about 180 acres — valued at a combined minimum of $16 million.
He also listed other real estate investments, including four investment properties in Boise, valued at $100,000 to $500,000 each. Risch also added a Washington, D.C., condominium to his assets in 2009, valued at $250,000 to$500,000.
Although Risch’s wealth increased in 2009 by about 2 percent, or $400,000, he also added about $380,000 in debts, including a mortgage valued at $250,000 to $500,000. He also disclosed a promissory note issued in 2007 from the Idaho Independent Bank valued at $250,000 to $500,000.
The California Republican bulked up his minimum net worth by more than 46 percent with a half-dozen real estate investments at a combined value of at least $8 million.
In 2009, Miller acquired a stake in Long Term Bend Investors in Irvine in a transaction valued at $5 million to $25 million. The investment had a minimum value of $5 million in 2009.
He also reported five purchases of multiple lots in Bend, Ore., with a combined minimum value of at least $3.5 million.
Miller also maintains 382 acres of “vacant land” in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., valued at $5 million to $25 million, and a vacant industrial site in Rialto, Calif., valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Miller also listed new bank accounts with California Christian Credit Union and Commercial Bank with values of at least $1 million each. He reported no funds in four other accounts — Capitol Source Bank, Countrywide Bank, One West Bank and Vineyard Bank — that he previously reported with a minimum value of $1 million each.
Marchant reduced his lengthy financial disclosure report to a svelte 235 pages for 2009 — down from more than 1,400 pages in the previous year — even as his minimum net worth continued to rise.
Marchant is among a minority of Members who provide detailed account statements for at least a portion of their investments, providing a more accurate picture of his wealth.
Based solely on the value ranges Members indicate on the annual financial reports, Marchant’s minimum net worth is $17.63 million. But calculated with information from the account statements Marchant includes, his minimum wealth rises to $18.41 million.
That figure included two accounts for which Marchant provided detailed statements but neglected to actually list as assets on his annual report.
Marchant said he intended to file an amendment after being contacted by Roll Call.
“It’s my goal to disclose, disclose, disclose,” Marchant said.
Marchant’s largest asset remains his investment in the Texas-based Bonita Land and Cattle Partners, which includes more than 3,500 acres, cattle and equipment and was valued at $5 million to $25 million. The asset earned Marchant $100,000 to $1 million in income in 2009.
Marchant’s minimum net worth growth was in part due to several real estate investments that moved into higher reporting categories in 2009. Those assets include two Arlington investments each valued at $500,000 to $1 million and a Little Elm-based investment valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Marchant also listed numerous assets via his partnership in Marken Interests and Marken Development, including an investment fund valued at about $2.5 million and Fort Worth land valued at $1 million to $5 million.
With his wife, Marchant also reported a $1.5 million stock and bond fund.
His debts included mortgages on Bonita Land and Cattle valued at $1 million to $5 million. He also reported four lines of credit with a combined minimum value of at least $1.05 million.
Although the Tennessee Senator drops two slots on the list, his wealth increased by almost 7 percent, from $17.09 million, between 2008 and 2009.
The bulk of Corker’s wealth comes from several real estate investments in a Maryville-based shopping center and Chattanooga-based office buildings, each valued at a minimum of $5 million. He also owns a share in Pointer LP Investments worth at least $5 million and two loans worth a minimum of $1 million to the Julia Corker and Emily Corker trusts.
Corker listed about $4.5 million in liabilities, including several mortgages on properties owned in Knoxville.
While McCaskill continued to see her minimum net worth shrink in 2009, the 2 percent decrease is marginal compared with the 18 percent drop she posted in 2008.
The Missouri Senator’s husband, Joseph Shepard, listed investments in more than 250 affordable housing limited partnerships.
Although many of those partnerships are listed at values of less than $1,000, both the Missouri Tax Credit Fund and the St. Louis-based Lockwood Group are valued at “over $1 million” each. Shepard also listed an investment in the Columbia-based Terrace Apartments, described as “real estate independent living,” valued at “over $1 million.”
