Millionaires Race for Democrats’ Presidential Nomination
Four 2004 democratic presidential candidates are multi-millionaires, according to the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity’s (www.publicintegrity.org) study of financial disclosure forms.
By far the richest candidate was Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who listed assets worth between $196 and $688 million.
“If Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry were elected to the White House in 2004, he would be America’s richest president in more than a century,” reported CPI.
CPI said, “Kerry has more than 20 times the reported personal capital of the incumbent president and leads all other likely candidates.
Kerry’s wealth resulted largely from his marriage to Teresa Heinz, the widow of Sen. John Heinz R-Penn., who died in a plane crash in 1991 and was the heir to the Heinz ketchup fortune.
Substantially trailing Kerry was Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., who showed assets worth between $8.7 million and $36.5 million. Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., had an estimated worth of between $7.3 million and $30.6 million. Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt., had an estimated worth of almost $4 million.
Non-millionaire Democratic presidential candidates included Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., and Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.
“For the first time ever, the general public can search a candidate’s income, assets and other reported information available on federal public disclosure forms,” CPI said. “The assets on each form were listed in ranges, which unfortunately precludes the deduction of precise figures for each candidate.”
CPI also reported on the wealth of the president and vice president.
President George Bush showed a worth of between $9 million and $26 million. Bush valued his 1,583-acre ranch outside of Waco, Texas, at between $1 million and $5 million.
Bush reported unusual gifts, including 10 neckties valued at more than $1,400 and a golf cart worth $7,100, given to him by Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, according to CPI.
Vice President Dick Cheney listed his assets between $22 million and $103 million. Cheney also reported gifts. One was a $9,000 sterling silver coffee serving set from Procter and Gamble Company.
Charles Lewis founded CPI in 1990 after working in television network news for 11 years. Lewis spoke at two Baptist Center for Ethics conferences several years ago. CPI has the reputation for “public service journalism.”