Berg, Hoeven rank among wealthiest members in CongressFor the first time since at least 1990, North Dakotans rank among the 50 wealthiest members of Congress.
By: Kristen Daum, Forum Communications
FARGO – For the first time since at least 1990, North Dakotans rank among the 50 wealthiest members of Congress.
The debut is thanks to the election last fall of two successful businessmen who replaced the career politicians who served before them.
Roll Call, a Washington, D.C., political publication, calculates Congress’ most affluent each year using members’ financial disclosure statements.
For the 2011 session, members had to be worth $6 million or more to rank in the top 50, but both North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Rick Berg are wealthy enough to be included.
Berg, the freshman Republican, came in at No. 13 on the list, with an estimated minimum wealth of $21.6 million.
Berg is a former Fargo legislator who made his millions as a founding partner and corporate executive with the commercial arm of the regional real estate company Goldmark.
Meanwhile, the former governor of North Dakota managed to squeak in near the bottom of the list. Hoeven’s estimated wealth of at least $7.94 million gave him the No. 42 spot.
Hoeven, the son of a Minot banker, joined his family business after college and rose through management before turning to a career in politics during the mid-1990s.
Members of Congress report their wealth, income and investments in large increments, making their exact personal value virtually impossible to calculate. However, Roll Call used the minimum possible amount from each member’s reported finances and subtracted known liabilities to come up with a figure of at least what the members are worth.
Still, neither Hoeven nor Berg even come close to the wealth of Congress’ richest member. The wealthiest overall is Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, who’s worth at least $294.21 million, according to Roll Call.
North Dakota’s lone Democrat – retiring Sen. Kent Conrad – falls too short to make the list.
The Center for Responsive Politics said this spring Conrad’s average wealth is estimated at $2.42 million.
This article is by the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead.