Pete Sessions: Wikis

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Pete Sessions


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 32nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1997
Preceded by John Bryant

Born March 22, 1955 (1955-03-22) (age 54)
Waco, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Juanita Sessions
Residence Dallas, Texas
Alma mater Southwestern University
Occupation telecommunications executive
Religion Methodist

Peter Anderson Sessions (born March 22, 1955) is a politician from the state of Texas. He is a Republican, and currently represents the 32nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Contents

Personal

Sessions was born in Waco, Texas, where he grew up. His father is William S. Sessions, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He graduated from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1978. Sessions then worked for Southwestern Bell for 16 years. He rose to the rank of district manager for marketing in Dallas, supervising 435 employees and managing a $16 million budget. He also worked at Bell Communications Research (AKA Bellcore, currently named Telcordia Technologies) in New Jersey.

He is an Eagle Scout with four generations of Boy Scouts in his family, and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America,[1][2] as well as a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity.[3] As a Congressman, Sessions has sponsored legislation to raise money for the Boy Scouts.[4] At the 2007 National Convention, Sessions was presented with the Pi Kappa Alpha Distinguished Alumni Award.

Sessions and his wife Juanita have two sons, Bill (age 19) and Alex (age 15). Alex was born with Down Syndrome.

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Boy Scouts

Congressman Sessions has led congressional efforts to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America by introducing a "100 Years of Scouting" commemorative coin that will be released in 2010.[5] In 2008, President George W. Bush signed H.R. 5872 entitled, the Boy Scouts of America Centennial Commemorative Coin Act. The bill calls for 350,000 $1 silver coins to be minted.[6] The Boy Scouts of America have recognized Congressman Sessions as a Distinguished Eagle Scout. He currently holds a position on the Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America. Both of the Congressman's sons are active in the Boy Scouts. Last year, Alex, who was born with Down Syndrome, joined the Order of the Arrow, after spending a weekend in the woods with his father. Congressman Sessions received the honor of Vigil, the highest achieved in the OA, from the Order of the Arrow in April of 2008.[7]

U.S. House of Representatives

Campaigns

In his 1991 election bid, Sessions finished third in a special election for the House of Representatives.

In 1993, Sessions left his job with Southwestern Bell to again run for Congress, against 5th District incumbent Democrat John Bryant. Sessions made a tour of the district with a livestock trailer full of horse manure, claiming that the Clinton administration's health care plan stunk more than the manure. Sessions lost by 2,400 votes. He subsequently became Vice President for Public Policy at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), a Dallas-based conservative public policy research institute.

In 1996, when Bryant decided to seek a Senate seat, Sessions was elected to succeed him in the 5th District, defeating Democrat John Pouland with 47 percent of the vote. Sessions was re-elected in 1998, defeating school teacher Victor Morales with 56 percent of the vote. He was re-elected in 2000 with 54 percent of the vote.

When redistricting after the 2000 Census made the 5th slightly more Democratic, Sessions moved to the new 32nd District (map) for the 2002 election. He won that with 68 percent of the vote over Pauline Dixon.

In 2004, Sessions defeated fellow Congressman Martin Frost, a 13-term Democrat, who had moved to the 32nd after the Republican-engineered redistricting in 2003 eliminated Frost's former district. Sessions won 54-44%, in what was considered the most expensive U.S. House race in the nation. According to the Associated Press, "The race also was one of the nastiest, with Frost unearthing a decades-old streaking incident by Sessions in his college days and questioning Sessions' commitment to security with an ad featuring the World Trade Center towers in flames. Sessions criticized Frost for booking Peter Yarrow of the '60s group Peter, Paul and Mary for a fundraiser. Yarrow had faced an indecency with a child charge years earlier."


