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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, June 15, 2002

Lawmakers' finances change little

By Susan Roth
Advertiser Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Members of Hawai'i's congressional delegation steered their 2001 finances in the same direction as they have for years, with little fluctuation in their assets and no change in their conservative investment strategies.

According to financial disclosure statements released yesterday, Rep. Patsy Mink remained the member of the all-Democratic delegation reporting the highest assets. She held between $562,000 and $1.35 million, mostly in retirement accounts.

Senior Sen. Dan Inouye reported assets between $567,000 and $1.17 million in stocks and certificates of deposit. Sen. Daniel Akaka held between $417,000 and $1.1 million, mostly in real estate and federal credit union accounts. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawai'i, listed a Honolulu apartment worth between $15,000 and $50,000 in a financial statement filed last week.

Financial disclosure statements, which members of Congress are required to file annually, offer the public only a glimpse into lawmakers' finances. Members report their assets, income and debts in broad ranges and can exclude the value of primary residences, furniture and other valuable items. In addition to these investments, they also made salaries of $145,100 in 2001. This year, that salary increased to $150,000.

Mink's assets include $15,000 to $50,000 in Alexander & Baldwin stocks, a loan of $100,000 to $250,000 from her campaign committee that she has recorded for years, and a Merrill Lynch IRA account worth between $250,000 and $500,000 among several other smaller Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley IRA accounts.

She made $10,000 from her state pension, the same as in 2000, and between $14,000 and $42,700 in interest and dividends.

Inouye's assets included a new certificate of deposit account at SunTrust Bank for between $250,000 and $500,000, and his stock in Central Pacific Bank remains valued in the same range. The senator still has a vacant three-acre lot in Fern Forest worth between $1,000 and $15,000, but he no longer has money invested in a Washington-based advertising Web site.

Inouye's investments earned between $22,900 and $72,000, mostly in interest. He donated his $13 royalty for an appearance in one of the "Karate Kid" films years ago to the 442nd Veterans Club of Hawai'i. He also received a $392 royalty from his 1967 autobiography, and a $1,142 pension from the Hawai'i Employee Retirement System.

Akaka took in $12,420 from the state employees' retirement system pension and between $5,000 and $75,000 from retirement investment accounts. Assets of $400,000 to $1 million were divided among his U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union account; an Alexandria, Va., condo that he rents out; family savings; and real estate.

The Akaka family sold land in Arizona and California for between $15,000 and $50,000 last September. Akaka also earned between $2,400 and $7,200 in dividends and distributions from his annuity and a retirement fund, and between $8,700 and $23,500 in interest and rent from the condo and Hawai'i real estate.

Abercrombie seems to be losing ground financially. His accounts at the University of Hawai'i Credit Union declined in value since last year. Now, the accounts are worth between $1,000 and $15,000, down from between $15,000 and $50,000. He still owns a Makiki Street apartment worth $100,000 to $250,000, and he got his state legislative pension of $24,872. Abercrombie also earned a royalty last year for the first time of between $200 and $1,000 on his 1996 book, "Blood of Patriots," that he wrote with Richard Hoyt.

Correction: Rep. Neil Abercrombie listed a Honolulu apartment worth between $15,000 and $50,000 in a financial statement filed last week. A previous version of this story contained incorrect information.