Skip to content

In the Newest Congress, the Rich Get Richer

Some things change and some things stay the same, especially when it comes to rich Members of Congress.

In the dozen years since former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) stormed the Capitol and led Republicans into the majority, more than one-quarter of the Senators and House Members on Roll Call’s “Contract With America”-era list of the 50 richest lawmakers continue to be among the 50 wealthiest today.

Of those on Roll Call’s January 1996 list, the first analysis to include the historic class of 1994, 27 are still Members. Of those lawmakers still serving, 16 remain on Roll Call’s list more than a decade later, including the woman who became Speaker when Democrats regained control of Capitol Hill, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Other holdovers on the list include Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Reps. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), Jane Harman (D-Calif.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), Pete Stark (D-Calif.), Terry Everett (R-Ala.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Half of the Members who made up the top 10 positions on Roll Call’s 1996 list remain near the top of this year’s list. All five are Democratic Senators: Kennedy, Kerry, Kohl, Rockefeller and Feinstein.

Republicans this year continue to hold more spots on the list, taking up 28 of the 50 spots. Still, aided by the mega-rich trio of Harman, Kohl and Kerry, who were worth more than $600 million combined, rich Democrats continued to be wealthier on average.

Democrats on Roll Call’s 2007 list were worth an average of $43.07 million, while Republicans were worth an average of $19.05 million. But when using the median, or middle, value, the wealth divide actually flips: The median Democratic net worth was about $8.4 million; for Republicans it was about $10 million.

In actual spending capacity, the threshold for entry to Roll Call’s list actually has decreased since the Republican revolution — but only by a fraction. On the 1996 list, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), absent this year, was No. 50 with a net worth of $2.4 million. Adjusted for inflation, Gregg’s 1996 total would be worth about $3.14 million today.

This year’s No. 50, Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), was worth about $3.06 million, about $80,000 shy of Gregg’s inflation-adjusted figure.

A handful of Members this year came in just below the $3.06 million mark. And days before the publishing deadline last week, Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio), who was worth more than $5 million, died of an apparent heart attack. Gillmor’s sudden death dropped him out of the 38th position on Roll Call’s list and moved Hastert into the 50th position.

Roll Call’s rankings are based on the annual disclosure reports filed by each Member. To determine a lawmaker’s estimated worth, Roll Call computes the minimum assets reported by the lawmaker, and then subtracts the minimum liabilities. This approach yields conservative estimates of any individual lawmaker’s worth. Roll Call also consults other media outlets and databases to help supplement the estimates for any particular lawmaker.

1. Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.)
$216.11 million

Harman’s wealth soared dramatically last year, pushing her up three positions. Harman, who was passed over this year for the top Democratic spot on the House Intelligence panel, watched her bank account swell by about one quarter, or $44 million, according to her disclosure forms.

Almost half of Harman’s net worth stemmed from her stake in Harman International Industries, the company founded by her husband, Sydney. The high-end electronics designer and manufacturer distributes under the imprints Harman Kardon, JBL, Mark Levinson and Infinity. The couple listed options and common stock holdings in the company worth at least $100 million.

The Harmans also have vast real estate and private investments, hedge fund holdings and family trust accounts. They reported no outstanding debt.

2. Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
$215.85 million

Despite being near the top of Roll Call’s list of the 50 richest Members of Congress and owning a professional basketball team that has grown in value by more than 10 percent since last year, Kohl’s net worth dropped precipitously during the past year.

Last year, Roll Call estimated Kohl’s net worth to be $243.15 million, made up almost entirely of his stake in the National Basketball Association’s Milwaukee Bucks, which Forbes magazine last year estimated to be worth $231 million.

But in January 2007, Kohl’s Bucks — who missed the playoffs last year after finishing at the bottom of their division — were valued at $260 million, a 13 percent increase.

The bulk of Kohl’s remaining assets were in a blind trust, estimated on his financial disclosure forms as “over $50 million.” Kohl also had a family trust fund worth at least $100,000 and millions of dollars’ worth of commercial property in the Milwaukee area.

The Senator’s family started its eponymous department store chain in 1962, selling it to an outside group 16 years later. Kohl was the company’s president throughout the 1970s.