2010 Pete Sessions draws out a primary opponent. Local activist and financial analyst David Smith.

Committee assignments

Party leadership and caucus memberships

Political positions

Sessions calls himself a conservative. He is a backer of free trade, and a member of a Republican cybersecurity task force created by Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Financial holdings

Sessions failed to pass the "Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005" (HR2726), which would have prohibited state and local governments from offering internet access services. However, questions have been raised about Sessions's partiality toward the telecom industry: According to Sessions' House financial disclosure forms from 2003, he has between $500,000 and $1 million in AT&T stock options, and his wife worked for Cingular, which was jointly owned by AT&T at the time and has since folded into AT&T. The Sunlight Foundation pointed out in 2008 that among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Sessions has the sixth-highest amount of investment in oil stocks.[8]

Controversies

In September 2006, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its second annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress, titled "Beyond DeLay: The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and five to watch)". Sessions was one of the 20. In April 2006 CREW filed a complaint with the United States Department of Justice for "official actions he may have taken on behalf of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as well as possible bribes he may have accepted from a San Francisco defense technology company" Promia, Inc. [9] [10]

Connections to Abramoff

In late 2001 and early 2002, Sessions cosigned letters to two Cabinet members asking them to shut down casinos operated by several Native American tribes. Within 18 months of sending the letters, Sessions received a total of $20,500 from tribes associated with Abramoff raising suspicion that Sessions had written the letters to curry favor with Abramoff as he represented a number of competing tribes. In response, the Sessions office said he wrote the letters because of his view that gambling is a local issue, falling under his long held support for federalism.[11]

On January 11, 2002, Sessions traveled to Malaysia with two of Abramoff's co-workers from the law firm Greenberg Traurig. The trip allegedly was sponsored by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) and a Malaysian think tank with ties to that country’s government. Various news reports, however, suggest that a Malaysian client secretly paid Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, an Abramoff associate, through a sham think tank that Scanlon created, the American International Center. His office said that Sessions went on the trip to strengthen ties with a Muslim ally.

2007 fundraiser at a Las Vegas Night club

The public radio show Marketplace reported on July 22, 2008, that Sessions held a 2007 fundraiser at the Las Vegas Night club Forty Deuce. Sessions defended the event, saying "It is what I would call a burlesque show where there's a woman who comes out and has a dress on... Uh, she never gets naked. There's no nudity, there's no nudity in there." The event raised money for his political action committee, People for Enterprise Trade and Economic Growth.[12][13]

Taliban comments

In early February 2009 he made the following comment about the GOP legislative strategy in the House of Representatives: "Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban," Sessions said during the 60-minute sitdown. "And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person's entire processes." He continued: "I'm not trying to say the Republican Party is the Taliban.... I'm saying an example of how you go about [it] is to change a person from their messaging to their operations to their frontline message. And we need to understand that insurgency may be required when the other side, the House leadership, does not follow the same commands, which we entered the game with."[14]

Earmark controversy

In 2008, Sessions added a $1.6 million earmark to an appropriations bill, for dirigible research. The earmark benefitted a Chicago company, Jim G. Ferguson & Associates, which has no experience in government contracting or dirigible research. A former Sessions aide, Adrian Plesha is a lobbyist for the firm.[15]

In August 2009, Sessions was asked about the blimp project at a town hall meeting and gave the following statement:

"The appropriators had it for over a year before they brought it to the floor. The appropriators knew that the United States Army and Air Force is in fact looking for the opportunity to take massive amounts of weight from the United States to the theater. Blimps are much like the hydroplanes that the Marine Corps went to where they've got hovercraft. And they spend seventy-eight thousand gallons taking two tanks overseas on an aircraft. This would accomplish sixteen tanks for three gallons. The forty thousand dollars that was spent on the engineering study before they asked for it was looked at by the Air Force and the Air Force is interested in this and you watch what happens. Thank you so very much."[16]

In September, Adrian Plesha sued Jim G. Ferguson & Associates for non-payment of fees and expenses connected with his lobbying effort on their behalf. The lawsuits mentions the dirigible research project, saying, "as a direct result of Plesha’s services in 2007 through 2008, Plesha was able to secure a $1.6 million appropriation for defendants in September 2008...".[17]

Dede Scozzafava Support

Under his leadership, the NRCC supported Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava in the 2009 Special Election for the 23rd Congressional District of New York. She ultimately withdrew her candidacy in the general election days before the election was to occur, and endorsed the Democratic candidate rather than the third-party Conservative Party candidate as most national Republicans did. Sessions had initially personally endorsed Scozzafava's campaign. After her endorsement of the Democratic candidate over the Conservative Party nominee, there have been calls for his resignation of the chairmanship of the NRCC since it had provided significant monetary support to Scozzafava's campaign.

2006 re-election campaign

Sessions faced Democrat Will Pryor,[18] an attorney and former district judge, in the November general election. Other candidates were N. Ruben Florez (Libertarian) and Philip Scheps (Independent). Sessions won re-election with 56.4% of the vote, with the remainder going to Will Pryor (41.26%) and Ruben Flores (2.32%). [19]

2008 election

Before his exit from the campaign, Sessions announced his support for former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani's bid for the Republican Nomination for President. He defeated former-Republican-turned-Democrat Eric Roberson, 57% - 40%, with the remainder going to Libertarian Alex Bischoff.

References

  1. ^ Townley, Alvin (2007). Legacy of Honor: The Values and Influence of America's Eagle Scouts. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 241–252. ISBN 0-312-36653-1. http://www.thomasdunnebooks.com/TD_TitleDetail.aspx?ISBN=0312366531. Retrieved 2006-12-29.  
  2. ^ "Distinguished Eagle Scouts". Troop & Pack 179. http://members.cox.net/scouting179/Eagle%20Distinguished.htm. Retrieved 2006-03-02.  
  3. ^ http://www.pikes.org/alum/about/content.aspx?item=navigable/about/ProminentPikes.xml#
  4. ^ "H.R. 5872". LOC. 2008. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:h.r.05872:. Retrieved 2008-06-11.  
  5. ^ "Boy Scouts of America’s Centennial Commemorative Coin Receives Presidential Approval". Boy Scouts of America. 2008-10-16. http://www.scouting.org/Media/PressReleases/2008/20081020.aspx. Retrieved 2009-04-26.  
  6. ^ "Boy Scouts of America Silver Dollar Centennial Commemorative Coin". Coin News. 2008-04-28. http://www.coinnews.net/2008/04/28/boy-scouts-of-america-silver-dollar-centennial-commemorative-coin-4056/. Retrieved 2009-04-26.  
  7. ^ Lovley, Erika (2008-09-17). "Pols discuss raising special-needs kids". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0908/13520.html. Retrieved 2009-04-26.  
  8. ^ "The Sunlight Foundation Blog - Oil Industry Influence: Personal Finances'". Sunlight Foundation. August 8, 2008. http://blog.sunlightfoundation.com/2008/08/08/oil-industry-influence-personal-finances/.   Retrieved on Aug. 8, 2008
  9. ^ CREW Releases "Beyond Delay: The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and five to watch)".
  10. ^ CREW Files DOJ Complaint Against Texas Rep. Pete Sessions.
  11. ^ Gillman, Todd J. (2006-01-06), "Sessions, others in casino crusade got tribal cash", The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/washington/stories/DN-casinomoney_06nat.ART.State.Edition2.1da84a95.html  
  12. ^ "PACs put the fun in fundraising". Marketplace. 2008-07-22.
  13. ^ Gromer, Jeffers Jr. (2008-07-29), "'07 party hosted by Rep. Pete Sessions at Las Vegas adult club draws criticism", Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/073008dnmetsessions.3fdea95.html  
  14. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-sessions_06nat.ART.State.Edition1.4c9e094.html
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ [3]
  18. ^ Portail d'informations Ce site est en vente!
  19. ^ [4]

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Bryant
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 5th congressional district

1997–2003
Succeeded by
Jeb Hensarling
Preceded by
New District
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 32nd congressional district

2003–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Cole
Oklahoma
Chairman of National Republican Congressional Committee
2009 – Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent

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