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Wally Herger


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1987
Preceded by Eugene Chappie

Member of the
California State Assembly
from the 3rd district
In office
1980–1986
Preceded by Eugene A. Chappie
Succeeded by Chris Chandler

Born May 20, 1945 (1945-05-20) (age 64)
Yuba City, California
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pamela Herger
Residence Chico, California
Alma mater American River College

California State University, Sacramento

Occupation oil executive
Religion The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Walter William Herger, Jr. (born May 20, 1945), American politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1987, representing the California's 2nd congressional district. The second district is physically large. The major cities are Chico, Redding and Red Bluff. Congressman Herger was born in Yuba City, California, and graduated from American River College with an Associate of Arts. He also attended California State University, Sacramento for a year. He grew up on his family's 200-acre (0.81 km2) cattle ranch and plum farm in the northern California town of Rio Oso (between Yuba City and Sacramento). He also worked in the family's oil and gas exploration business.[1]

Herger's political career started in 1976, with his election to the East Nicolaus School Board. He also served northern California in the California State Assembly from 1980 to 1986. Herger is married to his second wife Pamela Sargent, with whom he has 9 children and 6 grandchildren. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sits on the United States House Committee on Ways and Means.[1]

Contents

Early life

Herger grew up in California. He has Swiss roots (his grandfather emigrated to the US from the canton of Uri about 100 years ago).[2] He joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he was about 20.[3]

Election campaigns

Herger has easily been reelected to Congress due to the "safe" Republican voter registration advantage in this district. His election campaigns have been challenged by token Democratic candidates in the past. The district also always fields a candidate registered with a third party such as the Libertarian party and, during the 1990s, the Natural Law Party. In 2002 and 2004, Herger defeated Democrat Mike Johnson, garnering 67% of the vote in 2004. In 2006, Herger faced Arjinderpal Sekhon and received 64% of the vote.[4] In 2008, Herger faced a more serious challenger, Trinity County Supervisor Jeff Morris, who did somewhat better, holding Herger to 57.9% of the vote.[5]

House tenure

Wally Herger on the Speaker's Balcony overlooking the National Mall.

Herger has served on the influential United States House Committee on Ways and Means since his tenure began as a federal representative. Within Ways and Means, representative Herger serves on two subcommittees, the Subcommittee on Trade, and the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support. In the 110th Congress he was named the Ranking Member of the Republican (minority) delegation to the Trade Subcommittee. Representative Herger's participation in full committee is limited to Ways and Means, in accordance with the rules of the Committee on Ways and Means. While he chaired the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support (called the Subcommittee on Human Resources during his watch) beginning with the 107th Congress, he played a leading role in the reauthorization and expansion of the 1996 welfare reform law. While chairman of the Committee on Human Resources, he was a champion of the nation’s at-risk children, introducing legislation to assist the process of moving greater numbers of at-risk children into safe, stable, and loving families. He also sponsored the “Criminal Welfare Prevention Act”, which was passed as part of the larger 1996 Welfare Reform Law. This bill gave additional financial incentives to law enforcement agencies that identitied fraudulent recipients of aid.[1][6]

On August 18, 2009, Herger generated controversy when he attended a town hall meeting where an audience member referred to himself as a "proud right-wing terrorist". Herger responded with, "Amen. God bless you. There goes a great American."[7][8] The audience member clarified that he meant to say "right wing extremist", which didn't help Rep. Herger because commentators pointed out that, as a US Congressman, Rep. Herger should not have condoned the initial "terrorist" statement in the first place.[9]

Legislative philosophy

Herger's primary legislative concerns as a member of Congress and the Ways and Means Committee include:

  1. securing economic growth and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship by reducing the tax burden on American families
  2. making government run more efficiently by reducing federal regulatory burdens and spending
  3. responsibly reforming entitlement programs to make them sustainable and ensure that they will still be around for future generations of Americans[1]

Legislative goals

The 2nd congressional district is driven by agriculture. Congressman Herger supports legislation to bolster free and fair trade in an effort to support his constituency. Congressman Herger, from his position on the Trade Subcommittee, plans to lead the consideration of trade agreements with foreign nations. His intent is to broaden the opportunities for American businesses to export their products to growing foreign markets. He anticipates that agreements with Panama, Peru and Colombia will expand American exports throughout the western hemisphere.

Herger is also a strong advocate of private property rights. He is an ardent proponent of environmental policies that balance the requirements of stewardship with the economic need for raw materials and finished goods. His work on the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act reflects this dedication. This act institutes a framework for managing federal forest assets that will be tested on federal lands in Lassen, Plumas, and Tehama counties, and has been negotiated by a diverse coalition that includes environmental and logging interests. The act aims to reduce vegetation density in Forest Service lands, while simultaneously expanding the biodiversity of the forest (reduction of “monoculture” forests).[10]

Current goals

Congressmen Herger and Meek of Florida are currently drafting a bill to repeal the three percent withholding tax scheduled to begin in 2011. The withholding tax would apply to governments with expenditures of greater than 100 million USD on services from for-profit companies. The law mandates that governments will only deliver 97 percent of a contract to the contractor, and send the remaining 3 percent to the IRS. Vendors and contractors are expected to increase their bid values to cover this new cost. The National Association of Counties thinks that this will give Counties a competitive disadvantage when dealing with vendors and contractors. (Counties assess costs of federal ‘3-percent withholding law’)[11][12][13]

