Canton Repository

June 17, 2003

Local lawmakers not as rich as some

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — Unlike any number of multimillionaires in Congress, most area lawmakers are far from wealthy, according to their latest financial disclosure reports.

Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township, may or may not be a millionaire, but he appears to have greater wealth than neighboring congressmen, according to reports released Monday.

Regula, a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, report-

ed assets between $565,006 and $1.25 million held by him and his wife, Mary. He owed between $50,000 and $100,000 in a business loan, according to the report. Lawmakers need list their assets only within broad ranges on their disclosure statements.

Rep. Bob Ney, R-St. Clairsville, reported just one investment asset — a savings account containing up to $1,000. In a report conspicuous for its brevity, he reported debts between $15,000 and $50,000 each on a credit card and charge card.

U.S. representatives earn $154,700 a year and are reimbursed for trips between their districts and the Capitol. They pay out of their own pockets for their housing in Washington, D.C.

Regula, a former schoolteacher, principal and a non-practicing attorney, said he doesn’t know if his net worth is $1 million or not.

“I’m comfortable but certainly not what anyone would call rich, by any stretch,” he said. The big unknown is the real value of his 200-acre farm, where he raises beef cattle, he said.

In the report, Regula valued the farm at $100,000 to $250,000. He’s also a partner with his brother John in Regula Bros., a Beach City partnership that hauls dairy products and raises beef cattle. It was valued at $100,000 to $250,000. His wife and brother own another 25 acres of farmland that is rented out.

His major investments include up to $600,000 in stocks and savings held by Unizan Bank in Canton and Sky Financial Group, which are in his and his wife’s name. His wife has between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock at J.M. Smucker Co., which is based in Orrville in Regula’s district. She purchased that stock before Regula was elected to Congress, he said.

Regula’s report did not list two houses on his farm or a condo he owns in Arlington, Va. Personal residences are exempt from disclosure unless they are income-producing.

Ney, who wields clout as chairman of the House Administration Committee, owns a house in St. Clairsville and lives on a houseboat when he is in Washington. Remarried, he has two children from a previous marriage.

Ney’s wife received wages for working on his campaign, but the amount was not disclosed.

Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Lorain, reported investments between $72,016 and $380,000. These included an Individual Retirement Account valued at up to $15,000, several mutual funds, bank accounts and some stock.

Rep. Ted Strickland, D-Lucasville, listed a savings account containing $50,000 to $100,000 and an IRA containing $15,000 to $50,000.

Freshman Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Warren, reported the $57,400 he earned as a state senator last year. He has up to $15,000 in a state retirement fund and borrowed between $15,000 and $50,000, his report said.

Congressional finance report highlights

Rep. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati.

Earned income: $150,000.

Speaking fees, all donated to charity: None.

Major assets: Four parcels of land with office buildings and a home in Cincinnati, $500,005-$1.05 million; beneficiary of an irrevocable trust, Portman Equipment Co., $1 million-$5 million; five retirement accounts, $5,005-$75,000.

Major sources of unearned income: Rental income, $121,004-$1.07 million; dividends and interest from trust, $151,000.

Major liabilities: None.

Gifts: None.

Narrative: Portman’s wife, Jane, earned an income from Cincinnati-based Richard Saunders Benefits, Inc. Portman reported having trusts for his three children, which are each valued at between $96,000 and $315,000. Portman did not accept any free travel in the last year. He reported holding positions on eight organizations, such as president of the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati and an advisory board member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America. He served as a member of the board of directors for the Clement and Ann Buenger Foundation, a Cincinnati charitable group.

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Rep. Deborah Pryce, R-Columbus, chairwoman of the Republican Conference.

Earned income: $150,000.

Speaking fees, all donated to charity: $2,000, speech for Women’s Council of Realtors.