Kohl also listed on his disclosure statements at least $50 million in outstanding debts carried by his basketball team. Kohl carried an overall debt burden of at least $110 million.

3. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.)
$213.8 million

Kerry falls from the top spot because his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, for the second straight year failed to qualify as one of Forbes magazine’s 400 richest Americans, forcing Roll Call to use the low-end figures from Sen. Kerry’s disclosure statement. Still, this year’s disclosure forms showed a $25 million increase in net worth from 2006.

The 2004 Democratic presidential nominee was credited by Roll Call as being worth $750 million last year, using the figure from Heinz Kerry’s 2004 Forbes ranking. Kerry’s worth is clearly much higher than his disclosure forms suggest because he chose 168 times to identify assets as being simply “over $1 million,” rather than using the more specific ranges of $5 million to $25 million, $25 million to $50 million, and over $50 million.

Assuming half of those assets were actually worth $5 million, his net worth would be at least $420 million more.

4. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)
$158.58 million

Issa climbed up one notch on this year’s list.

The founder of the Vista, Calif.-based Viper car alarm company, the Ohio native claimed the vast majority of his wealth came from holdings in DEI LLC — more than $50 million — and Greene Properties Inc. — $25 million to $50 million — which manages office and light industrial property. Issa’s wife, Katherine, is on Greene’s payroll.

He also added at least $1 million from the property management firm Third I LLC. Another $5 million-plus each came from Oppenheimer and Goldman Sachs accounts. Issa reported no liabilities.

5. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
$79.4 million

Rockefeller falls two spots this year because of Roll Call’s use of his current disclosure statement, rather than the Forbes estimate, that was used last year. In 2002, Forbes estimated Rockefeller was worth about $200 million.

For someone swimming in money, Rockefeller’s disclosure report lacks intrigue; almost all of his wealth is derived from three trusts —one worth more than $50 million at JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York, another worth more than $25 million at Wachovia in Newark, N.J., and one worth at least $5 million at United Bank in Charleston, W.Va.

Rockefeller also holds more than $1 million in Pepsi stock.

6. Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.)
$67.23 million

The lone representative of this Congress’ freshman class on the 50 richest list, Buchanan owes much of his wealth to his 20 car dealerships. He had assets of more than $5 million each from dealerships in the Florida cities of St. Augustine, Venice and Cocoa. His marine and aircraft leasing businesses each were worth an additional $5 million.

Buchanan also owns and rents properties in Florida, California, Colorado, Michigan and Kentucky. He reported $35.6 million in liabilities.

7. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
$50.5 million

Despite increasing her net worth by $7.9 million, Feinstein moves up only one slot on this year’s list.

Feinstein’s disclosure forms include assets held jointly with her husband, financier Richard Blum. They owned more than $2 million in stock in Avid Technology Inc. and at least $1 million in CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., Kinetic Concepts Inc. and RAE Systems Inc.

Feinstein and Blum jointly listed assets of $5 million to $25 million in San Francisco’s Hotel Carlton. Condos in Hawaii and Tahoe City, Calif., brought in more than $1.25 million combined.

Blum also had at least $3 million in bank accounts with Bank of America and First Republic.

8. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.)
$47.35 million

The liberal icon last year watched his wealth more than double, up dramatically from his $19.19 million total last year. The staggering increase elevated Kennedy four spots from No. 12 last year.

Nearly all of Kennedy’s assets are in trusts established by his father, Kennedy family patriarch Joseph Kennedy. On his disclosure forms, the Senator listed five family trust funds worth $45 million to $150 million. Kennedy estimated that those trusts distributed $500,000 to $5 million in annual income.

Kennedy also listed two blind trusts worth at least $1 million combined, in addition to tens of thousands of dollars in index and mutual funds. He also owns undeveloped land in Lafayette, La., worth $250,001 to $500,000, and property in Hyannisport, Mass., worth $1 million to $5 million.

On last year’s Roll Call list, Kennedy posted equally impressive increases to his net worth, which was then up nearly $10 million from $9.9 million in 2005.

Kennedy had an outstanding debt of at least $1 million on his Cape Cod home.

9. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)
$44.25 million

McCain moves up to No. 9 after disclosing $15 million more in net worth than last year. The Senator showed only $15,000 from a checking account and another $2,000 from accounts jointly held with his wife, Cindy. The rest of his net worth came from his wife and dependent children.

Cindy McCain held more than $1 million in property in La Jolla, Calif. She and her children listed $1 million worth of stock in Anheuser-Busch and Hensley & Co., a beer distribution company she inherited.

10. Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.)
$36.12 million

The textile magnate appeared to suffer considerable financial losses in 2006, shedding more than one-third of his portfolio and dropping him four spots from No. 6 in last year’s ranking.

Hayes, president of Mount Pleasant Hosiery Mills — maker of a wide range of sock-drawer items — reported owning $500,001 to $1 million in Altria stock; another $500,001 or more in Minnesota-based timber investments; and at least $2 million worth of property in Minnesota and South Carolina.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is targeting Hayes heavily in 2008, attempted earlier this summer to make political hay of his Altria holdings. The company, which manufactures Philip Morris cigarettes, announced it would shutter its Concord, N.C., plant, costing the area 2,500 jobs. The plant closing, according to a local news account, could gross Hayes at least $32,000; Hayes aides claim the stock is part of a family trust fund, which the lawmaker does not control.

Hayes also held at least $3 million in municipal bonds. He carried a personal debt of at least $1 million for his private airplane.

11. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.)
$22.52 million

The seven-term lawmaker posted modest gains last year, inching up 13 percent, or more than $2.5 million.

At least $15 million of Frelinghuysen’s net worth in 2006 was managed by family trusts, which are invested in dozens of individual stocks, bonds and investment funds. Frelinghuysen, who is the sixth member of his family to serve in Congress, also holds individual stocks, including IBM and Eli Lilly & Co.

In addition, he owns an 18-acre tract in Frelinghuysen Township, N.J., worth $250,001 to $500,000, and 236 acres in Stockbridge, Mass., worth at least $100,000.

Frelinghuysen listed no outstanding debts on his disclosure forms.

12. Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas)
$17.57 million

The former U.S. attorney’s wealth vaulted by a full one-third last year, as McCaul paid off debts totaling at least $250,000 and netted the family kitty roughly $4 million above last year’s total.

At least $6 million of McCaul’s reported net worth was invested in Clear Channel Communications, the company founded by his father-in-law, Lowry Mays. McCaul and his wife also had at least $600,000 invested in concert promoter Live Nation, a Clear Channel spin-off.

McCaul also owned a $500,000 to $1,000,000 stake in a San Antonio-based newspaper publisher. The couple listed no debts.

13. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)
$16.21 million

After watching her personal fortune decline two years in a row, the Speaker’s net worth jumped by almost $2 million last year, moving her up two spots in the rankings.

Pelosi and her husband, Paul, own stakes in numerous properties in California, including a $1 million to $5 million interest in the posh Auberge du Soleil resort in Napa Valley, whose offerings include a three-hour “soothing rose-petal custard body masque.” The treatment’s price tag: $480.

The Pelosis also own a $1 million to $5 million interest in the Italian restaurant chain Piatti Restaurant Co., which has a dozen locations primarily on the West Coast.

The Speaker owns a California winery with a low-end value of $5 million. She also owns commercial and residential property worth at least $3 million and at least a $500,000 stake in Lions Gate, a golf development partnership. The couple’s remaining net worth is invested heavily in securities and private investments.

The Speaker carried debts of at least $7.5 million for mortgages, lines of credit and margin accounts, according to her financial disclosure forms.

14. Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.)
$16.11 million

Dole’s portfolio includes a 1 percent stake — valued at more than $1 million — that her husband, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), has in a family trust. She also disclosed roughly $2 million in promissory notes.

Dole collected more than $1 million in rent from a 119-acre property she owns in Kansas. She also had multiple $1 million-plus balances in hedge funds and trust accounts.

15. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
$15.66 million

Missouri’s state auditor before coming to the Senate, McCaskill’s portfolio included more than 250 limited partnerships in affordable housing real estate.

