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The 15 richest members of Congress
Mingling money and power
The 15 richest members of Congress - Recently, Roll Call analyzed the financial assets of U.S. lawmakers, contained in the most recent mandatory annual disclosures, to determine which members of Congress have the highest approximate net worth.Although these congressional disclosures are not exact -- they are displayed in a range of estimated value over broad categories -- Roll Call, a Capitol Hill news and information provider, analyzed the assets and liabilities of every U.S. representative and senator to come up with the 50 richest members of Congress. The 15 richest members are presented in the slides that follow.Because assets are listed over wide ranges, such as "between $5 million and $25 million," Roll Call calculated a minimum net worth to give an idea of the lowest possible value of real assets.

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen
About a third of Frelinghuysen's wealth stemmed from multiple investments in Procter & Gamble stock. He owned $1 million to $5 million in the company and reported two additional investments held in family trusts. The larger of those two holdings was worth $5 million to $25 million.The lawmaker's father, the late Rep. Peter Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., Rodney Frelinghuysen + net worth $20.35 million, was married to Beatrice Sterling Procter, a descendant of one of Procter & Gamble's founders, The New York Times reported in a May obituary.Frelinghuysen also added to his real-estate portfolio, reporting a one-fifth interest in a Stockbridge, Mass., rental home valued at $100,000 to $250,000. The property produced no income in 2010. He also owned nearly 18 acres of undeveloped land in Frelinghuysen Township, N.J., valued at a minimum of $250,000, and a one-fifth interest in about 236 undeveloped acres in Stockbridge, Mass., valued at a minimum of $100,000. Rodney Frelinghuysen + net worth $20.35 million,

Sen. Bob Corker
The Tennessean's wealth is largely concentrated in real estate, including a Maryville, Tenn., shopping center and Chattanooga, Tenn., office buildings, both valued at $5 million to $25 million. His two dependent children also owned shares in his office building partnership, Senator Bob Corker + net worth + $21.18 million, each valued at "over $1 million."Corker added a new investment in a Dow Jones industrial average index fund, valued at $5 million to $25 million. But the senator also dropped two loans worth a minimum of $1 million to the Julia Corker and Emily Corker trusts. He had listed both as assets. Corker continued to hold promissory notes from his dependent children to himself, each valued simply at "over $1 million." Corker also added new debt of at least $1 million, listing two margin loans, each worth $500,000 to $1 million, held by his dependent children. Senator Bob Corker + net worth + $21.18 million,

Rep. Rick Berg
Berg reported heavy investments in real estate, congressman rick berg minimum net worth + $21.6 million, including apartment buildings and commercial properties. Among his major assets were five commercial or apartment buildings in Fargo, N.D., and West Fargo, N.D., valued at $1 million to $5 million apiece.While the values for some of those real-estate investments have shifted since Berg filed his candidate financial disclosure in 2010, his wealth remains relatively level, increasing by less than 5%, or $1 million. congressman rick berg minimum net worth + $21.6 million,

Rep. Nancy Pelosi
Pelosi's husband, Paul Pelosi, increased his investment in the United Football League to between $5 million and $25 million. Pelosi had previously listed the asset with a value of $1 million to $5 million.According to the Democrat's financial report, nancy pelosi minimum net worth $35.2 million, Paul Pelosi saw two of his real-estate investments -- an office building in San Francisco and an undeveloped Sacramento, Calif., property -- increase in value in 2010 to $5 million to $25 million each. Those properties were each valued $1 million to $5 million in 2009.Paul Pelosi also invested at least $2.47 million in the football league in 20 individual transactions in 2010, but continued to report an income loss of $1 million to $5 million.Nancy Pelosi reported $8.25 million in liabilities from mortgage and other debts. nancy pelosi minimum net worth $35.2 million,

Rep. Jim Renacci
In the mid-1980s, Renacci established a nursing home and 15 years later sold what had become multiple nursing facilities. He maintained investments in nursing-home administration and medical equipment.The majority of Renacci's assets were kept in five investment accounts, Jim Renacci + minimum net worth $35.87 million, with a combined value of more than $31 million.His other assets included a $100,000 to $250,000 investment in the Lancaster, Calif.-based JetHawks baseball team; $500,000 to $1 million in Harley-Davidson dealerships; and multiple loans, including $250,000 to $500,000 each to Gordie's Bar and Grill and his own campaign committee.Although Renacci listed two lines of credit valued to be at least $1 million each, his report noted that one was closed before the end of 2010. Members are required to report debts valued at more than $10,000 at any point during the calendar year. Jim Renacci + minimum net worth $35.87 million,

