The second homes and vacation properties of the 50 richest members of Congress bring to mind the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo:” 15 members on the list hold multimillion-dollar investment properties from Japan to Jamaica and from Bermuda to the Bahamas.
A CQ Roll Call analysis of the 2012 financial disclosure reports of the 50 richest members shows that many hold real estate properties outside of their home states and the District of Columbia that are either used as investments or as vacation escapes.
Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin owns a vacation home far from Iowa in the village of Hope Town on Elbow Cay in the Bahamas worth $500,000 to $1 million, according to his financial disclosure report. He reported receiving $15,000 to $50,000 in rental income from the property in 2012.
Florida Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan owns a small stake in the private Chub Cay Resort and Marina in the Bahamas. He’s also the proprietor of two transportation companies — Aircraft Holding & Leasing LLC and V.B. Motor Yachts LLC — that can help him easily make the trip from his Sarasota-centric district to the Caribbean Islands. The Buchanan companies have various assets, including an Embraer Phenom executive jet, a Beechcraft King Air turboprop and a Broward yacht that can help others reach their properties in exotic locations.
New York Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney holds a 25 percent interest in The Columns LLC, a real estate venture in Rose Hill, Jamaica, that brought her $2,500 to $5,000 in rental income last year.
Maloney also owns numerous rental properties in the Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Va., areas and in the Albemarle Plantation, a private golf community on the Albemarle Sound in Hertford, N.C. She collected more than $40,000 in rent from those properties.
The California delegation makes up five of the 15 congressional real estate moguls.
The richest member of Congress, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, stays rather loyal to his home state with numerous properties in California, including a vacation home on the southern tip of Lake Tahoe that’s valued at $1 million to $5 million.
Fellow California Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller reports numerous properties connected to his real estate development business. Most notably, he has ownership stakes in improved residential lots worth $1 million to $5 million near the national parks and forests in Deschutes County in Oregon.
Like Miller, Republican John Campbell of the 45th District owns an out-of-state property tied to his family business. His late mother, Maurine McNee Campbell, was born in Cottonwood Falls, Kan., but moved to California as a young child. The former accountant still holds a 50 percent share of the Campbell-McNee Family Farm in his mother’s hometown, which is worth $500,000 to $1 million.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.