Jeff Flake: Wikis

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Jeff Flake


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 6th district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 2001
Preceded by Matt Salmon

Born December 31, 1962 (1962-12-31) (age 47)
Snowflake, Arizona
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cheryl Flake
Residence Mesa, Arizona
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Occupation Public affairs director
Religion LDS

Jeffry Lane "Jeff" Flake[1] (born December 31, 1962), an American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 2001, representing Arizona's 6th congressional district.

He was born in Snowflake, Arizona (named in part for his great-great-grandfather, William J. Flake),[2] was educated at Brigham Young University and was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to South Africa in the early 1980s. He worked in the public affairs sector after college and served as Executive Director of the Foundation for Democracy in Namibia and Executive Director of the Goldwater Institute before entering the House.

Flake is a critic of government waste and advocates reducing federal spending.[3]

Contents

Congressional career

Jeff Flake is known as one of the more right-libertarian House Republicans, often among a handful of Republicans casting 'no' votes on bills most of his party supports.[4]

Some supporters believe Flake harbors further political ambitions, including possible future runs for Governor of Arizona or the United States Senate.

He also serves on the Liberty Caucus (sometimes called the Liberty Committee), a group of libertarian-leaning Republican congressmen.[5] Other members include Jimmy Duncan of Tennessee, Ron Paul of Texas, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Zach Wamp of Tennessee and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina.[6]

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Committee Assignments

Issues and positions

Jeff Flake was described by Robert Novak as an "insistent reformer"[7] and others call him an "anti-earmark crusader."[8] He is credited with prompting House rule changes to require earmark sponsors to identify themselves. [9]

Flake supports creating a temporary worker program for border security, leading some anti-illegal immigration conservative activists to give Flake the Republican In Name Only label.[10] However, others consider him one of the most consistently conservative members of the House and strongly support him. He is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge[11] and one of eight House members to receive a 100% approval rating from the American Conservative Union.[6]

Flake voted against No Child Left Behind, Sarbanes-Oxley, Medicare Part D, Homeland Security Act[4], and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. He sponsored bills to increase legal immigration and establish a guest worker program.

Flake initially supported the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, but more recently has changed his position to one of cautious opposition, including voting against appropriations for both. He also supports ending the Cuba Trade Embargo and has been an insistent reformer in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"The Flake Hour"

Rep. Flake is opposed to the current and former earmarking processes, frequently challenging earmarks proposed by other members of Congress. Since May 2006, he has become prominent with the "Flake Hour," a tradition at the end of spending bill debates in which he asks earmark sponsors to come to the house floor and justify why taxpayers should pay for their "pet projects."[12]

Flake issues a press release listing an "egregious earmark of the week" every Friday.[3] Usually the earmark will be followed by Flake making a humorous comment; as an example, Rep. Flake once said of Congressman Jose Serrano's $150,000 earmark to fix plumbing in Italian restaurants, "I would argue this is one cannoli the taxpayer doesn’t want to take a bite of."[2]

In 2007, Flake was removed from the House Judiciary Committee for "bad behavior." According to one source, the group that made this decision was dominated by Appropriations members resentful of Flake's opposition to earmarks.[13]

In July 2007, Flake was ruled the least profligate spender in Congress by Citizens Against Government Waste and designated a "taxpayer superhero."[3]

In October 2008, Esquire named Congressman Flake one of the Ten Best Members of Congress saying in part, "A true conservative, Flake is as rare as the dodo. Republicans should learn from him, and liberals and libertarians will find in him a strong privacy-rights ally."[14]

Elections

Rep. Flake was first elected (to what was then the First district) in 2000, after the incumbent, Republican Matt Salmon, stepped down in honor of a self-imposed term limit. The district was then renumbered to the 6th district as Arizona gained two Congressional seats due to the results of the 2000 census.

