Report Says Bishop May Be Among Poorest in Congress

4:49 PM, Nov 15, 2011   |    comments
Sanford Bishop
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Financial disclosure forms filed with Congress show that Columbus congressman Sanford Bishop may be as much as $430,000 in debt.

That's according to an analysis of those reports by the Center for Responsive Politics and reported by USA Today.

USA Today lists Bishop as one of the 10 poorest congressmen and women, out of 530. They estimate his net worth as negative $159,496 -- meaning his assets exceed his liabilities by that amount.

But that number is a broad estimate based on other estimates by  USA Today of each congressman's assets and liabilities.

For example, Bishop reported that his home mortgage is between $50,000 and $100,000. USA Today took the average of those two numbers, $75,000.

Bishop also reported owing between $250,000 and $500,000 to an international law firm, Greenberg Traurig. USA Today estimated that amount as $375,000.

Based on those estimates, the Center for Responsive Politics puts Bishop's net worth at somewhere between $111,000 and negative $433,000.

Rollcall.com, which covers Congress, reported that Greenberg Traurig represented Bishop in 2009 when the GBI investigated possible nepotism. Bishop reportedly got federal funding for a federal youth program that employed his stepdaughter and her husband.

The GBI cleared Bishop, saying he'd done nothing illegal.

Bishop's office did not return a phone call and email asking for comment on the reports.

USA Today also estimated Rep. Austin Scott's net worth at around $1.8 million, largely in investments. That put him around the middle of Georgia's 15-member House and Senate delegation.

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