Just How Rich Is John Kerry?

1222112757When Congress takes a break for lunch, we hope Senator John Kerry picks up the tab. Roll Call reports that the junior senator from Massachusetts is the richest member of Congress, with an estimated value of $230.98 million.

Unless of course, he’s even richer than that.

Because the financial disclosure forms are confusing even to our elected officials, the Capitol Hill newspaper admits its tally isn’t completely accurate. But what is clear is that Kerry is loaded.

Kerry’s actual holdings, however — including those of wife Teresa Heinz Kerry, widow to ketchup heir Sen. John Heinz (R-Pa.) — are likely much greater.

Kerry’s disclosure forms list the value of more than 180 assets — including Heinz family trusts and investment funds — only as “over $1 million,” rather than the more specific ranges including $1 million to $5 million. Senators are allowed to list assets in the “over $1 million” category only if the items are held independently by a spouse or dependent child.

Let this be a lesson to you, kids—while marrying into a condiment fortune may make a handy punchline for your critics, you’ll be laughing all the way to your wife’s bank.

The McCain family avoids this trap by keeping most of the assets in Cindy McCain’s name. Republican presidential hopeful John McCain ranked 13th on the list, largely because he claims only a checking account, a money market fund (bet that’s not looking so good these days), and his book deals in his own name.

The ailing Ted Kennedy comes in at a respectable 9th place. Most of his money comes from being born into the famous family, with one trust valued at as much as $50 million. Kennedy also has a $1 million mortgage on a rental property he owns in Hyannisport. Way to write those mortgage payments off on your taxes, Teddy!

Photo from John Kerry’s senate page