House members and their families suffered through investment losses like millions of Americans last year, a sampling of financial disclosure statements showed Wednesday. The economic downturn also sparked some cautionary moves.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, reported capital losses between $100,001 and $1 million when he sold stock in American International Group, the insurance giant given a hefty federal bailout.
He had similar losses when he sold an interest in Quest Energy Partners, which acquires and develops natural gas and oil properties.
Financial disclosure forms only list a range of assets and liabilities.
As in past years, the speaker's disclosure form listed numerous big holdings, including a vineyard in St. Helena, Calif., worth between $5 million and $25 million. Grape sales from the vineyard were listed between $100,001 and $1 million. A mortgage on the vineyard was listed as a $5 million to $25 million liability.
The wife of the second-ranking House Republican, Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, rebalanced her Goldman Sachs 401(k) to make the investments in the account more conservative. Goldman Sachs, where Diana Cantor used to work, received a $10 billion government bailout.
Diana Cantor received an undisclosed salary from the New York Private Bank & Trust, which received some $267 million in government aid as part of the federal bank bailout program.
Rep. Alan Mollohan, D-W.Va., is a major property owner in Washington, D.C., and his home state. But in a sign of the economic times, Mollohan included a statement on a troubled investment — $50,001 to $100,000 in deposits on two condominium units in Southport, N.C.
"The project has encountered difficulties and the status of these deposits is unclear," he said.
Mollohan, chairman of a House Appropriations subcommittee, is the secretary of the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation Inc., of Fairmont, W.Va. He had been under federal investigation for directing pet projects to nonprofit groups with which he has close ties.
Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., known for dispensing pet projects to his western Pennsylvania district, lists his largest asset as $50,001 to $100,000 in Wesbanco, a bank holding company.
Murtha's disclosure report doesn't reflect the huge influence he has in the House as chairman of the Appropriations Committee's subcommittee that controls military spending and his huge influence in the House generally.
Murtha is tied to a federal investigation of campaign donations to lawmakers from recipients of pet projects and their lobbyists.
The House reports, along with disclosure reports for senators, were to be released Friday. However, many of the House reports were inadvertently posted Wednesday on a government Web site — then quickly withdrawn — but not before an Internet publisher, LegiStorm LLC, downloaded copies and began distributing them free from its own Web site.