Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Report: Rep. Vern Buchanan is the 10th richest member of Congress

Determining an exact figure is impossible from public disclosure reports, but Roll Call magazine has estimated that Rep. Vern Buchanan is worth $44.2 million, making him the 10th wealthiest member of Congress.

That's down from Buchanan's eighth-place showing in 2010, when he was worth $55.47 million, according to Roll Call.

The best observers can do is estimate a congressman's or senator's wealth because they are required to report their assets and liabilities only in broad ranges. Roll Call determines a bottom-line amount by taking the minimum value of a member's assets and subtracting the minimum value of the liabilities.

Here are portions of Roll Call's report on Buchanan:
Buchanan’s wealth shows a precipitous drop, down 20 percent from his previous report. The Florida lawmaker reported selling off three of his six auto dealerships in 2010, claiming losses on each of the sales. 
According to his report, Buchanan sold two Fort Richey, Fla., dealerships in transactions valued at $1 million to $5 million. He had previously valued the dealerships at $1 million to $5 million and $100,000 to $250,000 each.... 
... Buchanan also sold a Venice, Fla., dealership in a transaction valued at $5 million to $25 million. He previously valued the dealership in the same category. ... 
... The Republican lawmaker also reported writing off two loans to his former business partner Sam Kazran, totaling at least $1.5 million. 
The Bradenton Herald reported in June that the Federal Election Commission asked a federal court to fine the car dealership once jointly owned by Kazran and Buchanan nearly $68,000 for violating campaign finance laws by reimbursing employees who made campaign contributions to Buchanan’s campaign. 
Buchanan still claimed significant investment accounts and real estate, along with three auto dealerships valued at a combined minimum of $11 million. 
He also dropped about $6 million in debts from his previous report.
For more information about Buchanan's most recent financial disclosure report, including a link to the report, go here.

For the record, the nine members of Congress wealthier than Buchanan, R-Sarasota, according to Roll Call, are:

1. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, $294.21 million.
2. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., $220.4 million.
3. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., $193.07 million.
4. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., $81.63 million.
5. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., $76.3 million.
6. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., $65.91 million
7. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., $55.07 million.
8. Sen. Richard Bluemental, D-Conn., $52.93 million.
9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., $45.39 million.

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