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Jerry Lewis (California politician)

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Title: Jerry Lewis (California politician)  
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Subject: California's 37th congressional district, United States congressional delegations from California, Bill Young, Dave Obey, David Dreier
Collection: 1934 Births, American Seventh-Day Adventists, California Republicans, Government in Riverside County, California, Living People, Members of the California State Assembly, Members of the United States House of Representatives from California, People from Redlands, California, People from Seattle, Washington, Politicians from the Greater Los Angeles Area, Republican Party Members of the United States House of Representatives, University of California, Los Angeles Alumni
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Jerry Lewis (California politician)

Jerry Lewis
Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Bill Young
Succeeded by Dave Obey
Chairman of the House Republican Conference
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Dick Cheney
Succeeded by Dick Armey
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Gary Miller
Succeeded by Mark Takano
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 40th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Christopher Cox
Succeeded by Ed Royce
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 35th district
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by David Dreier
Succeeded by Maxine Waters
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 37th district
In office
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1983
Preceded by Shirley Neil Pettis
Succeeded by Al McCandless
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 67th district
In office
Preceded by Paul Bannai
Succeeded by Bill Leonard
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 73rd district
In office
Preceded by L. Stewart Hinckley
Succeeded by Robert H. Burke
Personal details
Born (1934-10-21) October 21, 1934
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Arlene Lewis
Residence Redlands, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Insurance broker
Religion Presbyterianism

Charles Jeremy "Jerry" Lewis (born October 21, 1934), is an American politician who was a U.S. Representative, last serving California's 41st congressional district. He was first elected to Congress in 1978, and previously represented the 40th, 35th, and 37th districts. A Republican, he is a former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, serving in that role during the 109th Congress. In January 2012 he announced that he was not running for re-election and would end his congressional career in January 2013.


  • Early life, education, and business career 1
  • Early political career 2
  • U.S. House of Representatives 3
    • Elections 3.1
    • Tenure 3.2
    • Political positions 3.3
    • Controversies 3.4
    • Committee assignments 3.5
    • Caucus memberships 3.6
  • Electoral history 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life, education, and business career

Lewis was born in Seattle, Washington. In 1952 he graduated from San Bernardino High School in San Bernardino, California, where he captained the swim team and was a basketball star; his basketball jersey was later retired.[1] In 1956 he received a B.A. from UCLA. Lewis served as a Coro Foundation fellow in San Francisco. After college, Lewis was in the insurance business.

Early political career

He was a member of the San Bernardino School Board from 1964 to 1968. He was on the staff of Congressman Jerry Pettis in 1966.

He was a member of the California State Assembly from 1969 to 1978. In January 1974, he ran in a special election for the California State Senate, losing to Democrat Ruben Ayala.[2] In the campaign, Ayala noted that two-thirds of the $130,000 that Lewis raised came from 43 donors — 22 of whom were Sacramento lobbyists.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives

Lewis speaking about wildfire prevention


In November 1978, Lewis was elected as a Republican to the 96th United States Congress, in what was then the 37th Congressional district, with 61% of the vote. He has been re-elected 16 times since then. He has never won re-election with less than 61% of the vote. In fact, he has only dipped below 65% four times (1990, 1992, 2006, and 2008).[4]

In 2008, Lewis received his strongest challenge in decades from San Bernardino attorney Tim Prince, who won a 4-candidate Democratic primary. Lewis put up campaign signs all over the district and was forced to spend over a million dollars to retain his seat. He declined Prince's challenges for a debate. The incumbent defeated him with 62% of the vote.[5]

On January 12, 2012, Lewis announced his retirement.[6]


Lewis employed his wife, Arlene Willis, as the chief of staff in his office. Before they were married, Willis was her husband's top aide when he came to Capitol Hill in 1979.[7]

In 1994, he was named chairman of the VA-HUD and Independent Agencies Subcommittee, where he worked until 1999 to improve oversight to uncover fraud and abuse in large housing programs and reduce spending on wasteful programs within a number of federal agencies.

