May 21, 1996
|Preceded by||Ron Wyden|
|Born||August 16, 1948
|Spouse(s)||Margaret (Kirkpatrick) Blumenauer|
|Alma mater||Lewis and Clark College|
Earl Blumenauer (born August 16, 1948) is an American politician and lawyer from the state of Oregon. A native of Portland, he spent over 20 years as a public official representing the city before winning election to the United States House of Representatives in 1996. A Democrat, he represents Oregon's 3rd congressional district which includes most of Portland east of the Willamette River. Rep. Blumenauer is a proponent of free trade and the World Trade Organization (WTO) and has voted for free trade agreements with Peru, Australia, Singapore, Chile.
Blumenauer was born in Portland, Oregon, on August 16, 1948. In 1966, he graduated from Centennial High School on the eastside of Portland and then enrolled at Lewis & Clark College in the southwest part of the city. He majored in political science and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lewis & Clark in 1970. Blumenauer completed his education in 1976 when he earned a Juris Doctor degree from the school's Northwestern School of Law (now Lewis & Clark Law School). Starting before law school in 1970 and continuing until 1977, he worked as an assistant to the president of Portland State University.
In 1972, Blumenauer was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives as a Democrat representing District 11 in Multnomah County. He won re-election in 1974 and 1976, and continued representing Portland and Multnomah County until the 1979 legislative session. From 1975 to 1981 he served on the board of Portland Community College. Following his time in the Oregon Legislature, Blumenauer was elected as a Commissioner of Multnomah County and was a member of the county's governing board from 1979 to 1987.
In 1987, he joined the Portland City Council where he remained until 1996. During his time on the city council Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt appointed him to the commission on higher education, serving in 1990 and 1991. In 1992, Blumenauer was defeated by Vera Katz in an open race for mayor of Portland. At the time he was described as "the man who probably knows the most about how Portland works," but left local politics to run for Congress.
Blumenauer was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1996 in a special election to fill the vacancy caused by the election of then-U.S. Representative Ron Wyden to the U.S. Senate. He won 69% of the vote and defeated Republican Mark Brunelle. He won the seat for a full term that November, and has been re-elected six more times by wide margins, most recently in 2008, winning 75% of the vote over Republican Delia Lopez and Pacific Green Michael Meo.
The Willamette Week has summarized Blumenauer's fit with the congressional district he represents:
|“||Ideologically and temperamentally, Blumenauer is an almost perfect reflection of his Portland seat, as safe a Democratic stronghold as any in the nation. He's championed light rail and the streetcar. He's the biggest bike advocate on Capitol Hill. He voted against the USA PATRIOT Act and the Iraq resolution. A super-sharp super-wonk, he's diligently seeking to export Portland's livability doctrine to Third World nations.||”|
The Wall Street Journal also noted Blumenauer's enthusiasm for bicycling:
|“||His congressional office is one of the few -- if not the only one -- that didn't even apply for a parking permit. On occasion, Mr. Blumenauer has cycled to the White House. On Mr. Blumenauer's first visit, the Secret Service, more accustomed to limousines, was flummoxed at the sight of his bike.||”|
Among the bills that Blumenauer has sponsored that have become law are the Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004 and the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005. In addition, the Legal Timber Protection Act passed as part of the 2008 Farm Bill, while the Bicycle Commuter Act passed with the 2008 bailout bill.
In the political aftermath of Hurricane Katrina Blumenauer noted that he was among those who had pointed out the vulnerability of New Orleans and encouraged Congress to help that city and the gulf coast get better prepared:
He and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have offered an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations bill for the past two years that would reform the nation's sugar quota laws with the intent of expanding free trade to the sugar market.
Blumenauer's support for free trade agreements has angered progressives, environmental and labor activists. In 2004, he voted against the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). On September 24, 2007, four labor and human rights activists were arrested in Blumenauer's office protesting the congressman's support for the Peru Free Trade Agreement.,
In February 2009, after an incident in Connecticut wherein a domesticated chimpanzee severely mauled a woman gained national attention, Blumenauer sponsored the Captive Primate Safety Act to bar the sale or purchase of non-human primates for personal possession between states and from outside of the country. The previous year, in June 2008, Blumenauer had sponsored legislation to ban interstate trafficking of great apes, which had passed in the House but been tabled by the Senate.
Blumenauer has received some media attention during the political debate over health care reform for sponsoring an amendment to the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 to change current procedures to mandate that Medicare pay for end-of-life counseling. The amendment, as introduced, is based on an earlier proposal cosponsored by Blumenauer and Republican Representative Charles Boustany of Louisiana. The amendment has generated controversy, with conservative figures as well-known as 2008 vice presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin suggesting that the amendment, if made law, will be used as a cover for the United States federal government to set up "death panels" to determine which people will receive medical treatment. Blumenauer sharply criticized the claim as "mind-numbing" and called it an "all-time low". His rebuke was echoed by Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who scorned the "death panels" claim as "nuts".
|Year||Democrat||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|1996||Earl Blumenauer||165,922||67%||Scott Bruun||65,259||26%||Joe Keating||Pacific||9,274||4%||Bruce A. Knight||Libertarian||4,474||2%||Victoria P. Guillebeau||Socialist||2,449||1%||*|
|1998||Earl Blumenauer||153,889||84%||(no candidate)||Bruce A. Knight||Libertarian||16,930||9%||Walt Brown||Socialist||10,199||6%||Write-ins||2,333||1%|
|2000||Earl Blumenauer||181,049||67%||Jeffery L. Pollock||64,128||24%||Tre Arrow||Pacific Green||15,763||6%||Bruce A. Knight||Libertarian||4,942||2%||Walt Brown||Socialist||4,703||2%||*|
|2002||Earl Blumenauer||156,851||67%||Sarah Seale||62,821||27%||Walt Brown||Socialist||6,588||3%||Kevin Jones||Libertarian||4,704||2%||David Brownlow||Constitution||3,495||1%||*|
|2004||Earl Blumenauer||245,559||71%||Tami Mars||82,045||24%||Walt Brown||Socialist||10,678||3%||Dale Winegarden||Constitution||7,119||2%||Write-ins||1,159||<1%|
|2006||Earl Blumenauer||186,380||73%||Bruce Broussard||59,529||23%||David Brownlow||Constitution||7,003||3%||Write-ins||698||<1%|
|2008||Earl Blumenauer||254,235||75%||Delia Lopez||71,063||21%||Michael Meo||Pacific Green||15,063||4%||Write-ins||701||<1%|
|United States House of Representatives|
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Oregon's 3rd congressional district
1996 – present
|Representatives to the 106th–111th United States Congresses from Oregon|
|106th||Senate: R. Wyden | G. Smith||House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley|
|107th||Senate: R. Wyden | G. Smith||House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley|
|108th||Senate: R. Wyden | G. Smith||House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley|
|109th||Senate: R. Wyden | G. Smith||House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley|
|110th||Senate: R. Wyden | G. Smith||House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | D. Hooley|
|111th||Senate: R. Wyden | J. Merkley||House: D. Wu | G. Walden | E. Blumenauer | P. DeFazio | K. Schrader|
Earl Blumenauer (born August 16, 1948) is an American politician and lawyer from the state of Oregon. A native of Portland, he spent over 20 years as a public official representing the city before winning election to the United States House of Representatives in 1996. A Democratic, he represents Oregon's 3rd congressional district which includes most of Portland east of the Willamette River.