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McCaul Leaps to Top of 50 Richest Members of Congress

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Because Members are allowed to report the values of their assets in broad categories — such as $1 million to $5 million — it can be difficult to gauge if an investment has increased or decreased significantly or is merely on the cusp of two categories. An investment worth $4.99 million in reality may appear as a $1 million item one year and a $5 million item the next, even though it had relatively little change.

McCaul’s office declined to comment for this article.

Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also saw a significant bump in his minimum net worth in 2010.

The California lawmaker was the richest House lawmaker and second richest Member of Congress on last year’s survey, with a minimum net worth of more than $160 million. He now posts a total of about $220 million.

Among the reasons for his growth spurt in 2010, Issa spread around some assets of DEI LLC, the property management company he created after he sold an electronics business he owned before coming to Congress. Issa moved several properties previously held by DEI into separate limited liability companies.

While DEI was previously valued at “over $50 million,” the highest category available on standard disclosure forms, Issa now values the company at $25 million to $50 million. But the 11 properties previously held by DEI are now valued at a combined minimum value of $38.2 million, increasing Issa’s overall net worth.

Kerry, who has been at or near the top of the 50 Richest list for 15 years, drops from first to third on the annual survey, despite a small uptick in his minimum net worth.

The Massachusetts Senator’s fortune stems largely from his spouse, Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow of the late Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.), the scion of the ketchup fortune. When Roll Call first published the 50 Richest list in 1990, Heinz was No. 1.

Kerry’s reported minimum net worth increased more than 2 percent in 2010, as his reported liabilities dropped by $5 million.

The Bay State lawmaker’s fortunes are likely significantly higher, however. Kerry listed more than 140 accounts with a value of only “over $1 million,” a category that applies to assets owned solely by a Member’s spouse.

Paul Singer contributed to this report.

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