Shocker: Presidential Candidates Very Rich

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If you’re interested, the FEC released the financial disclosure forms filed by the presidential candidates yesterday. (With some exceptions. Romney, McCain, and Clinton were granted extensions.)

You can read about it here and here, but there are only a couple things of note.

First, everyone is rich. Edwards has $30 million in assets (he gave $350,000 away in charity). Giuliani has made $16.1 million in the last sixteen months, mostly in speaking fees. Romney is expected to disclose a new net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. And so on.

Second, Obama and Republican candidate Sam Brownback divested — they sold all mutual funds that are invested in companies operating in Sudan.

Third, Rudy Giuliani told a divorce court he had only $7,000 in assets just six years ago, but has now amassed a net worth of more than $30 million. (It’s those speaking appearances — Rudy can charge $100,000-$200,000 per speech in a post-9/11 world.) Giuliani also made $496 in “theatrical royalties” in 2006. Perhaps for this?

Fourth, Bill Richardson, who like all Democrats has called for the reduction in the use of fossil fuels, has hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock of the Valero Energy Corp. He served on Valero’s board of directors for little over a year, and was formerly Secretary of Energy under Clinton.

Fifth, Obama has made $572,490 off his two books, “Dreams of My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope.” Enough to make any writer jealous.

We’ll have another post when Romney, Clinton, and McCain release their numbers. Just 18 months until the election!

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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