Sid Dinsdale would be third-richest man in Congress if he were in Senate now -
Published Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 1:00 am / Updated at 9:52 am
financial reports
Sid Dinsdale would be third-richest man in Congress if he were in Senate now

WASHINGTON — Omaha banker Sid Dinsdale would be the third-richest man on Capitol Hill if he were a member of Congress today.

That's based on the minimum net worth indicated in financial disclosure reports required of all incumbent lawmakers and candidates for the House and Senate.

Dinsdale, who is worth at least $110 million, is running for the Nebraska Senate seat left open by the retiring Sen. Mike Johanns.

His competitors for the GOP nomination in Nebraska's Senate race aren't exactly paupers, either.

Former Nebraska Treasurer Shane Osborn reported assets between $419,000 and $1.4 million, Midland University President Ben Sasse between $873,000 and $2.4 million, and Omaha lawyer Bart McLeay between $1.3 million and $4.5 million.

Democrat Dave Domina recently entered the race and has yet to file his financial disclosure report.

Callaway rancher-farmer Jim Jenkins, who is running as an independent, reported $2.2 million to $7.7 million in assets. Jenkins also reported liabilities between $2.8 million and $6.4 million.

The amounts are inexact because candidates are allowed to report their assets in broad ranges. For example, Dinsdale reported his share of Dinsdale Bros. as worth $25 million to $50 million.

Adding the upper amounts for each asset's range would put Dinsdale's wealth at around $250 million, but his total net assets could be even higher. That's because his share of Pinnacle Bank is listed in the top asset category with no upper limit. It simply says: “More than $50 million.”

The Washington-based publication Roll Call ranks the 50 richest members of Congress every year, based on their minimum level of assets, minus their minimum level of liabilities.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., topped its 2013 list with $355 million, followed by Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, who would just edge out Dinsdale with a minimum net worth of $114 million.

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., follows with $96 million.

Candidates also reported earned income from 2012 and part of 2013, depending on when they filed their reports.

Dinsdale, Pinnacle's chairman, reported earning just over $1 million in salary from Pinnacle, as well as $40,000 in director fees, during his 21-month reporting period. He also reported $84,000 in salary from Dinsdale Bros. Inc. and $42,000 from Four Seasons Ag Inc.

Over 17 months, Osborn reported earning $80,000 in salary from his consulting firm CAVU Advisory, with his wife earning more than $1,000 in salary from the company as well. He also reported $14,000 in salary from Silverstone Inc., an Omaha insurance company he works for as a project consultant. CAVU, which is listed as his wife's asset, is worth $50,000 to $100,000 and produced $335,000 in net income, according to his report.

Sasse reported earning $1.2 million in his 23-month reporting period. That included nearly $600,000 in salary over that period from Midland University, which paid him $288,000 in 2012 and $297,000 over 11 months of 2013. Sasse remains university president, but he has taken a partial leave of absence and his salary has been reduced.

As a former Health and Human Services official, Sasse also has been able to work the speaking circuit for various health-related organizations, earning about $460,000 in speaking fees, strategy sessions and staged debates. He also received $155,000 in consulting fees for advising Catfish Ventures, a private equity fund.

Sasse, who has portrayed himself as a Washington outsider during his campaign, reported owning a rental property in Alexandria, Va. A campaign spokesman said that is strictly an investment property.

McLeay is a partner in the Kutak Rock law firm and reported just over $1 million in partnership income from the firm over 18 months.

Jenkins reported $111,000 from Jenkins Management during nearly two years, and his wife drew a salary of more than $1,000 from a Broken Bow law firm.

Lots of dollar bills on Capitol Hill

Since 1990, Roll Call has compiled a list of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress based on each lawmaker's financial disclosure statements.

Because members are required only to report their finances in ranges, Roll Call determines net worth by subtracting each member's minimum liabilities from minimum assets. That means the real net worth of any lawmaker could be much higher than Roll Call's figures.

Iowa's Sen. Tom Harkin was the only Midlands member to crack the top 50.

NameNet WorthMin. AssetsMin. Liability
1. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) $355,380,000 $430,380,000 $75,000,000
2. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $114,100,000 $114,600,000 $500,000
3. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) $96,310,000 $96,310,000 $0
4. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) $85,320,000 $85,820,000 $500,000
5. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) $83,770,000 $89,270,000 $5,500,000
6. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) $68,350,000 $70,610,000 $2,270,000
7. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) $68,130,000 $74,640,000 $6,510,000
8. Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) $44,740,000 $49,870,000 $5,130,000
9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) $41,670,000 $43,670,000 $2,000,000
10. Rep. James Renacci (R-Ohio) $35,900,000 $36,900,000 $1,000,000
30. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) $11,880,000 $11,880,000 $0

Contact the writer: Joseph Morton    |  

Joe is The World-Herald's Washington, D.C., bureau, covering national political developments that matter most to Midlanders.

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