roll-call-50-richest

A History of Curiosities, Clout for Wisconsin Delegation

Duffy is a member of the historically diverse and interesting Wisconsin congressional delegation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The death last week of Robert W. Kastenmeier, who evolved in the House from a prominent peace crusader into a premier intellectual property protector , is the freshest reminder of an odd truth about the modern Congress.  

Wisconsin has produced way more than its fair share of iconoclastic but highly impactful members. At a time when the state’s most prominent public official, Gov. Scott Walker, is laboring against the conventional wisdom he’s too boring and bland to win back the presidency for the Republicans, the rosters of recent senators and House members suggest he’s the exception that proves the rule.  

Heirs Out, Entrepreneurs In on 50 Richest List

Black has a minimum net worth of at least $21.24 million. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ten years ago, the 50 wealthiest members of Congress were 60 percent Republican even though the GOP held 52 percent of all the seats — just like this time. Then, as now, all the lawmakers on the roster were white, no more than 1 in 5 was a woman and a dozen of them had spouses to thank for the bulk of their money.  

But, for all those partisan and demographic echoes, the new roster of Roll Call's 50 Richest reveals how the economic and political upheavals of the past decade have altered the nature of affluence on Capitol Hill.  

Really Rich and Endangered: 50 Richest on the Ballot

Will their ranks on the 50 Richest Members of Congress list hurt Hagan or Warner this fall? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week’s unveiling of the 50 richest members of Congress , a signature Roll Call annual report, will underscore the recent reality that about 10 percent of the nation's lawmakers are in the 1 percent when it comes to their net worth.  

50RichestLogo Another reminder that so many members are so much wealthier than their constituents surely won’t do anything for already abysmal congressional approval ratings (an average 14.3 percent in half a dozen national polls since July 4). To most of the electorate, the roster will be just another annoying reminder of a Capitol Hill that too often seems out of touch.