He steered federal dollars to the state and to the region for projects such as the planning and construction of the Seven Oaks Dam near Highland. Among his proudest achievements came early is his career as a state assemblyman, pushing for the establishment of the first air quality committee in the state Legislature, which led to the formation of the South Coast Air Quality Management District in the mid 1970s.[8]

In 1998, he secured start-up funding in 1998 for Loma Linda University's Proton Beam treatment center, which has led to the installation of similar cancer treatment centers across the U.S.[9]

Lewis placed special riders in a series of appropriations bills that freed up nearly $100 million to the U.S. Forest Service, the state and the county to remove more than a million trees in the San Bernardino National Forest killed by drought and bark beetle infestation. He worked with Sen. Dianne Feinstein to secure an additional $500 million to reduce the fire danger in the San Bernardino Mountains and throughout Southern California.[9]

Lewis also secured $15 million for a pilot program to refurbish houses repossessed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and providing them to qualified low income families. The program, according to Lewis' office, has been successful in Redlands, Highland and San Bernardino.[9]

In 2011, Lewis voted for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 as part of a controversial provision that allows the government and the military to indefinitely detain American citizens and others without trial.[10]

Political positions

Lewis is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and supports stem-cell research. Lewis considers himself pro-life, opposes most public funding of abortions, but encourages family planning efforts which are opposed by many Catholics. He voted against banning adoption by same-sex couples in Washington D.C.[11] He thinks gun-control efforts should center on stiff prison terms for repeat criminals who use firearms, but is open to considering requiring trigger locks and other child safety measures for law-abiding gun owners. The American Conservative Union gave Lewis' 2008 voting record 84 out of 100 points. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave him 0 out of 100 for 2005 (most recent available). Lewis is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[12]


In its 2009 report, [13]

Lewis was also included in the group's report in 2006, 2007, and 2008.[13]

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice closed the case without filing charges. It was never submitted to federal prosecutors.[8]

Military lobbyist relationships

Lewis' aide in charge of tracking defense appropriations was "a military officer on the Pentagon's payroll, an apparent violation of House rules and a possible conflict of interest".[14] Department of Defense regulations state that military personnel can work on committee staffs but not on the personal staff of an individual member. Lewis' aide, Marine Lt. Col. Carl Kime, has apparently worked for Lewis since 2001 while being on the Pentagon payroll. Congressional watchdogs call Kime's role a conflict of interest and defense experts state that his position may give the Marines greater leverage over contracts and earmarks in the Appropriations Committee.

On February 22, 2006, The Hill reported that the Pentagon was recalling Kime from Lewis's office. Kime's "service for Lewis appeared to violate the Members' Congressional Handbook issued by the Committee for House Administration, which defines a detailee as a 'non-congressional federal employee assigned to a committee for a period of up to one year.' The handbook also states that 'detailees may not be assigned to a member office' and cites the relevant section of U.S. law: 2 USC Section 72a(f)."[15]

Barracks Row earmarks

In July 2007, CBS News reported that since 2004, Lewis has earmarked $2.75 million for the "Barracks Row" area of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. "Neither I nor my spouse has any financial interest in this project," Lewis said of the improvements being funded by the earmarks. But the congressman's wife, who is also his chief of staff, owns a three-bedroom home valued at $943,000 that is four blocks from the work being paid for by the earmarks. CBS also reported that Tip Tipton, a property owner in the area and a member of the board of director of the redevelopment project receiving the earmarks, is a top Washington lobbyist who is also a longtime Lewis friend and campaign donor.[16]

Loma Linda University

From 1998 to 2003, Loma Linda University received $167.2 million in congressional earmarks. That made it the number one academic recipient in the country, with its total nearly $60 million more than the runner up, the University of South Florida.[17] In 2000, Loma Linda University was the single largest recipient of higher education earmarks, at $36 million, largely brought in by Lewis. Several grants were from the U.S. Department of Defense, including $5 million from NASA for space radiation research.

In 2008, Loma Linda University received nearly $9.5 million, of which $5 million came from the Defense Department.[18]

Committee assignments

Lewis was chair of the House Republican Conference from 1989 to 1992. In January 1995, he became chairman of the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations subcommittee. He was the first representative from California to be chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. He also served as chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee from 1999 to 2005.[8]

Lewis was the chairman of appropriations during the 109th Congress. In the 110th and 111th, he was the Ranking Member on the committee. He sought the chairmanship for the 112th Congress, but it was instead given to Harold Rogers (R-KY).

