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Iowa congressmen reveal riches, debts

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Iowa congressional delegation includesa pair of longtime senators who are multimillionaires and freshman congressmen who are much less affluent, according to financiai disclosure forms released Thursday.

The lawmakers revealed a variety of assets beyond their congressional salaries of S165,200. However, it's difficult to say just how much the legislators are worth because they use wide ranges to report assets, income and debts.

Across the nation, senators in particular tend to be wealthier, and that's the case in lowa, as well.

Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, and his wife, Ruth, reported between $5 million and $10 million in assets, making him the most affluent member of the state's delegation. His only earned income was his Senate salary.

His wife was employed by Houston-based ConocoPhillips, United Technologies Corp. of Washington, D.C., and paper company Bowater Inc. of Greenville, S.C., Last year. She had an unspecified salary and stock options from each. Her assets include a money market fund worth more than $1 million, ConocoPhillips stock worth up to $1 million and United Technologies stock totaling up to $500,000.

Harkin's major source of unearned income was on modest dividends of jointly held stocks worth $50,001 to $100,000.

Sen. Charles Grassley, a Republican, and his wife, Barbara, reported assets between $2.2 million and $5.4 million. She works for Chambers, Conlon and Hartwell, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm. Under the disclosure rules, saiaries of spouses don't have to be specified, and the value of personal homes is not included.

The couple owns eight parcels of farmland and more than 50 investments, mainly mutual funds.

Grassley, the ranking member on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, also farms with his son in New Hartford, and reported combined farm income of $130,411. He noted that the farm's mortgage was paid in full in June 2006.

With most of his money connected to Latham Seed Co., a farmland and bank holding company, Rep. Tom Latham reported assets between $2.5 million and $8.2 million. Besides his congressional salary, the 4th District Republican listed a $5,959.76 salary from Latham Seed Co. He owns at least three farms, and listed various retirement funds as parts of his assets.

Rep. Leonard Boswell, a Democrat, and his wife reported assets of between $450,000 and $1 million. The 3rd District congressman also reported between $50,000 and $100,000 on the sale of calves. His only liability was a loan on a farm tractor.

Rep. Bruce Braley, a former trial lawyer and freshman congressman in Iowa's 1st District, reported an earned income of $302,742 from his law firm last year, the year he was elected to Congress. The Democrat's wife eamed $27,548 from the Waterloo Community School District. The couple listed assets at $285,000 to $850,000, mostly income on money market funds.

Besides his congressional salary, 5th District Rep. Steve King, a Republican, had no earned income to report. He and his wife reported holdings valued at $250,000 to $600,000, most of it involved in the family's construction business.

King also reported six sales of commercial real estate and other funds, all ranging from $15,000 to $60,000.

The least affluent was Rep. Dave Loebsack, a freshman congressman and former Cornell College professor who earned about $45,000 iast year before he was elected to Congress.

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