Skip to comments.California Lawmakers Among Congress' Richest (And Most Corrupt)
Posted on 06/15/2007 10:41:28 AM PDT by DogByte6RER
California lawmakers among Congress' richest
By Erica Werner
Article Launched: 06/15/2007 03:05:17 AM PDT
WASHINGTON -- California boasts some of Congress' wealthiest lawmakers, annual financial disclosure forms filed Wednesday show, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and the state's senior senator, Dianne Feinstein, among the most well-off. Both Democrats are married to wealthy investors worth many tens of millions of dollars. Pelosi and her husband, Paul, own a vineyard. Feinstein and her husband, Richard, boast a condo in Hawaii, another one in Tahoe City and interest worth $5 million to $25 million in a hotel.
The fortunes of Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, pale in comparison, though they would be the envy of most.
She has a blind trust with her husband, Stewart, worth $1 million to $5 million but can claim no ritzy pieces of real estate.
Boxer's financial disclosure form did reveal the interesting nugget that she was paid $737 to play herself in an episode of the HBO series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
The Season 6 episode has not yet aired but features Boxer in a scene with series creator and star Larry David and actor Ted Danson, said spokeswoman Natalie Ravitz.
Boxer also made $1,462 from sales of the suspense novel she published in 2005 called "A Time to Run." The novel, released in paperback last year, is set largely on Capitol Hill and features a feisty, diminutive, liberal senator much like Boxer herself.
In past years, Boxer reported a $32,000 advance to write the book, which was published by Chronicle Books.
The annual disclosure forms, although not exact, give a glimpse of the financial activities of lawmakers beyond their basic salaries.
Last year, rank-and-file members received $165,200, and minority leaders, the position Pelosi held last year, got $183,500. All lawmakers must file, but some of California's 52 House members requested extensions.
There was little to be gleaned about the several California Republicans whose activities have attracted federal scrutiny.
Rep. John Doolittle, R-Rocklin, who's under investigation in the influence-peddling scandal surrounding jailed GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff, filed a disclosure form showing he doesn't have the resources other lawmakers could call on to fight a protracted legal battle.
His biggest investment, worth $50,001 to $100,000, was in the California Legislative Retirement System.
Doolittle's also the 50 percent beneficiary of a small family trust with a few holdings in oil companies and oil and mineral rights to a property in Utah worth as much as $1,000. He reported $5,001 to $15,000 in royalties from Chevron.
In 2005, while still riding high as a member of the House GOP leadership, Doolittle traveled to destinations including Seoul and Kuala Lumpur, with outside groups paying, including some with ties to then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Doolittle ally.
Last year, Doolittle took just one trip: He reported going to Baltimore for three days at the expense of the Heritage Foundation.
Rep. Gary Miller, R-Diamond Bar, whose real estate investments have attracted scrutiny, reported selling a property in Rancho Cucamonga for $1 million to $5 million and a property in Fontana for the same amount.
Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, filed a financial disclosure form that looked much like those of previous years.. He has hundreds of thousands tucked away in credit union accounts and retirement plans as well as a quarter share worth $15,001 to $50,000 of a family trust.
Lewis employs his wife, Arlene Willis, as his chief of staff, an arrangement that's allowed because she was his top aide when he came to Washington in 1979, before they were married.
Under House rules, lawmakers cannot hire their spouses in congressional jobs. Lewis was not required to report her 2006 salary, but according to House records, she now makes nearly $130,000 a year.
Lewis has been under federal scrutiny over his relationship with lobbyist and former Congressman Bill Lowery, who represents a number of cities, towns and businesses in Lewis' district.
WOW! That’s a surprise! (NOT)
My guess is that she easily tops 100 million today.
We need a ‘refresh’ button for Washington, DC.
CA, Limosine Liberal capital of the universe
They can’t hire their wives.
So, they put the arm on businesses and PAC’s to hire them on as lobbyists.
Typically, their wives make twice to three times what their husbands make, by salary.
Daschle’s wife comes to mind. So does Dorgan’s. I’m sure there are others.
Most live in opulent gated, guarded communities, many have armed personal drivers, tax paid vehicles, very secure government jobs, fantastic tax paid wages and the best tax paid medical benefits. Their work places are all guarded, huge offices, tax paid staff, perks, etc etc.
Does anyone wonder why the mood of the country has become ugly?
And do very little for the welfare of their constituents. And by the way most are lawyers.
No wonder people hate them
hey, dont forget “duke” cunningham, & all his buddies in san diego, the most corrupt city in the us now. yep, carol lam had to go, not protecting that border, ... right?
I like the bit about telling everyone to take shorter showers due to the drought, as they wave in millions of consuming illegal aliens. All this while they politicians eat at the best restaurants and only drink the best bottled water.
How stupid are we?
Looks like a scene from Behind the Green Door with Marilyn Chambers
I work in the San Diego area.
And I haven’t forgotten about the “Duke Stir”
Here is the latest just out today in the local San Diego newspaper:
“Cunningham financier admits role in scandal”
I hope that this alleviates your feigned outrage.
I honestly believe 99 percent of them become corrupt to the bone after about year or two serving as the ruling elite.
If the public could hear what was going on behind their closed doors, and could tap and monitor their phones, and private meetings, there would be a revolution.
Hmmm. I wonder why it wasnt on the NY Times bestseller list. :-)
I hope the Chronicle got what it paid for. Or rather, I hope it didn't.