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10 Ways Senators Spend, And Make, Their Money 10 Ways Senators Spend, And Make, Their Money 10 Ways Senators Spend, And Make, Their Money 10 Ways Senators Spend, A...

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10 Ways Senators Spend, And Make, Their Money

Sen. Susan Collins and Thomas Daffron tied the knot last August, but Collins had to disclose some of her wedding gifts to the Senate this year.(Office of Sen. Susan Collins)

June 21, 2013

The personal financial disclosures incumbent members of Congress are required to file every year offer a rare insight into the way elected officials make, and spend, their money. This year, we couldn't help but notice a few interesting line-items, including wedding gifts, book advances -- and one senator whose stock portfolio is a virtual battleground in the Cola Wars.


-- Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.: Cochran sold stock holdings in PepsiCo in 2012. Then he bought Coca-Cola stock.

-- Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine: Collins was married last year to GOP consultant Thomas Daffron, and the happy couple received some nice gifts. Former Sens. Bob and Elizabeth Dole gave the newlyweds a $400 silver serving dish (Daffron managed Elizabeth Dole's 2000 presidential campaign). Former Defense Secretary William Cohen, whose Senate seat Collins now holds, gave the bride and groom a $595 vase.

-- Former Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C.: DeMint resigned earlier this year to take the top job at the conservative Heritage Foundation, but he still had to declare a $28,333 book advance from Hachette Publishing.

-- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: Rubio earned $800,000 in book royalties from the Penguin Group. His book, "An American Son: A Memoir," was released last June. Sentinel, Rubio's publisher, is "a dedicated conservative imprint within Penguin Group."

-- Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.: Sanders isn't doing as well as Rubio. He earned around $5,000 in royalties for "The Speech," a published version of his 2010 filibuster against a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts. "The Speech" currently retails for $3.26 on

-- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.: Gillibrand sold a "vacant lot" in Mt. Merion, N.Y., for somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000.

-- Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.,: Isakson reported a net worth of between $6 million and $17.7 million in 2011, but he and his wife took in $43,344 in Social Security benefits in 2012.

-- Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.: Pryor only holds two significant assets, according to his disclosure form: An account held with OneBanc in Arkansas worth between $1,001 and $15,000, and a second OneBanc account in D.C., worth less than $1,000. Pryor earned less than $201 is interest, his form shows.

-- Sen. David Vitter, R-La.: Vitter reported a $32,210 salary from the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Vitter's wife has worked for the church in the past, but the salary isn't listed as belonging to his spouse.

-- Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del.: Carper, a former governor and state treasurer, earned just under $34,000 from his state pension in 2012. (National Journal's Shane Goldmacher reported last week that Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has three public pensions, which altogether totaled more than $65,000 last year.)

Not all senators have filed their disclosures, of course. Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., have filed extensions, for example.

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