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Hoosiers missing from Capitol Hill rich list

No Hoosiers are among the wealthiest members of Congress, according to a report Tuesday by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., ranked 100th on a list of 531 federal lawmakers whose personal finance disclosure forms covering 2010 were studied by the non-partisan, non-profit research organization.

Coats’ net worth last year was between roughly $2.82 million and $6.84 million, giving him an average net worth of about $4.83 million. Assets listed by Coats, elected last November after a 12-year absence from the Senate, consisted largely of investment income.

The Center for Responsive Politics noted at its website, OpenSecrets.org, that lawmakers are allowed to check off wide ranges of income, assets and liabilities on their financial disclosure reports. The center averaged the minimum and maximum totals for each report to arrive at its rankings.

The research group said 249 members of Congress, or about 47 percent, are millionaires. About 1 percent of all Americans are millionaires, the group said.

“Few Americans enjoy the same financial cushion maintained by most members of Congress – or the same access to market-altering information that could yield personal financial gains,” Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, said at OpenSecrets.org.

The wealthiest congressman is Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., whose net worth averaged more than $448 million. He is the former CEO of a company that manufactures security devices for automobiles.

Issa was followed by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, with a net worth of more than $380 million, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., whose net worth was nearly $232 million last year.

Rep. Dan Burton, R-5th, ranked 193rd with an average net worth of almost $1.82 million.

Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., ranked 304th with an average net worth of less than $671,000. Lugar announced his net worth as $2.4 million in June and released more information than was required of him by Congress.

Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd, who seeks the Democratic nomination for Lugar’s seat, ranked 434th with a net worth of $174,000.

Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, ranked 460th with a net worth of $90,000. Pence seeks the Republican nomination for governor.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, came in at 516th. His net worth was pegged at negative $84,495, the lowest figure among the 12-person Indiana congressional delegation.

Stutzman’s worth ranged from negative $290,000 to just shy of $120,000.

When financial disclosure reports were released in June, The Journal Gazette reported that Stutzman had listed as much as $350,000 in liabilities, most of it farm equipment. Stutzman, a freshman House member, is co-owner of a family farming operation in LaGrange County.

The Center for Responsive Politics said the “poorest” federal legislator is Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., with an average net worth of minus $18.5 million because of debt. Kohl owns the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. But his net worth could be as high as $69.8 million, the center noted.

Five lawmakers reported a negative number for their maximum net worth. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., reported a net worth of between negative $7.4 million and negative $2.1 million.

Four members of Congress covered by the reporting period resigned their seats this year and were not included in the study.

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