OpenSecrets.org Newsletter: Lawmakers as lessors and more …

Lawmaker landlords: Members make millions from property owned

How do you measure a year in the life of a lawmaker? How about…rent?

Lawmakers received, at a minimum, $27.1 million from rental, capital gains, interest and dividend income from their property in 2014.

Maybe unsurprisingly, the wealthiest members of Congress received the most. We’ve extensively documented how the richest members of Congress are wealthy, stay wealthy and are actually stratified by wealth among themselves. Atop the list sat the usual members, like Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), for years the richest member of Congress, for whom eight pieces of real estate generated at least $5.45 million in rent and capital gains income in 2014, as Issa’s partnerships with ownership over the property sold some real estate in 2014, producing a profit.

That gave Issa the highest estimated income per property of any member of Congress, according to data culled from personal financial disclosure reports by OpenSecrets.org. But immediately behind him, by that measure, was Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who received rent payments from just two entities yet made a minimum of $1.1 million from them.

Click here to read the full article.

Football matters — for research

After a season that brought just one defeat between them, the top two teams in college football will face off tonight in Phoenix for the national championship. Partisans of the University of Alabama and Clemson University (and we have one of each here at CRP) have placed their bets, put on their lucky underwear, prayed a bunch and are ready to crack open some beers. The coach of the winning team will have not only bragging rights but possibly leverage to negotiate an even larger salary package … read more.

CRP welcomes new staff and interns!

Here at the Center for Responsive Politics, we are delighted to introduce several new members to our team (pictured above, left-to-right): Eli Washington, Jia You, Soroush Bassam, and Alex Glorioso (not pictured). To read more about their roles and backgrounds,click here.

A “big ideas” State of the Union speech — but which ideas?

He can’t pass a substantive bill in an election year with a Republican Congress, the thinking goes. So President Obama wanted to talk above politics in his final State of the Union addressTuesday night. Obama introduced the “big things” theme for his speech last week: “That’s what I want to focus on in this state of the union address…what we all need to do together in the years to come. The big things,” he said, in a State of the Union preview video released … read more.

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