The Carter administration released yesterday financial disclosure statements from its 11 Cabinet secretaries and four Cabinet-level officials, providing a broad but sketchy outline of the accumulated wealth and incomes of the administration's leaders.
The statements show that the men and women who head the administration generally are well-off financially and in some cases wealthy. Many share stock ownership in, or have other ties to, many of the nation's most important business and industrial firms.
But the statements also show that before being selected by President Carter the officials were far apart in annual income, ranging from about $50,000 earned last year by Interior Secretary Cecil D. Andrus when he was governor of Idaho, to about $700,000 earned by Treasury Secretary W. Michael Blumenthal, who was the chairman and chief executive officer of the Bendix Corp.
The disclosure forms released by the White House list the assets and liabilities of the officials within five ranges, beginning at $0 to $4,999 and ending with an open-ended range of $100,000 or more.
Because of this, only an imprecise estimate of the wealth of the officials can be made, particularly for the wealthiest who listed several assets exceeding $100,000. For example, the Atlanta home of Office of Management and Budget Directory Bert Lance - which has been widely estimated to be worth about $500,000 - is listed as an asset worth at least $100,000.
White House press secretary Jody Powell defended the imprecise ranges, saying they have been endorsed for use in disclosure statements by Common Cause and other groups.
Even with imprecise figures, it appeared from the statements that the Cabinet includes at least three officials who may be millionaires - Lance, Blumenthal, and Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr., who was a senior partner in a powerful Washington law firm before joining the administration.
The President, whose campaign dwelt on openness and honesty in government, demanded that his Cabinet secretaries and top advisers agree to disclose their assets and sources of income before he appointed them. Carter has released copies of his income tax returns and places his assets in a trust that is controlled by his longtime friend, Atlanta lawyer Charles Kirbo.
In addition to the disclosure statements, each official signed a form letter addressed to the President in which he or she agreed to certain restrictions that exceed the requirements of federal conflict of interest laws. These include promises not to appear or contact, for financial gain, any officer or employee of their department for one year after they leave government service, and to file statements of sources of income for two years after they leave the government.
The statements released yesterday, in addition to covering the 11 Cabinet secretaries, provided financial data on national security affairs adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Council of Economic advisers Chairman Charles L. Schultze, U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and OMB Director Lance.
In terms of accumulated wealth, the statements show that the top three - Lance, Blumenthal and Califano - are rivaled most closely by Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, whose not worth is in the $700,000 range.
The least wealthy among the officials included Young, Andrus, Transportation Secretary Brock Adams and Labor Secretary Ray Marshall.
The disclosure statements provided more exact figures on income for last year, although even here, certain types, such as stock dividends, were listed in ranges.
The officials fell into three broad income categories, headed by Blumenthal and Califano, each of whom was paid more than $500,000 last year.
Below these two were six officials who earned more than $100,000 last year - Lance (at least $400,000 and probably more), Vance ($350,000 to $385,000). Attorney General Griffin B. Bell ($155,000 to $190,000), Defense Secretary Harold Brown ($154,000 to $164,000), Commerce Secretary Juanita M. Kreps ($118,000 to $163,000) and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris ($102,000 to $127,000).
The other seven earned less than $100,000, but only Andrus less than $60,000.
Following is data from the statements:
Blumenthal: He was paid $401,205 last year from Bendix Corp. and $192,000 in capital gains. His assets include more than $100,000 in cash, more than $100,000 in Bendix stock and up to $500,000 in other stock in firms such as General Motors, IBM and American Telephone and Telegraph.
Lance: His income included $150,000 in salary from the National Bank of Georgia, which he headed, a $125,000 capital gain and more than $100,000 in dividends from stock he owns in more than 200 companies. Assets that he listed as $100,000 or more included cash notes receivable, market value of stocks, value of stock options, four separate peices of real estate including his $500,000 home and he and his wife's furnishings, jewelry and miscellaneous items.
Califano: The bulk of Califano's income last year, $505,490, came from his partnership in the law firm of Williams, Connolly & Califano, whose senior partners include Washington Redskins President Edward Bennett Williams. Califano listed stock holdings which, because of the vague nature of the statements, could be worth as little as $300,000 or as much as $1 million.
Vance: The majority of his income, $250,444, came from his partnership in a New York law firm. He also was paid $20,428 as a director of IBM. The assets he valued at $100,000 or more included cash, stocks, a home in New Jersey, interests in other real estate and furniture and furnishings.
Bell: His income from his law firm in Atlanta (which includes the President's friend Kirbo) was $139,576. His largest single asset was his home, valued at more than $100,000.
Brown: His income last year included a salary of $66,816 as president of the California Institute of Technology and $15,000 in director's fees from IBM. His assets include stock holdings and other investments ranging from about $150,000 to more than $400,000. He also listed the assets of his wife, Colene, in the $55,000 to $220,000 range.
Kreps: Last year, she earned $61,150 as a director on the boards of seven corporations and the New York Stock Exchange, double her $30,106 salary as a vice president of Duke University. Her assets included stock holdings that could range from $90,000 to $315,000.
Harris: She earned $55,725 from her partnership in a Washington law firm last year and $40,000 more serving as a director of the Chase Manhattan Bank, Scott Paper and IBM. Her assets include more than $100,000 in cash.
Brzezinski: His income last year was $85,000, tops among those who earned less than $100,000. His largest asset is his home, valued at $100,000 or more. Before joining the administration, he was on the faculty of Columbia University.
Schultze: His income last year was $72,869 to $77,869, with more than half, $39,117, in salary from the Brookings Institution. His assets include more than $100,000 in his home and more than $100,000 in pension and retirement funds and savings and loan shares.
Agriculture Secretary Bob Bergland: His income of $76,505 included salary of $44,600 from the House of Representatives and $18,270 from his farm in Minnesota. The statement valued the 567-acre farm, which he has leased to his son-in-law at a fixed rental, at more than $100,000. At his confirmation hearing he valued the farm at more than $460,000.