McCaskill’s spouse also reported an investment in St. Louis-based Sugar Creek Realty valued at “over $1 million” and reported identical assets in both Wellington, New Zealand-based Fisher Funds and a Clayton-based investment fund.
Shepard also reported “over $1 million” in Enterprise Financial Services Corp. stock.
McCaskill’s debt increased slightly with a $50,000 line of credit issued to her husband from Enterprise Bank in 2009. McCaskill listed a $15,000 line of credit from the same institution to her husband in 2008.
The New York lawmaker’s wealth increased slightly last year, inching up almost 4 percent, or $500,000. Lowey was ranked the 19th-richest Member in 2008 with $14.38 million.
Lowey’s increase in wealth can be attributed to asset growth in several of her husband’s investments, particularly in his Glickenhaus & Co. holdings that doubled in value to a minimum of $1 million. The company is a money-management and investment-advising firm in New York City.
Lowey’s husband has several other investments worth a minimum of $1 million, including three hedge funds, a profit-sharing plan and mutual funds.
The couple continued to jointly hold several investment accounts, including $1 million in Citibank and $500,000 in Fidelity.
The Maine Senator, who reported a 21 percent drop in value in 2008, increased her worth by a minimum of $690,000, or roughly 6 percent, last year. Snowe’s wealth is primarily linked to Education Management Corp., a Pittsburgh-based company where her spouse, former Maine Gov. John McKernan (R), serves as chairman of the board of directors.
Snowe’s husband holds $5 million to $25 million in Education Management stock, with an additional $1 million to $5 million in the company’s stock option agreement.
The Senator’s rise in fortune last year is tied to the purchase of two U.S. Treasury bills, a transaction valued at a combined minimum of $750,000. She listed no liabilities.
The Tennessee Senator continues to hold a majority of his wealth in stocks and real estate, which largely retained their value in 2009. In the latest disclosure, he reported just a $10,000 dip in his minimum wealth.
Alexander owns $5 million to $25 million of stock in Knoxville-based Processed Foods Corp., where he served on the board before his Senate election in 2002. His wife also continues to own more than $1 million in company stock.
The couple listed more than $2.5 million worth of real estate holdings, including commercial buildings and undeveloped properties dispersed throughout Texas, Tennessee and Massachusetts. Most of the property values remained steady, except for the Walland, Tenn., plot, which dropped in minimum value to $250,000 in 2009 from $500,000.
Although he jumped from 27th-richest Member last year to 23rd this year, the Montana lawmaker’s holdings remained mostly the same. The ranch and real estate owner increased his net worth by less than 1 percent last year, mostly because of slight increases in stock values.
Rehberg continued to hold a majority of his wealth in several farms and ranches, valued at a combined $11.5 million, and in two Billings rental properties, valued at a combined minimum of $350,000.
The lawmaker’s liabilities totaled $1.3 million for development, construction and agricultural loans.
The McCain family fortune appeared to decline in 2009 as the value of the assets held by dependent children dropped by more than $3 million because son Jack McCain is no longer counted as a dependent. This decline was offset somewhat by a $1 million decrease in the family’s liabilities.
Roll Call has also revised its calculation of McCain’s minimum 2008 assets downward by about $1 million.
As in previous years, almost none of the assets that McCain reported are his own. It is mostly money from his wife’s family beer distribution business, which the Associated Press reported in 2008 was likely worth more than $100 million.
After experiencing a dip in his minimum net worth in 2008, Harkin rebounded to his previous level, adding $2 million to his bottom line in 2009.
The Iowa Senator boosted his net worth with the disclosure of an Abaco, Bahamas, vacation home, valued at $500,000 to $1 million. The rental property earned $15,000 to $50,000 in rent in 2009.
Harkin reported the home for the first time in 2009 because he had not previously earned rental income, according to his office.