She also held a New Zealand-based investment fund worth more than $1 million and has $1 million in outstanding debt from her unsuccessful 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

16. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.)
$15.25 million

After reporting an $800,000 increase to her net worth last year, Lowey’s bank account swelled by $600,000 this year but still cost her two spots on Roll Call’s list.

Lowey, a 10-term House Member and new Appropriations cardinal, has a diverse portfolio of securities, managed investment accounts and private holdings. The lawmaker’s husband, Stephen, is New York-based trial lawyer. The couple’s reported stake in his firm, Lowey Dannenberg Bemporad Selinger & Cohen P.C., was estimated to be $1 million to $5 million.

The Loweys share of the firm’s profit-sharing plan also was valued at $1 million to $5 million. The couple had no debt, according to financial disclosure statements.

17. Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.)
$13.72 million

Petri’s net worth increased by more than 50 percent over his 2006 Roll Call figures, up nearly $5 million and moving him up 11 spots on this year’s list.

The attorney and former Peace Corps volunteer owned more than $10 million in U.S. Bank and Walgreens stock, $1 million to $5 million in Berkshire Hathaway stock and an interest in Lloyd’s of London worth at least $500,000.

Petri bulked up his portfolio considerably in 2006. According to his financial disclosure statements, Petri purchased at least $600,000 worth of stock in eBay, publisher McGraw-Hill and home-state heavy equipment maker Manitowoc.

He also had an outstanding loan through Merrill Lynch for $1 million to $5 million.

18. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas)
$13.64 million

A former homebuilder and real estate developer, Marchant had at least $1.75 million in assets from Texas cattle ranches in Lindsay, Valley View and Montague County, as well as a $100,000-plus share of land in Phoenix.

At least $5 million of Marchant’s wealth came from a family limited partnership, detailed in more than 1,000 pages of disclosure forms. The partnership includes more than $1 million in a securities, stocks and bonds account.

Marchant also had $1.35 million in liabilities from mortgages and lines of credit.

19. Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.)
$13.5 million

For the second year in a row, the two-term lawmaker sits comfortably on the Roll Call list, despite losing more than $3 million in wealth and dropping six spots.

Campbell, a former automotive sales executive, owns seven California properties worth at least $7 million. He also owns at least $1.45 million in U.S. Treasury bills and notes. He inherited significant stock holdings in 2006, according to his disclosure statements, although he did not estimate their value.

20. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
$13.18 million

The eight-term Manhattan Democrat watched her wealth soar by 45 percent in the past year, leapfrogging her seven positions on this year’s list.

Maloney owns an Upper East Side town house and investment property that is worth $5 million to $25 million and rental property in New Canaan, Conn., worth $1 million to $5 million. She also owns numerous investment properties in Virginia, Jamaica and New York worth more than $1 million combined.

She held at least $1.5 million in individual securities and managed investment funds. Mahoney has outstanding mortgage debts totaling at least $2.25 million.

21. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)
$11.98 million

In April, the former first lady dissolved her blind trust, which last year was estimated to be worth $5 million to $25 million. Her portfolio now includes more than 190 individual investments worth less than $500,000. Her biggest stock holdings — of at least $250,000 — are in General Electric Co., Cisco Systems, Home Depot, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Time Warner and Walt Disney.

Her stocks in the $100,001-to-$250,000 range include some companies not typically associated with Democrats, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Wal-Mart.

Clinton also has a number of New York City, county and state bonds.

22. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
$11.84 million

Despite a $300,000 increase over last year’s total, the first-term Senator remains at No. 22. Similar to last year, Alexander’s portfolio was anchored by at least $6 million in Processed Foods Corp. stock and $2 million in BFAM securities.

Alexander also owns real estate in Tennessee worth at least $1.7 million, Texas property worth more than $740,000 and undeveloped land in Nantucket, Mass., worth at least $1 million.

23. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.)
$11.68 million

The former House Judiciary chairman had modest gains last year, adding roughly $900,000 to his already healthy portfolio.

Sensenbrenner owns more than $2.6 million in residential property, including a $1.5 million Alexandria, Va., house, a $148,000 Wisconsin condominium and a $943,000 stake in a Waukesha County, Wis., single-family home. He also owns more than $7.1 million in individual stocks, which includes more than $2 million combined in pharmaceutical giants Merck and Pfizer.

