New financial disclosures by senators who aspire to be President depict Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) holding a $14,000 collection of presidential autographs, Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) receiving more than $118,000 in speaking fees from special interest groups and Sen. Albert Gore Jr. (D-Tenn.) possessing $80,000 in zinc mineral rights.
They also show Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) owning scarcely more than a house, Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) making huge stock transactions and Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) benefiting from a farm bill provision he wrote.
Simon and Gore have declared for President, Dole and Biden are expected to do so in coming months and Hollings and Nunn have said that they are considering running.
Aimed at Possible Conflicts
The financial information comes from public disclosure statements filed Tuesday by all senators in compliance with an ethics law aimed at identifying possible conflicts between official duty and private gain. The statements cover 1986 holdings and income but many listings are imprecise because values had to be given only in broad ranges, such as $15,000 to $50,000.
Besides indicating once again that about one-third of all senators are millionaires, the statements show that many lawmakers are showered with gifts and free trips, often to warm-weather sites, where they are paid up to $2,000 to make speeches to special interest groups.
For example, Sen. Paul S. Trible Jr. (R-Va.) reported that in January, 1986, he and his wife flew to the Netherlands Antilles for four days at the expense of the National Assn. of Broadcasters, which also paid him a $2,000 honorarium for a speech. The day after that Caribbean trip was over, Trible flew to Palm Springs for two nights as the guest of the Tobacco Institute. And he picked up $2,000 for a speech he gave to that lobbying group.
More Details Than Required
Among presidential hopefuls, Dole, Simon and Gore released substantially more details on income, assets and liabilities than required by law.
Dole, who was paid $85,000 as Senate Republican leader last year, received $119,575 in speaking and writing fees, mostly from special interest groups. But he donated $87,500 to charity because of a $32,075 limit on the amount he could keep. The senator also earned $40,000 from a daily radio show, and he and his wife, Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole, each received $50,000 in advance royalties for a joint autobiography to be published next year during the presidential election campaign.
The Doles listed assets ranging between about $400,000 and $1 million, offset by liabilities of between $100,000 and $200,000.
Simon produced detailed tax and property statements showing 1986 income of $169,806 and net worth of $138,891. His proudest possession, an aide said, is a collection of autographs of 27 of the 40 U.S. presidents, including two of the four toughest to get: Abraham Lincoln's and William Henry Harrison's. (The other two are George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's.)
$15,600 in Mining Royalties
Besides his $75,100 Senate salary, Gore's income included $30,040 from honorariums and $15,600 from mining royalties on the zinc he owns. His wife, Mary Elizabeth (Tipper) Gore, was paid $38,000 in advance royalties for her book, "Raising PG Kids in an X-Rated Society." The Gores' net worth was about $470,000.
Biden listed a $425,000 family home in Wilmington, Del., of which he rented a portion for $5,000 to $15,000. The only other listed assets were a savings account, life insurance policies and individual retirement accounts totaling between $8,000 and $30,000. These were offset by a mortgage and loans totaling more than $250,000.
The reports of Hollings and Nunn indicate that they are millionaires, although it is difficult to tell for sure because they reported only broad ranges of values.
Hollings was extraordinarily active in the stock market, making purchases worth between $955,000 and $2.4 million and sales between $740,000 and $1.6 million in 52 separate transactions.
$23,410 in Farm Aid
Nunn, who owns a family farm and listed partnerships in six different enterprises, reported that the Agriculture Department had agreed to pay the Nunn-Mori Joint Venture $23,410 over 10 years to convert 61.6 acres of erodible cropland to grass or trees. The payments will be made under a conservation program established by the 1985 farm bill. A Nunn amendment added trees to the program, and the senator's press secretary, Scott Maxwell, said Tuesday that he planned to sell off pine trees from his conservation acreage.
Senators reported a wide range of gifts, including a $570 pair of glasses for Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) from the Optical Shop of Columbia and a $498 pair of contact lenses for his wife from the Contact Lens Clinic in Columbia. Sen. Jake Garn (R-Utah) and his family received season ski passes worth $1,580 at a Utah resort.