WASHINGTON — Oklahoma's senators didn't see much cash from the books they published last year, but they still garnered some healthy income outside of Congress.
And financial disclosure reports submitted by Oklahoma lawmakers show a freshman who built his own business before winning a House seat may now be the wealthiest member of the state's congressional delegation.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, reported $2,822 in royalties from his book, “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.” The senator's book sold about 10,000 copies.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, reported no royalties from “The Debt Bomb: A Bold Plan to Stop Washington from Bankrupting America.”
Inhofe and his wife, Kay, received more income in 2012 from outside sources than the senator's $174,000 per year salary. Rent on two office buildings in Tulsa and Owasso brought in $288,000, and capital gains, dividends and other rental properties added $130,340 to $303,800, according to the senator's report.
Other members of the delegation also reported income from outside sources that eclipsed their congressional salaries.
The annual financial disclosure reports required of members of Congress and top staff members show assets and liabilities only in very broad ranges. The assets of Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, for instance, are worth anywhere between $2.4 million to $6.1 million.
The reports aren't designed to show a lawmaker's net worth; instead, they allow the public to examine assets and transactions for possible conflicts of interest. Members don't have to report the value of their personal residences, though they do have to disclose mortgages on the property.
Five of Oklahoma's seven members in Congress have assets topping $1 million, when property owned by spouses is counted. Reps. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, and Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa, were well short of the mark last year.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville, who took over a failing plumbing company and turned it into an eastern Oklahoma business success, reported assets worth up to $9 million — the highest of any of the Oklahomans.
Reports from Mullin and Bridenstine reflect their finances in 2012, before they became members of the House.