Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Idaho senator named one of the "Ultra-Rich Congresspeople" who represents one of the "Most Financially Screwed Districts"

Posted on Wed, Dec 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

Yesterday, we blogged about the wealth of Washington's Congressional delegation. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican who represents Eastern Washington, is the second richest politician Washington state sends to Washington, D.C. 

We neglected to talk about Idaho's pols. Thankfully, Alternet put out a little story ranking the richest electeds in the nation's poorest districts. Idaho Sen. James Risch, a Republican, placed fifth.

Here's their write up: 

Sen. James E. Risch, Republican, Idaho

Risch was elected to replace the disgraced Senator Larry Craig (who was arrested for soliciting in an airport bathroom). He's the 16th richest member of Congress, with an average net worth of $54,088,026. A longtime politician and former Idaho governor, Risch apparently came to his wealth through his time as a lawyer. According to the Spokesman-Review, “Risch is well-known in Idaho as a self-made millionaire who built a fortune as one of the state’s most successful trial lawyers while also building a political career as a longtime state senator from Boise.”

Meanwhile, back in Idaho, 15.7 percent of the population are living in poverty, including 80,316 children. Thirty-two percent of the state's Native American population also fall beneath the poverty line. The median household income is only $43,490, and only 1.8 percent make more than $200,000. Ten percent of Idaho's civilian labor force is unemployed, and 12.5 percent were on food stamps at some point in the last year.

Wow: $54 million. Nice work, Mr. Richy Risch.

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