He also has nearly $600,000 in life insurance policies, $183,000 in checking, savings and retirement accounts and a stamp collection estimated to be worth $100,000.

24. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.)
$10.65 million

The House’s lone active helicopter pilot had minimal losses in 2006, moving down one spot since last year’s analysis.

Nearly all of Rehberg’s wealth — some $11 million-plus — is invested in ranching and livestock operations. He also owns additional property worth at least $850,000.

Rehberg reported private retirement accounts worth at least $95,000 and at least $1.3 million in outstanding loans.

25. Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.)
$10.41 million

After fluctuating dramatically in recent years, Miller’s net worth held relatively stable last year, growing by a modest 4 percent, or a little more than $400,000.

The one-time homebuilder, who has taken fire in recent years for questionable property deals, owns numerous land parcels in the Los Angeles area. Miller estimated that four vacant lots — totaling 382 acres — he owns in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., are worth $5 million to $25 million.

According to his disclosure forms, Miller had an additional 7-plus acres in Diamond Bar, Calif., and Rialto, Calif., that are worth at least $1.5 million. He estimated his stake in the G. Miller Development Co. to be worth $500,000 to $1 million.

Miller also had $5 million to $25 million in a Pomona Bank and Trust account and tens of thousands of dollars in investment funds and retirement accounts.

The five-term lawmaker, who paid off more than $2 million in debts last year, had an outstanding credit card balance of $10,001 to $15,000.

26. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
$9.63 million

Snowe moves up six slots from last year’s list as her net worth increased by $1.6 million. Much of her wealth came from stock she owns in her husband’s company, Education Management Corp. John McKernan Jr., the CEO of the EDMC, was a House Member for four years and Maine’s governor for eight. The company provides private post-secondary education.

Snowe reported her stock options in the EDMC as being worth $5 million to $25 million last year, but this year she checked the “over $1 million” box — suggesting her net worth could be much larger.

27. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
$9.24 million

Real estate holdings continue to keep Shelby in Roll Call’s top 50. The Senator collected more than $5 million in rent from an apartment complex he owns in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and he added more than $250,000 in rent from a local office building. Shelby’s Alabama home and a town house in Washington, D.C., are worth at least $1 million each.

Shelby had more than $750,000 in certificates of deposit and a money market account. He had more than $1 million in stock in Tuscaloosa Title, where he has been chairman of the board since 1974.

Shelby had at least $1 million in outstanding debt for his Alabama apartment complex.

28. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.)
$9.03 million

The field marshal of the 2006 House Democratic takeover, Emanuel also had considerable success raising money of his own — adding about 6 percent to his net worth last year.

Nearly all of Emanuel’s wealth — quickly bagged after leaving the Clinton White House — is in blind trusts. A 2006 Washington Post article estimated that Emanuel made an $18 million fortune in investment banking between leaving President Bill Clinton’s side in 1999 and being elected to Congress in 2002.

Emanuel also owns one parcel of commercial real estate in Milwaukee worth at least $15,000, a retirement account worth $500,001 to $1 million and at least $1.25 million in mutual and index funds.

29. Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.)
$8.46 million

After watching his fortune turn around last year, Smith’s pocketbook again appears to be leaking like a sieve.

After posting significant losses in years past, Smith had a strong showing in Roll Call’s 2006 analysis, which estimated his baseline net worth on financial disclosure forms to be $12.96 million, roughly $5 million more than the year before. The uptick moved him up nine spots to No. 19 on last year’s list.

But Smith’s luck appears to have stalled for the time being. After posting multimillion-dollar gains last year, Smith’s coffers shrank year-over-year by 35 percent in 2006, largely because of a significant revaluation of one of his business interests.

In 2005, Smith valued his storage and packing company, Garrett Packing Co., at more than $5 million. Last year, Smith estimated the business was worth $500,001 to $1 million.

