Alaska Sen. Begich tops Murkowski, Young in estimated worth

The Anchorage Daily NewsDecember 12, 2011 

Sen. Mark Begich appears to be the most affluent among the Alaska congressional delegation, with a net worth estimated by the Center for Responsive Politics at $2.3 million.

But Begich is a pauper compared to many of his colleagues, ranking 174th out of the 535 members of Congress in estimated net worth. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski ranked 205th on the list, with an estimate of $1.7 million.

Alaska Rep. Don Young's estimated net worth of $840,000 put him down at 279th among the members of Congress.

It's a tough crowd to compete in, with 47 percent of Congress figured to be millionaires. California Rep. Darrell Issa tops the list with a net worth pegged at $448.1 million. Seven others each have a net worth of more than $100 million.

The numbers are just estimates because members of Congress are required to disclose assets and liabilities only in broad ranges.

The Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group, recently came up with the estimates by averaging each member of Congress' lowest and highest possible net worth. The analysis is based on the most recently available disclosures, covering 2010.

The numbers include a spouse's assets but the disclosures don't have to include the value of lawmakers' personal residences or any mortgages owed on them, The Begich and Murkowski families both own Washington, D.C., row houses that are valued at more than $800,000, for example, and that's not included in the disclosure reports.

The disclosures also don't require lawmakers to list their annual $174,000 congressional salaries. They do list stocks and other investments.

Members of Congress are required to file the disclosure forms every year to give the public a glimpse at their investments, personal wealth and potential conflicts of interest. The next forms, covering 2011, will be released in June.

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