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John Kerry Is Richest as Lawmakers Grow Wealth in Recession, Newspaper Says

4 years ago
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Even in a bad economy it seems the rich get richer -- at least that was the case on Capitol Hill in 2009.

The Hill newspaper, which annually reviews lawmakers' financial disclosure forms to compile its "wealthiest" list, said the top 50 richest members of Congress were worth nearly $1.4 billion last year -- $85.1 million more than the holdings of the elite group a year earlier.

The richest? That would be Sen. John Kerry, (D-Mass.), who tops the list for the second year with a minimum net worth of $186.6 million, a boost of about $20 million from 2008, with much of it credited to his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. Sen. Kerry got some unwanted publicity last month when questions were raised about him docking a $7 million family yacht in Newport, R.I., which levies virtually no taxes on pleasure craft, instead of in Massachusetts, which imposes substantial fees. After being questioned about sloop's home berth, Kerry said he intended to pay in full whatever taxes Massachusetts authorities decided he owed the state.
Sen. John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts
In calculating the wealth of members of Congress, The Hill said its formula is not foolproof since the ethics forms required of senators and representatives only demand ranges of income and holdings, not precise figures. Left off the list, for instance, is the very wealthy Wisconsin Sen. Herb Kohl of retail store fame, who owns the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. Since the upper range required for financial disclosure is $50 million, the much higher full value of the NBA franchise does not show up in Kohl's filing, The Hill said.

Second on the list was Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who made his fortune developing a car alarm system. Issa's minimum net worth was put at $160.1 million, although he actually saw a dip of about $4 million in his holdings in 2009.

After Kerry and Issa, the rest of the top 10 list were: Rep. Jane Harman, (D-Calif.); Sen. Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.); Rep. Michael McCaul, (R-Texas); Sen. Mark Warner, (D-Va.); Rep. Jared Polis, (D-Colo.); Rep. Vern Buchanan, (R-Fla.); Sen. Frank Lautenberg, (D-N.J.), and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.)
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51 Comments

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Tom

Like all good Liberals, I am sure Senator Kerry is in the process of transferring all of his wealth to the coffers of the US Treasury Department so it can put the money to work for the "people"? After all, he doesn't need that much money right? Typical Liberal policy-Do as I say, not as I do. After all, everyone knows the elite Liberals are smarter than the rest of us and they know how to handle money. The rest of you poor suckers need their help! His wealth is centered in his wifes wealth that has been handed down from a former Conservative family member that actually made the money. Kerry is a hypocrit to the highest degree possible and needs to resign from office and enyoy all the money HE made.

September 02 2010 at 1:22 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Pllc15

John Kerry and his wife have every right to protect and grow their assets. We all try to do that but on a smaller scale. I prefer wealthy politicians of means over poor ones because the John Kerry's are less likely to become corrupted while in office. It's the poor ones you have to watch out for.

September 02 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
swenskagrl

It's interesting that the liberal Democrats think the Republlicans have all the wealth! Even though I am not a Republican. it is obvious that out of the 10 richest lawmakers 7 are democrats 3 are Rebublicans. John Kerry being the richest! The guy who,to avoid payiing taxes,docked his yacht in Rhode Island to avoid the Massachusetts tax. How more disgusting can it get folks? While most of us are struggling financially, the rich liberals are trying to avoid paying taxes! Can it get more disgusting? Vote them out. Josie

September 02 2010 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
msdeacon

Three times in the last few months, there has been a Ky. Phon-a-thon, and I was called to see if I wanted to participate. So I said yes. Three times I asked the same question, why do we still pay the elected people after they are no longer in office??? But we do, and needless to say they didn't take my question, but until we demand that our elected officials adhere to the same rules of business which is, you are on the job, or no pay. How assinine are we that we allow this bunch of crooks to keep on doing this to us, constanly raising taxes, and their own income every year, and their own health care bill. This is just crazy and doesn't really matter if you're one or the other, it all comes out of OUR pockets. New laws are needed, and not for taxes, for the greedy ones who run for office for one term, never bother to even run again, which is prob. just as well, but still make that salary or more for the rest of their lives. Makes us all want to run, or have a member of each family. Is this nuts, or what? A disgusted and disgruntled Kentuckian.

September 02 2010 at 11:29 AM Report abuse +17 rate up rate down Reply
Hello Eileen

Gee, I thought only Republicans were wealthy and democrats almost dirt poor. They forgot to mention Republican Senator Rockefeller. He of his families oil wealth. I thought he might be the wealthiest. Oops I forgot the Kennedy wealth. They are democrats as well. Regardless of party, they are all in it to protect their wealth and spend ours.

September 02 2010 at 11:21 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
jtmader

George Orwell said it right in "Animal Farm": "All animals are created equal, except some animals are more equal than others and Pig is most equal of all." Every congress-person, and every senator is a thief, an extortionist and bribe taker. Not a one of them who doesn't add anywhere from $250,000 to $1,000,000 in net worth every year in office. They would have us believe that they skip lunch and wisely invest their lunch money. I don't know what the solution is. It seems that politicians run as "outsiders" who promise to clean up the mess in Washington and instantly begin stuffing their pockets on the first day in office. I doubt that even violence similar to the French Revolution would bring honest government.

September 02 2010 at 11:12 AM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
William Powers

For those who keep defending their "guys" look in the mirror. The person looking back is at the heart of the problem. The Politicians of both parties have elevated themselves to the ruling class in America. This isn't about blaming the party you hate while defending the party you love. There is a system of corruption in Washington DC, most Statehouses and City Councils. We have reached a point where only rich people can run for office. But once in you become even richer. Both parties members have become rich and famous on the backs of the private sector. Hard working, average, citizens are and have been in a slow march to subjugation at the hands of Republicans and Democrats. What can you do? Vote for the challenger every election and remove the incumbent even if the incumbent is a friend of yours. We need to return to gridlock and then gradually reclaim government by the people. We do not need more laws we need to rescind half the legislation that was passed in the past 20 years. The Politicians have only succeeded in making lawyers an established part of the elite class in the country and the only occupation that doesn't suffer from recession.

September 02 2010 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +23 rate up rate down Reply
toni

you can bet they know of loopholes for the esate tax they want to levy on others they probably will pass a bill that exempts sen and congress to pay . just look now how they avoided to be included in SSA AND HEALTH CARE e the dummies will pay for them wwhen the going gets tough they just write a bill

September 02 2010 at 11:02 AM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply
Ken

As illustrated in the cartoon next to this comment box, the economy has not faltered for Mr. Ben, and all of the rich politicans setting around in their ivory towers in Washington. It's just us common worthless citizens that are drowning in debt with no hope for the future. We don't make enough to make it from day to day, much less lay aside for retirement. They don't care the less the American public has, the more control they have over us and the more they can stuff in their pockets. When is the last time you remember a politican being elected and going into office, then voteing the views of his or her constituents. Likely never, they vote for what is good for their pockets, damn the consequence to public. After all we are just a huddled mass of phylons.

September 02 2010 at 11:01 AM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
jbahllywd2

John McCain is wealthy thanks to his wife. Remember the 9 houses? So what?

September 02 2010 at 11:00 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply

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