Election Day is almost upon us and it got ThinkAdvisor wondering about how much our elected leaders are worth. We know that sounds like the start of a bad joke about the lack of meaningful work being done in Washington, but our thoughts are purely on finances.
In a report on the net worth of the 538 members of Congress, it turns out that our congressmen made out like bandits with their collective wealth increasing by at least $150 million over the prior year.
Congress being Congress, exact figures are hard to come by because their financial disclosures are made in wide ranges. Still, Roll Call, as it does each year, calculated the minimum net worth for each member of Congress, noting that their wealth is likely greater. The latest data covers 2013.
The figures show that more than a third of Congress could call themselves millionaires.
One wonders if the have-nots in Congress are at least a little jealous of their well-heeled colleagues. Those at the bottom of the net worth are actually in negative territory. Maybe that makes them better able to face the vast number of their constituents who have credit card debt, mortgages and tuition payments weighing them down.
(Related on ThinkAdvisor: 10 Poorest Members of Congress: 2014. )
You might be surprised to learn that Democrats dominate the list of richest members of Congress.
Here, is the list of 10 Richest Members of Congress:
The 10 Richest Members of Congress:
(Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash. Photo: AP)
10. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash.
Net Worth: $37.89 million
First Elected: 2012
DelBene’s wealth, which increased $14 million over last year, comes from the sale of Microsoft stock. She and her husband, Kurt, were both executives at the software behemoth. Besides investments, they own a home worth $5 million, which was purchased in the last year.
9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Net Worth: $43.72 million
First Elected: 1992
Feinstein is married to Richard Blum, whose namesake, Blum Capital Partners, is invested in the Carlton Hotel chain and OZ fitness, among other businesses. He also backed former Vice President Al Gore’s Current Media, which was sold to Al Jazeera.
(Rep. Scott Peters. D-Calif. Photo: AP)
8. Rep. Scott Peters. D-Calif.
Net Worth: $45.04 million
First Elected: 2012
Peters’ wealth was steady, rising less than 1 percent from a year earlier. His wealth has two main sources. First was his work as an environmental attorney handling matters for businesses and government. Second, is his wife’s income from heading Cameron Holdings, a private investment firm. His only liability was a mortgage of between $500,000 and $1 million.
7. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Net Worth: $62.06 million
First Elected: 2010
Blumenthal’s net worth comes from real estate holdings and investments resulting from the wealth of his wife, Cynthia, the daughter of Peter Malkin, who made a fortune in New York City real estate. Blumenthal first reported that his net worth dropped more than $20 million over the last year, but an amended filing might lower that figure.
(Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. Photo: AP)