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Published: Saturday, 6/15/2002

DeWine reports big stock losses

ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON - Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine lost thousands of dollars in the stock market last year, while Rep. Bob Ney paid his wife for working on his campaign, according to financial disclosure reports of Ohio lawmakers released yesterday.

The inventory of elected officials' personal finances, including gifts they accepted and vacations paid for by interest groups, is an annual requirement designed to prevent conflicts of interest.

Mr. DeWine's report showed the Republican was subject to some of the same economic forces that hit thousands of other Ohioans.

The state's senior senator lost $20,000 to $65,000 by selling stock in Enron Corp., the collapsed energy giant. He lost another $18,703 to $58,500 from his interests in Global Crossing Ltd., a telecommunications company that went bankrupt.

Mr. DeWine has not been active on pension reform legislation and doesn't sit on a committee that held hearings on the companies' demise.

Members of Congress receive a $145,000 salary.

Some Ohio lawmakers - such as Mr. DeWine, House Financial Services Chairman Mike Oxley (R., Findlay), House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Boehner and Rep. Rob Portman, all Republicans - reported long lists of stocks and bonds, mutual funds, capital gains, and dividends.

Others - such as Mr. Ney and Rep. Steve LaTourette, both Republicans, and Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland - reported single checking or savings accounts.

Lawmakers are not required to report how much their spouses earned, although some did.

Mr. Ney, for example, reported that his wife, Elizabeth, earned $25,200 last year working as a consultant for his campaign. She coordinated his events and fund-raisers, and wrote thank you notes, Ney spokesman Jim Forbes said.

Most of the investments of Ohio's other Republican senator, George Voinovich, generated less than $1,000 apiece. His portfolio was weighted toward municipal bonds. Mr. Voinovich reported no free trips for 2001.

Mr. Oxley, whose major assets included $198,398 in four mutual funds, took two trips with one of his family members last year that were paid for by outside groups. One to Turkey was sponsored by the U.S. Strategic Studies Program. Another to Edinburgh, Scotland, was paid for by the Ripon Educational Fund, for which Mr. Oxley is a board member.

Information from the disclosure reports of Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) and Paul Gillmor (R., Old Fort) were unavailable last night.

Lawmakers aren't required to report how much their homes are worth, but they must list debts. Rep. Deborah Pryce reported mortgages on five houses, and fellow Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi reported mortgages he and his wife have on three homes.

Rep. James Traficant, Jr., convicted in April of bribery and racketeering charges, filed a handwritten report that listed no debts.

His spokesman, Charles Straub, said that was an oversight and the Democrat would file an amended form. Mr. Straub said the congressman's only debt is a mortgage between $15,000 and $50,000.

Mr. Traficant has no legal debts and no longer owes money to the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Straub said. Mr. Traficant had lost a U.S. Tax Court case over $180,000 in contested taxes, fines, and penalties. His congressional paychecks were garnished to meet the debt.

The reports also showed the delegation's frequent travelers for 2001: Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Tom Sawyer, Tony Hall, Dennis Kucinich, all Democrats, and Mr. Boehner. Together, those lawmakers took 35 trips to such places as Bermuda, Turkey, and Paris.

Included in the list was Mr. Kucinich's trip in January, 2001, to Marquette, Mich., for an “LTV strategy meeting” paid for by Cleveland Cliffs Co.

Ten Ohio lawmakers did not accept free trips last year: Senators Voinovich and DeWine; Republian Reps. Steve Chabot, Rob Portman, Paul Gillmor, Ralph Regula, Steve LaTourette, and Tiberi, and Mr. Traficant and Rep. Ted Strickland, both Democrats.

Among Michigan lawmakers, John Dingell (D., Dearborn), ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, included among his assets two mutual funds and a bank account, each $100,001 to $250,000. He received reimbursements for several trips to Las Vegas or California from groups like the Aspen Institute, National Association of Broadcasters, and the Walt Disney Company

In addition to his congressional salary, Nick Smith (R., Addison) received $41,298 from a state pension earned as a state senator. Mr. Smith reported $100,001 to $1 million in gross earnings from his farm valued between $1 million and $5 million.

Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, reported various real estate holdings among his assets, worth $250,004 to $550,000. Mr. Levin is a general partner in LRS Company, a real estate company in Detroit.

Information from the disclosure report of Michigan's other Democratic senator, Debbie Stabenow, was unavailable last night.



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