Roll Call posted its list of the 50 richest members of Congress. Eleven freshman members made the list. Number six? Our own Boulder web-millionaire, Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared “big bucks” Polis, worth a recession-shrunk conservatively estimated $71 million.
Roll Call on Polis:
The freshman lawmaker, who made his fortune as an Internet entrepreneur, reported nearly $25 million less in his most recent financial disclosure report than he did as a House candidate last year, but he still ranks among the wealthiest Members.
Polis founded his first company, American Information Systems, while still in college and later sold it for more than $20 million. He went on to expand his family’s Blue Mountain Arts greeting card and publishing business online, and the company was sold in 1999 for $780 million. He also founded ProFlowers.com, an online florist, which later became Provide Commerce LLC and was sold to Liberty Media in 2006 for $477 million.
As a candidate, Polis reported more than $50 million invested in the Jove Capital Fund, but in several transactions before and after the election he sold off that asset, and it had a value of zero on his 2008 financial disclosure.
Polis now lists from $25 million to $50 million in a Goldman Sachs Bank Deposit. He also retained an investment in Asia Investment Partners valued at $5 million to $25 million and a Merrill Lynch account valued from $5 million to $25 million. Polis also lists two dozen other investments worth more than $1 million.
Roll Call calculated its numbers from information lawmakers were required to reveal in their 2009 financial disclosure reports. The lawmakers’ worth was found by adding the lowest number provided for each asset. A $1 million to $5 million asset, for example, was reportedly tallied as $1 million.
Chardonnay-drinking, windsurfing, overall “French”-style person Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., came out again as the richest member of Congress.
Democrats hold the lead this year at the top of the food chain, but the wealth was pretty well divided, again underlining the undisputed fact that the country is run by an economic elite, people who don’t personally have to worry about health care or gas prices or the cost of a hybrid or a gallon of milk or a new pair of glasses or pretty much anything you worry about every day. On the list appeared the names of 28 Democrats and 22 Republicans.