Committee Assignments

Electoral History

United States House of Representatives elections, 1986[14]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger 109,758 58.3%
Democratic Stephen C. Swendiman 74,602 39.6%
Libertarian Harry Hugh "Doc" Pendery 4,054 2.2%
Totals 188,414 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1988[15]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 139,010 58.8%
Democratic Wayne R. Meyer 91,088 38.5%
Libertarian Harry Hugh "Doc" Pendery 6,253 2.6%
Totals 236,351 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1990[16]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 133,315 63.7%
Democratic Erwin E. "Bill" Rush 65,333 31.2%
Libertarian Ross Crain 10,753 5.1%
Totals 209,401 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1992[17]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 167,247 65.2%
Democratic Elliot Roy Freedman 71,780 28.0%
Libertarian Harry H. "Doc" Pendery 17,529 6.8%
Totals 256,556 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1994[18]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 137,864 64.16%
Democratic Mary Jacobs 55,959 26.04%
American Independent Devvy Kidd 15,619 7.27%
Libertarian Harry H. "Doc" Pendery 5,418 2.52%
Totals 214,860 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1996[19]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 144,913 60.9%
Democratic Roberts Braden 80,401 33.7%
Natural Law Patrice Thiessen 7,253 3.0%
Libertarian William Brunner 5,759 2.4%
Republican Bob Todd (write-in) 7 0.0%
Totals 238,333 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 1998[20]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 128,372 62.51%
Democratic Roberts "Rob" Braden 70,837 34.49%
Natural Law Patrice Thiessen 6,138 2.99%
Democratic Stephen F. Scott (write-in) 20 0.01%
Totals 205,367 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2000[21]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 168,172 65.8%
Democratic Stan Morgan 72,075 28.2%
Natural Law John McDermott 8,910 3.4%
Libertarian Charles R. Martin 6,699 2.6%
Totals 255,856 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2002[22]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 117,747 65.8%
Democratic Mike Johnson 52,455 29.4%
Natural Law Patrice Thiessen 4,860 2.7%
Libertarian Charles R. Martin 3,923 2.1%
Totals 178,985 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2004[23]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 182,119 66.9%
Democratic Mike Johnson 90,310 33.1%
Totals 272,429 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2006[24]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 134,911 64.2%
Democratic Arjinderpal Sekhon 68,234 32.5%
Libertarian E. Kent Hinesley 7,057 3.3%
Totals 210,202 100.0%
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold
United States House of Representatives elections, 2008[25]
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Wally Herger (incumbent) 163,459 57.9%
Democratic Jeff Morris 118,878 42.1%
Invalid or blank votes  %
Totals 282,337 100.00%
Voter turnout  %

References

  1. ^ a b c d Biography | Representative Wally Herger 2nd District of California. (2007) Retrieved July 23, 2007, from http://www.house.gov/herger/bio.shtml
  2. ^ http://www.thefreelibrary.com/FOREST+SERVICE+SEMINAR+BERATED%3B+CONGRESSMAN+SAYS+MOTIVATIONAL...-a083891297
  3. ^ LDS Church News, March 29th, 2008
  4. ^ CA Secretary of State — Statement of Vote — 2006 General Election. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2006_general/congress.pdf
  5. ^ CA Secretary of State — Statement of Vote — 2008 General Election. Retrieved January 10, 2009, from http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/sov/2008_general/23_34_us_reps.pdf
  6. ^ Herger, W. (1999, May 25) Retrieved July 24, 2007, from http://www.congress.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?
  7. ^ "Right wing “terrorist” says he misspoke". http://www.mtshastanews.com/news/x1566714064/Right-wing-terrorist-says-he-misspoke. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  8. ^ "Congressman's Comments Under Attack". http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-news-congressmanterroristcomments,0,6090994.story. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  9. ^ "TV Commentator Calls for Herger's Resignation". http://www.redding.com/news/2009/aug/28/tv-commentator-calls-hergers-resignation/. Retrieved August 28, 2009. 
  10. ^ USDA Forest Service HFQLG Forest Recovery Act Pilot Project - Home. (2007, June 4) Retrieved July 24, 2007, from http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/hfqlg/
  11. ^ Hot Topics | Representative Wally Herger 2nd District of California. (2007, January 2) Retrieved July 24, 2007, from http://www.house.gov/herger/hottopics_
  12. ^ ThreePercentWithholding. (2007, January 1) Retrieved March 4, 2008, from http://www.abc.org/Government_Affairs/Issues/ABC_Priority_Issues/Three_Percent_Withholding.aspx
  13. ^ NACo | Counties assess costs of federal '3-percent withholding law' (2007, January 1) March 4, 2008, from http://www.naco.org/CountyNewsTemplate.cfm?template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=21305
  14. ^ 1986 general election results
  15. ^ 1988 general election results
  16. ^ 1990 general election results
  17. ^ 1992 general election results
  18. ^ 1994 general election results
  19. ^ 1996 general election results
  20. ^ 1998 general election results
  21. ^ 2000 general election results
  22. ^ 2002 general election results
  23. ^ 2004 general election results
  24. ^ 2006 general election results
  25. ^ 2008 general election results

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Eugene A. Chappie
California State Assemblyman, 3rd District
1980–1986
Succeeded by
Chris Chandler
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Eugene A. Chappie
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 2nd congressional district

1987–Present
Succeeded by
Incumbent







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