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Ken Calvert

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 44th district
Assumed office 
January 3, 1993
Preceded by Al McCandless

Born June 8, 1953 (1953-06-08) (age 56)
Corona, California
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Divorced
Residence Corona, California
Alma mater Chaffey Community College, San Diego State University
Occupation small business owner, real estate agent
Religion Protestant

Kenneth Stanton (Ken) Calvert (born June 8, 1953), an American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1993, representing California's 44th congressional district. The district is part of the Inland Empire and south Orange County areas of Southern California.


Early life and education

Calvert was born in Corona, California to Marceline Hamblen and Ira D. Calvert, Jr.,[1] and still lives in Corona. In 1970, shortly after high school, he joined the campaigns of former state legislator Victor Veysey. Calvert worked in Veysey's Washington, D.C., office as an intern after a 1972 victory.

Calvert received an associate of arts degree from Chaffey Community College in 1973 and a bachelors of arts degree San Diego State University in 1975. After graduation, he managed his family's restaurant, the Jolly Fox, in Corona for five years. He then entered the real estate industry and ran Ken Calvert Real Properties until he was elected to Congress.

Congressional career


In 1982, the 29 year old Calvert ran for the United States House of Representatives to represent a newly drawn district. He narrowly lost the Republican primary to Riverside County Supervisor Al McCandless, who had been the choice of the Republican establishment. McCandless went on to win the general election.

Calvert was first elected to the House in 1992, when McCandless was re-elected in a different district. Calvert won the general election with 47% of the vote (a plurality, but he was the highest vote-getter), defeating Democrat Mark A. Takano by 519 votes. In 1994, he was challenged in the Republican primary by Joe Khoury and won renomination by only 51% to 49%. He was re-elected in the 1994 general election with 55 percent, again defeating Takano.

In 1996, he was re-elected with 54 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Guy Kimbrough. In 1998 he defeated Democrat Mike Rayburn with 55 percent of the vote. Calvert won again in 2000 with 74 percent of the vote, facing no major-party opposition.

Calvert was re-elected in 2002, defeating Louis Vandenberg with 64 percent of the vote. He defeated Vandenberg again in 2004 with 61 percent of the vote. Vandenberg, a college administrator, was again Calvert's opponent in the November 2006 election.[2] Calvert won with 59.6 percent of the vote; Vandenburg got 37.5 percent.[2]

In 2008, he had a surprisingly close race. He ran against Democratic candidate Bill Hedrick, receiving 51.8% of the vote.[3] Calvert declared victory immediately, but Hedrick waited three weeks before conceding, due to higher than normal turnout prolonging the vote-counting process.[4]

Legislative accomplishments


Rep. Calvert is the original author of E-Verify, the only employment verification program available to employers to check the work authorization status of newly hired employees. In 1995, Rep. Calvert introduced H.R. 502, which was later included in the immigration reform bill, H.R. 2202.[5] The immigration reforms were later wrapped into the FY1997 Omnibus Appropriations Act.[6] The original program, known as the Basic Pilot Program, was only available to five states and employers used a call in system. In the 12 years since its implementation, the Basic Pilot Program, now known as E-Verify, has expanded nationwide and has over 100,000 employers using the system. Two states, Arizona and Mississippi, have made use of E-Verify mandatory.

E-Verify is 99.6% accurate, free to employers, web-based and 96.1% of checks to the system receive an instant "green light" to work. Rep. Calvert has introduced legislation in the 111th Congress to make use of E-Verify mandatory.[7]


As Chairman of the Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power, Rep. Calvert introduced H.R. 2828, The Water Supply, Reliability, and Environmental Improvement Act, which reauthorizes the CALFED Bay-Delta program. The CALFED Bay-Delta Program is a unique collaboration among 25 state and federal agencies that came together with a mission: to improve California’s water supply and the ecological health of the San Francisco Bay/Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.[8] H.R. 2828 provides a long-term federal authorization for the western region for water supply and reliability. The bill became Public Law 108-361 [9]

