March 31, 2011- Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) is in hot water this week for saying that he's "struggling" to pay bills on his $174,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary. In the now-infamous video clip, Duffy told attendees at a Polk County, Wisc., town hall meeting that "I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you."
That may or may not be true, but one thing is certain — Duffy is one of the poorest members of Congress. OpenSecrets.org, which tracks the money in Congress, ranks Duffy as near the bottom among House members when it comes to his personal net worth.
Here's a rundown of Duffy's finances, from the 2009 disclosure form he had to file with the government: his family of 7 (wife plus six kids) is carrying between $250,000 and $500,000 in mortgage debt; between $50,000-$100,000 in student loans; between $15,000-$50,000 in credit card debt; and between $100,000-$250,000 in debt related to the family vacation home, a cabin not too far from his primary residence in Wisconsin.
The Duffy family lives in a 5-bedroom house sitting on 5 acres in Ashland, Wisconsin. The home has a market value of $247,000. They also own a 2-bedroom cabin in Iron River. That house is valued at $229,000.
Duffy's household reported a total of $154,500 in income in 2009. That included $94,000 in salary from his job back then as county district attorney and $4,500 in income from his side gig as a competitive lumberjack. Duffy's wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy — who like her husband starred in MTV's The Real World — brought in $56,000 in salary.
View the entire 2009 financial disclosure form here.