Harkin’s assets also included his wife’s investment of “over $1 million” in United Technologies Corp. stock and from $500,000 to $1 million in ConocoPhillips Co. stock. Ruth Harkin previously served as United Technologies’ senior vice president for international affairs and government relations. She also serves on the board of ConocoPhillips and AbitibiBowater Inc.
Ruth Harkin’s assets, which account for nearly all of the couple’s wealth, also included four ING annuity accounts, two of which grew from at least $250,000 each in 2008 to at least $500,000 each in 2009.
The lawmaker jumped two spots on the list despite seeing his minimum net worth decline by about $80,000 from the prior year. Campbell’s assets are primarily derived from several California properties, which retained their minimum combined value of $7 million.
One significant difference in Campbell’s 2009 disclosure form was that he no longer claimed his son as a dependent, thus accounting for the losses in a Wells Fargo bank account and a GMAC demand note. The Californian also sold a $250,000 bond.
Several of Campbell’s iShare stocks increased, which brought his total minimum wealth back to an even keel. He reported no liabilities.
The New York lawmaker moves down several spots in Roll Call’s annual survey following the death of her husband, Clifton Maloney.
Rep. Maloney reported about $5 million less in assets than in 2008 and excluded numerous accounts that she had previously listed. Those assets belonged to her husband and were not inherited by the lawmaker, according to her office.
Clifton Maloney, an investment banker, died in 2009 during an expedition to climb the 27,000-foot summit of Tibet’s Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth-highest peak.
Carolyn Maloney continued to invest in commercial and residential real estate in Virginia and North Carolina, including stock in Sea Bay Development Corp. valued at $500,000 to $1 million and an investment in Bosher Family valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Maloney also owns a New York “rental property and residence” valued at $5 million to $25 million, and a Washington, D.C., property valued at $1 million to $5 million that earned from $50,000 to $100,000 in rental income.
The New Yorker reported at least $2.25 million in mortgage debts and other loans.
Petri’s investment in Walgreens Co. rose in 2009, boosting his reported wealth nearly 79 percent and putting him back on the list after he failed to make the cut last year.
The Wisconsin lawmaker reported owning at least $5 million in the drugstore’s stock, up from the minimum $1 million value that he gave the investment in 2008. The company’s stock rose from about $24 in the end of 2008 to around $36 in December 2009.
Petri’s other investments included at least $1 million each in Berkshire Hathaway, Lloyd’s of London and U.S. Bank.
Petri dropped a handful of investments, including at least $250,000 in U.S. Treasury bonds. His office said the accounts belonged to a previously dependent child who is no longer required to be reported.
Petri reported one debt, a Merrill Lynch loan secured by stock, valued at $1 million to $5 million.
The churn in the Lee family assets continued last year, and the New York Republican appears to come out a little better off than he was before. After his election in 2008, Lee — who had been an executive in his family’s mechanical parts business — sold numerous assets, and his apparent net worth dropped from a little more than $11 million to just more than $7 million.
Last year, Lee bought and sold dozens of mutual fund accounts in hundreds of transactions, and his reported minimum net worth increased more than $1 million.
Because of the ranges used in these reports, there is no way to know whether he is poorer than he was two years ago or richer than he was last year. Lee also bought a residential property in Lancaster worth $100,000 to $250,000, but that asset was offset by a mortgage of the same value, which was his only listed liability.
The Georgia lawmaker saw steady growth in multiple investment accounts and individual retirement accounts, increasing his minimum net worth by 19 percent, or $1.36 million.
According to detailed financial statements Price included with his annual report, four retirement accounts owned by Price or his wife, Lisa Price, increased by a combined $500,000 to a total of $2.39 million.
In addition, three Fidelity Investments accounts owned by Price or the couple grew to a combined $2.05 million, an increase of more than $400,000.
Price also reported several real estate investments, the most valuable of which is a vacant lot the couple owns in St. Simons, valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Price also reported a Minnesota Life Annuities insurance fund valued at $1 million to $5 million.
The soon-to-be former Delaware Senator saw a 6 percent uptick, or about $500,000, in his wealth since being sworn in to office in January 2009.