The NASA Reauthorization Act of 2005

In the 109th Congress, Rep. Calvert served as the Chairman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee which oversees NASA. As Chairman Rep. Calvert introduced and passed into law the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-155), the first reauthorization bill of civilian space and aeronautics agency in five years. The reauthorization provided NASA with the direction and tools to implement President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration while stressing the importance of their earth and space science and aeronautics work.[10]


Real estate investments

A map of Calvert's recent real estate holdings and those of a partner, Woodrow Harpole Jr., show many of them near the transportation projects he has supported with federal appropriations. For example, Calvert and Harpole own properties close to a bus depot in Corona for which Calvert sought funding. According to development experts, improvements to the transportation infrastructure have contributed to the area's explosive growth.

Calvert said he had used earmarking solely to benefit his district. Those appropriations, he said, have had nothing to do with his investments or financial gains. Noting that property values have climbed throughout the Inland Empire, he added: "They haven't passed a law against investing yet."

Calvert's May 2005 financial disclosure statement showed that he owned eight parcels of land, most in Riverside County, as of December 31, 2004.[11]

On May 19, 2006, The Riverside Press-Enterprise, the sixth largest newspaper in California, editorialized that The Los Angeles Times got the facts wrong and in fact, there was no impropriety on the part of Rep. Calvert [12]. Rep. Calvert has stated that all requests for federal funding come from local entities.

March Air Reserve Base

In 2005, Calvert and Harpole paid $550,000 for a 4.3-acre (17,000 m2) parcel just south of March Air Reserve Base. Calvert's real estate firm, where Calvert's brother, Quint, is the president,[13] and Halpole is vice president, received brokerage fees from the seller, Rod Smith of Greeley, Colorado, for representing both buyer and seller in the deal. Less than a year later, Calvert and Harpole sold the property for nearly $1 million. During the time he owned the land, Calvert used the earmarking process to secure $8 million in federal funds for a freeway interchange 16 miles (26 km) from the property, and an additional $1.5 million to support commercial development of the area around the base.

Cajalco and I-15 interchange

In early summer 2005, Harpole bought property with a group of investors at 20330 Temescal Canyon Road, a few blocks from the site of the what was then a proposed interchange at Cajalco and I-15. The purchase price was $975,000. Within six months, after the bill passed that provided federal funding for the interchange, they sold the parcel for $1.45 million. Calvert's firm took a commission on the sale.[11]

Jurupa CS District

In the spring of 2006, Calvert and Harpole purchased 4 acres (16,000 m2) of land from Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD), a water and sewer district in northwestern Riverside County, for $1.2 million, along with five investment partners who jointly had a one-third interest. A newspaper investigation reported in August 2006 that the district apparently never first offered the land to other public agencies, a requirement of state law intended to provide more recreational land. The district's general manager said other agencies were notified, but representatives of those agencies said they received no such notice. The district could not provide evidence of the notification, saying relevant files had been misplaced.

The community services district did not advertise or list the land for sale, a practice required by counties and many other public agencies seeking top dollar on behalf of taxpayers. District general manager Carole McGreevy, who is stepping down from that position in late 2006 and retiring in late 2007, said the district proclaimed the land surplus in the early 1990s after it was no longer needed for flood control. The record of that decision was among the missing documents, as was the updated appraisal that McGreevy said was done in May 2005.