Rep. Vern Buchanan
According to his report, Buchanan sold two Port Richey, Fla., dealerships in transactions valued at $1 million to $5 million. He had previously valued the dealerships at $1 million to $5 million and $100,000 to $250,000 each.The businesses are identified only as an LLC and "auto dealer" in Buchanan's reports, but Florida's Sarasota Herald-Tribune in July identified the dealerships as Suncoast Ford and Suncoast itsubishi.Buchanan also sold a Venice, Fla., dealership in a transaction valued at $5 million to $25 million. He previously valued the dealership in the same category. The Sarasota newspaper identified that company as Venice Dodge Nissan.The Republican lawmaker also reported writing off two loans to his former business partner Sam Kazran, totaling at least $1.5 million.Florida's Bradenton Herald reported in June that the Federal Election Commission asked a federal court to fine the car dealership once jointly owned by Kazran and Buchanan nearly $68,000 for violating campaign finance laws by reimbursing employees who made campaign contributions to Buchanan's campaign.Buchanan claimed significant investment accounts and real estate, along with three auto dealerships valued at a combined minimum of $11 million. He also dropped about $6 million in debts from his previous report. Vern Buchanan + minimum net worth + $44.21 million,

Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Feinstein's largest single asset remained her $5 million to $25 million investment in San Francisco's Carlton Hotel Properties, which she shares with her husband, Richard Blum. The couple reported no income from the property in 2010.The couple also owns a Kauai, Hawaii, condominium valued at $1 million to $5 million, which generated $15,000 to $50,000 in rental income in 2010.Much of Feinstein's reported wealth was generated by her spouse's numerous investment partnerships and limited liability corporations. Blum reported 19 accounts -- including partnerships, LLCs, brokerage accounts and a checking account -- valued at "over $1 million." dianne feinstein minimum net worth $45.3 million,

Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Blumenthal's wealth stems in part from his wife, Cynthia Blumenthal, the daughter of New York real estate magnate Peter Malkin.Among the family's numerous real-estate investments were Empire State Building Associates, which holds a 114-year master lease on the New York landmark, and the Empire State Building Co., which operates the building.While both assets were valued at "over $1 million" in Blumenthal's candidate filing, Empire State Building Associates declined to between $500,000 and $1 million in his most recent report. Richard Blumenthal + minimum net worth + $54.9 million,

Sen. Frank Lautenberg
Lautenberg, who founded the data-processing company ADP, maintains two blind trusts, one valued at $5 million to $25 million and the other at $1 million to $5 million. He reported the sale of a trust, Frank Lautenberg + minimum net worth + $55.07 million, previously valued at $1 million to $5 million, in a transaction of those same values.Nonetheless, his minimum net worth saw a 10.8% increase in 2011, or more than $5 million, likely due to multiple stock purchases and other new investments by various trusts held by his wife.According to Lautenberg's annual report, five of those transactions were valued at "over $1 million." Lautenberg listed no debts in 2010. Frank Lautenberg + minimum net worth + $55.07 million,

Rep. Jared Polis
Polis created a blind trust in March 2010, valuing the asset at $25 million to $50 million on his newest disclosure report.He reported the transfer of multiple investment funds into the trust, including seven assets previously valued at $1 million to $5 million and five funds previously valued at $500,000 to $1 million. Polis also reported partial transfers of $1 million to $5 million invested in Australian dollars and the Norwegian krone.In 2010, Polis reported a reduction in his liabilities. The Coloradoan listed more than $6 million in debt in 2009, including a $5 million margin loan he repaid that same year and dropped from his latest report. He reported a little more than $2 million in debt for 2010.In 2010, Polis reduced a mortgage on a Boulder, Colo., property from at least $5 million to at least $1 million. The House lawmaker added a line of credit valued at $1 million to $5 million and listed two credit cards with debts of $15,000 to $50,000. jared polis + net worth + $65.91 million, Norwegian currency + crown,

Sen. Mark Warner
According to Warner's annual report, the MRW Blind Trust -- which he does not directly control -- made a series of purchases and sales of Standard & Poor's depositary receipts in June 2010, earning the senator interest and capital gains of $100,000 to $1 million.Warner, who made his fortune as a telecom mogul, co-founding telecommunications company Nextel, reported an increase of more than $6 million in his minimum net worth in 2010.That growth stems in part from the Virginian's stake in the Columbia Capital Equity Partners investment company, based in Alexandria, Va. Warner reported his investment in that company was worth $5 million to $25 million, an increase from its 2009 value of $1 million to $5 million.He also continued to decrease his debts in 2010, dropping $1 million in liabilities and leaving only a relatively minuscule loan of at least $15,000 from the Virginia Commerce Bank. columbia capital equity partners, Sen Mark Warner + minimum net worth + $76.3 million,

