McConnell Is #39th Wealthiest Member of Congress

Bruce Maples (bruceinlouisville@gmail.com)
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Mitch McConnell is the wealthiest Kentucky Congressperson, but he’s only #39 overall. And the rest of Kentucky’s delegation is out of the top 50, with one having a negative net worth.

All of this is based on Roll Call’s latest Wealth of Congress Index, which uses financial disclosure forms to calculate a rough net worth for each member of Congress. As the article says,

The disclosure forms are imperfect at best — members are required to report values in broad ranges of minimums, starting at $1 to $1,000 and ending with any asset or liability worth $50 million or more. Our equation for calculating the minimum net worth of each member remains unchanged: Total minimum reported value of assets minus total minimum reported value of liabilities equals total minimum net worth.

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Representative Darrell Issa of California is once again #1 on the list, with a minimum net worth of over $254 million ($254,650,000 to be exact). For all of the top 50 on the list, Roll Call has researched and described how each member of Congress obtained their wealth and what assets and liabilities they listed on their forms. Some of these descriptions show how the member worked to obfuscate their actual wealth, such as this entry for Michael McCall of Texas:

He is once again ranked as the second-wealthiest member of Congress without listing a single asset in his name, not even a bank account worth at least $1,000. The lengthy log of investments — there are more than 50 that start with the letter “A” — are all owned by either his wife, Linda McCaul, who is the daughter of Clear Channel Communications founder Lowry Mays, or their children.

The entry for McConnell notes that his actual net worth could be much higher, and explains why:

The Kentucky Republican’s reportable assets nearly tripled in 2008 thanks to a $5 million gift that he and his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, received from her father, James, soon after the death of her mother. … The money has been invested ever since in a tax-exempt money market fund. But in 2014, the fund dipped one slot below the $5 million minimum category. Now listed at a minimum of $1 million, because of the wide range in reporting categories it appears on paper as a $4 million loss, although the actual loss could have been as little as $1 and, like many other lawmakers on this list, his true net worth could be much higher.

Here is the list for all the Kentucky members of Congress – EXCEPT for James Comer, who is omitted for some unknown reason.

RANK NET
WORTH
MINIMUM
ASSETS
MINIMUM
LIABILITIES
McConnell #39 $9.41M $9.41M $0.00M
Yarmuth #58 $5.51M $6.51M $1.00M
Guthrie #131 $1.96M $2.06M $0.10M
Rogers #149 $1.67M $1.81M $0.14M
Massie #211 $0.80M $1.00M $0.20M
Paul #288 $0.39M $0.59M $0.20M
Barr #461 $-0.13M $0.13M $0.27M

 

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