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

California's 37th congressional district: Results 1978–1980[19]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democrat Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1978 Jerry Lewis 106,581 61% Dan Corcoran 60,463 35% Bernard Wahl American Independent 6,544 4%
1980 Jerry Lewis 165,371 72% Don Rusk 58,091 25% Larry Morris Libertarian 7,615 3%
California's 35th congressional district: Results 1982–1990[19]
Year Republican Votes Pct Democratic Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1982 Jerry Lewis 112,786 68% Robert Erwin 52,349 32%
1984 Jerry Lewis 176,477 85% No candidate Kevin Akin Peace and Freedom 29,990 15%
1986 Jerry Lewis 127,235 77% Sarge Hall 38,322 23%
1988 Jerry Lewis 181,203 70% Paul Sweeney 71,186 28% Jeff Shuman Libertarian 4,879 2%
1990 Jerry Lewis 121,602 61% Barry Norton 66,100 33% Jerry Johnson Libertarian 13,020 6%
California's 40th congressional district: Results 1992–2000[19]
Year Republican Votes % Democratic Votes % Third Party Party Votes % Third Party Party Votes %
1992 Jerry Lewis 129,563 63% Don Rusk 63,881 31% Margie Akin Peace and Freedom 11,839 6%
1994 Jerry Lewis 115,728 71% Don Rusk 48,003 29%
1996 Jerry Lewis 98,821 65% Bob Conaway 44,102 29% Hale McGee American Independent 4,963 3% Joseph Kelley Libertarian 4,375 3%
1998 Jerry Lewis 97,406 65% Bob Conaway 47,897 32% Maurice Maybena Libertarian 4,822 3%
2000 Jerry Lewis 151,069 80% No candidate Frank Schmit Natural Law 19,029 10% Marion Lindberg Libertarian 18,924 10%
California's 41st congressional district: Results 2002–2010[19][20][21]
Year Republican Votes % Democratic Votes % Third Party Party Votes %
2002 Jerry Lewis 91,326 67% Keith Johnson 40,155 30% Kevin Craig Libertarian 4,052 3%
2004 Jerry Lewis 216,682 71% No candidate Peymon Mottahedek Libertarian 37,332 17%
2006 Jerry Lewis 109,761 67% Louie Contreras 54,235 33%
2008 Jerry Lewis 159,486 62% Tim Prince 99,214 38%
2010 Jerry Lewis 127,857 63% Pat Meagher 74,394 37%


  1. ^ William Heisel and Richard Simon, "Inland Empire Pays Firm for D.C. Clout: Why local entities hired the concern when Rep. Jerry Lewis has long delivered U.S. funds to his district isn't clear. The lobbyist is one of his key donors.", Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2006
  2. ^ Woo, Elaine (2012-01-07). "Ruben S. Ayala dies at 89; known as a maverick state senator".  
  3. ^ George Watson, "Issue revisits Lewis: Lobby concern raised in 1974", San Bernardino Sun, July 5, 2006
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "It's all in the family as lawmakers hire", AP, April 15, 2006.
  8. ^ a b c
  9. ^ a b c
  10. ^
  11. ^ [3]
  12. ^ Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers
  13. ^ a b [4]
  14. ^ Alexander Bolton, "Lewis’s use of military aide may break the rules", The Hill, February 2, 2006 Archived November 13, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Alexander Bolton, "Pentagon recalled Lewis’s approps staffer", The Hill, February 22, 2006 Archived May 8, 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Sharyl Attkisson, "Controversial Boon For D.C. Neighborhood: Ritzy Barracks Row Benefiting From Congressman's Earmark Boost — From Your Tax Dollars", CBS Evening News, July 20, 2007
  17. ^ Quan, Douglas (July 9, 2006). "Funds for Colleges Raise Objections". Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  18. ^ "Congressional Earmarks for Higher Education, 2008". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-06-29. 
  19. ^ a b c d "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. 
  20. ^ "Election Results". Federal Election Commission. pp. 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008. 
  21. ^ California Secretary of State official report of 2010 elections results

External links

As of this edit, this article uses content from SourceWatch, a source licensed under the terms of the which was imported into WorldHeritage before November 2008 and is therefore validly licensed for use on WorldHeritage. All relevant terms must be followed. The original article was at "Jerry Lewis".

California Assembly
Preceded by
L. Stewart Hinckley
California State Assemblyman, 73rd District
Succeeded by
Robert H. Burke
Preceded by
Paul Bannai
California State Assemblyman, 67th District
Succeeded by
Bill Leonard
Political offices
Preceded by
Bill Young
Chairman of House Appropriations Committee
Succeeded by
David Obey
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Shirley Neil Pettis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 37th congressional district

Succeeded by
Al McCandless
Preceded by
David Dreier
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 35th congressional district

Succeeded by
Maxine Waters
Preceded by
Christopher Cox
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 40th congressional district

Succeeded by
Ed Royce
Preceded by
Gary Miller
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st congressional district

Succeeded by
Mark Takano
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dick Cheney
Chairman of House Republican Conference
Succeeded by
Richard Armey
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