The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 8, 2012

Members of Congress Avoided Recession's Worst


Hoyer, currently Democratic whip, had holdings estimated at $600,000 in 2004, not including a home in St. Mary's County on the banks of the Patuxent River. As the markets tumbled, Hoyer's holdings went along for the ride. Between 2007 and 2008, he lost about $249,000 in his mutual funds, joining legions of investors who watched their savings wither away as the housing and financial markets teetered.

Hoyer, the longest serving representative in Maryland history, regained some of his financial footing in 2009, with his estimated wealth bouncing back by nearly $200,000. But the next year, it dropped by $441,000 — 89 percent — apparently because of market fluctuations.

A spokeswoman for Hoyer said that his portfolio took a hit during the recession.

Hoyer had plenty of company in Congress.

The estimated wealth of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., dropped from $2 million in 2004 to $1 million in 2010. Nearly half of those losses were tied to holdings in OneUnited Bank, where Waters's husband served on the board.

Waters was the subject of a two-year House Ethics Committee investigation relating to bailout money OneUnited received under the Troubled Assets Relief Program. The bank received $12 million from TARP but is still struggling. In 2010, her husband's stock and deposits at the bank had dropped from a range of $500,000 to $1 million to between $101,000 and $265,000.

The committee cleared her of any wrongdoing last month.

Waters declined to discuss her family's finances.

The estimated holdings of Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., dropped from $2 million in 2004 to $848,000 in 2010. Much of the loss was due to the declining value of the music catalogues she inherited from her late husband, onetime congressman and singer-songwriter Sonny Bono. In the 1960s, Bono wrote a string of hit records that included "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On," recording them with his pop-star partner and then-wife, Cher.

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