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Archive for Sunday, January 8, 2012

Yoder fares poorly in wealth ranking

Average net worth in House: $5.9M; Senate: $13.2M

An analysis of financial disclosure records revealed that Congressman Kevin Yoder, pictured last June in Lawrence, is one of the least wealthy members of Congress. His average networth for 2010 was negative $91,998.

An analysis of financial disclosure records revealed that Congressman Kevin Yoder, pictured last June in Lawrence, is one of the least wealthy members of Congress. His average networth for 2010 was negative $91,998.

January 8, 2012

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If one were to arrange the members of Congress from richest to poorest, you’d find some familiar names near the top of the list.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is the fourth-richest member, with an average net worth north of $231 million. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., comes in at No. 9, with an average net worth of more than $101 million.

And near the bottom of that list you’d find another familiar name: Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan. With an average net worth of negative $91,998, Yoder comes in as the 17th-poorest member of Congress, according to an analysis from the Center for Responsive Politics.

The center culled personal financial data from 2010, which all members of Congress and top members of the executive branch are required to disclose. Because a person’s net worth is fluid, the center’s analysis settled on an average amount for that year.

While just 1 percent of Americans are millionaires, the data revealed 47 percent of members of Congress are. It’s a disparity that social commentators have blamed for a perceived disconnect between Congress and the average American.

Yoder is not alone in recognizable names who have neared the bottom of Congress’s personal wealth list. In 2008, Vice President Joe Biden, then a senator, acknowledged he was the second poorest member, saying “I’m not proud of it. But that’s what happens when you get elected when you’re 29 years old.”

Yoder, who was elected at age 34, reported making $30,143 in 2010. About $26,000 of that came from his state representative salary, and about $4,000 came from his position as partner at the Olathe law firm Speer & Holliday.

Yoder also reported holding between $21,007 to $140,000 in assets, mostly savings and investment accounts. His debts range somewhere between $95,004 and $250,000, most of which is student loans. Yoder holds bachelor’s and law degrees from Kansas University.

The other members of Congress representing Douglas County are significantly wealthier. Rep. Lynn Jenkins reported an average net worth of $510,000. Sens. Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts reported average net worths of $768,000 and $845,000, respectively. Still, Jenkins, Moran and Roberts fall far short of the average net worth of their colleagues. That number is $5.9 million for members of the House and $13.2 million for members of the Senate.

By law, members of Congress are not required to list their government income or their property as assets, unless the property produces an income. To take a closer look at the data, visit the center.

Comments

Bob Forer 2 years, 11 months ago

"Yoder fares poorly in wealth ranking" Why the pejorative headline? There is nothing wrong with a representative whose financial circumstances are similar to that of his constituents. In fact, it is somewhat refreshing.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Do most people have a negative net worth of around $90K?

If so, that's a bit of a problem, isn't it?

asixbury 2 years, 11 months ago

Yeah, the average college student is close to that number. I am probably more in debt than that if you include my husband's as well. We are both fresh out of graduate school, though, so I guess that can be expected. Most people are more in debt than that when you count their mortgages.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, houses are both assets and debts, if you have a mortgage.

And, negative net worth isn't a measurement of debt - it's a measurement of assets-debt.

So if you have a house valued at $100K, and $80K is mortgaged, that actually should wind up being about $20K positive as far as your net worth is concerned.

asixbury 2 years, 11 months ago

Well in that case, I'm more in the hole then I thought before. Assets? What are those? lol

KU_cynic 2 years, 11 months ago

For someone as talented as Kevin to forgo a more lucrative private sector career and instead devote himself to public service is something his constituents should be proud of.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

"you're likely one those college dems at KU."

You obviously haven't read many of m-80's posts.

kevingray 2 years, 11 months ago

I curious why the writer picked out the two Democrats with huge fortunes, 4th and 9th, and didn't mention the Republicans, who evidently are the wealthiest at numbers 1, 2, and 3?

gatekeeper 2 years, 11 months ago

If Issa isn't a household name, then you've had your head stuck in the sand.

acouch 2 years, 11 months ago

Hi Kevin,

I chose them because they are the most nationally well-known members in the top ten.

Aaron Couch Reporter

mloburgio 2 years, 11 months ago

Congressman Kevin Yoder Rep. Lynn Jenkins. voted to end medicare and medicaid as we know it.

• Increase prescription drug costs for 43,700 Medicare beneficiaries in the region who enter the Part D donut hole, forcing them to pay an extra $431 million for drugs over the next decade. • Eliminate new preventive care benefits for 522,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the region. The Republican proposal would have even greater impacts on individuals in the Kansas City metro area age 54 and younger who are not currently enrolled in Medicare. It would: • Deny 2.7 million individuals age 54 and younger in the region access to Medicare’s guaranteed benefits. • Increase the out-of-pocket costs of health coverage by over $6,000 per year in 2022 and by almost $12,000 per year in 2032 for the 552,000 individuals in the region who are between the ages of 44 and 54. • Require the 552,000 individuals in the metro area between the ages of 44 and 54 to save an additional $129 billion for their retirement – an average of $180,000 to $287,000 per individual – to pay for the increased cost of health coverage over their lifetimes. Younger residents of the metro area will have to save even higher amounts to cover their additional medical costs. • Raise the Medicare eligibility age by at least one year to age 66 or more for 304,000 individuals in the district who are age 44 to 49 and by two years to age 67 for 2.1 million individuals in the district who are age 43 or younger. http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/index.php?q=page/district-by-district-impact-of-republican-medicare-plan-and-medicaid-cuts

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

Yoder is in his first term. Assuming he gets re-elected to a few terms, check back in a few years, and if he's typical of most legislators, his net worth will be considerably higher.

