After diving into the financial disclosure forms of area politicians, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel concluded what we all might have guessed after we cooked our ramen noodles: our elected officials are richer than those they represent. In fact, the paper reported, nearly one in three local politicians in Broward and Palm Beach counties is worth more than $1 million, and Broward New Times did some math to find that Florida's 27 congressional delegates are worth a whopping $170 million.
"You talk about government of, by and for the people, and clearly they're not," Occupy Fort Lauderdale's Adam Salater told the Sun-Sentinel. "We obviously have a political and economic elite in this country, and they run things for the benefit of those interests. The people in elected office are not a representation of the people."
Or, in some cases, are they? Sparkly hat collections don't come cheap, but a look at net worths estimated by the Center for Responsive Politics shows some South Florida congressional delegates are just as in debt as your average American, and Miramar Rep. Alcee Hastings may never eat again: his estimated net worth is nearly $5 million in the red, thanks to mounting legal fees.
What's your elected official worth? Read more from the Sun-Sentinel for local Broward and Palm Beach balance sheets, or check out the slideshow below to find out who may be South Florida's wealthiest member of Congress. For even further reading, here's the estimated net worth of every Florida delegate (PDF), calculated by the Center for Responsive Politics.