When Vice President Cheney and the 14 other statutory members of President Bush's Cabinet meet, 10 of them have one thing in common: They are millionaires.
In fact, one-third of the Cabinet members, according to their financial disclosure statements, are in the $10 million-plus range, while another third are in the $1 million to $5 million range.
The heaviest hitter is former Alcoa chief executive Paul H. O'Neill, now the treasury secretary. He is worth between $67 million and $253 million. Disclosure forms do not give specific price valuations for holdings, but instead require officials to state whether an asset is worth from, for example, $100,000 to $250,000, or $5 million to $25 million.
Like most of his affluent colleagues in the administration, O'Neill has taken money out of directly owned stocks to avoid allegations of conflicts of interest and placed it in mutual, index and other funds with a wide variety of holdings, or into government notes.
O'Neill, for example, reported that he has between $25 million and $50 million in the Vanguard Institutional Index fund, $5 million to $25 million in a Salomon Smith Barney money market fund, and $5 million to $25 million in the Dodge & Cox Stock Fund.
The Cabinet member with roughly the same amount of assets as O'Neill is Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. Over the past 25 years, Rumsfeld has been chief executive of G.D. Searle & Co. and General Instrument Corp., and served on a number of corporate boards, including the Tribune Co., which owns the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune; and Kellogg Co., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Allstate Corp.
Rumsfeld reported that he is worth between $62.1 million and $115.8 million. Over the past year, he has purchased $5 million to $25 million in the Vanguard Municipal Bond Intermediate Fund and the Bernstein Diversified Municipal Fund, and made smaller investments of $1 million to $5 million in the USAA Tax Exempt Intermediate Term Fund, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund and the Fidelity Spartan Total Market Index Fund.
Vice President Cheney was in third place. The former chief executive of Halliburton Co. is worth between $22 million and $104.1 million, according to his disclosure form. Cheney has invested heavily in tax-exempt funds, including $1 million to $5 million in the Vanguard Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund, and $5 million to $25 million in both the Limited-Term Tax-Exempt and Short Term Tax-Exempt Admiral Shares Funds.
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has also put some of his money into tax-exempt funds, including $5 million to $25 million into the Calvert Fund Tax Free Long-Term Fund. His other major holding is an investment of $5 million to $25 million in the Brandywine Blue Fund.
Powell, a retired Army general who has made a fortune by making speeches, writing and serving on corporate boards, is worth, according to his accounting, somewhere between $14.6 million and $65.5 million.
Donald L. Evans, former chief executive of Tom Brown Inc., an oil and gas company, and a board member of TMBR/Sharp Drilling Inc., helped the Bush campaign raise more than $100 million before he became commerce secretary.
Evans, fifth in the financial ranking of Cabinet members, is worth between $10 million and $47.4 million, according to his disclosure statement. Evans has money market accounts each worth $1 million to $5 million at Petrie Parkman & Co. and Michael A. Steinberg & Co., and $5 million to $25 million in the Heritage Cash Trust Municipal Fund at Raymond James Financial Services Inc.
There is a considerable drop in assets in the rankings after Evans. The most affluent woman in the Cabinet is Elaine L. Chao, who, prior to becoming secretary of labor, served on a number of corporate boards, including Dole Food Co., Clorox Co., C.R. Bard Inc. and HCA Inc. Chao, who is married to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), reported holdings of $100,000 to $500,000 in two Vanguard funds and a Merrill Lynch tax-exempt money market fund.
Other Cabinet members whose low-end estimates of their worth broke $1 million included Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, $1.5 million to $3.6 million; Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, $1.5 million to $3.3 million; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel R. Martinez, $1.3 million to $3.2 million; and Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony J. Principi, $1.5 million to $2.8 million.
Staff researchers Lucy Shackelford and Margot Williams contributed to this report.
© 2002 The Washington Post Company