According to Politico, Representative-elect Rick Berg is the richest Republican elected to the House this year:
Nearly a quarter of the incoming class of 84 House Republicans have assets of at least $1 million, according to a POLITICO analysis of financial disclosure forms, a sign that this anti-Washington, anti-establishment crowd of congressional freshmen has been quite successful in the private sector. (See: House GOP touts its new team)
For example, former Rep. Steve Pearce, who was reelected to a New Mexico House seat after a two-year absence, and his spouse have assets of $8 million to $37 million, including up to $25 million in Trinity Industries, an equipment rental entity in Hobbs, N.M.
Diane Black, a Republican replacing retiring Rep. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.), has combined assets with her husband worth upward of $33 million. According to a financial disclosure report filed with the House, Black’s husband has $25 million to $50 million in Aegis Sciences Corp., a “forensic sciences company.”
Richard Berg, who unseated North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy, appears to be the wealthiest newly elected Republican, with assets above $20 million.
PlainsDaily.com spoke with Berg campaign manager Tom Nelson, who said “Rick started with college debt and has worked hard for the success he achieved.”
In other words, Berg earned his money. And I have no doubt about it.
Personally, this sort of thing doesn’t bother me. I know it’s fashionable to be cynical about rich people getting elected to politics, but on its face all Rick Berg’s wealth tells me is that he’s a talented and hard-working guy who has taken advantage of the freedoms afforded us in America to prosper.
Of course, Berg (as with all members of Congress) should be transparent about his wealth so that we taxpayers know there are no conflicts of interest between how he governs and his wealth, but outside of that good for Rick Berg.
I always knew he was wealthy. I’m guess it’s going to come as a surprise to a lot of North Dakotans just how wealthy Berg is. Just as Senator Kent Conrad’s $3.1 million, Countrywide VIP loan-financed Delaware beach house came as a surprise to most North Dakotans who were under the impression that Conrad split his time between his more modest townhouse in Washington DC and the dumpy apartment in Bismarck he claims as his official residence.
Not that Berg’s wealth has anything to do with Conrad’s proceeds from being a Senator, and Conrad’s wife’s proceeds from being a lobbyist. Berg, at least, earned his money in the private sector.