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Washington – U.S. Sen. Al Franken reported a net worth in the millions of dollars when the Senate released personal financial disclosure reports for its members this year. He wasn’t alone.
Nearly half of lawmakers in the House and Senate, 48 percent, have an estimated net worth of more than $1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Once a year, members of Congress disclose their financial assets and liabilities, but only in broad terms. Franken, a Democrat, reported assets between $4.3 million and $12.8 million, including royalty agreements from his “Saturday Night Live” days. He listed a single liability, a mortgage of between $100,000 and $250,000 on a Minneapolis home.
Several other members of Minnesota’s delegation could be among Congress’ 257-member millionaires club, but it is difficult to pin down the value of their holdings.
Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann had assets of between $1.3 million and $2.9 million, with most derived from her husband’s Minnesota-based counseling clinics and a stake in his family farm in Wisconsin. They reported liabilities between $850,000 and $1.75 million and, for the second year in a row, the congresswoman reported no royalties from her 2011 memoir, “Core of Conviction.”
Three other members of Minnesota’s delegation, Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Democratic U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan, reported a seven-figure maximum net worth and a six-figure minimum net worth. Peterson listed assets between $1.394 million and $3.06 million, with liabilities between $400,000 and $850,000. Nolan had assets between $696,000 and $1.515 million. Klobuchar reported assets between $400,000 and $1.225 million.
Republican U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen is worth between $185,000 and $694,000, with between $10,000 and $15,000 in liabilities.
However, several members of the state’s delegation reported potentially negative net worth. Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison had assets of between $102,000 and $283,000 and liabilities of between $210,000 and $465,000. Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Walz reported assets between $213,000 and $595,000, with between $185,000 and $430,000 in liabilities. Republican U.S. Rep. John Kline listed assets between $230,000 and $550,000, with liabilities between $515,000 and $1.05 million. Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum had assets between $25,000 and $200,000 and liabilities between $450,000 and $1 million.
None of the members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation are financial outliers. The Center for Responsive Politics does not list them among the 25 richest or poorest lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden received a filing deadline extension. State Sen. Julianne Ortman and state Rep. Jim Abeler, the other Republicans who plan to run against Franken, have not filed disclosures.
On the House side, Republican Stewart Mills III, the president of Mills Fleet Farm, also filed for an extension. He plans to challenge Nolan in the Eighth District.
Republican state Sen. John Pederson reported assets between $447,000 and $1.03 million with liabilities between $155,000 and $360,000. Anoka County Board chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah reported assets of between $396,000 and $1.14 million. Former gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, a Republican, and Democrat Judy Adams have not filed disclosures.
In Kline’s district, Democrat Mike Obermueller reported between $100,000 and $265,000 in assets and between $25,000 and $65,000 in liabilities all from student loans. Republican Mike Gerson had between $268,000 and $595,000 in assets and between $15,000 and $50,000 in liabilities.