And even if he only serves a few terms, the extremely generous pensions that legislators get, and his ability to play the revolving door into lobbying (i.e., influence peddling) means that he'll be part of the 1% the rest of his life.

grammaddy 2 years, 11 months ago

You beat me to it Bozo! Give him some time. Becoming a legislator at the federal level seems to be the fast track to becoming a millionaire.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

No, I'm saying that the vast majority of those who choose to go into "public service" figure out how to make out pretty well for themselves--- why do you think insider trading isn't illegal for members of congress?

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

technically it's not insider trading. It should be illegal nonetheless

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Some people have some ethical standards, and others don't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 11 months ago

True-- but even among those who have "ethical" standards, those standards allow lots of behavior that most people would not consider ethical.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

My comment was for funkdog, who implied that everybody is greedy, and lacking in any moral principles.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 11 months ago

Oh, Boo Hoo! The only reason this slime ball got elected is the intoxicated voters and their Republican kool aid tea. He is just another theocrat right winger who marches in lock step to the tea bag obstructionists in the House of Represenatives.

verity 2 years, 11 months ago

All else aside, that is an unnecessarily negative headline.

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

While Yoder's votes against Medicare and Medicaid speak for themselves, the one saving grace for the fellow is that he is the lone Kansas member of Congress who did NOT sign the specious Americans for Tax Reform "Taxpayer Protection Pledge". That took a little bit of courage.

http://www.atr.org/userfiles/Congressional_pledge(1).pdf

http://s3.amazonaws.com/atrfiles/files/files/120111-federalpledgesigners.pdf

Then again, perhaps all of them got together and gave Yoder a pass. Who knows? shrug Biddness as usual, eh?

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Actually, we should expect to see Norquist et. al. go after him for that in a big way - that's their usual mo.

Alceste 2 years, 11 months ago

Grover Norquist is a very little man who, sadly, is NOT given a wide berth by a lot of dopey politicians. The sway he holds is a very strong comment on just how bankrupt the "democracy" of the U.S.of A. is.

jafs 2 years, 11 months ago

Yep.

He actually has a lot of power, and is very upfront about how he uses it.

Anybody who doesn't know much about him should watch the 60 minutes interview with him - it's about 14 minutes, and it's very informative.

tolawdjk 2 years, 11 months ago

Read the title. Thought to myself "Well duh, that town is full of Amish! Monitary wealth certianly isn't high on their priorities list!"

verity 2 years, 11 months ago

Article by Bill Reiter, KC Star

http://midwestdemocracyproject.org/articles/kevin-yoder-gop-candidate-in-kansas-3rd-district-is-intense-competitor/

Marty Keenan, The Kansas Free Press

http://www.kansasfreepress.com/2010/04/kevin-yoders-left-to-right-political-odyssey.html

Unfortunately, Mr. Yoder appears to have turned on his Mennonite roots the same way that Todd Tiahrt did.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

$4000 a year as a partner? Is that a typo? That sounds like a hobby, not a job.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

and he took out $250,000 in loans? That doesn't sound very bright.

sleepy33 2 years, 11 months ago

It says his debts range from $95k to $250k. For an undergrad plus a law degree from KU, that's absolutely in the ballpark for student loans. I don't know what current tuition is for KU Law, but Washburn Law was somewhere north of $30k per year in 2006.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

$250k in loans to get a job that pays $4k per year is what I'm questioning

sleepy33 2 years, 11 months ago

If only spending a lot of money on an education came with a guaranteed job at a certain income level...

I imagine the $4k is some kind of nominal salary they pay to keep his name on the letterhead. He's probably not putting in a lot of hours at the firm.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

so what was Yoder doing the rest of the time the KS legislature wasn't in session?

sleepy33 2 years, 11 months ago

Well, that figure is just from 2010, which I believe is the year he campaigned for the US House seat.

JackMcKee 2 years, 11 months ago

Could a person so far in debt obtain a security clearance from the government? That's the real question.

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 11 months ago

Too bad Yoder has not remained true to his moderate inclinations. While not the nuttiest of tea baggers, he certainly kow tows to them.

Romney-lite.

Ken Miller 2 years, 11 months ago

Kevin Yoder is married. It might paint a more accurate picture, in his case, to ask what the net worth of his wife is as well.

Ken Miller 2 years, 11 months ago

Brooke Robinson Yoder is a Washington lobbyist. I believe she works on agriculture issues for the most part. While that in itself does not mean the family is worth lots of $$$, I would tend to believe the Yoders aren't scraping it to make ends meet.

Newell_Post 2 years, 11 months ago

Give him time. After a couple of terms, he will parlay his contacts into lucrative lobbyist contracts and then the dough will start tumbling in.

It's sort of like Newt running again. Newt doesn't want to win. It would cost him too much money. He just needs to get back in the public limelight to pump up his lobbying, "consulting," and speaking businesses. People were starting to say: "Newt who? Isn't that the Geico spokes-reptile?"

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