Matthew Cartwright, the Moosic attorney trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, a fellow Democrat, earned more than $352,000 last year in salary from his family‚??s law firm. That‚??s more than double the $174,000 salary of the congressional seat he‚??s trying to win.
The financial data were included in Cartwright‚??s 2011 financial disclosure statement that all non-incumbent candidates for U.S. House were required to file by last Saturday.
The statements include all income earned last year, in addition to assets and unearned income such as retirement plans, rental income, dividends and capital gains. Also listed are any liabilities, such as outstanding loans, credit card debt and mortgages.
Cartwright is challenging Holden, D-St. Clair, for the party nomination in the 17th Congressional District. Holden, as an incumbent, is not required to file his 2011 financial disclosure until May 15.
According to Holden‚??s 2010 statement, the former Schuylkill County sheriff earned, in addition to his congressional salary, $19,288 from his Schuylkill County retirement system pension. He also listed income from dividends, capital gains and interest but listed only one investment that he made more than $1,100 on that calendar year. He did not list any rental properties or outstanding debts, mortgages or loans.
Cartwright reported $352,281 in salary from the Munley, Munley and Cartwright law firm in Scranton and $506 in royalty payments for a book he co-authored in 2011 called ‚??Litigating Business and Commercial Tort Cases.‚?Ě
In addition to earning dividends and interest from numerous investments, only two Vanguard funds netted him more than $5,000 last year.
On his liabilities list, Cartwright notes outstanding balances on two credit cards, both totaling between $15,001 and $50,000. He also lists a line of credit through Penn Security Bank valued between $500,001 and $1 million that was taken out in December and a mortgage through the same Scranton-based bank taken out in 2005 to purchase an office. That loan was between $100,001 and $250,000.
The winner of the Holden/Cartwright race would take on likely Republican primary winner Laureen Cummings, a nurse and Tea Party advocate from Old Forge. She is running unopposed. Efforts to reach her for her filing were unsuccessful.
In the 11th congressional district, two Democrats are vying for the right to take on incumbent U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, in the fall.
Like Holden, Barletta isn‚??t required to file his 2011 documents until mid-May. According to his 2010 disclosure, when he still served as mayor of Hazleton, he listed tens of thousands of dollars in interest and dividends. He also listed rental income of between $50,001 and $100,000 for a property he owns at 322 Rocky Road that is rented by Interstate Road Management Corp. In association with that property, he also listed a mortgage valued between $100,001 and $250,000 through Wachovia Bank and a line of credit from First National Bank in Harrisburg of between $100,001 and $250,000.
Barletta will square off against the winner of the April 24 Democratic primary between Wilkes-Barre attorney Bill Vinsko and suburban Harrisburg political activist Gene Stilp.
Vinsko, according to his 2011 financial statement, earned more money working as the Wilkes-Barre city attorney than he did from the private practice he owns with his brother Brian. He reported $46,841 in earnings from the city and $35,000 in earnings from Vinsko & Associates P.C. He also listed salaries from Riverfront Abstract Co., $4,560, and VPharm Inc., $11,769. He has a 50 percent ownership stake in the abstract company located at 318 S Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, and serves as president of VPharm, a local pharmacy that serves nursing homes and assisted-living facilities.
He also listed income through a rental property he owns in Brant Beach, N.J. He collected between $15,001 and $50,000 on the property last year. Three separate mortgages were taken out for that property. One through Hudson City Savings Bank was for between $250,001 and $500,000. Two others, through the Wilkes-Barre City Federal Credit Union, were each valued between $50,001 and $100,000.
Five business loans were also reported; one from First National Community Bank for between $50,001 and $100,000 and one through PennStar Bank in the same dollar range. Loans from Luzerne Bank and M&T Bank were listed at values between $100,001 and $250,000, and a loan from Fidelity Bank was between $500,001 and $1 million. An outstanding student loan through Sallie Mae, incurred in 2000, is also listed totaling between $15,001 and $50,000.
And finally, a credit card issued by Bank of America has an outstanding balance of between $15,001 and $50,000.
Vinsko also listed an 8 percent ownership stake in Sandlex Corp., a Wilkes-Barre company that sells items including portable ladders. He reported no income from that company last year.
‚??I am a small-business owner. I have prepared budgets. I have hired and dealt with employees. I have seen the effect health insurance premiums and the economy has on people and businesses. I am committed to using my experiences, both individually and as a business owner, to be the voice of the people in Congress,‚?Ě Vinsko said.
Stilp, a Wilkes-Barre native who now lives in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County, listed $19,100 in income last year, all through contracts for supplying inflatable balloons that he owns or giving presentations.
He does not list any loans, mortgages, credit card debts or income from rental properties. He does list dividends earned from dozens of investments he has made, including stocks he owns in companies ranging from communications companies such as AT&T and Verizon to food companies such as Pepsico, Kraft Foods, General Mills and Smuckers. He said he often owns just a handful of shares in companies so he has the right to attend board meetings and speak his mind.
Stilp noted that he drives a 1997 Buick and ‚??we‚??re not wealthy, but we do invest in retirement.‚?Ě He said that when he left his job writing legislation for the state House Democratic Caucus, he took his pension and invested it wisely. He added that inheritances from family members also are a source for his varied investments.