Yes, there are some very well-heeled lawmakers out there. The Hill has calculated the 50 wealthiest public servants on Capitol Hill based on their 2012 financial disclosures, and in some cases, bank statements and investment reports. The results: 37 of the richest are from the U.S. House, 13 from the U.S. Senate. The Grand Old Party has an edge: 29 Republicans are on the list, along with 21 Democrats.
But Dems have the advantage among the top-10 wealthiest. Here they are, along with their worth:
In first place, it’s Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican ($355.4 million). “Congress’ toughest watchdog is also its richest member,” notes Kevin Bogardus, who led the research.
In second place: Rep. Michael T. McCaul, Texas Republican ($101.9 million); Sen. Mark R. Warner, Virginia Democrat ($88.5 million); Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat ($83.8 million); Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat ($76.6 million); Rep. John K. Delaney, Maryland Democrat ($68.4 million); Rep. Jared Polis, Colorado Democrat ($60.2 million); Rep. Scott H. Peters, California Democrat ($44.7 million); Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat ($41.6 million); and in 10th place, Rep. James B. Renacci, Ohio Republican ($35.9 million).
And there are also those with slimmer wallets. Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida “reported more modest financial means,” The Hill reports. “While Paul’s wealth stood at about $455,000, Rubio was in the red with a negative net worth of roughly $190,000.”
Just for the sake of contrast: Bill Gates is worth $67 billion, according to the most recent Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, a roster that includes 1,342 really rich people around the globe. Mr. Gates is No. 2 on the list, bested only by Carlos Slim Helu, who’s worth $72 billion.
ON THE AIR
Al-Jazeera America went live as scheduled Tuesday afternoon, with a logo that looks like skywriting, a promise to “connect America to the world” and video footage that included Sen. John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who both had good words about Al-Jazeera, the parent news company. Huffington Post media analyst Jack Mirkinson noted the initial coverage looked like “CNN on one of its more serious days.”
Wajahat Ali, a social media editor for the new network — AJAM, as employees know it — quipped in a tweet, “Al Jazeera America has been live for 40 minutes. Sharia Law hasn’t crept and taken over America. I think we’re officially safe.”
Not everyone was happy, however.
“Al-Jazeera America, the voice of the enemy,” declared independent media maven Glenn Beck.
Forget about California and New York for the time being. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has targeted a new state in his bodacious desire to woo business to his home turf, something to hone his sterling economic record, should he run for president again.
Mr. Perry plans to show the Show-Me State a thing or two. He will journey to Missouri next week “to tout the low taxes that allow hardworking families and employers to keep more of what they earn, and help make Texas’ economy a national example for job creation.”
And voila: Texas as the “national example” is a perfect campaign slogan. Meanwhile, a $106,400 broadcast advertising buy showcasing fiscal conservatism and opportunity will run in three cities over the next week. “No state tax dollars will be used for travel and accommodations, or for the ad buy,” the governor’s office says.