After Refiling, Lummis Is 50th in Richest Member Rankings

Posted September 22, 2010 at 1:19pm

Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) found her way back into the ranks of the 50 Richest Members of Congress on Tuesday when she amended her financial disclosure forms.

According to her amended report, filed with the House Clerk’s office Tuesday, Lummis’ minimum net worth in 2009 was $5.44 million, which would make her the 50th richest Member.

The Wyoming lawmaker amended her forms to include husband Al Wiederspahn’s investment in Equipoise Corp., valued at $1 million to $5 million.

To determine the richest lawmakers, Roll Call adds up the minimum value of total assets reported by Members on their annual financial disclosures and subtracts the minimum liabilities.

When Roll Call conducted its annual survey of Member wealth earlier this month, Lummis didn’t make the cut, reporting a minimum net worth of $4.44 million. Under Roll Call’s methodology, Lummis’ amendment adds $1 million to her minimum worth.

Lummis had previously reported the same investment in her calendar year 2008 financial disclosure but failed to list the item on her original calendar year 2009 disclosure, the most recent version available.

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.

Because lawmakers may report their investments in wide ranges, a Member’s fortune can shift dramatically when an asset changes categories, even if the real change is a few thousands dollars up or down.

Rep. Tom Petri, who ranked 28th on Roll Call’s annual survey with $9.11 million, also filed an amendment to his financial disclosure form, declaring he received capital gains in 2008 of at least $200,000.

In a Sept. 16 amendment, the Wisconsin Republican stated that he failed to include capital gains on the sale of two stocks in 2008, each of which generated $100,000 to $1 million in capital gains.

Petri previously reported the October 2008 sale of his stock in William Wrigley Jr. Co. in a transaction valued at $500,000 to $1 million, but he had not reported any capital gains.

Petri had reported receiving dividends from the stock in 2008 valued at $5,000 to $15,000. He valued the same stock in his calendar year 2007 report at $250,000 to $500,000.

The Wisconsin lawmaker also earned capital gains from his 2008 sale of Heritage Underwriting Agency stock and noted that the asset had no value at the end of 2008.

Petri previously reported selling the stock in a transaction value at $50,000 to $100,000. He had reported dividends from the stock valued at $1,000 to $2,500.

He put the value of his Heritage stock at $100,000 to $250,000 on his 2007 report.