Kaufman maintained nearly $2 million in municipal bonds, and he and his wife, Lynne Kaufman, own at least $1.67 million worth of certificates of deposit at various institutions.
The duo previously held a diverse stock portfolio in a series of joint investment accounts, but Kaufman closed those accounts in early 2009 and established nearly identical funds in only Lynne Kaufman’s name.
Kaufman also maintained funds in the Kaufman Mayo Foundation, including a $122,000 investment in Abbott Labs, a medical and pharmaceutical manufacturer. Lynne Kaufman also reported her own stake in Abbott Labs, recording stock holdings of about $610,000 in a separate account.
With a change in her reporting method, Berkley shoots back up the list of the richest Members. In previous years, Berkley filed detailed account statements providing actual amounts for her assets. In 2009, she instead reported her assets in the ranges provided on the disclosure forms, which created a lower total for her net worth in Roll Call’s accounting system, about $5.4 million. She returned to her traditional reporting method this year, and her minimum net worth for 2009 returned to about $8.3 million, near where it was in 2007. Berkley’s husband owns several dialysis services, and a Morgan Stanley investment fund worth more than $2.7 million.
Although he made his debut appearance at No. 44 on last year’s wealth survey, Griffith jumped several places in the off-season when he revised his financial disclosure forms to reveal an additional $1 million in investments.
Among the increases, Griffith reported one mutual fund now valued at $1 million to $5 million, up from $500,000 to $1 million in 2008.
Griffith also holds multiple real estate investments, including a Madison County farm valued at $1 million to $5 million, which he rents for $5,000 to $15,000 annually, and Albertville farmland valued at $500,000 to $1 million. He also owns five other rental properties with a combined minimum value of at least $1.5 million.
Griffith had at least $1.35 million in debts, including a mortgage on a Huntsville property for $1 million to $5 million.
Doggett is back. Roll Call reported that the Texas Democrat’s stock portfolio had shed about $1 million in minimum net worth in 2008, with losses particularly acute in the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods. Doggett’s portfolio for 2009 shows nice increases across the board, including Whole Foods, and his overall minimum net worth — about $8 million — is only $300,000 short of where it was in 2007.
While much of the South Carolina lawmaker’s fortune stems from 800 acres of land in Fort Mill valued at $5 million to $25 million, it is residential real estate that boosted his fortunes by about $1 million in 2009.
In his most recent report, Spratt relisted his York home, valued at $500,000 to $1 million.
The House Budget chairman did not report his personal residence last year, but Members are required to report only property held for an investment purpose or real estate that generates rental income. The property did not produce any income in 2009, but he reported it anyway.
Spratt also reported an increase in the value of a Washington, D.C., home to $1 million to $5 million in 2009. He reported no rental income from that property.
Spratt earned $5,000 to $15,000 in rental income from his Fort Mill acreage, portions of which he leases for use as cattle pasture, horse pasture, tree and plant nursery, and strawberry farm.
The lawmaker also dropped several debts from his 2009 report, including an auto loan valued at $15,000 to $50,000 and a mortgage on rental property in York valued at $15,000 to $50,000.
Spratt also listed only one mortgage on the York residential property valued at at least $100,000. He had previously listed a second mortgage valued at at least $250,000.
Linder’s minimum net worth increased by a tidy $1.1 million in 2009.
The Georgia lawmaker and his wife each sold shares of the Nuveen Insured Municipal Opportunity Fund — previously valued at a minimum of $500,000 — and each reported interest and capital gains valued at $100,000 to $1 million.
Linder also reported a rise in the value of three of the couple’s six money market accounts. The combined minimum value of the six accounts, owned by Linder, his spouse or jointly, rose to at least $3.5 million in 2009 from $1.85 million in 2008.
Linder and his wife, Lynne Linder, each claimed investments in Myrtle, Miss., farmland valued at $1 million to $5 million. Neither reported income from the property.
