Democrats may oppose abolishing the death tax, but the two richest members of the U.S. Senate, according to an analysis by Roll Call, are Democrats living on inherited wealth.
The single richest senator is Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, who together with wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, reported a net worth of at least $166.6 million. Mrs. Kerry inherited money from her late husband, Sen. John Heinz (R.-Pa.). (Roll Call did its analysis using Senate financial disclosure forms released last week, which require senators to list assets only in broad ranges of value. Roll Call used the lower end of the value for each asset to calculate a senator’s worth.) The second-richest senator is Jay Rockefeller (D.-W.Va.), an heir to the Standard Oil fortune, who claimed a net worth of at least $78.3 million. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D.-Calif.) reported she and husband Richard Blum had a combined worth of $145.1 million. Feinstein, however, claimed only $40 million of that as her own. To illustrate how difficult it is to track the true wealth of senators from their financial disclosure forms, Roll Call noted that Sen. Herb Kohl (D.-Wis.) owns the Milwaukee Bucks professional basketball team, estimated to be worth about $175 million, but reported a net worth of only $13.1 million.