Virginia's senators are rich. Maryland's senators aren't.
Maryland's senators take honoraria for speeches. Virginia's senators don't.
But both states' senators like a think tank called the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. Three of the four lawmakers were reimbursed for attending seminars the institute sponsored last year in Jamaica, Switzerland or Yugoslavia.
The Senate released 1989 financial disclosure forms for its members yesterday, and the personal finances of the Washington area's lawmakers proved to be as different as the states they represent.
Virginia Sens. John W. Warner (R) and Charles S. Robb (D) reinforced the Senate's image as a bastion of wealth and privilege. Warner and Robb listed family assets well in excess of $1 million each, including holdings that range from agricultural land to artwork.
But Maryland Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski, both Democrats, disclosed only modest investments in insurance policies, bank accounts or mutual funds. Neither of the Maryland senators' individual holdings earned more than $2,500 in interest or dividends last year.
Sarbanes, who in the past has been included on lists of the "poorest" members of Congress, appears unlikely to shed that distinction based on his 1989 disclosure. Senate rules do not require members to list their personal residences on their disclosure forms, but Sarbanes did; it was his only major asset. His two bank accounts had total deposits of less than $20,000.
Mikulski listed several bank accounts and shares in at least five mutual funds, at least two of which were worth between $15,000 and $50,000. One mutual fund includes gold holdings, but she noted on her form that it has "no South African investments."
Sarbanes earned $20,450 in honoraria for addressing a variety of college groups and think tanks, but reported no honoraria from lobbying groups.
Mikulski took in $7,250 in honoria from 12 groups, including the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and the National Association of Realtors. Her disclosure did not list any charitable donations, but Mikulski spokeswoman Linda Marson said that Mikulski gave "the vast majority" of her honoraria to charity. Mikulski was the only Washington area senator not to travel at the expense of the Aspen Institute.
Neither Robb nor Warner accepted any honoraria. Last year was Robb's first in the Senate, but Warner stopped taking such fees in previous years. "He's fortunate to be financially independent and in a position of not needing it," said Phil Smith, a Warner spokesman.
Warner's largest asset was Atoka Farm, his 777-acre estate near Middleburg. He reported earning more than $100,000 in "miscellaneous income" from the farm, and between $50,000 and $100,000 more for the sale of breeding cattle. He also listed ownership of two valuable paintings; one, "The Old Farmstead" by John Herring Jr., increased in estimated value at least $15,000 last year.
Most of the Robb family's assets were listed in the name of his wife, Lynda -- the daughter of the late President Lyndon B. Johnson -- or his three daughters. Each daughter has a trust fund with assets of more than $500,000.
Lynda Johnson Robb owns a share of the financial empire assembled largely by her father, including two radio stations in Austin, Tex., 30 cable television systems in south Texas, and thousands of acres of farmland, including the LBJ Ranch.
Robb owns a one-eighth interest in about 3,600 acres of Alabama timberland that is valued at more than $250,000; other family members also own part of the property. Robb also has several bank accounts, insurance policies and shares of several mutual funds.