Iowa Senator Is Wealthiest Politician in State

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DES MOINES, Iowa–It’s no secret members of Congress seem a lot richer than the rest of us. And there’s a good reason for it. They usually are. published the member who is worth the most in each state. Iowa’s retiring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin tops the list.

Harkin is worth $11.9 million, according to the report. That ranks Harkin 33rd out of the 535 members. Most of Harkin’s total, the article points out, is not from the senator, but rather from his wife, Ruth.

Here’s how it describes the Harkins’ accumulation of wealth:

Harkin himself owns very few assets — he has a bank account with Morgan Stanley worth between $1,001 and $15,001 and another in LPL Financial whose worth is in the same range. He also has three investments worth between $1,001 and $15,001.

Most of the assets belong to Harkin’s wife, Ruth. The two most valuable assets are an investment in ConocoPhillips, and another in United Technology Corp., both owned by Ruth Harkin, each totaling at least $1 million. The Harkins made at least $100,000 in dividends on the ConocoPhillips investment, and at least $100,000 from an investment in Phillips 66.

Ruth Harkin was on the board of directors ConocoPhillips until last May. She previously served as senior vice president for international affairs and government relations for United Technologies and reported receiving a pension of at least $1,000 from the company this year.

She also earned at least $1,000 from Ireland’s National Toll Road as compensation for board membership, but does not currently hold any stock in the company.

The report found money is common among members of Congress. Approximately one-third of the members are millionaires. Most Americans are not, of course. A 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report found the median net worth of American households is $68,828.

While Harkin’s total easily tops that figure, it doesn’t come anywhere near the wealth of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, a California Republican. The report puts his net worth at $357.2 million. The car alarm business was very good to him. 



  • John Smith

    Yes, Mrs. Harkin has done well over the years. As I recall, she has also served Iowa well, more than once. I hope that both Harkins continue to do so.

  • Tom Thumb

    “Let’s stop digging the graves of our grandchildren” was Harkin’s quote on voting against the Keystone pipeline. Tom sure loves himself some oil stock though. If oil is so evil, then why did you accumulate your wealth with ConcoPhillips? Harkin sure loves himself some hypocrisy as well.

  • Tom Thumb

    Fill me in in your logic oh wise one. Because his wife owns the stock then that makes it ok? If you are ignorant enough to think he doesn’t get any financial benefit from her investments then you are clueless.

    • John Smith

      Duh, TOM, duh: First off, try to get someone to explain what “REPLY” means, and how to use it.

      Then, see if you can’t find out the difference between these two things: The Keystone XL Pipeline proposal, and owning stock in an oil company.

      I suspect it may be difficult for you to understand such gigantic distinctions, but you should try to just the same.

      • Mike Cee

        Goodness. Someone has his liberal panties in a twist.

        Ruth Harkin was appointed to her positions to curry favor with her husband, nothing more. Her own skillset was mediocre at best, yet she was given some pretty important (and high paying) positions. Tom Harkin is a shill senator that doesn’t even have the decency to live in Iowa. Thank goodness the Iowa voters finally rejected his politics and replaced him with someone who at least lives in the state.

        The sooner we’re rid of the Harkins, the better off we will be.

      • John Smith

        Of course, Mike Cee, you’re are merely blowing it out your shorts and CANNOT substantiate a single thing you assert.
        I reckon you listen to a LOT of AM radio. You are the paradigm Dittohead.

      • John Smith

        BTW, Mike, you DO realize, don’t you, that Senator Harkin retired, don’t you? You know, retired UNDEFEATED?

        Can you Limbaugh drones get NOTHING correct in your mouth-foaming rants?

  • Angry Libertarian

    It’s interesting how all of these senators and representatives for life become so ridiculously wealthy while they are in office. Oh wait, Tom is poor. It’s Ruth that’s the 1%er. I’m sure his position in the senate had nothing to do with her $11.9 million. Nothing like the inside track to make your family wealthy! Just ask Harry Reid and his family how it works they have cashed in big time. Probably taught old Tom a trick or two along the way.

    The founding fathers are spinning in their graves!

    Term limit them all!

    • John Smith

      Yes, indeed, another standard-issue pile of unsubstantiated nonsense.

      I recommend, as an alternative to term-limits for Congress (which Congress would evidently have to do themselves), that term limits for the Executive Branch be removed. First off, limiting only one branch of government puts that branch at a distinct disadvantage to the other two. Secondly, term-limiting the Executive has resulted in the lamentable 8 year cycle we find ourselves in today: Term one is two years to act followed by two years to get re-elected. Term two is two years to act followed by two years to try to forge some kind of legacy., primarily because there is nothing else possible. FAR better for the presidency to be open-ended, so that the President and Congress BOTH have some incentive to keep at their jobs.

      • John Smith

        If you are asking me, ANGRY LIBERTARIAN, I am probably not the person you want. I have never voted for Governor Branstad. But, I respect the choice of voters who do, and they have had more than one opportunity to “term limit” him in the voting booth.

    • Mark

      I was wondering the same thing. How is it a guy from Iowa who brags about having nothing growing up becomes a multi-millionaire as a US Senator. I know it isn’t unique to Harkin but he is the focus of this article. And why is it someone in power who has so much tries to legislate all sorts of programs which limit another person’s ability to achieve the same?

      • John Smith

        MARK, the rest of us can’t help it that you cannot comprehend the story, pal. See if you can find someone to help you with it.

        Hint: The Senator’s WIFE has had a number of important positions in the private sector. At that level, acquiring stock as compensation is a rather common occurrence.

        Mega Dittos!

    • John Smith

      What, precisely, is being “hidden” here?

      Hint: Just saying things doesn’t make them so, excepting on AM radio.

  • Just Saying

    I do not have a problem with him and his wife making money but I do have a problem with poking at others who make money. Seems like he wants a one way street for himself.

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