- См. также часть 1-ая: The 10 Richest Members of Congress
Ранее в этом журнале уже отмечалось что первыми по уровню личного богатства - в списке самых богатых членов Конгресса СШа - идут члены демократической партии. или, как они сами себя позиционируют для предвыборных плакатов, "партии бедных".
В этом отношении не является исключением и вновь избранная от победившей на выборах демпартии "Speaker" Конгресса Ненси Пелоссио. Она является одной из самых богатых в Палате представителея по финансовому весу её личного состояния.
Хотя Ненси всегда избирается от одного из округов Калифорнии, она давно постоянно проживает в Вашингтоне в собственной усадьбе да и во всем остальном постоянно демонстрирует свою намерение и далее проявлять независимость от положенного спикеру оклада жалованья в $212,100.
Нет необходимости напоминать в каких деликатных отношениях на любых выборах оказываются лидеры профсоюзов и демпартия. Теперь - после того как Ненси стала спикером - обозреватели обращают внимание на то, что среди большого числа наемного персонала, занятого на разных принадлежащих её с мужем предприятиях Калифорнии, никогда не было членов профсоюзов. Тщательно оберегают Ненси и её супруг - успешный бизнесмен - свое личное состояние от профсоюзной напасти.
"Профсоюзы - это очень хорошо!" Это непоколебимо устойчивое с незапамятных времен мнение демпартии и соответственно же её лидера Ненси. Но тут разумеется следует всякий раз не путать что хорошо для экономики Америки в целом и для отдельных её частных случаев. Порофсоюзы приносят голоса кандидатом демпартии на всех выборах - это безусловно хорошо (для лидеров этой партии).
Соответственно же и профсоюзы безусловно следует поддерживать везде и во всем, при условии что предсказуемо типовой ими "наносимый эффект" - давно всем известный - находится за пределами лично Ненси с мужем принадлежащей части американской экономики.
Это и есть абсолютно типовой во всех отношениях стиль демпартии - "партии бедных" - и разумеется её основных спонсоров (Сорос и пр.), о чем кстати постоянно напоминает исследователь такого рода политического слоя америанской политики Peter Schweizer, a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution. В свою книгу "Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy" кон даже и включил отдельную главу, посвященную семейству Ненси Пелосио.
О разно иных прелюбопытных подробностях взаимоотношений личного бизнеса с политическими амбициями миллионеров, на примере, лидера демпартии Ненси пелоссио, можно узнать из статьи John Wildermuth в San Francisco Chronicle
Pelosi's husband prefers a low profile Successful investor has taken care to avoid causing controversy
John Wildermuth, Chronicle Political Writer Monday, January 1, 2007
Paul Pelosi leans over the shoulder of Nancy Pelosi at a ...
For more than 20 years, Paul Pelosi has been able to stay in the shadows, even as the millions he has made as a successful San Francisco financier and businessman have helped fuel the political career of his wife, Nancy.
"I've made a conscious effort to not be involved or give the appearance of being involved in her political career," he told The Chronicle in 2004. "People should realize that she's the one."
That could change now that Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi is slated Thursday to become the first female elected speaker of the House of Representatives. Many of the same conservative Republican commentators and bloggers who used this past campaign to raise the threat of her "San Francisco values" steering Congress hard to the left are turning their sights on 66-year-old Paul Pelosi and his investments as a way of attacking the new Democratic speaker.
Nancy Pelosi's Washington staff already has hunkered down. Paul Pelosi won't be giving interviews because "he's a private person, not involved in political life," said Jennifer Crider, a spokeswoman for the speaker-to-be. "Mr. Pelosi's investments are separate from hers, and they have separate careers."
But the couple's net worth, most of it linked to Paul Pelosi's investments, has made the legislator the ninth-richest person in the 435-member House.
The family money, along with the many business and social connections Paul Pelosi has brought to their 43-year marriage, gave Nancy Pelosi the financial independence she needed to spend long hours doing unpaid Democratic Party business in the 1970s and 1980s. Since she was elected to Congress in 1987, it has also added a degree of comfort to her life in Washington, where she has a $1 million-plus residence and a lifestyle that doesn't depend on the $212,100 annual salary she will receive as speaker.