Smith’s wife, Sharon, is the chief executive officer of Oregon-based Smith Frozen Foods, which by the company’s account processes roughly 10 percent of the nation’s frozen peas, corn and diced carrots. On his 2006 financial disclosure forms, Smith estimated his family’s stake in the company to be $5 million to $25 million. The Smiths also own a storage and packaging facility worth $500,001 to $1 million and rental property worth at least $250,000.

The Smiths reported one outstanding debt of at least $250,000.

30. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
$8.07 million

Isakson’s net worth inched up by 6 percent during the past year, a healthy clip for the former real estate executive who holds a diversified portfolio of securities and property.

The Senator owns more than $1 million worth of stock each in both Georgia-based Synovus Bank and Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia. The investments, which Isakson valued simply as “over $1,000,000” each on his financial disclosure forms, could be worth considerably more.

Shares of trendy clothier Urban Outfitters, Starbucks and NutriSystem round out Isakson’s portfolio. He also owns tens of thousands of dollars in U.S. Treasury bond funds, a timeshare in Hilton Head, S.C., and a partial interest in 54 acres of undeveloped land in suburban Atlanta.

Isakson also had at least $25,000 in outstanding mortgage debt.

31. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.)
$7.68 million

Bingaman’s chief asset is a Goldman Sachs account worth at least $4.1 million. That account, combined with others though Merrill Lynch, TD and RDM Investment, held the bulk of his wealth.

He also controls an interest in Soundpath, a D.C. teleconference company owned by his wife, and estimated that the firm is worth more than $1 million. A 42-acre rental unit in Santa Fe, N.M., that he owns was valued at more than $500,000.

32. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)
$7.57 million

The petroleum equipment executive’s net worth held steady last year, increasing a modest 6 percent, or roughly $400,000.

Nearly all of Pearce’s wealth — about $5.75 million — is invested in four Hobbs, N.M.-based equipment rental companies: Trinity Industries Inc., Exedra LLC, Gree Ltd. and LFT LLC. Pearce, who sits on the House Natural Resources and Financial Services panels, also owns a stake worth $1 million to $5 million in Lea County Bancshares.

Pearce, who listed no debts on his disclosure forms, also had retirement accounts and college savings plans worth at least $115,000.

33. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas)
$7.48 million

The Austin-area lawmaker’s net worth dipped slightly last year, losing $400,000 but sustaining his spot at No. 33.

Doggett owns property in Texas worth at least $1.5 million and a broad array of individual stock and fund holdings, including at least $50,000 in Coca-Cola stock, $100,001 to $250,000 in IBM stock and more than $2.6 million worth of Vanguard funds.

The former lawyer and university professor reported one outstanding debt for at least $250,001.

34. Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.)
$7.08 million

The former developer’s property-heavy portfolio held steady last year amid a rocky real estate market that seems to down a new mortgage lender every week.

Dreier owns a stake in the Tiffany Manor apartment building in Kansas City, Mo., worth $5 million to $25 million. Last year, Roll Call reported that Dreier alone earned at least $100,000 annually from its tenants; this year, he downgraded his take-home to more than $50,000 but less than $100,000.

Considerable investment in media, entertainment and communications companies makes up the remaining $2 million-plus of Dreier’s portfolio. He owns $250,001 to $500,000 in stock of hotelier Gaylord Entertainment, which owns and operates the Grand Ole Opry.

Dreier, who purchased at least $150,000 worth of stock last year, listed no debts on his financial disclosure forms.

35. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.)
$7.06 million

Upton reappears on this year’s Roll Call list, roughly $500,000 poorer and three positions lower than his 2005 appearance.

Upton estimated his slice of a family trust to be worth $5 million to $25 million. The funds are made up of more than 60 individual holdings, including at least $1 million apiece in Whirlpool and Wrigley stock and more than $350,000 in mutual funds.

The former Congressional aide also listed a separate Whirlpool investment worth $1 million to $5 million and bank accounts with a combined balance of at least $52,000. Whirlpool, the appliance manufacturer, is headquartered in Benton Harbor, which is in Upton’s district. He had no debt.

36. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
$7.01 million

Nelson moved up five spots on this year’s list, as his family’s net worth increased by 5 percent in 2006.