In his campaign of the year 2000, Mr. Flake had pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress, leaving no later than January of the year 2007, but in early 2005, shortly after being elected for a third time, Rep. Flake announced that he had changed his mind and would in fact run for re-election in the year 2006. "It was a mistake to limit my own terms," Rep. Flake said.[15]

Rep. Flake's departures from the Republican party-line on certain issues earned him a closely watched primary challenge in the year 2004. He easily defeated the challenger.[16] In that same election, three out of five mayors in his home district opposed his re-election as he did not "bring pork barrel spending" to the mayors' cities.[2] In the year 2006, several Democrats had announced their intention to run for the seat; however, only one met the June filing deadline and that particular filing was rejected due to an insufficient amount of nominating signatures. "I did expect to have a primary opponent. I deserve one," Flake said, referring to the term-limit pledge which he had broken. "By all rights, I ought to have an opponent. I just got lucky, I guess."[17]

In the 2006 mid-term elections, Rep. Flake had no Democratic party opponent and easily defeated the Libertarian Party candidate, Jason Blair, with 74% of the vote over Mr. Blair's 26%.[18]

Personal life

Jeff Flake is married to Cheryl Flake and they have five children. They are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spent time in Zimbabwe and South Africa as a Mormon missionary.[2][19] The Flakes have been married since ca. 1985.[3]

Flake's uncle, Jake Flake, was an Arizona state senator.

Electoral history

Arizona's 1st congressional district: 2000 results[20]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2000 David Mendoza 97,455 42% Jeff Flake 123,289 54% Jon Burroughs Libertarian 9,227 4%
Arizona's 6th congressional district: Results 2002–2008[20]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2002 Deborah Thomas 49,355 32% Jeff Flake 103,094 66% Andy Wagner Libertarian 3,888 2%
2004 (no candidate) Jeff Flake 202,882 79% Craig Stritar Libertarian 52,695 21%
2006 (no candidate) Jeff Flake 152,201 75% Jason M. Blair Libertarian 51,285 25%
2008 Rebecca Schneider 99,755 34% Jeff Flake 185,188 63% Rick Biondi Libertarian 8,816 3%

References

  1. ^ http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/committees/jeff-flake-for-congress.asp?cycle=00
  2. ^ a b c d CBS 60 Minutes, Rep. Flake On Cutting Congressional Pork. Consulted on July 27, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d "It's gotta be the hair". East Valley Tribune. 2007-07-12. http://blogs.eastvalleytribune.com/view.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=1728&blogId=31. Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
  4. ^ a b Reason Magazine, Who Deserves the Libertarian Vote?. Consulted on July 27, 2007.
  5. ^ "The Liberty Committee". http://www.thelibertycommittee.org/. Retrieved 2007-06-24. 
  6. ^ Caldwell, Christopher (2007-07-22). "The Antiwar, Anti-Abortion, Anti-Drug-Enforcement-Administration, Anti-Medicare Candidacy of Dr. Ron Paul". The New York Times Magazine. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/magazine/22Paul-t.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2007-07-21. 
  7. ^ Novak, Robert. "The Pork-as-Usual GOP". The Washington Post. January 24, 2008. A4. [1]
  8. ^ "America's Newsroom". 'Fox News'
  9. ^ Kelly, Matt. "Congressman says earmarks could cost GOP power". USA Today. 10/17/2006. [2]
  10. ^ See "American Patrol" at http://www.americanpatrol.com/_WEB2004/040117.html
  11. ^ Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers
  12. ^ Rogers, David. "Tilting at Appropriations". The Wall Street Journal. June 29, 2006. A4. [3]
  13. ^ RealClearPolitics - Articles - Inside Report: Democratic Discipline
  14. ^ "The 10 Best Members of Congress," Esquire Magazine. October 2008
  15. ^ Stone, Andrea. "Term-limit pledges get left behind". USA Today. April 12, 2006. [4]
  16. ^ Arizona Secretary of State website: [5] accessed January 7, 2006
  17. ^ Paul Giblin, "Flake faces solo race after judge removes hopeful", East Valley Tribune, July 12, 2006
  18. ^ CNN
  19. ^ Lynch, Michael W. (February 2001). Reason Magazine, Soundbite: The Missionary's Positions Consulted on July 28, 2007.
  20. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Matt Salmon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st congressional district

2001 – 2003
Succeeded by
Rick Renzi
Preceded by
J.D. Hayworth
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 6th congressional district

2003 – present
Incumbent
Representatives to the 107th–111th United States Congresses from Arizona (ordered by seniority)
107th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: B. Stump | J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | J. Shadegg | J. Flake
108th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | R. Renzi
109th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: J. Kolbe | E. Pastor | J. D. Hayworth | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | R. Renzi
110th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: E. Pastor | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | R. Renzi | G. Giffords | H. Mitchell
111th Senate: J. McCain | J. Kyl House: E. Pastor | J. Shadegg | J. Flake | T. Franks | R. Grijalva | G. Giffords | H. Mitchell | A. Kirkpatrick

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