Sen. Jay Rockefeller
Rockefeller, a descendant of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, sen jay rockefeller + minimum net worth + $81.63 million, maintained nearly all of his wealth in three blind trusts with a combined minimum total value of $80 million.The largest of those trusts, an account with JPMorgan Chase established in 1934, was valued at "over $50 million." The second-largest, established in 1952, was valued at $25 million to $50 million. Rockefeller reported that both accounts generated $1 million to $5 million in income in 2010.Rockefeller reduced his liabilities in 2010, dropping a $50,000 loan owed by his spouse, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, to JPMorgan. His only liability remained a 1998 demand loan from the United National Bank valued at $5 million to $25 million. sen jay rockefeller + minimum net worth + $81.63 million,

Sen. John Kerry
Kerry has appeared at or near the top of Roll Call's annual survey for 15 years, but even a modest uptick in his reported wealth couldn't earn him the No. 1 spot this time around.As with many of the wealthiest members of Congress, sen john kerry + minimum net worth + $193.07 million, much of the Massachusetts senator's wealth is attributable to his spouse. Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow of the late Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., an heir to the ketchup fortune.Although Heinz Kerry's fortune has been estimated at several times the minimum figure listed in the senator's annual public reports, it is impossible to estimate based on those records.Members are permitted to report assets held solely by a spouse in a special category designated only as "over $1 million," with no limit on the actual value of the asset. More than 140 items on Kerry's disclosure this year fell into that category. sen john kerry + minimum net worth + $193.07 million,

Rep. Darrell Issa
Despite seeing a significant bump in his minimum net worth in 2010 -- and claiming the highest total assets reported by any congressional member, with $295.4 million -- Issa is still just the second-wealthiest lawmaker.Before his election, darrell issa + minimum net worth + $220 million, the California congressman made his fortune founding Directed Electronics, which manufactures car alarms.His wealth is now vested in two corporations that own and operate office and industrial properties in California: DEI and Greene Properties, as well as various investment funds.Issa reported the value of Greene Properties in the "over $50 million" range, an increase from his prior report, in which he valued the company at $25 million to $50 million. At the same time, Issa divided some of DEI's assets into separate limited liability companies.While DEI was previously valued at "over $50 million," the highest category available on standard disclosure forms, Issa this year valued the company at $25 million to $50 million. But the 11 properties previously held by DEI were valued at a combined minimum value of $38.2 million in this year's financial disclosure form, increasing Issa's overall net worth.Issa could have snagged the No. 1 place on Roll Call's annual list, but he reported two new business lines of credit in 2010, one worth more than $50 million and the other worth $25 million to $50 million. Issa listed these loans as "personal notes" and explained that they were "provided through a business line of credit from Merrill Lynch secured with personal assets." Last year, Issa reported having only one liability, a line of credit for $1 million to $5 million from Merrill Lynch. darrell issa + minimum net worth + $220 million,

Rep. Michael McCaul
His financial disclosure report now depicts a fortune worth almost 25 times that, making him the wealthiest member of Congress, sen michael mccaul + minimum net worth + 294.21 million, at least on paper.McCaul ranked fifth among last year's class of richest lawmakers, with a minimum net worth of at least $73.75 million. That amount has since risen to more than $294 million.The lion's share of McCaul's wealth is held by his wife, Linda McCaul, the daughter of Clear Channel Communications CEO and founder Lowry Mays. The congressman's dramatic rise in net worth in 2010 appears to be the product of a generational wealth transfer.A footnote to McCaul's newest report notes that "certain assets" owned by his spouse were "acquired via a gift from spouse's parents." The accounts were not identified.On his financial disclosure, McCaul listed a new asset: the Linda McCaul Descendant Trusts, owned by his wife and valued at more than $50 million. According to his report, that trust was invested in several other family partnerships.McCaul, likewise, added two trusts under the ownership of his dependent children, including one trust valued at $25 million to $50 million and another at $1 million to $5 million.Another of Linda McCaul's investment accounts appears to have doubled in value, moving from a minimum worth of $25 million to a minimum of $50 million. sen michael mccaul + minimum net worth + 294.21 million,

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