Bill Burke made a big splash on Thursday with news of his $1.2 billion bid to buy the Dodgers. Wow! $1.2 billion! Whoever this Burke guy is, he must have a lot of money, right?
Burke was characterized as the "lead investor" in a group that (by the way) also included "certain state-owned investment institutions of the People's Republic of China." In other words, the Chinese government. But still, Burke is the lead investor, so he must have some serious skin in the game, right?
Turns out, not so much.
With most people, you can only guess at their net worth. But with Burke, you can pin it down pretty closely.
That's because he's married to a former officeholder, Supervisor Yvonne Burke. For her job, she had to file financial disclosure statements. So what do they say?
The most recent one on file in Norwalk is from 2003. It's posted below. For each asset, you get a range. Add up all the ranges, and you learn that the Burkes' net worth is somewhere between $2.3 million and $6.8 million.*
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Now, that's a lot of money. But it's not nearly enough for Bill Burke to be thinking about buying any baseball teams. What this means is that Burke may be the public face of the bid, but the cash is coming from elsewhere.
*One exception: The disclosure statement only says that their house on Mandeville Canyon Road is worth "more than $1,000,000." That doesn't help, so to pin it down you can get the 2004 property assessment, which puts it at $1.7 million. So for our purposes, everything else is a range, but the house is assumed to be worth $1.7 million.