Springfield Journal Register

June 17, 2004

Financial reports show representatives like real estate

By DORI MEINERT
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - Real estate continued to provide a popular source of outside
income for House members from central Illinois last year, according to their
annual personal finance disclosure statements released Wednesday.

The reports show outside income beyond their $154,700 congressional salaries
for 2003, as well as their assets, liabilities and any travel paid by
private groups - but only in broad ranges.

In addition to his congressional salary, Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana,
collected $15,001 to $50,000 in interest on an installment contract on
property he owns in Hawaii and $2,501 to $5,000 in income from his Sidney,
Ill., farm. His farmland is valued between $100,001 and $250,000, according
to his report. He also received $59,076 from his state legislative pension
last year.

Johnson has between $17,017 and $255,000 deposited in 17 different banks
around his congressional district, receiving interest last year ranging from
$7,325 to $29,000. Plus, he had another $50,001 to $100,000 in a bank in
Tilton, N.H., which collected $3,502 to $7,500 in interest last year. He
also collected $1,808 to $7,100 in dividends from stock funds and money
markets valued at between $727,010 and $1.13 million.

He lists liabilities ranging from $90,004 to $215,000 from a home mortgage,
a home-improvement loan and two auto loans.

Rep. Jerry Weller, R-Morris, sold two residential properties in Morris last
year for a combined total of between $150,002 and $350,000. He collected
$16,004 to $47,500 in rent on those two buildings plus two more. He also
owned a lot in Nicaragua valued at between $50,001 and $100,000, which he
bought in 2002.

He listed assets in stocks and retirement funds ranging from $45,003 to
$150,000 and collected dividends of $2,502 to $5,200. He also reported a
credit union account valued at $1,001 to $1,500. His liabilities ranged from
$330,006 to $800,000 in mortgages and home equity loans.

Weller is the most well-traveled of the group, having taken nine trips in
2003 at private groups' expense. The destinations included: Miami, paid by
the American Association of Railroads; Sri Lanka, paid by the Federation of
Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka; Puerto Rico, paid by the Puerto Rico
Bankers Association; and San Francisco, paid by Fire Emergency Management
Services.

Rep. Lane Evans, D-Rock Island, received between $5,001 and $15,000 in rent
last year on his Capitol Hill townhouse, which was valued at between
$250,001 and $500,000. He holds a mortgage on the property in the same
range.

Evans serves as an unpaid director of Skills Inc. in Moline, a nonprofit
that provides job training to disabled youth, and the Washington-based
Center for Mind-Body Studies, a nonprofit educational organization that
advocates combining conventional medical treatment with alternative
medicine.

The only assets listed by Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, are his wife's
retirement accounts valued at between $85,000 and $275,000. He lists debts
of between $130,000 and $300,000, mostly student loans for his now-grown
children.

House members aren't required to list their primary residence on the
reports. LaHood owns a condo in Washington and this year bought a condo in
Peoria to replace his single-family home, an aide said.

LaHood also reported that the nonprofit Public Governance Institute paid for
a trip that he and wife took to White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., for the
annual congressional "civility" retreat that he helped start.
LaHood holds unpaid trustee positions with Bradley University in Peoria and
with Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., as well as an unpaid position
on the board of the Chicago Executive Forum.

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, collected as much as $65,000 last year in
rent on two houses in Collinsville and in Washington, D.C.

Shimkus bought a newly built luxury townhouse in 2002 and rents rooms to
other House members. He took in between $15,001 and $50,000 from the
townhouse and between $5,001 and $15,000 on a house in Collinsville,
according to his report. The townhouse is valued at between $500,001 and $1
million, but he holds two mortgages ranging from $300,002 to $600,000 on it.

The Collinsville home is estimated to be worth $15,001 to $50,000.
Shimkus listed assets in stock funds ranging in total value from $149,009 to
$350,000 for himself, his wife and young children. He reported capital gains
of between $2,203 to $6,000 and dividends of $800.
Senators' reports were released Monday.