Capitol Alert

Californians among richest members of Congress

Members of California’s influential congressional delegation were again well represented on an annual list of Washington’s most well-heeled members. It also showed well on a separate rundown of the poorest federal lawmakers.

Topping the rich list for the second consecutive year is Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista in San Diego County, the automobile alarm magnate whose estimated wealth includes seven high-yield bonds worth more than $50 million apiece, according to a review of disclosure forms by the publication CQ Roll Call.

The chairman of the powerful House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Issa’s political stock has risen considerably since he helped bankroll the successful recall effort of former California Gov. Gray Davis. In his current role, Issa has issued more than 100 subpoenas including as part of probes into the IRS and the attack in Benghazi, Libya.

At Nos. 8 and 9, respectively, is one of the state’s newest members as well as one of its most familiar faces: freshman Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, and veteran U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Peters is a former city councilman and environmental attorney. His wife heads a private equity firm focused on manufacturing enterprises, helping boost the congressman’s net worth to $45 million. In 2012, Peters spent several million of his money to secure a spot in the runoff and ultimately beat GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray. Many are closely monitoring whether he again dips into his fortunes to fend off a challenge from Republican Carl DeMaio.

Meanwhile, Feinstein’s worth increased about $2 million to $43.7 million.

Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, the minority leader, placed No. 14 with a net worth of $29.1 million. Roll Call reported that her husband Paul Pelosi’s stake in a Sacramento-based development increased to at least $5 million. He also unloaded property in the Marin County town of San Anselmo.

California will lose at least two in the top 50 with the coming retirements of GOP Reps. Gary Miller of Rancho Cucamonga and John Campbell of Irvine. Miller, a real estate tycoon, moved up to No. 13 with $33 million while Campbell, who made his money owning car dealerships, came in at No. 40 with $10 million.

Not everyone representing the Golden State is raking in the dough. Coming in at No. 1 on the publication’s poorest list is Rep. David Valadao of Hanford. The third-generation farmer reported a minimum net worth of negative $3.7 million.

Outgoing Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, listed negative $943,000 and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, had minus $924,000, though his $500,000-plus mortgage was paid off last year yet needed to be reported.

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 10:30 a.m. to correct what CQ Roll Call described as a data-entry error regarding Rep. Nancy Pelosi.

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