Bay Area lawmakers among the wealthiest in U.S.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi: $101 million. Rep. Jerry McNerney: $9,000. OpenSecrets.com: Priceless.

About 47 percent of Congress, or 250 current members of Congress, are millionaires, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of lawmakers’ personal financial disclosure forms from 2010.

The Bay Area beats the national figure, where eight of its 13 regionally based federal lawmakers top the $1 million mark in assets and liabilities.

No. 8 nationally out of 530 members and the wealthiest of the Bay Area legislators, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, reported an average net worth of $101 million.

The poorest member was Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, with an average net worth of $9,000 and a national ranking of No. 494.

Talk about a gap between the haves and have nots.

Keep in mind, the disclosure numbers do not include personal property such as residences, artwork or retirement accounts but do include the spouses’ income and investments. The forms contain vast value ranges, however, which makes it impossible to make precise estimates, says the Center for Responsive Politics.

For the other Bay Area colleages and their national rankings:

  • No. 12 — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, $69 million
  • No. 49 — Rep. Jackie Speier, $12.5 million
  • No. 72 — Rep. John Garamendi, $6.9 million
  • No. 110 — Rep. Pete Stark, $3.9 million
  • No. 130 – Sen. Barbara Boxer, $3.5 million
  • No. 192 — Rep. Anna Eshoo, $1.8 million
  • No. 201 — Rep. Mike Thompson, $1.7 million
  • No. 211 — Rep. Zoe Lofgren, $1.5 million
  • No. 304 — Rep. George Miller, $668,000
  • No. 308 — Rep. Mike Honda, $639,505
  • No. 343 — Rep. Lynn Woolsey, $490,505
  • No. 370 – Rep. Barbara Lee, $392,503

Read the full 530-member list at the Center for Responsive Politics site.




Concord wins game of political chicken with Navy

Concord called the Navy’s bluff and won.

As you may recall, the city said it could not choose the final plan for the Concord Naval Weapons station under the Navy’s deadline.

The Navy threatened to pull the plug and cut the city out of the planning process and the planning money.

City officials said, for all intents and purposes, “Try it.”

Despite the flowery language in this press release — see below — Concord  emerged victorious.


Time extension will allow City, community to develop plan for former Concord Naval Weapons Station

Rep. Miller and Mayor Shinn available Tuesday to discuss agreement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Reps. George Miller (D-Concord) and Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Alamo) announced today that the Department of Defense has signed a letter of agreement to extend the time period for the City of Concord to complete its Concord Naval Weapons Station reuse plan and homeless accommodation application until January 31, 2009.

“I am pleased to announce that the DOD has agreed to give the residents of Concord enough time to fully develop their plan for the former Naval Weapons Station,” said Miller, who personally urged the Bush Administration to accept the City’s request for a time extension.  “The city has done a great job in developing their plans and working with the community, and this announcement is a wonderful opportunity for Concord and the residents of central Contra Costa County.  Under Mayor Shinn’s leadership, the City Council can now go forward with the process, fill in the details, and narrow down their choices to one successful reuse plan. I am confident they are on the right track.  I also want to express my sincere appreciation to the Defense Department for their continued cooperation.”

“This is a golden opportunity for our community, and we need to be sure it’s done right,” said Tauscher.  “The Pentagon made the right decision in granting Concord an extension.  The Concord City Council and the community have the opportunity to design a plan that meets the interests of all involved.”

The City of Concord, the Navy, HUD, and the Defense Department have been coordinating to develop a land use plan for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station since 5,000 acres of the base was approved for closure in 2005.  Reps Miller and Tauscher recognize the redevelopment of the Concord Naval Weapons Station as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the region to create new jobs, provide significant access to open space, and grow the region’s economy and they have been working with all parties to create the most desirable outcome.

“What great news for the citizens of Concord and the surrounding region,” said Mayor Bill Shinn.  “This approval allows the City to continue, as the LRA, in its ongoing efforts to properly and effectively complete conversion planning process for the base’s future use. Much thanks goes to Reps Miller and Tauscher, as well as Sens Feinstein and Boxer.”

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Danny Glover fetes Rep. George Miller

Actor and political activist Danny Glover greeted Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, tonight with a big bear hug as the old friends met in Pleasant Hill for the congressman’s annual birthday/political fund-raiser bash.

“If you’re doing a movie, you have to decide whether you really, really believe in it or if you are going to be pushing ‘S’ ‘H’ ‘I’ ‘T’ uphill,” Glover told the crowd of several hundred at the Pleasant Hill Recreation Center. “With George, I know I am not pushing you-know-what uphill.”

(We’re going to assume that Glover wasn’t talking about his lucrative “Lethal Weapon” movies, either.)

Glover graciously mingled with the guests and posed for pictures before delivering a passionate speech about Miller’s nearly 34-year career in Congress and the pair’s shared activism on issues such as ending apartheid, improving education, advancing civil rights and ending the Iraq War.

“Our public education system is all but collapsed here,” Glover said. “We need someone (like Miller) to talk about making quality education a civil rights issue.”

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