In the United States Senate, a body populated by millionaires, Sen. Russ Feingold is out of his league, at least financially:
The Middleton Democrat reported a net worth of $441,737 on his 2009 personal finance statement. On his 2009 federal tax statement, Feingold claimed $158,166 in adjusted gross income, derived primarily from his Senate salary. He paid $25,244 in taxes and received a refund of $1,970.
Ron Johnson, the Republican Oshkosh businessman who wants Feingold’s Senate seat, probably would fit right in with the well-heeled members of the upper chamber. But Wisconsinites won’t get a sense of his net worth until after July 17, a 45-day extension of the deadline by which he was required to file a report.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the average net worth of senators in 2008 was about $15 million, with Sen. Herb Kohl ranked as the richest member by virtue of his ownership of the Milwaukee Bucks. Kohl has a net worth reported as being between $163.5 million and $265.6 million, while Sen. Feingold ranked 95th in 2008 among the 100 senators on the wealth chart.
As mentioned in the article I cited, one of Sen. Feingold’s Republican challengers, businessman Ron Johnson, has yet to file his financial disclosures with the U.S. Senate, but Juston Johnson, Johnson’s campaign manager, was quick to attempt to explain away the Johnson campaign’s request for an extension, saying, “We wanted to make sure everything is as accurate as possible.” Johnson went on to add, “We’re not hiding anything. We’re being completely transparent.” While I’m ordinarily loathe to report on unsubstantiated rumors, I’ve heard from multiple sources that Ron Johnson’s net worth might be such that he won’t be able to dump ten or fifteen million dollars of his own money into the U.S. Senate race, despite what he’s previously indicated.