Lynne Linder also owns a stake in the Turkey Buzzard Timber Co. valued at $500,000 to $1 million, and two related investments valued at $100,000 to $250,000 each.
Rep. Linder also owns a “note receivable” from Grayling Industries, the Georgia manufacturer of plastic packaging that he sold in 2007, valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Upton drops several places in this year’s rankings as a money market fund previously valued at $1 million falls to a minimum value of $250,000.
But the Michigan lawmaker’s major assets, including a family trust fund worth at least $5 million, remained stable.
That trust fund included at least $1 million in cash and a stake in Whirlpool Appliances — which is based in the Congressman’s district and was founded by the Upton family — valued at $1 million to $5 million.
With his wife, Upton also owns another investment in Whirlpool valued at $1 million to $5 million.
McConnell boosted his fortune by nearly $1 million after dropping all his debts in 2009.
The Senate Minority Leader paid off a mortgage valued at $100,000 to $250,000 on his Capitol Hill row house in 2009. He also dropped a guarantee for two lines of credit to his re-election committee valued at $1 million to $5 million, which he reported paying in full in 2008.
McConnell, who is married to former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, maintains the bulk of his wealth in a jointly held tax-exempt money market account valued at $5 million to $25 million. McConnell first reported the fund last year as a gift from Chao’s father, who gave the couple the funds in memory of Chao’s late mother.
Bingaman and his wife have an unusually active investment portfolio, racking up nearly 600 separate purchases and sales of stock in 2009, worth a combined total of more than $20 million. The net result is a nice increase of about $2 million in the couple’s minimum net worth, particularly reflected in the growth of holdings in Goldman Sachs, with one account jumping from about $2.4 million to about $5 million. As Roll Call reported last year, Bingaman’s 2008 financial report indicated his wife made purchases of more than $4 million in Goldman Sachs accounts. The couple reported one mortgage worth a minimum of $500,000 and two $10,000 credit lines as liabilities.
An explosion in the stock value of Seattle-based biotechnology company Dendreon catapults Bayh onto the richest Members list for the first time in several years.
The Indiana Senator’s wife, Susan Bayh, serves on Dendreon’s board of directors and saw the value of her unexercised stock options rocket to “over $1 million” in 2009 from $15,000 to $50,000 in the previous year. Susan Bayh also reported her existing stock in Dendreon rose from at least $1,000 to at least $250,000.
According to a May report in the Wall Street Journal, Susan Bayh exercised her stock options and earned nearly $2.5 million from their sale. Stock in the company was valued at $4.58 in December 2008 and rose to $26.28 in December 2009.
Dendreon received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in April to market Provenge, a prostate cancer drug.
Susan Bayh’s stock in health-benefits company Wellpoint Inc. also increased to “over $1 million” from at least $500,000 on the Senator’s previous report. Susan Bayh also serves on Wellpoint’s board of directors.
Bayh also reported the couple’s Bethany Beach, Del., vacation home valued at its 2004 purchase price of $1.85 million. The report notes “market value ... was lower” at the end of 2009.
Bayh’s assets also included a $1.84 million Federated Tax-Free Obligations Fund. His minimum net worth increased nearly 50 percent in 2009.
Kagen’s wealth, which is mostly tied up in bonds, fell 5 percent from the previous year’s total, mostly because of various sales.
In 2008, the Wisconsin Congressman’s largest asset, Streettracks Gold Trust exchange-traded fund, was valued at $1 million. Thanks to a partial sale, the ETF is now valued at $250,000 — and Kagen indicated he made $50,000 to $100,000 on the sale.
With that sale, Kagen’s largest assets are now the ETF and a bank account held in Atlanta, also with a minimum value of $250,000.
In his 2009 disclosure form, Nelson reported a 3 percent dip in minimum wealth. The bulk of his worth comes from bonds and certificates of deposit, which largely retained their value in 2009.
The Nebraska Senator owns $250,000 to $500,000 in Berkshire Hathaway stock, which was listed at $500,000 to $1 million in 2008. His spouse holds more than $1 million in the company’s stock. Nelson holds $500,000 to $1 million in an Ameritas Life IRA, while his wife holds the same amount in a Principal Life Insurance IRA annuity.