"Having a Town Car pick you up is way better than Yellow Cab," said Joe Cotchett, a Burlingame attorney and Democratic fundraiser who is a longtime friend of the Pelosis.
"Frankly, it's a copout to say, 'My husband makes the money,' " said Peter Schweizer, a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution whose recent book "Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy" contains a chapter on the Pelosis.
"It's not a viable defense. Nancy Pelosi is fully aware of what the issues are (for elected officials) and is not naive about financial matters."
Paul Pelosi isn't naive about political matters, either. Described by his wife as a "real progressive Democrat," he was willing to uproot their five children from their home in Presidio Terrace in 1987 and move into a rented place in Pacific Heights, firmly inside the congressional district Nancy Pelosi was set to run for.
Nancy Pelosi said in 1985 that "I won't be running for office." But she changed her mind when Rep. Sala Burton died. Burton had been elected in 1983 to the San Francisco congressional seat after the death of her husband, Phil. The Burtons had been political mentors for Nancy Pelosi, and Sala Burton, on her deathbed, urged Pelosi to run for the seat.
Paul Pelosi was intimately involved in his wife's first election, joining two veteran San Francisco politicians, Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy and former Rep. John Burton -- Phil Burton's brother -- as the triumvirate behind the successful campaign, said Clint Reilly, who was Nancy Pelosi's campaign consultant.
"He was very helpful in the campaign and helped raise the money," Reilly said. "He took an interest in how the campaign was being run ... and attended meetings with me to make sure the campaign was on the right track."
That political connection has continued. From the beginning, the Pelosis have had a bicoastal relationship, with Paul Pelosi living and working in San Francisco and spending about a week or so each month with his wife in Washington.
"I think one of the reasons why we have a good working relationship is that I try not to make too many demands on Paul's time as far as the political stuff is concerned," Nancy Pelosi told The Chronicle in 1987.
But with Paul Pelosi spending so much time in San Francisco, it was probably inevitable that he'd do some of the work back in the district. He's a regular at fundraising dinners and political events, often standing in for his wife.
"In terms of San Francisco, he and Nancy are interchangeable. He's there at so many events," Reilly said. "If he's in the room, it's about like Nancy is in the room. He's a very effective surrogate."
That first campaign in 1987 also gave Paul Pelosi a taste of what the future would bring as the spouse of a very visible politician. Nancy Pelosi's leading opponent, San Francisco Supervisor Harry Britt, hired a private detective to look into the Pelosi family and its business dealings.
Although Britt admitted the investigation failed to turn up "any heavy scandals," he did publicize a rent dispute Paul Pelosi had with residents of a Lake Street apartment he owned. Reporters also received anonymous news clippings, some dating back 50 years, about political controversies involving the San Francisco insurance business of Paul Pelosi's father and his brothers' various dealings in the city.
"They've been trying to get me," Paul Pelosi said at the time.
But the dustup showed that the businessman already had learned some political lessons. Even before Nancy Pelosi filed to run for office, her husband had sold the troublesome San Francisco apartment building and limited his investments to more congenial commercial property.
In fact, Nancy Pelosi's most recent financial disclosure statement shows just how careful Paul Pelosi has been in his investment decisions. Because the federal statements require a politician to give only a range of value for investments, they show the Pelosis' net worth was $14.7 million to $55 million in 2005, ranking them ninth in the House and 17th in the entire Congress.
The bulk of the Pelosis' money comes from investments in stocks and real estate. Operating through Financial Leasing Services, his San Francisco investment firm, Paul Pelosi owns stock in companies including Microsoft, AT&T, Cisco Systems, Disney, Johnson & Johnson and a variety of tech stocks.
Real estate investments include a four-story office building at 45 Belden St. in the Financial District, office buildings on Battery and Sansome streets near the Embarcadero, a building housing a Walgreens drugstore near Ocean Beach and other commercial property in San Anselmo.