The former lawyer, who did not report any personal debt, holds $1 million to $5 million in U.S. government bonds and more than $1 million in certificates of deposit and annuities.

Nelson also owns interests worth more than $1 million in rental properties throughout the Midwest, and he shares in a Nebraska-based metal building manufacturer worth $250,000 to $500,000.

Last year, Nelson also appeared to swap out a considerable chunk of his portfolio — more than $300,000 in U.S. Treasury notes — for certificates of deposit.

37. Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.)
$6.09 million

Last year’s No. 40, Price moves up three positions on this year’s list, despite coming in $670,000 short of his 2005 total net worth.

Price, a surgeon, reported owning partial interests in three medical offices in Roswell, Ga., worth at least $450,000 combined. He also owns investment properties in Georgia and North Carolina worth at least $1.15 million; an annuity valued at $500,001 to $1 million; and more than $3 million in investment and retirement accounts.

38. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
$5.88 million

Despite adding just $160,000 to her net worth, the freshly minted Appropriations cardinal moves up seven positions on this year’s list.

DeLauro’s husband, Stan Greenberg, owns a majority piece of polling giant Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. His two-thirds stake in the firm is worth $5 million to $25 million, according to the lawmaker’s disclosure forms.

DeLauro also disclosed ownership stakes in consulting and telephone survey businesses, which are valued at $1,001 to $15,000 apiece.

DeLauro and Greenberg also disclosed holding bank accounts with combined balances of at least $100,000. The couple owes $15,000 to $50,000 on a car loan.

39. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.)
$5.68 million

Sanchez’s wealth comes mostly from at least $5 million of stock in TriStar Capital LLC, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based leasing and financing company. She also brought in at least another $1 million in rent from property in Palos Verdes, Calif.

40. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)
$5.39 million

A double-digit percentage increase to his bank account in 2006 — worth roughly $500,000 — pushed Neugebauer up nine spots on this year’s Roll Call list.

A property developer, Neugebauer owns sizable interests in Lone Star State land projects, including Lubbock-area property worth at least $300,000, Goldman Sachs investment accounts worth at least $1 million, and at least $1 million in municipal bonds. He sold off more than $1.3 million in property last year.

Neugebauer, who sits on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, also held stakes in hedge funds and private equity groups worth at least $550,000.

He had at least $550,000 outstanding in mortgage debt on property he owns in Southeast Washington, D.C.

41. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
$5.19 million

Leaping from a tie for No. 47 last year, Harkin derived the largest portion of his overall wealth from a money market fund valued at more than $1 million. He also held more than $500,000 in ConocoPhillips stock.

Harkin reported more than $500,000 each in two ING American Funds accounts.

42. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.)
$4.31 million

The often-rumored 2008 vice presidential candidate appears on Roll Call’s list for the first time this year, anchored primarily by securities holdings and unexercised stock options.

Bayh’s portfolio included nearly $2 million in bond and stock funds, at least $15,000 in Allied Capital Corp., PNC Bank and the National Bank of Indianapolis, and a Bethany Beach, Del., rental property worth $1 million to $5 million.

At least one-quarter of the Bayh family’s net worth comes from stock and options provided to Susan Bayh, the Senator’s wife. Susan Bayh, who is on the payroll of eight companies, had at least $750,000 in stock and options from health care provider WellPoint; $250,000 to $500,000 in E Trade Bank options; and at least $115,000 in Nastech Pharmaceuticals stock and options.

43. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.)
$4.26 million

Oberstar is new to Roll Call’s list this year, cracking the top 50 with a portfolio that included a John Hancock fund worth more than $500,000 and stocks valued at more than $100,000 each in AES Corp., Archstone-Smith,, Johnson & Johnson, Pain Therapeutics and Penwest Pharmaceuticals.

Oberstar listed no liabilities.

44. Rep. Terry Everett (R-Ala.)
$4.14 million

New to Roll Call’s list, Everett amassed at least $1.7 million in wealth from 17 separate municipal bond holdings estimated to be worth $100,000 to $250,000 each. His 400-acre farm in Houston County, Ala., was valued at more than $500,000.