Major assets: Bank account, $50,001-$100,000; bank investments, $50,001-$100,000; home in Columbus, Ohio, $100,001-$250,000; apartment in Washington, D.C., $100,001-$250,000; congressional credit union account, $15,001-$50,000; retirement account, $15,001-$50,000; Charing Road Associates, $15,001-$50,000.

Major sources of unearned income: Dividends from bank investment, $1,001-$2,500; interest from bank account, $1,001-$2,500.

Major liabilities: Mortgages on two houses in Columbus and apartment in Washington, $150,002-$600,000.

Gifts: None.

Narrative: Pryce accepted one free trip, traveling to St. Michaels, Md., for the Congressional Institute retreat in January. She is a board member at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and national fund for the U.S. Botanical Gardens.

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Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Navarre, chairman of House Appropriations subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education.

Earned income: $150,000.

Speaking fees, all donated to charity: $3,000, speeches to the American Council on Education Fellows Program and Association of American Medical Colleges.

Major assets: Stocks and savings, $250,001-$500,000; 200 acres in Bethlehem Township, Ohio, $100,001-$250,000; stock in Regula Brothers Partnership, a farm equipment company, $100,001-$250,000; bank investment, $50,001-$100,000; half interest in 25 acres in Bethlehem Township, $50,001-$100,000; stock in JM Smucker Co., $15,001-$50,000.

Major sources of unearned income: Dividends from stock and savings, $5,001-$15,000; rent on 200 acres in Bethlehem Township, $5,001-$15,000; interest and dividends from bank investment, $2,501-$5,000; rent on other Bethlehem property, $1,001-$2,500.

Major liabilities: Business loan, $50,001-$100,000.

Gifts: None.

Narrative: Regula accepted four free trips, including a trip to Miami for the American Association of Railroads conference and another to Jacksonville, Fla., for the American Gas Association policy forum. He also traveled to Phoenix for the Aspen Institute conference on education, and to New York for the dedication of the Safra Synagogue. He is a partner of the Regula Brothers Partnership and a trustee of several organizations, including Mount Union College, Stark Wilderness Center, McKinley Museum and the JASON Project.

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Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Warren.

Earned income: $57,400, earned as a member of the Ohio state senate.

Speaking fees, all donated to charity: None.

Major assets: Ohio Public Employees Retirement System account, $1,001-$15,000.

Major sources of unearned income: None.

Major liabilities: personal loan, $15,001-$50,000; credit card debt, $10,001-$15,000.

Gifts: None.

Narrative: Ryan, who is a freshman in Congress, has not accepted any free trips since being elected last November. His congressional salary of $150,000 started in January.

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Rep. Ted Strickland, D-Lucasville.

Earned income: $150,000.

Speaking fees, all donated to charity: None.

Major assets: Joint savings account, $50,001-$100,000; retirement account, $15,001-$50,000.

Major sources of unearned income: interest from savings account, $1,001-$2,500; interest from retirement account, $1,001-$2,500.

Major liabilities: None.

Gifts: None.

Narrative: Strickland’s wife, Frances, worked for Smith Educational Enterprises, Inc., last year. Strickland did not accept any free trips in 2002.

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Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Columbus: Report was not available.

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Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Cleveland: Filed for an extension.

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Rep. Michael Turner, R-Dayton.

Earned income: $139,170, earned as mayor of Dayton and work for Soin International.

Speaking fees, all donated to charity: None.

Major assets: Investment funds, $15,015-$225,000; Ohio Public Employees Retirement System account, $15,001-$50,000; life insurance, $1,001-$15,000; bank account, $1,001-$15,000.

Major sources of unearned income: Dividends on investment funds, $15-$3,000.

Major liabilities: Personal line of credit, $15,001-$50,000.

Gifts: None.

Narrative: Turner, who is a freshman in Congress, has not accepted any free trips since being elected last November. His congressional salary of $150,000 started in January. In the last year, Turner has served as president of JMD Development, Inc., and vice president of Turner Marketing, Inc.