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From “Politico”

They campaigned on bringing Main Street principles to Congress, but a large chunk of the rookie class of House Republicans will be bringing something else to Washington: personal wealth.

Nearly a quarter of the incoming class of 84 House Republicans have assets of at least $1 million, according to a POLITICO analysis of financial disclosure forms, a sign that this anti-Washington, anti-establishment crowd of congressional freshmen has been quite successful in the private sector.

For example, former Rep. Steve Pearce, who was reelected to a New Mexico House seat after a two-year absence, and his spouse have assets of $8 million to $37 million, including up to $25 million in Trinity Industries, an equipment rental entity in Hobbs, N.M.

Diane Black, a Republican replacing retiring Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), has combined assets with her husband worth upward of $33 million. According to a financial disclosure report filed with the House, Black’s husband has $25 million to $50 million in Aegis Sciences Corp., a “forensic sciences company.”

Richard Berg, who unseated North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy, appears to be the wealthiest newly elected Republican, with assets above $20 million.

The Republican freshmen will have plenty of company in the millionaires club in Congress.

Nearly half the current Congress — 261 lawmakers — already have assets exceeding $1 million, according to a recent report from the Center for Responsive Politics, and that number appears to be growing. Last year, 237 lawmakers made the mint club.

“As the economy improves, it serves to reason that members would become more wealthy than they are even now,” said CRP spokesman Dave Levinthal. “There’s a possibility they could be out of touch with reality because they don’t have to live it themselves.”

Analyzing congressional wealth based on financial disclosure records is inexact, thanks to broad disclosure rules. Ranges of wealth are reported in increments as large as $20 million. Further, some lawmakers, especially congressional neophytes, list as assets primary residences, which they are not required to do. That might increase the total net worth of a lawmaker. Lawmakers are also required to list spousal assets, including whether they’re held separately or jointly.

The POLITICO analysis of freshman Republicans is based on the most recent financial disclosure forms, filed during the campaign season. Lawmakers will have to file updated disclosure forms during their first year in Congress.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45773.html#ixzz16sbSkJoQ

Written by David

December 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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