- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 15, 2002


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last year received $2.85 million as an advance on her memoirs and her husband earned $9.2 million in speaking fees, but the family still owes at least $1.75 million in legal bills left over from White House investigations, according to financial forms released yesterday.

Mrs. Clinton and the former president also reported a blind trust worth $1 million to $5 million as part of financial disclosures that all members of Congress must make public every year.

The filing by the junior senator from New York provided a rare peek into the earning potential of ex-presidents, most of whom are not required to disclose their finances after leaving the White House. As a senator's spouse, Bill Clinton had to detail the income from his 60 speeches.

"It's just a huge heap of money for one year," said Brookings Institution presidential expert Stephen Hess. "In cold hard cash it is almost certainly the most ever. The guy still fascinates people."

Among other congressional leaders, most reported comfortable personal fortunes without the heavy debt load carried by the Clintons.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, has mutual funds of $233,000 to $790,000 and a bank account of $100,000 to $250,000. His wife, Linda, a former Federal Aviation Administration deputy administrator, is a lobbyist with a firm that has represented, among others, Lockheed Martin.

Another senator with possible presidential aspirations, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, also got help from his wife, Hadassah, who earned $328,000 in honorariums giving speeches, mostly to Jewish groups.

Wendy Gramm, wife of Sen. Phil Gramm, Texas Republican, is an Enron creditor after the company's bankruptcy and is seeking $500,000 to $1 million in deferred compensation.

Two other Democrats mentioned as possible presidential candidates were among the Senate's richest. Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, a former trial lawyer, noted stocks and bonds in a blind trust worth $5 million to $25 million and other cash and money-market accounts of $2.3 million to $8.6 million.

Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, lists most of his assets under the name of his wife, Teresa Heinz, heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune. That includes more than $1 million in Intel and Pfizer stock and $500,000 to $1 million in shares of several other companies.

Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi held 161 acres of land in Hattiesburg, Miss., valued at $15,000 to $50,000, and, jointly with his wife, 60,568 shares of PaineWebber Cash Fund worth $50,000 to $100,000. His wife sold share of Lucent Technologies, AT&T and Compaq Computers, all in the $1,000 to $15,000 range, while buying similar amounts of General Electric and Cisco.

House Democratic leader Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri reported more modest assets: more than two dozen mutual funds held jointly with his wife, with eight each valued at $50,000 to $100,000. Mr. Gephardt, who has three children, also said he had outstanding student loans of $50,000 to $100,000 and a loan on a life insurance policy of $15,000 to $50,000.

Ronald Reagan made news when he pulled in $2 million for two speeches in Japan just after leaving office in 1989. Former President Bush earns about $80,000 a speech, but he once earned more than $14 million for a 1999 speech for which he was paid by a telecommunications company in shares that later skyrocketed in value.

Jimmy Carter seldom accepts speaking fees.

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