Bush & Cheney Wealth

Published on Friday, June 1, 2001 by the Associated Press

Bush, Cheney Have Millions in Assets by Sandra Sobieraj

WASHINGTON President Bush has socked away more than $1 million for his twin daughters while Vice President Dick Cheney has at least that much sitting in a single checking account.

Financial disclosure reports reviewed Friday by The Associated Press showed that Bush, who saw his salary more than quadruple in January from $78,678 as Texas governor to $400,000 as president, holds total assets worth between $8 million and $19 million.

Cheney, who came to the White House after being chief executive at Halliburton Co., an oil services firm, has assets with his wife of at least $20 million and possibly as much as $69 million. Two of their four checking accounts show balances of more than $100,000. The Cheneys report a balance of between $1 million and $5 million on one joint checking account with Northern Trust Bank.

Lynne Cheney, the first vice president's wife to hold a paid private job, works at a Washington think tank and sits on several corporate boards, including those of American Express and Reader's Digest.

Of his total assets, Bush has put stock, bonds, and money market accounts in trust for the twin 19-year-old daughters who made headlines this past week for allegedly violating alcoholic beverage laws. At least $528,000 is in trust for daughter Barbara. Her sister Jenna's trust is valued at a minimum of $535,000.

Bush was still receiving proceeds between $500,000 and $1 million this year from the partnership he formed to buy the Texas Rangers and then liquidated in 1998. His attorney, Terri Lacy, said Bush is still due to receive yet another "small sum" from that dissolved partnership.

Under federal law, public officials and key government-paid advisers are required to report the value of their assets, income and debts only within broad ranges.

These ranges can distort. While Cheney's assets can appear as low as $20 million, they are in fact much higher because just last year he sold his shares of Halliburton stock for $35 million and made an $18 million profit.

On the staff level, the reports show a team that, at least at the very top, is fairly well off and scrambling to shed any appearance of impropriety.

Karl Rove owns $1.3 million to $3.3 million in stock that, under advice from the White House counsel, he is selling to avoid any conflicts of interest with his duties as the president's chief strategist.

Rove's individual stock holdings include up to a quarter of a million dollars each in: General Electric, Enron, Intel, Boeing, Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical, Cisco Systems and American Express.

He has not yet divested himself of these holdings, a White House spokeswoman said, because he is awaiting a certificate of divestiture from the Office of Government Ethics that will allow him to defer capital gains for tax purposes.

Rove will continue to own up to $1.1 million in nearly a dozen mutual funds.

White House chief of staff Andrew Card, who was General Motors' lobbyist before moving to the Bush team, reported assets of between $810,000 and $2.1 million.

Former lobbyist Nicholas Calio, now Bush's chief operative on Capitol Hill, listed stocks and other assets worth between $1.4 million and $4.1 million.

Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff and a key player in the development of a Bush energy policy criticized for favoring oil, gas and coal, sold off tens of thousands of dollars' worth of energy stocks. They included Texaco, Exxon Mobil, Chesapeake Energy, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing and the Enron energy trading company.

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was making $10,000 per speech last year during Bush's presidential race. Chief economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey received even better fees for his speeches the priciest given to UBS Warburg, a New York financial services group, for $40,000 at the height of the summer campaign.

Mary Matalin, a well-known face from CNN's "Crossfire," took nearly $1.4 million in speaking and appearance fees last year, collecting her last speaking fee for $32,000 just five days before Bush's Jan. 20 inauguration.

Some in the White House struggle with bills like everyday Americans.

Al Gonzales, the former Texas State Supreme Court justice who is now the president's chief counsel, has as much as $15,000 piled up on a credit card. Domestic policy adviser Margaret LaMontagne, a single mother of two girls who first worked for Bush in the Texas governor's office, lists two credit cards each with outstanding balances of between $10,000 and $15,000.

Presidential counselor Karen Hughes holds a smattering of stocks and mutual funds, none worth more than $50,000, and she lists no more than $100,000 in her checking and savings account.

Associated Press writer Pete Yost contributed to this report.

Copyright 2001 The Associated Press