Some lawmakers reveal assets, liabilities early

WASHINGTON — Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and her husband, a Las Vegas doctor, own assets that may exceed $12 million, according to financial disclosure reports filed with Congress.

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., reported assets that may be higher than $7 million, and those of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., may exceed $5 million.

Lawmakers are required to submit statements each year by May 15 disclosing their savings, investments, debts and other financial data.

Exact figures cannot be determined from the forms, which allow lawmakers to list their assets and liabilities in broad brackets.

While Congress makes the forms public in mid-June, Reid, Ensign and Berkley made theirs available on request

Freshman Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., declined to provide his financial disclosure statement before it is reviewed by the House and officially released.

Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., was granted an extension, and his statement will be available at the end of this month, according to spokesman Matt Leffingwell.

BERKLEY: Before marrying kidney physician Larry Lehrner in March 1999, Berkley’s financial worth was about $840,000.

Now the couple’s assets are worth at least $5.8 million and could be as high as $12.5 million.

Their liabilities range from $765,003 to $1,550,000 and include one mortgage in Las Vegas and two more in Washington, D.C.

Lehrner, who has been mentioned as a potential challenger to Porter in 2008, received a consulting fee of at least $1,000 last year from his wife’s re-election campaign.

Lehrner also received unspecified consulting and lecture fees from six other sources, including Touro University, which offers all its courses on the Internet.

As a congresswoman, Berkley is paid $165,200 per year, but she is not required to list her salary among her assets.

Lehrner’s salary from his medical practice in Las Vegas is listed between $100,001 and $250,000.

Berkley traveled to Tel Aviv last August, and the unspecified expenses were paid for by the Tel Aviv University American Council.

ENSIGN: The senator’s largest asset is the South Shores Animal Hospital in Summerlin that he co-owns with fellow veterinarian Gerald Pribyl. It is valued between $1 million and $5 million.

Last year, the hospital was valued between $500,001 to $1 million.

Ensign reported assets of at least $1.98 million and no more than $7.05 million.

His only liability, between $500,001 and $1 million, is the mortgage on his animal hospital.

In February and December, Ensign bought six investment accounts for trust funds established in 2003 for his three children by his father, former Mandalay Resort Group Chairman Mike Ensign.

The investment accounts cost between $1,001 and $15,000 each.

REID: His assets totaled at least $2.2 million and no more than $5.2 million, which is about the same range Reid has reported each year since becoming the Senate Democratic leader in 2005.

Reid’s liabilities are at least $65,002 and no more than $150,000.

Reid downgraded the value of his largest asset, a 160-acre tract in Bullhead City, Ariz., to no more than $500,000.

In previous years, Reid reported the property could be worth as much as $1 million.

Although he is not required to disclose his salary, Reid is paid $183,500 annually as Senate majority leader. That is $18,300 more than senators who do not hold leadership positions.

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