The Senator’s assets also included a development property in Springfield valued at $500,000 to $1 million and a minimum of $500,000 of stock in Behlen Manufacturing Co., where he serves on the board but is not compensated. Nelson listed no liabilities.
Isakson’s portfolio still has not recovered from the apparent beating it took in 2008, when his assets showed a loss of nearly 25 percent of their minimum value. That year, Isakson’s minimum net worth dropped from $8.2 million to $6.4 million. In 2009, the number was down to about $6.3 million, with several stock holdings showing lower value, but a long list of purchases of new holdings. His largest single asset is a 12-acre parcel of land in Rabun County worth more than $1 million.
Bennet saw a small rise in the value of his reported holdings, but the real issue is transactions, not assets.
Upon joining the Senate in January 2009. Bennet sold his stock holdings for fear they would create a conflict of interest. He reported dozens of transactions worth more than $2 million, but he apparently took losses on almost all of the sales. In an amendment filed in response to Roll Call’s inquiries, he reported total income from the sales of just more than $18,000.
Bennet’s primary asset was a Treasury cash reserve account worth $5 million to $25 million, and he reported no liabilities.
With the 2009 death of his father, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Rep. Kennedy inherited three family trust accounts worth at least $6 million and likely much more. One account is listed with no net value, with the explanation that the value is “unknown pending administration of estate.” The younger Kennedy also has a fourth family trust fund that he has reported for years, but for which he has never reported an overall value because it is a blind trust. Kennedy is retiring at the end of the 111th Congress, making his first appearance on the richest Members list his last as well.
The Connecticut lawmaker’s net worth barely shifted, with the values of retirement accounts going up and the value in her checking accounts and stock holdings dropping.
In 2008, her shared bank account with husband and pollster Stan Greenberg contained $250,000 to $500,000. In 2009, that same account contains $50,000 to $100,000. That drop is balanced out by a rise in one retirement account’s value to $500,000 to $1 million.
Her largest reported asset continues to be her husband’s stake in Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, valued at $5 million to $25 million.
DeLauro’s liabilities grew dramatically over the $15,000 that she reported in 2008. She listed three loans owned by her husband with a minimum combined value of $165,000.
The California Democrat saw her net worth slip from about $5.8 million to just more than $5 million from 2008 to 2009 largely based on the addition of a new mortgage liability worth $500,000 to $1 million.
Speier’s biggest assets are two rental properties in Sacramento and her husband’s stock in his investment firm, Strategic Investment Solutions, each worth more than $1 million.
The article has been updated to reflect an amendment from Rep. Harry Teague released by the Clerk of the House after Roll Call's print deadline that vaulted him to No. 12 on the list.
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) filed an amended report Sept. 21 that makes her the 50th richest lawmaker in Roll Call’s annual survey with a minimum net worth of $5.44 million.
When Roll Call published its annual survey of Member wealth Sept. 20, Lummis didn’t make the cut, reporting a minimum net worth of $4.44 million.
But the following day the Wyoming lawmaker amended her forms to include husband Al Wiederspahn’s investment in Equipoise Corp., valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Although Lummis rejoins the 50 Richest club, she did not recapture her previous ranking as the 15th wealthiest lawmaker, when she posted a minimum net wealth of $17.12 million.
Lummis’ wealth is tied to three Cheyenne, Wyo.-based cattle ranches, but she downgraded the minimum value of all three properties in her most recent report to $1 million to $5 million. Lummis had previously valued the ranches at $5 million to $25 million each.
From left, Lisa Peng, daughter of Peng Ming, Grace Ge Geng, daughter of Gao Zhisheng, and Ti-Anna Wang, daughter of Wang Bingzhang, hold pictures of their imprisoned fathers during a House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building titled “Their Daughters Appeal to Beijing: ‘Let Our Fathers Go!’”
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.