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Trusts, parking space, fast food stock add to senators' wealth

Disclosures yield millions, mundane

WASHINGTON -- Senators' financial disclosure reports showed anew yesterday how wealthy most of them are, with quirky nuggets such as a $1,059.75 Taurus and the gift of a sled dog buried amid trust funds, blind trusts, and real estate holdings.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who reported from $8 million to $40 million in family trust funds, listed up to $2,500 in rental income for a single parking space in Boston.

Senate majority leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, said his three sons' holdings included small interests in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Wendy's International Inc. Those companies' fast-food products seem counterintuitive for the senator, a heart surgeon and avid jogger.

The 2003 forms, as always, present data in broad ranges of dollars. They go beyond senators' salaries, which are $154,700. Three leaders -- Frist, Senate minority leader Thomas Daschle, Democrat of South Dakota, and Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska, the Senate's president pro tempore -- were paid $171,900.

Once again, the filings show that riches know no political boundary and that the Senate's millionaires are not limited to those from families of renowned wealth, such as Kennedy and Senator John D. Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat who reported three blind trusts exceeding $80 million in value.

There are also the lesser known millionaires such as Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama. Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, has assets including an apartment complex in Tuscaloosa, Ala., he valued at $5 million to $25 million.

Similarly, Senator Jon Corzine of New Jersey, who chairs the Senate Democrats' campaign committee, reported holdings including $25 million to $50 million in stock in The Goldman Sachs Group plus a tax-free fund worth another $25 million to $50 million. Corzine is former chairman of Goldman Sachs & Co., the investment bank.

Stevens, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, listed Alaska real estate worth up to $1.5 million, though he reported losing $43,000 on his home-state land investments. His financial dealings were examined by The Los Angeles Times, which reported his wealth had grown from investments with people whom he helped with legislation.

Stevens was given a sled dog for his public service by an Alaska sport fishing group. He then bought the dog's twin for $250.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, said he had a 1993 Ford Taurus worth $1,059.75. His assets included his $766,000 home in northern Virginia.

Of the Senate's two party leaders, Frist is easily more financially comfortable than Daschle.

Frist, whose family started what is now HCA Inc., the country's biggest chain of for-profit hospitals, listed assets including one blind trust of $5 million to $25 million, and two others worth $1 million to $5 million. His wife and sons each reported blind trusts exceeding $1 million.

In a blind trust, a trustee manages the assets and informs the owner of its total value and income, but not details of transactions. It is set up to avoid a conflict of interest.

Daschle reported 17 mutual funds and other investments, with two worth from $50,000 to $100,000. He said he also earned $583,250 in royalties from his book on his brief period as majority leader, ''Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years that Changed America Forever." He said he gave to charity the $449,021 that remained after taxes and expenses.

Other Senate authors included Senator Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who got a $40,000 advance from W.W. Norton publishers for the book he plans to publish this election year, ''Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency."

Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, reported a $53,000 advance for his memoirs. In 2002, he relinquished his majority leader post after commending Senator Strom Thurmond's segregationist 1948 presidential campaign.

Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, gave to charity the $159,139 he earned from his book, ''Worth Fighting For." Retiring Senator Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat who has often clashed with his party, reported $175,000 in royalties from ''A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat."

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Democrat of New York, reported earning $2.3 million in royalties for ''Living History," her memoirs. She and her husband, Bill Clinton, the former president, reported assets valued from $2 million to more than $10 million.

The presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, listed $89,000 in royalties for ''A Call to Service."

Kerry, who released his forms in May, listed four trusts worth up to $2.1 million. His wife, the Heinz food heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, has a fortune estimated beyond $500 million.

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