DES MOINES, Iowa–It’s no secret members of Congress seem a lot richer than the rest of us. And there’s a good reason for it. They usually are.
Rollcall.com published the member who is worth the most in each state. Iowa’s retiring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin tops the list.
Harkin is worth $11.9 million, according to the report. That ranks Harkin 33rd out of the 535 members. Most of Harkin’s total, the article points out, is not from the senator, but rather from his wife, Ruth.
Here’s how it describes the Harkins’ accumulation of wealth:
Harkin himself owns very few assets — he has a bank account with Morgan Stanley worth between $1,001 and $15,001 and another in LPL Financial whose worth is in the same range. He also has three investments worth between $1,001 and $15,001.
Most of the assets belong to Harkin’s wife, Ruth. The two most valuable assets are an investment in ConocoPhillips, and another in United Technology Corp., both owned by Ruth Harkin, each totaling at least $1 million. The Harkins made at least $100,000 in dividends on the ConocoPhillips investment, and at least $100,000 from an investment in Phillips 66.
Ruth Harkin was on the board of directors ConocoPhillips until last May. She previously served as senior vice president for international affairs and government relations for United Technologies and reported receiving a pension of at least $1,000 from the company this year.
She also earned at least $1,000 from Ireland’s National Toll Road as compensation for board membership, but does not currently hold any stock in the company.
The report found money is common among members of Congress. Approximately one-third of the members are millionaires. Most Americans are not, of course. A 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report found the median net worth of American households is $68,828.
While Harkin’s total easily tops that figure, it doesn’t come anywhere near the wealth of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican. The report puts his net worth at $357.2 million. The car alarm business was very good to him.