Other investments include a St. Helena vineyard worth between $5 million and $25 million, a $1 million-plus townhome in Norden (Nevada County), and minority interests in the Auberge du Soleil resort hotel in Rutherford, the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, and the Piatti Italian restaurant chain.
Friends say Paul Pelosi must consider more than profits when he views business opportunities. With a wife who's a leader in Congress, every investment is a potential minefield.
"Paul Pelosi is subject to a much higher level of scrutiny than the normal businessperson," said Reilly, who's moved out of political consulting and into the business world. "You need peripheral vision to look at the potential conflicts."
"He's passed up a lot of big opportunities because he knew it might not look good for Nancy," Cotchett added.
The investing strategy seems to have paid off. Besides being successful financially, Paul Pelosi has avoided almost any suggestion of hooking his investment portfolio to Nancy Pelosi's growing political power.
Ken Boehm, head of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center in Virginia, spent months last year looking into Nancy Pelosi's financial records, campaign contributions and legislative records, looking for any hint of impropriety.
"There was no sign that she enriched herself personally by her official actions," he told The Chronicle last year. "She didn't cross the line as far as I could tell."
But the Pelosis are prepared for criticism, especially from those who have their political differences with Nancy Pelosi.
In his book, for example, Schweizer charges that Nancy Pelosi doesn't practice the liberal code she preaches.
While Nancy Pelosi has been a longtime supporter of the United Farm Workers, the small vineyard she and her husband own in St. Helena doesn't hire union labor to pick the grapes there. Likewise, the couple have investments in the boutique hotel in Rutherford and the upscale Italian restaurant chain, which aren't union shops.
"If your view is that labor unions are essential to protecting workers' rights, you ought to have the attitude that we really need a union" in your own investments, Schweizer said.
The charges Schweizer aimed at the Pelosis in his book were quickly picked up by conservative commentators such as KSFO's Melanie Morgan, Matt Drudge and Fox News' Sean Hannity and echoed by dozens of right-of-center blogs as examples of Democratic hypocrisy and a sign of the left-wing disaster they were predicting for a Pelosi-led Congress.
But there were few complaints from the union leaders and workers linked to the Pelosis' investments.
Nancy Pelosi "has really gotten a bad rap," said Marc Grossman, spokesman for the farmworkers union. "Under California labor law, it would be illegal for her or her family to talk with the union about a contract until the workers had voted to organize."
The UFW has only a handful of contracts in the Napa Valley, and the crews that harvest the Pelosis' 7-acre vineyard haven't made any move to seek union representation, Grossman said.
"I don't know how many workers it would take to harvest the property, but it wouldn't be very many and wouldn't take a long time," he added.
Paul Pelosi's liability -- and political exposure -- also is limited by his minority interest in several of his investments. He owns less than a 10 percent stake in the Rutherford hotel and the restaurant chain and isn't directly involved in their management, said Crider, spokeswoman for the congresswoman.
The growing attacks in the blogosphere are just a sample of what the Pelosis are going to face after Nancy Pelosi becomes speaker this week.
Already, Paul Pelosi has indicated that rather than respond publicly, he's just going to ignore the charges and the finger-pointing.
"That's exactly the tack to take right now," said Dan Schnur, a veteran GOP consultant. "In a blog-filled world, it's impossible to stay invisible, but there's a difference between being on the Internet and being on '60 Minutes.' "
This political free-for-all probably wasn't what Paul Pelosi signed up for when he graduated from Georgetown University in 1962 and a year later married Baltimore's Nancy D'Alesandro, but he's shown he's willing to accept it on his own terms.
Paul Pelosi "is no Nancy Reagan, always looking adoringly at his spouse," Reilly said. "There's nothing off-limits in politics, where you can be attacked for whatever you do. But he's kept his business interests far away from public offices and provided Nancy with strong emotional support. He's probably the perfect husband for a high-profile woman."
©2006 San Francisco Chronicle