Farms, a vineyard and a student loan

Lawmakers do not confine their investment portfolios to blue-chip stocks and municipal bonds. In fact, they seem to discern opportunities in a wide variety of vehicles.

They plunk their savings down on vacation houses in foreign countries, foreign banks or farmland in out-of-the-way locales. Others buy recreational vehicles, and some sell farm equipment.

Here are a few samples of their holdings, gifts, earnings and other financial transactions:

• Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) bought a one-quarter share of 69 acres of land in Plano, Ill., worth between $250,001 and $500,000.

• Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) assets include a vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., worth up to $25 million. She has other properties in California as well.
• Majority Whip Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senators introduce bill to prevent family separations at border Ernst, Fischer to square off for leadership post Facebook gives 500 pages of answers to lawmakers' data privacy questions MORE (R-Mo.) owns a coffee shop and a home in Branson, Mo.

• House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim SensenbrennerFrank (Jim) James SensenbrennerLawmakers question FBI director on encryption Doug Collins to run for House Judiciary chair Lawmakers renew call for end to 'black budget' secrecy MORE (R-Wis.), who is an heir to considerable wealth and won $250,000 on a lottery ticket several years ago, released a 402-page report detailing the value of everything he owns from equities to clothes and furniture. He owns three homes, in Virginia and Wisconsin (worth about $2 million), two Cadillacs and two Buicks, a 17-foot Boston whaler and 20-foot pontoon boat. All told, he is worth $10.4 million and paid $97,307 in federal taxes.

• Rep. Charles Taylor (R-N.C.), who owns millions in property around Asheville, N.C., paid between $1 million and $5 million for the Ivanovo Bank in Russia.

• Rep. Jerry Weller (R-Ill.), who purchased property in Nicaragua in 2003, bought a second lot in April 2004. Weller married Zury Rios Sosa, daughter of a Guatemalan general and dictator who has been accused of running death squads during the civil war in the 1980s.

• Rep. John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFormer top Treasury official to head private equity group GOP strategist Steve Schmidt denounces party, will vote for Democrats Zeal, this time from the center MORE (R-Ohio) owns farmland in Pantego, N.C.

• Rep. Marilyn Musgrave sold a bale-wagon farm machine for $15,000 and $50,000.

• Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-Wash.) owes at least $15,000 in student loans.

• Rep. Jeff FortenberryJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FortenberryThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Tensions mount for House Republicans Koch-backed group to target some Republicans over spending vote in new ad campaign Budget chairman Womack eyes appropriations switch MORE (R-Neb.) paid himself $21,000 from his campaign fund while running for Congress; Rep. Stephanie Herseth (D-S.D.) paid herself $15,000. She also owns livestock.

• Rep. Thelma Drake (R-Va.) is a mini-Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTom Arnold claims to have unreleased 'tapes' of Trump Cohen distances himself from Tom Arnold, says they did not discuss Trump US military indefinitely suspends two training exercises with South Korea MORE. She owns 11 rental properties as part Ocean View Enterprises, where she is the vice president.

• Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (D-Md.) reported at least $50,000 in “precious metals” and gave away 80 acres and a home in Michigan (valued at least at $50,000) as a gift.

• Rep. John Salazar (D-Colo.) bought 1,187 acres of farmland, worth at least $1 million. He also spent $50,000 on 40 acres of land and is the director of a potato-seed marketing company,

• Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) has a 50 percent interest in a farm in Dinuba, Calif., worth at least $250,000.

• Hastert pays his chief of staff, Scott Palmer, $11,857.44 from both his campaign committee and his Keep Our Majority PAC on top of Palmer’s $148,500 congressional salary. Brian Gaston, Blunt’s chief of staff, took out a $15,000 loan to buy a BMW 525i.

• While lawmakers are banned from earning outside income, they can do so if they get a waiver from the ethics committee. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), for example, earned $20,000 for teaching at Drexel University.

• The controversy over privately funded travel has not deterred lawmakers. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) accepted a trip paid for by the Nation of Islam. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) flew to Los Angeles to be a guest on comedian Bill Maher’s show. HBO paid for the flight.