Minnesota's members of Congress report their finances

  • Article by: COREY MITCHELL , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 17, 2012 - 8:35 PM

U.S. Reps. Bachmann and Cravaack and Sen. Al Franken each estimated assets worth more than $1 million.

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Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Chip Cravaack

WASHINGTON - The financial disclosures this week by Republican U.S. Reps. Michele Bachmann and Chip Cravaack reveal they are among an elite group: members of Congress worth more than $1 million.

Cravaack reported between $1.28 million and $2.25 million in assets and income, including stocks and retirement savings. That represents a sizable increase from 2010, when Cravaack reported between $843,200 and $1.7 million in assets and income.

Bachmann listed between $1.45 million and $2.88 million in assets, which represents a slight increase from 2010.

Bachmann, Cravaack and U.S. Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, filed their 2011 disclosure forms after requesting 90-day extensions.

A 2011 study by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C.-based research group, found that nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires, including Franken.

Members of Congress report their assets and additional income in wide ranges, which makes it difficult to pinpoint their net worth, but, nevertheless, the percentage of Capitol Hill millionaires has steadily increased for years, reaching 47 percent last year.

Sixth District candidates

Bachmann did not report the income from her husband Marcus' counseling business, Bachmann & Associates. Marcus Bachmann runs clinics in Lake Elmo and Burnsville. Bachmann also reported that the value of her 2010 book, "Core of Conviction" is not ascertainable.

The Bachmanns reported between $350,000 and $750,000 in liabilities from a mortgage on the Lake Elmo clinic and a 2005 business loan.

Despite previous assertions that she never received income from a 949-acre Wisconsin family farm that has received federal subsidies in the past, Bachmann again listed the farm as a source of income, drawing between $5,000 and $15,000.

Bachmann's opponent in the Sixth Congressional District race this November, Democrat Jim Graves, has an estimated net worth between $22 million and $111 million. Graves, a St. Cloud native, owns and operates luxury hotels.

Eighth District candidates

In addition to Cravaack's $174,000 annual congressional salary, the former airline pilot took home $92,273 in disability payments for sleep apnea, which ended his career in 2007.

The Cravaack family owes between $465,000 and $800,000 on mortgages for homes in North Branch, Minn., Rice Lake, Wis., and Windham, N.H.

Cravaack bought a home in North Branch last year after his wife and two sons moved to New Hampshire to be closer to her job in Boston. The property in Wisconsin is a vacation home.

Cravaack, who represents the state's Eighth Congressional District, will face former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan in November. Nolan's net worth is between $740,000 and $1.6 million, according to his financial disclosure.

Since Nolan left Congress in the early 1980s, he's spent much of his career in business.

Franken reported assets of between $4.3 million and $12.85 million. In addition to his Senate salary, he collected between $103,000 and $290,000 in income during 2011, mostly from investments. The former actor, comedian, writer and radio host was a millionaire before coming to Congress.

A first-term senator, Franken doesn't face re-election until 2014.

Corey Mitchell is a correspondent in the Star Tribune Washington Bureau. Twitter: @StribMitchell

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