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California Congressman Nation's Richest



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    Both the nation's richest  and poorest congressmen are from California, according to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics.

    The list of maximum net worth was estimated by the center and is based on the range of the assets' worth minus the range of liabilities for the 535 members of the US Senate and the US House of Representatives.

    The center looked at those assets and averaged the minimum and maximum values to find net worth as of 2009, according to an analysis by California Watch

    Congressman Darrell Issa, who represents counties in northern San Diego, took first place on the list of the 25 richest pols, with an average estimated net worth of $303 million.

    Former Representative Jane Harman, whose LA area district spanned the South Bay, Venice and San Pedro, came in second with an average net worth of $293 million. Harman resigned from her post in February.

    Other pols who made the list are Senators Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Gary Miller.

    Derek Cressman, Common Cause's Western states regional director, told California Watch that the wealth these politicians have accrued is a detriment to the people they represent. The topic has come up in some of the Occupy protests, and among advocates of higher taxes for the rich.

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    "If we want a government of the people and by the people ... you’d want 99 percent of the members of Congress coming from the 99 percent of society that's not worth $9 million," Cressman told California Watch. 

    Two members of congress from the California delegation are among the 25 “poorest.” 

    The center estimates that Laura Richardson’s average net worth at about negative $250,000. Richardson represents areas in South Los Angeles.

    At the very bottom of the list is Pete Stark, who represents Alameda and Santa Clara counties. His estimated maximum net worth is negative $11 million.

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