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Lawmakers disclose sources of earnings

WASHINGTON -- There's more than one way to please a congressman with gifts. Donors contributed to House majority leader Tom DeLay's legal defense fund. Wedding guests gave presents when majority whip Roy Blunt married a lobbyist. And, strange as it may seem, a London casino provided a gift to the lawmaker in charge of House operations.

At least, that's how Representative Bob Ney listed his winnings from a card game in financial disclosure forms released Wednesday.

The disclosures are made public each year to provide a financial portrait of each lawmaker.

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican, earned a $198,600 salary, but his income beyond that was not huge: a $28,567 pension from the state of Illinois and $5,000 to $15,000 from rental on a Washington townhouse. A mutual fund was valued between $50,000 and $100,000.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, did much better. A vineyard in St. Helena, Calif. was valued between $5 million and $25 million. The sale of an 8-acre vineyard in Rutherford, Calif. brought revenue of between $1 million and $5 million.

Representative John D. Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, disclosed that his wife, Debbie, has General Motors stock options worth between $1 million and $5 million and a company savings and stock purchase plan worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

The disclosure forms do not show net worth, but provide outside sources of income beyond lawmaker salaries: $154,700 for rank-and-file, more for leaders. Assets, liabilities and income are usually reported in broad dollar ranges.

DeLay, a Texas Republican, attached to his disclosure form a list of contributors to his Legal Expense Trust that totaled $53,500 in 2003, including $41,500 from political action committees and corporations.

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