Archive for Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Kansas senators disclose finances

June 15, 2005


— Sen. Pat Roberts is financially comfortable and Sen. Sam Brownback still has considerable wealth, according to forms released Tuesday that offer a look into senators' personal finances.

But neither Kansas Republican is in the upper echelon of a Senate increasingly occupied by millionaires.

Assets and liabilities on the financial disclosure forms are reported in broad ranges that make it impossible to know exactly how much each lawmaker is worth. The forms are filed annually by the 535 members of Congress, who must report outside income sources, assets, liabilities, gifts, speaking fees and travel paid by special interests.

Brownback and his wife have a blind trust worth $1 million to $5 million. That could help Brownback if he chooses to use some of his personal finances to launch a 2008 presidential bid. It's considerably more than the base salary for senators of $158,100.

His other investments are worth $207,000-$706,000, while Brownback's farm in Linn County, Kan., is valued at $100,000-$250,000. The farm generated $7,530 in income last year. Brownback also owns a Washington, D.C., condominium worth $250,000-$500,000 and rents a room to fellow Republican Sen. Jim Talent of Missouri for $2,500-$5,000 annually.

Roberts' assets, meanwhile, are mostly in real estate. He owns two properties in Alexandria, Va., a home in Dodge City, Kan., and a commercial lot in Sumter, S.C., with a total value between $550,000 and $1.25 million. He carries just one mortgage between $100,000-$250,000 on one of his Virginia properties. He also reported money market accounts and mutual funds worth $117,000-$330,000 and stocks in Time Warner Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Microsoft Corp., Costco Wholesale Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals worth $7,000-$105,000.

Roberts' wife, Franki, invests in the stock market and belongs to the Meager Means Investment Club, a group of congressional spouses and Washington-area women who meet occasionally to share investment tips. She owned stocks last year worth $70,000-$879,000.

While Brownback and Roberts are well off, their assets don't stack up to some of the Senate's wealthiest members. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has blind trusts valued between $7 million and $35 million.

Sen. Jon S. Corzine, D-N.J., had total assets in the range of $85.5 million to $261.5 million. Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., reported three blind trusts worth more than $80 million. And Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., has a blind trust worth more than $50 million and owns the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, also valued at more than $50 million.


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