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Candidates report million-dollar assets, incomes in filings

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« on: May 17, 2007, 07:41:50 am »

Candidates report million-dollar assets, incomes in filings
Jim Kuhnhenn
Associated Press
May. 17, 2007 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani reported a whopping $16.1 million in earned income over the past 16 months, most of it in speaking fees, according to financial documents filed Wednesday.

Democratic hopeful John Edwards reported earned income of $1.25 million, the biggest single source of which was a hedge fund that employed him part time. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reported $29.5 million in assets, including millions invested in the hedge fund, the Fortress Investment Group.

Giuliani's report provides the first detailed picture of his vast holdings and income since his term as mayor of New York ended more than five years ago. Since then, Giuliani parlayed his image as an in-charge mayor during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks into lucrative speaking fees and business enterprises.

He reported $13 million to $45 million in assets, including his share in Giuliani & Co., a partnership that provides an array of consulting services. He also listed income from dividends and interest on many of those investments of at least $411,332 and as much as $3.3 million.

The reports were part of a flurry released Wednesday by the Federal Election Commission. The deadline for filing was Tuesday, though several candidates received 45-day extensions, including Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republicans Mitt Romney, John McCain and Tommy Thompson. Republican Jim Gilmore asked for and received a 30-day grace period.

Sen. Barack Obama's report showed a surge of interest in his writings as he drew closer to a presidential bid, earning a half-million dollars in 2006 in royalties for one book and an advance for another.

The Illinois Democrat received $572,490 for the books: his best-selling memoir, Dreams of My Father and The Audacity of Hope, an account of his political journey.

Giuliani's biggest single source of income between January 2006 and February came from speaking engagements around the world. He grossed $11.4 million in speeches, which includes fees retained by the Washington Speakers Bureau. He typically charged $100,000 per speaking engagement and as much as $200,000 on occasion. After speaking at an event in Louisiana for the PGA Tour, Giuliani donated $80,000 to New Orleans charities working on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Giuliani reported income of $4.1 million from Giuliani & Co., and $1.2 million from Bracewell & Giuliani, a law firm that also provides lobbying services for its clients. The disclosure forms do not provide a precise accounting of the candidates' assets and investment income, requiring only that filers list those amounts in ranges. However, the Edwards campaign supplemented its reports with more detail, including the value of the couple's total assets.

Edwards, who has made fighting poverty a signature element of his campaign, said his work for a fund that generally caters to the wealthiest of investors was designed to educate him about the way financial markets operate. Fortress paid Edwards $479,512 for his consulting services.

The candidate and his wife had $1 million to $5 million in the Fortress Investment Fund III, a Fortress subsidiary that invests in businesses in the United States and Western Europe. He had lesser amounts in other investment funds.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported assets ranging from $457,000 to $1.14 million, far more modest than most of the other leading presidential candidates.

The Obama campaign announced Wednesday that the couple this year transferred about $180,000 in assets they held in the Vanguard Wellington Fund to Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund after discovering that a small amount of the Vanguard Wellington Fund is invested in an oil field services company active in Sudan.

GOP presidential candidate Sam Brownback, an outspoken critic of the violence in Sudan, also divested his stock portfolio of companies that do business with the African nation.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democratic presidential candidate who has called for a dramatic reduction in the use of fossil fuels, reported holding $250,000 to $500,000 in stock options from Valero Energy Corp. for serving on the company's board of directors from March 2001 to June 2002. Richardson also held $100,000 to $250,000 in Valero common stock.
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 07:44:18 am »

Romney expected to report sizeable assets
Figure of around $250 million, or even more, floated by adviser

WASHINGTON - Republican Mitt Romney is expected to report financial assets between $190 million and $250 million, an amount that would likely make him the wealthiest of the 2008 presidential candidates.

Aides to the former Massachusetts governor said his assets have been held in a blind trust that he and his wife set up when he took office in 2002. The adviser who provided the estimate of his assets cautioned that the number is based on 2005 and 2006 financial activity and could amount to a bigger total once the disclosure report is filed later this year.

The adviser spoke on condition of anonymity because the totals have not been officially released. The deadline for filing financial disclosures is Tuesday but Romney on Friday obtained an extension.

Romney lent his campaign $2 million this year and could clearly tap his wealth again if necessary. Romney is not the wealthiest candidate ever to run for president.

Steve Forbes, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination in 1996, had an estimate net worth of more than $430 million. John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, reported a net worth between $165 million and $235 million in 2005, most of it controlled by his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Under federal law, officials who are required to divulge their finances must only list their assets and income in broad ranges, making it impossible to pinpoint their exact wealth.

Separate trust for kids
Romney also has a blind trust for his children and grandchildren that is estimated to hold assets between $70 million and $100 million, the adviser said. Those assets do not benefit Romney or his wife and are not required to be reported in federal financial disclosures.

Romney has five sons, five daughters-in-law and 10 grandchildren.

In 1984, Romney founded Bain Capital, an investment company that helped finance Staples, Domino's Pizza and Brookstone. He then became interim CEO at Bain and Co., the consulting firm where he had worked in the early 1980s. He was credited with pulling Bain and Co., out of financial straits.

Romney, 60, also was CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics.

In the 2008 race, Romney surprised the Republican field by raising more than $20 million for his campaign in the first three months of the year, outpacing GOP front-runners Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, and Arizona Sen. John McCain.

The estimated total is the first glimpse of Romney's wealth since he has been a public official. Aides said his holdings are complicated, spread across partnerships, investment funds and hedge funds. One adviser said obtaining the underlying assets of the hedge fund alone is "a pretty arduous task."

Filing extension granted
Romney received permission Friday from the Federal Election Commission to delay the official filing of his financial disclosure documents for 45 days beyond Tuesday's deadline. Candidates are entitled to obtain two extensions of up to 45 days each. Most presidential candidates have yet to file their reports.

Romney communications director Matt Rhoades said the trustee for Romney's blind trust and "advisers are working diligently to complete the voluminous and complex process and we'll comply with the law."

Romney's top rivals, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, also are wealthy men.

McCain, an Arizona senator, amassed most of his money through investments and holdings controlled by his wife, Cindy, an heiress to a major beer distributor, Hensley & Co., founded by her father. Estimates put their net worth at between $20-$32 million.

Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, earned his fortune from a multitude of business consulting ventures and paid speeches after leaving office. He received $11.4 million in speaking fees in 2006 alone, an average of about $88,000 a speech.

Among Democrats, John Edwards, a former trial lawyer, listed his net worth at between $12.8 million and $60 million in 2003, his last report. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a 2005 Senate financial disclosure, listed her net worth at between $10 million and $50 million.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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