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The website OpenSecrets.org, run by Washington's non-profit Center for Responsive Politics, is out with its Congressional wealth rankings, and San Diego county can boast two members in the top twenty: Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Scott Peters.

Congressional disclosure reports provide only a broad range for the value of each asset and liability, so the net worth rankings provided by OpenSecrets are only approximate, and the lack of precision can leave open some big questions.

For instance, Peters’s net worth, according to OpenSecrets, is listed at between minus $33,719,896 to $206,167,994, producing an average of $86,224,049.

That number puts him just above California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, married to multi-millionaire Richard Blum. She ranks number 15 with an average of $70,725,124.

Presumably Peters is worth a bit more than his reported minimum; a big chunk of his campaign was self-financed and he's been spreading around a few dollars of his own to other San Diego politicians.

According to a major donor statement for 2012 posted online this month by the California Secretary of State's office, Peters personally gave a total of $20,215 to state campaign committees last year, including $1500, on December 28, to this year's Democratic bid of labor leader Lorena Gonzalez for Assembly and $500 on November 27 to GOP-turned-independent ex-Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher's failed Fletcher for Mayor 2012 committee.

OpenSecrets also notes the spousal money is included in the financial reports:

Senate, House, Executive branch and Judicial rules require the disclosure of items belonging to the filer's spouse and/or dependent children. When present, those items are displayed on this page and are included in all calculations throughout this section.

Peters's wife, Lynn Gorguze, is the daughter of La Jolla industrialist Vincent T. Gorguze, a Mitt Romney for President donor.

But while Democrat Peters had added to the financial heft of the local Democratic House delegation, North County Republican Darrell Issa still beats him on points, being ranked the number two wealthiest House member in the OpenSecrets survey.

Issa's net worth is said by OpenSecrets to be between $215,550,040 and $745,099,999, for an average of $480,325,019.

As reported here last year, the car alarm magnate's huge liablities consisted of loans from Merrill Lynch and Union Bank.

Notes an OpenSecrets news release today:

Ninety-four new senators and House members joined the 113th Congress. But if voters felt the last group of lawmakers was out of touch with "real America," the new class may not be better. In fact, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics, the median estimated net worth of the incoming freshmen is almost exactly $1 million more than that of the typical American household.

There has been some change at the top, though: For years, the wealthiest member of Congress was Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who made his fortune with his alarm business, but in 2011 he was surpassed by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), whose average estimated net worth was $500.1 million, up more than 31.6 percent from $380.4 million in 2010. Much of McCaul's wealth is due to his wife, Linda, the daughter of Clear Channel Communications Chairman Lowry Mays.

Issa's fortune this year is estimated to be $480.3 million -- still an increase over our 2010 estimate of his average net worth, $448 million, but not enough to keep up with McCaul.

Concludes OpenSecrets:

If the average net worth of every member of Congress is added together, we estimate that their total combined net worth in 2011 was about $4.5 billion.

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 Jan. 16, 2013 @ 1:57 p.m.

I cannot read the Names on the pic, but I recognize Golding/Silberman....Mayor Mo.....Ray and Joan Croc, and Bersin......

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Visduh Jan. 16, 2013 @ 10:41 p.m.

There's also Jim and Helen Copley. In a way, Silberman wasn't super rich, and definitely put a dent in his net worth when he bankrolled Susan's successful run for the board of supervisors. His diminished holdings may have pushed him into the money laundering he was trying to do. That was a really nutty case when you think about it.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 16, 2013 @ 11:24 p.m.

Jim and Helen Copley-Good call Vis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 16, 2013 @ 11:28 p.m.

In a way, Silberman wasn't super rich, and definitely put a dent in his net worth when he bankrolled Susan's successful run for the board of supervisors. His diminished holdings may have pushed him into the money laundering he was trying to do. That was a really nutty case when you think about it.

Silberman had enough $$$ to hire one of the very best criminal defense attorneys in the state, James Brosnahan ( Brosnahan was plucked as the special prosecutor who was going to prosecute Caspar Weinberger- until Ronnie Raygun pardoned him), to go to bat for him when that money laundering indictment came down.......

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Visduh Jan. 17, 2013 @ 11:21 a.m.

Brosnahan didn't keep Silberman out of the slammer. Dick pulled some time at the now-abandoned prison camp at Boron, and maybe elsewhere. That definitely took him out of the top-tier of SD social circles.

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SurfPuppy619 Jan. 17, 2013 @ 3:04 p.m.

Dick pulled some time at the now-abandoned prison camp at Boron, and maybe elsewhere. That definitely took him out of the top-tier of SD social circles.

LOL...yes, that will definitely deflate your standing in the social circles!Don't mess with Brosnahan, he is as good as they come. I remember once there was a guy coming up for parole, a murderer, and Brosnahan was the AUSA who had prosecuted the guy, and he had these HUGE 3x4ft pics blown up of the victim, dead, that were so chilling and frightening that one look at any of the pics and the parole hearing was already over, done, denied-before it even started. This was before the feds stopped parole, back in the early 1980's. Brosnahan also got a pretty good deal for the "American Taliban" Lindh, 20 years, which for the time was exceptional. He took that case right after 911 and the firm told him he could not use their name on the pleaidngs b/c of the back lash.....

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