The land could have served as a community park in a predominately Hispanic, lower-income neighborhood in Mira Loma. The Calvert partnership plans to build a mini-storage business.[13] In August 2008, the Jurupa Area Recreation and Parks District (JARPD) filed a lawsuit against JCSD, alleging fraud in the sale of the land. In August 2009, the FBI was looking into the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for Calvert said he had not been contacted by the FBI or a grand jury and did not believe that he was a focus of any investigation.[14]

Corruption Allegations

Calvert was named one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress by the liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. They accuse him of gaining personally from earmarks, making allegedly illegal land deals, and having questionable ties to a lobbying firm that is under investigation by the FBI.[15]

In 2007, the conservative blog RedState declared that "we must scalp one member. That member's name is Ken Calvert" after detailing a list of corrupt real estate transactions.[16]

Prostitution Scandal

In 1993 he was caught by the Corona, California Police Department receiving oral sex from a prostitute and attempted to flee the scene.[17][18] The Press-Enterprise went to court to force the Corona police to release the police report.[19]

Committee assignments

Caucus membership

  • Republican Main Street Partnership
  • Caucus to Fight and Control Methamphetamine (Co-Chairman)
  • Generic Drug Equity Caucus (Co-Chairman)
  • Manufactured Housing Caucus (Co-Chairman)
  • Beef Caucus
  • Boating Caucus
  • Canada Caucus
  • Coastal Caucus
  • Goods Movement Caucus
  • Hydrogen Caucus
  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Congressional Internet Caucus
  • Native American Caucus
  • Real Estate Caucus
  • Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
  • Specialty Crop Caucus
  • Sportsmen’s Caucus
  • Suburban Agenda
  • Western Caucus
  • Wine Caucus
  • Armenian Caucus
  • Baltic Caucus
  • Hellenic Caucus
  • Human Rights Caucus
  • India Caucus
  • International Anti-Piracy Caucus
  • Moroccan Caucus
  • Travel and Tourism Caucus
  • Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
  • Cong. Missing and Exploited Children’s Caucus
  • Coalition on Autism Research and Education
  • 2015 Caucus (House Cancer Caucus)
  • Fire Caucus
  • Medical Technology Caucus
  • Electronic Warfare Caucus
  • Modeling & Simulation Training Caucus
  • National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
  • Navy-Marine Corps Caucus
  • Shipbuilding Caucus
  • Special Operations Forces Caucus
  • U.S. House Law Enforcement Caucus
  • STEM Caucus
  • Congressional Missing and Exploited Children Caucus
  • Immigration Reform Caucus
  • Congressional Border Caucus
  • Congressional Internet Caucus
  • Congressional Diabetes Caucus
  • Coalition on Autism Research and Education
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Caucus
  • Congressional Alzheimer’s Taskforce
  • Heart and Stroke Coalition
  • Cystic Fibrosis Caucus


  1. ^ calvert
  2. ^ California Secretary of State, 2006 general election results, U.S. Congress District 44, accessed November 14, 2006
  3. ^ California Secretary of State, 2008 general election results, U.S. Congress District 44, accessed December 8, 2008
  4. ^ Riverside Press-Enterprise, [1], accessed December 8, 2008
  5. ^ 1996 Congressional Quarterly Almanac
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^|/bss/d109query.html
  11. ^ a b Tom Hamburger, Lance Pugmire and Richard Simon, "Rep. Calvert's Land of Plenty: He has earmarked funds for Riverside County projects near properties he sold for a profit.", Los Angeles Times, May 15, 2006
  12. ^ The Riverside Press Enterprise Editorial "False Alarm" May 19, 2006
  13. ^ a b David Danelski and Sandra Stokely, "Sale of park site draws questions", Press-Enterprise, August 17, 2006
  14. ^ Susan Crabtree. "Rep. Calvert denies he's subject of FBI investigation". The Hill. 
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Alex Brant-Zawadzki, Of Pork and Ken: Local congressman likes toll roads, money, blowjobs", Orange County Weekly, February 16, 2006
  18. ^
  19. ^ Robinson, Jack. "Two years have brought Calvert crises, lessons." Riverside Press-Enterprise. November 3, 1994. Page B01.

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ron Packard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 43rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Joe Baca
Preceded by
Mary Bono
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 44th congressional district

2003 – present
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Michael N. Castle
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Steve Buyer

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