Small delegation, big (and little) pocketbooks for Idaho's Risch and Labrador

A Washington Post investigation
of the wealth of members of Congress highlights Sen. Jim Risch as the
14th wealthiest member of Congress, while his GOP colleague, Rep. Raul Labrador, is 19th poorest.

Such rankings aren't new and are based on the annual financial disclosure forms filed by members of Congress, which are tracked annual by the Center for Responsive Politics, which includes a database of finance reports for members of Congress.

The Post's investigation, called "Capitol Assets," dug deeply into the 2010 figures, examining how members manage their money and how they can benefit from bills they support. The Post concludes that wealthy lawmakers mostly weathered the recession without significant declines in their wealth.

"You would find that, contrary to many popular perceptions, lawmakers don’t get rich by merely being in Congress," write Dan Keating, Scott Higham, Kimberly Kindy and David S. Fallis for the Post. "Rich people who go to Congress, though, keep getting richer while they’re there.

"The wealthiest one-third of lawmakers were largely immune from the Great Recession, taking the fewest financial hits and watching their investments quickly recover and rise to new heights. But more than 20 percent of the members of the current Congress — 121 lawmakers — appeared to be worse off in 2010 than they had been six years earlier, and 24 saw their reported wealth slide into negative territory."

Risch, who the Post describes as a real estate investor, is not only among the wealthiest members of Congress, he's among the most risk averse, with the bulk of his wealth in agricultural land. Risch calls himself a rancher and a lawyer. He made his money in law, then invested in real estate. His assets are largely in Ada and Canyon counties.

The Post estimates Risch's wealth at $54.1 million, down 4 percent from 2007, when he began running for the Senate.

Labrador's net worth is estimated at a negative $31,999.

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Ambulance chasing

Someone can help me clarify this but my understanding is Risch made most his money representing participants in "class action suits".


Let's recognize that report is junk.

Anyone who had $50million in real estate in 2007 now has MUCH less value in that same real estate.

For example:
In 2008 (the 2007 link doesnt work) his office building 407 W Jefferson is listed at 100-250,000. County As!sessor says 556,300. So his 2008 report is likely wrong.

In 2011 it is reported for 250-500,000

Ada County As!sessor says it's value was 556,300 in 2008 and 454,000 in 2011. That's an 18% DROP. We can compare the same info for his several rental houses.

Plus, in 2011 he lists JR & JR Properties as assets of 250-500,000. This is right above the listing for the office building. YET the office building is OWNED by JR & JR. Double counting the office building?

40 Acres of Ada County farm land reported at 5,000,000? Does he have gold in the dirt. His residence of 40acres irrigated farm land is as!sessed at $46,000+. WITH the the house the place is less that 500,000.
Two lines below that, he reports 180 acres of Ada County farm land for only 1 to 5 million. Where is the farm land worth 125,000+ /acre? In today's values. Not. Or it must be right next the Canyon County farm land of 24 acres worth over $5,000,0000. (208,000+ per acre).

His notes receivable (people owe me) are from his Campaigns- money his campaigns owe him. Think he'll see that?

If he has so much "wealth" why is carrying a mortgage of 7% interest? He is that stupid?

He has no cash or investment account over $50,000 and a bunch of smaller ones.

If this financial data were audited it would not pass - Risch and others.

He obviously has money and some value. But it's certainly more than 4% drop from 2008. And someone with all their eggs in real estate- is not "risk-averse" they are just dumb.

He's a lawyer unless he's campaigning.

And if you tell the bank the property was worth X amount when you used it as collateral you need to keep THAT STORY going when you fill out Congressional Finacials. That's how all the great "real estate investors" do it - screwing the banks (and the taxpayers) that is.

Popkey, do you just believe everything you read?