Clintons Earn Big, Still Owe

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton last year received $2.85 million as an advance on a book and her husband earned $9.2 million in speaking fees, but the family still owes at least $1.75 million in legal bills left over from White House investigations, according to financial forms released Friday.

Mrs. Clinton and the former president also reported a blind trust worth $1 million-$5 million as part of financial disclosures that all members of Congress must make public every year.

Among other congressional leaders, most reported comfortable personal fortunes without the heavy debt load carried by the Clintons.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., has mutual funds of $233,000-$790,000 and a bank account of $100,000-$250,000. His wife Linda, a former Federal Aviation Administration deputy administrator, is a lobbyist with a firm that has represented, among others, Lockheed Martin.

Another senator with possible presidential aspirations, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., also got help from his wife, Hadassah, who earned $328,000 in honoraria giving speeches, mostly to Jewish groups.

Wendy Gramm, wife of Sen. Phil Gramm, is an Enron creditor after the company's bankruptcy and is seeking $500,000-$1 million in deferred compensation.

Senate Republican leader Trent Lott of Mississippi held 161 acres of land in Hattiesburg, Miss., valued at $15,000-$50,000, and, jointly with his wife, 60,568 shares of PaineWebber Cash Fund worth $50,000-$100,000. His wife sold share of Lucent Technologies, AT&T and Compaq Computers, all in the $1,000-$15,000 range, while buying similar amounts of General General Electric and Cisco.

House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri reported more modest assets: more than two dozen mutul funds held jointly with his wife, with eight each valued at $50,000-$100,000. Gephardt, who has three children, also said he had outstanding student loans of $50,000-$100,000 and a loan on a life insurance policy of $15,000-$50,000.

Sen. Clinton's book advance was part of a $8 million memoir deal with Simon and Schuster for a book due out in 2003. The president was the bigger breadwinner in the family, making at least 60 speeches around the world for between $75,000 and $350,000 each.

Among other leaders, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said he received more than 200 contributions totalling $431,390 for a legal defense fund connected to a lawsuit filed against him by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He said he still had legal liabilities of $100,000-$250,000.

All 535 members of Congress are required to submit the annual reports that show outside sources of income, assets, liaiblities, travel paid by private interests and speech honoraria. By law, all honoraria for speeches must be donated to charity. In general, income from activities other than salary and investments was limited to $21,765 in 2001. Spouses' independent incomes are not included in the disclosures.

Rank-and-file senators and representatives received salaries of $145,100 last year, a figure that rose to $150,000 this year. The speaker of the House receives $186,300, the same as Vice President Cheney who serves as president of the Senate and equivalent to what the chief justice of the Supreme Court receives.

The House and Senate majority and minority leaders got $161,200, an amount which rose to $166,700 this year.

Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., lists among his assets five Kennedy family trust funds in the $9 million to $45 million range. He reported unearned income of $500,000-$5 million from family trusts and $30,000-$100,000 from investment funds. Among honoraria donated to charity was $16,500 from appearances on the weekly "Face Off" radio program.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., whose great-grandfather invented the sanitary napkin and who is a heir to a paper manufacturing fortune, listed his net worth at $10.97 million. But he reported that his $65,000 stamp collection was worth more than all four of his cars, all 1996 models or older.

Many lawmakers had far simpler and smaller incomes to report. House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., said his major assets were credit union accounts worth $65,000-$150,000 and major unearned income interest of $2,500-$5,000. House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, a former college professor who is retiring at the end of this term, reported a $20,000 teaching fee from Southern Methodist University.

Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who as Appropriations Committee chairman is responsible for deciding how much of the federal budget is disbursed, said his major assets were a money market account of $250,000-$500,000 and a CD of $100,000-$250,000.

Many lawmakers were active in the stock market, although the disclosures don't specify if they shared the losses endured by many Americans last year. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., dumped several blue chip stocks such as IBM and GE in favor of Home Depot and Anardarko Petroleum Corp., a Texas-based energy company with wells in his home state.