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Sam Graves


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 6th district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 2001
Preceded by Pat Danner

Born November 7, 1963 (1963-11-07) (age 46)
Tarkio, Missouri
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Lesley Hickok
Residence Tarkio, Missouri
Alma mater University of Missouri
Occupation farmer
Religion Baptist

Samuel B. Graves, Jr. (born November 7, 1963) is an American politician from the U.S. State of Missouri, currently serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Missouri's 6th congressional district which consists of Northwest Missouri and includes the portion of Kansas City north of the Missouri River as well as many of its northern suburbs such as Blue Springs, Liberty, Gladstone, and Excelsior Springs as well as St. Joseph and Maryville. He currently serves as Ranking Leader of the House Committee on Small Business.

Contents

Biography

Graves is a lifelong resident of Tarkio, a small city not far from the Iowa and Nebraska borders. He graduated from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. He is a former volunteer fireman and Eagle Scout. He is also a sixth-generation farmer. Graves was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 1992. After only one term, he was elected to the Missouri Senate in 1994.

In 2000, Democratic U.S. Representative Pat Danner suddenly retired due to breast cancer. Graves filed within the short period of time left for filing. Graves faced Representative Danner's son, Steve Danner, a former State Senator, in the general election. Graves referred to Danner as a "tax and spend liberal" and won the race with 51% of the vote [1] largely by running up huge margins in the rural areas of the district. He was arguably helped by George W. Bush carrying the district in the 2000 presidential election. Graves easily won reelection in 2002, [2] 2004, [3] and 2006 [4]. However, he faced a tougher reelection race in 2008 against former Democratic Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes. He gained national attention early in the race for running an ad accusing Barnes of promoting "San Francisco values." It was initially considered one of the hottest races in the country. However, Graves won reelection fairly handily, taking 59 percent of the vote to Barnes's 37 percent. Graves was undoubtedly helped by John McCain on the top of the ticket who carried the 6th District with 53.58 percent of the vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Because the Sixth Congressional District has historically not been considered safe for either party, elections in the district tend to be closely contested. As a result, candidates in the district often receive large contributions from the national parties and party leaders. Graves received a total of $35,000 from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC.[5]

Following the economic crisis of Wall Street in September 2008, Graves voted against the proposed bailout of United States financial system, claiming that it neither "punished the wrongdoers nor adequately protected the innocent taxpayers, investors and retirees” caught in the Wall Street banking crisis."[6]

Graves on the left with President George W. Bush at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri on March 20, 2007

Graves is the brother of Todd Graves, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.[7] In October 2008, U.S. Senator Kit Bond apologized to Todd Graves after a U.S. Justice Department report cited Bond forcing Graves out over a disagreement with Representative Graves.[8] Following the report, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials involved in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys broke the law.[9]

Ethics Investigation

In 2009, the House Ethics Committee began inquiring whether or not Graves used his position on the Small Business Committee to invite Brooks Hurst, a longtime friend and a business partner of his wife, to testify at a committee hearing on the federal regulation of biodiesel and ethanol production. Graves had failed to mention the financial link between Hurst and Lesley Graves at the hearing, which dealt with federal subsidies for renewable fuels. A review by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics found "substantial reason to believe that an appearance of conflict of interest was created."[10] Graves said in a statement, "I look forward to a quick review of the facts and answering any questions that the committee may have. I believe that a speedy review will show that all the rules of the House concerning testimony in front of the Small Business Committee were followed."[11] It referred the case to the House Ethics committee ended its investigation in October and released a report finding no ethical violations, as it asserted there was no standard in place for appearances like Hurst's.[12][13]

Committee assignments

References

  1. ^ http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/raceresults.asp?eid=14&oid=3990&arc=1
  2. ^ http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/raceresults.asp?eid=87&oid=24483&arc=1
  3. ^ http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/raceresults.asp?eid=131&oid=32756&arc=1
  4. ^ http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/raceresults.asp?eid=189&oid=43072&arc=
  5. ^ http://www.ourfuture.org/issues_and_campaigns/accountablecongress/delay/money9.cfm
  6. ^ "Graves, Boyda vote against $700B bailout in the U.S. House". The News-Press. September 30, 2008. http://www.stjoenews.net/news/2008/sep/30/graves-boyda-vote-against-700b-bailout-us-house/. Retrieved 2007-05-17.  
  7. ^ "Kit Bond apologizes for staff's role in firing of federal prosecutor". News-Leader. September 30, 2008. http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080930/BLOGS09/80930039. Retrieved 2007-05-17.  
  8. ^ "Kit Bond apologizes for staff's role in firing of federal prosecutor". The News Leader. September 30, 2008. http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080930/BLOGS09/80930039. Retrieved 2007-05-17.  
  9. ^ "Prosecutor will investigate firings of nine U.S. Attorneys". The Miami Herald. September 29, 2008. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics/AP/story/706763.html. Retrieved 2007-05-17.  
  10. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/1538682.html
  11. ^ Margasak, Larry (September 16, 2009). "Ethics panel defers probe on Jesse Jackson Jr.". Associated Press. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isD4Tm-5D4OFcA0LUEPQcnltY46AD9AOHICO2. Retrieved 2009-09-16.  
  12. ^ Larry Margasak[1] Congressional ethics report leaked, reveals names LARRY MARGASAK, October 30, 2009 Associated Press
  13. ^ http://www.clcblog.org/blog_item-303.html

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Pat Danner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 6th congressional district

2001–
Succeeded by
Incumbent
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