The Hill’s 50 Wealthiest lawmakers: Page 4 of 51

The Hill’s 50 Wealthiest lawmakers


The California Republican checked in at No. 2 on last year’s Rich List, with his wealth rising by nearly $60 million. But he reversed those gains and more in 2011, with his net worth plunging by nearly $80 million.

In 2010, Issa created several limited partnerships from DEI LLC, a commercial property management company in Vista, Calif. At least one of those DEI-owned properties was worth at least $5 million in 2010 but was listed as having no value last year. A sizable amount of Issa’s other assets also lost value.

Some of his largest holdings include a high-yield trust worth more than $50 million and several bonds worth at least $25 million.

Issa added two large liabilities in 2011: personal loans from Union Bank and Merrill Lynch accounting for $50 million each. Issa kept two other two liabilities from 2010, reportedly worth a total of $75 million, though he listed them as being paid off in 2011 on his form. Under The Hill’s methodology, every liability that is reported on the forms is counted against a lawmaker's wealth for the year.

Issa made his fortune with Directed Electronics, a company he founded that is the nation’s largest manufacturer of car security systems.

- Megan R. Wilson