Reports show 3 Md. congressmen are millionaires

Financial disclosures list Bartlett as richest of eight

June 16, 2005|By Gwyneth K. Shaw | Gwyneth K. Shaw,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON - The eight-member Maryland House delegation has three millionaires, according to public records released yesterday, including Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, who is running for the Senate in next year's elections.

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican from Western Maryland, is the richest among the state's House members, with holdings - mostly in real estate - totaling $1.5 million to $6 million. Cardin, a Democrat now in his 10th term, has assets worth between $1.3 million and $2 million, and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is worth between $1 million and $2.5 million.

The figures are revealed in the financial disclosure documents each member of Congress must complete every year. The forms require lawmakers to state only ranges, not specific values, so it is difficult to pinpoint exactly how much each is worth.

Bartlett's largest asset is his farm in Buckeystown, Frederick County, with a value listed at between $1 million and $5 million. He reported receiving between $50,000 and $100,000 in rent from tenants there. He also owns 153 acres and two houses in West Virginia, valued at $100,000 to $200,000.

Bartlett has a bank account worth $250,000 to $500,000 and lists $50,000 to $100,000 in "precious metals."

Cardin, who represents the Baltimore area and is angling to replace Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, holds his money mostly in a long list of stocks, including a retirement account worth $500,000 to $1 million. He also lists holdings in the Meyer M. Cardin trust, which came to him through his father and will be passed on to his children.

He said yesterday that he has no plans to self-finance his Senate campaign, as some other candidates - most with pockets far deeper than his - have done.

Ruppersberger's biggest holdings are a rental house in Ocean City and an individual retirement account, both worth $250,000 to $500,000. The beach house nets him $5,000 to $15,000 each year in rental income.

He earns money from a company he owns, the debt-collection business Rupp & Associates, which was placed in a blind trust several years ago. Ruppersberger values it at $100,000 to $250,000.

The disclosure forms also list trips lawmakers took last year on the dime of advocacy groups, think tanks and associations.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Baltimore led his colleagues in the number of trips taken, reporting 18 trips on his form. Rep. Albert R. Wynn of Prince George's County traveled four times.

Four members - Bartlett, Ruppersberger, Wayne T. Gilchrest and Chris Van Hollen - did not travel at all last year. Cardin took two trips, both with his wife.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer went on three trips last year, including to India for a trip worth $7,552, paid for by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

That trip was among several Hoyer did not list in separate travel reports until this spring, when scrutiny of the travel habits of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, led him and dozens of other lawmakers to update their documents. The reports are supposed to be filed within 30 days of the end of a trip.

Hoyer has now filed 13 reports, dating to 1997.

Cummings also caught up this spring, filing a dozen reports from last year and correcting some clerical errors on his annual forms.

Hoyer, who represents Southern Maryland and is the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said he's worth between $368,002 and $847,000. His holdings include several stock accounts, including a mutual fund worth $250,000 to $500,000.

Van Hollen, another potential Senate candidate, pegged his net worth at $336,003 to $943,000. He lists several stocks along with an account at the Congressional Federal Credit Union worth $250,000 to $500,000. The Montgomery County Democrat also has a pension plan from his former law firm worth $100,000 to $250,000.

Cummings, another Democrat, described his assets as between $150,000 and $350,000, although he reported selling a house - worth $50,000 to $100,000 - last year. Another house, worth $100,000 to $250,000, brings in rental income of $5,000 to $15,000 annually.

The mortgage on that house is Cummings' only listed liability, at $50,000 to $100,000.

Cummings also reported giving 12 speeches and said his hosts gave $11,000 to charity in lieu of paying him, a requirement under House rules.

Wynn's assets are worth $101,000 to $265,000, but his liabilities include a mortgage on a house in Hyattsville that's valued in the same range as the home itself: between $100,000 and $250,000. Wynn, a Democrat from Prince George's County, also lists a small mutual fund, but he owes an attorney $15,000 to $50,000 and has a credit card bill with a tab of $10,000 to $15,000.

Gilchrest, a Republican whose district includes the Eastern Shore, sold a small number of stocks last year, earning profits of $4,000 to $60,000, and bought a timeshare in Lewes, Del., for $15,000 to $50,000.

His assets total $43,000 to $295,000, including money from the estate of Gilchrest's father, worth $15,000 to $50,000.

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