Everett, a former newspaper reporter who owned the Union Springs Herald for 15 years until 2003, also disclosed a healthy Congressional Federal Credit Union account, at least $100,000 in a money market fund and more than $16,000 in checking and savings accounts.

He also had a retirement account worth more than $250,000 and at least $381,000 in SunSouth Bank investment and checking accounts, certificates of deposit and additional retirement accounts.

Everett reported no liabilities.

45. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.)
$3.52 million

Stark’s biggest asset is a multi-tenant warehouse in San Francisco valued at $5 million to $25 million. He also owns a Capitol Hill investment property valued at more than $1 million. Outstanding mortgages on both properties, however, totaled at least $5.75 million.

Aside from real estate, Stark’s assets included a Charles Schwab account worth more than $500,000.

46. Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.)
$3.34 million

A diverse investment portfolio and family trust fund placed the nine-term lawmaker on Roll Call’s list for the first time this year.

Camp, who sits on the Ways and Means panel, listed a trust account worth $1 million to $5 million and dozens of individual stocks and bonds worth at least $2 million combined, including at least $50,000 in Apple, $250,001 to $500,000 in Dow Chemical and at least $15,000 in Exxon Mobil. Dow’s corporate headquarters, in Midland, is in Camp’s district.

He also executed hundreds of individual trades last year. For example, Camp bought and sold $15,001 to $50,000 in agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland stock on more than 25 occasions.

47. Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.)
$3.32 million

Boyd, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies, is new to the top 50 with a portfolio chock-full of farming investments. He disclosed a stake worth more than $500,000 in Boyd Family Farms Inc. and more than $100,000 in Boyd-Tuten Cattle Farm. He also held a stake in F.A. Boyd & Sons worth $1 million to $5 million.

Boyd also disclosed outstanding mortgage debt of more than $500,000.

48. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)
$3.18 million

Brownback squeezes into the top 50 with a portfolio anchored by a $1 million-plus SFI partnership, the bulk of which included shares in Title Midwest Inc., a Topeka, Kan., title insurance agency. Other holdings in the trust were in two greeting card companies and a national bank.

Brownback added a UBS blind trust he shares with his wife that is valued at $1 million to $5 million.

He also reported 335 acres of farmland in Linn County, Kan., valued at more than $100,000, and a Capitol Hill condominium worth $250,000 to $500,000.

Brownback listed as earned income $15,000 as a book advance from W Publishing Group. He reported more than $100,000 in mortgage debt for his condo.

49. Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.)
$3.13 million

Herger, a rancher and propane peddler, stayed at the end of the top 50 with a portfolio anchored by $1 million to $5 million in assets from Herger Gas Inc., the Rio Oso, Calif., propane distribution company he oversees as president and director.

Herger also owns a Rio Oso ranch worth at least $1 million, other rental property worth at least $500,000 and annuities worth $615,000 to $1.3 million.

50. Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.)
$3.06 million

The former Speaker’s net worth is primarily tied up in suburban Chicago-area property investments, one of which drew considerable controversy for its proximity to an earmarked highway project.

The Chicago Tribune estimated that Hastert was actually worth twice Roll Call’s estimate — at least $6 million — and was debt-free. But Roll Call’s analysis of Hastert’s net worth is a baseline estimate made using the low-end values of his reported investments.

For example, on his 2006 disclosure statement Hastert estimated his Kendall County, Ill., farm to be worth $1 million to $5 million. And although it is likely worth much, much more, Roll Call’s conservative approximation of the the property’s value was $1 million, an approach used throughout this year’s analysis. Hastert recently announced that he is retiring after this term.

Correction: Sept. 25, 2007

The article incorrectly identified the location of the corporate headquarters of Directed Electronics, a car alarm company previously owned by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). The company, originally based in Cleveland, operates out of Vista, Calif.

Recent Stories

Democrats decry ‘very, very harmful’ riders in Legislative Branch bill

Biden welcomes Kenya’s Ruto with talk of business deals and 1,000 candles

Noncitizen voting bill advances as Republicans continue messaging push

At the Races: Don’t call him the next Mitch

Norfolk Southern agrees to $1B in settlements for East Palestine

Justice Department seeks to break up concert giant Live Nation