Sen. Jim Risch is listed as the 16th-richest member of Congress in Roll Calls 2011 report, which relies on annual personal financial disclosure forms.
Risch and the other three members of Idahos delegation declined a request from McClatchy for their tax returns. Risch, the only one of the four who sent McClatchy a reply, says that congressional forms are more detailed because they reveal all assets.
Sen. Mike Crapo and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador echoed Risch, saying that they annually report income and assets in documents that are readily available to the public and covered by the media.
Disclosure is required in broad ranges. In Rischs case, his biggest assets are farm and ranch properties in Ada and Canyon counties. One is valued at between $1 million and $5 million, and three between $5 million and $25 million. Roll Call estimates Rischs net worth at $20 million.
Risch declined to join the hubbub over Mitt Romneys decision to disclose only his 2010 and 2011 returns. Risch is co-chairman of Romneys Idaho campaign. From time to time, Gov. Romney has asked me for advice, and when he does, I give it to him, he said. He hasnt asked me for advice on this.
Risch said the calls for more disclosure are all political and that he doubts the issue will be decisive.
I dont think this is going to make the difference as to whether he gets elected president or not, Risch said. Its incredible how divided the American people are on this race. Theres only a handful left in the middle that havent made up their minds. Theyre going to decide whether they want four more years of what weve got or whether they want some hope and change. I myself am hoping for change.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438, Twitter: @IDS_politics