Marsha Blackburn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Marsha Blackburn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded byEd Bryant
Personal details
BornMarsha Wedgeworth
(1952-06-06) June 6, 1952 (age 60)
Laurel, Mississippi
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Charles "Chuck" Blackburn
ChildrenMary Morgan Ketchel
Chad Blackburn
ResidenceBrentwood, Tennessee
Alma materMississippi State University
OccupationRetail Marketing
ReligionPresbyterian
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Marsha Blackburn
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2003
Preceded byEd Bryant
Personal details
BornMarsha Wedgeworth
(1952-06-06) June 6, 1952 (age 60)
Laurel, Mississippi
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Charles "Chuck" Blackburn
ChildrenMary Morgan Ketchel
Chad Blackburn
ResidenceBrentwood, Tennessee
Alma materMississippi State University
OccupationRetail Marketing
ReligionPresbyterian

Marsha Wedgeworth Blackburn[1] (born June 6, 1952) is the U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 7th congressional district, serving since 2003. She is a member of the Republican Party. The district stretches from the suburbs of Nashville to the suburbs of Memphis.

Contents

Early life, education and business career

Born Marsha Wedgeworth in Laurel, Mississippi, Blackburn attended Northeast Jones High School and graduated from Mississippi State University where she joined Chi Omega,[2] and where she also spent a few summers working with the Southwestern Company. She owned and operated a marketing company in Williamson County Tennessee.

Early political career

Blackburn began her political career in 1977 as a founding member of the Williamson County Young Republicans. She served as chairwoman of the Williamson County Republican Party from 1989 to 1991. Her elected political career began in 1992, when she won the Republican nomination for the 6th District, which at the time included her home in Brentwood. She lost by 16 percentage points to longtime congressman Bart Gordon. In 1995, she was appointed chairwoman of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment & Music Commission. She won elective office for the first time in 1998, when she was elected to the Tennessee State Senate, representing Williamson County and a sliver of Davidson County.

She led efforts to prevent the passage of a state income tax championed by Governor Don Sundquist and for this was referred to as "one of the heroes of the Great Tennessee Tax Revolt of 2000" by a writer for the online conservative magazine American Thinker in 2007.[3] Later that year in an interview Blackburn said that this was the legislative action she was most proud of.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives

Blackburn is a fiscal and social conservative. She was defeated in November 2007 for the position of Republican Conference chairman. Some had speculated she would run for Bill Frist's U.S. Senate seat in 2006; however, she chose to run for a third House term. Unlike most female Representatives, she prefers to be called "Congressman Blackburn."[5] She was also mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2010.[6]

Congresswoman Blackburn initially backed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, joining his campaign as a senior advisor.[7] On May 25, 2007, Blackburn resigned her position in the Romney campaign and endorsed former Senator Fred Thompson for President.[8] On 2012 GOP primary, Blackburn did not endorse a presidential candidate, though she expected tea-party supporters would prefer Rick Santorum.[9]

Since 2007, Blackburn has not made a special spending request in federal budget earmarks.[10]

Blackburn is a vocal opponent of President Obama's Health Care Reform Legislation, which she characterizes as "a government run, government ensured, government financed, government delivered healthcare system".[11] When pressed by MSNBC's Joe Scarborough on opponents of Health Care Reform's claim that the legislation includes "death panels" for the elderly, Blackburn would not reject this assertion[12] although nonpartisan FactCheck.org considers it incorrect.[13]

According to her campaign website, Blackburn has received the following honors:

Blackburn served as an assistant whip in the 108th and 109th Congress, and served as a deputy whip for the 110th and 111th Congress.[14][15] During the 110th Congress she was the Communications Chairman for the Republican Study Committee. She is also serving as a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee for third consecutive term.

In 2008 Blackburn won her GOP primary race by gaining 62 percent of the vote against Shelby County register of deeds, and former fellow state senator, moderate Republican Tom Leatherwood.[16][17]

Blackburn scored 100% on American Conservative Union’s 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 Ratings of Congress.[18][19][20] 

In 2008, Congresswoman Blackburn was named one of CREW's Most Corrupt Members of Congress by government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.[21]

In April 2009, Blackburn questioned former Vice President Al Gore during an energy-related congressional hearing: "The legislation that we are discussing here today, is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?”.[22] The Independent, a London-based periodical, has credited her for "famously put[ting Gore] on the spot about his business interests in the [energy] industry" during this confrontation.[23] Gore vociferously refuted the implied accusation, pointing out that every penny he makes from renewable technology investment goes to a non-profit.

Blackburn introduced H.R. 3608, the Stop TSA’s Reach in Policy Act (STRIP Act), in 2011.[24] The bill is intended to "..prevent Transportation Security Administration officers from wearing law enforcement uniforms and police-like badges and calling themselves officers unless they receive law enforcement training."[25] The bill has drawn 29 co-sponsors so far and aims to prohibit TSA employees "who [have] not received federal law enforcement training or [are] not eligible for federal law enforcement benefits" from using the title of officer or wearing a uniform or police badge resembling that of a federal law enforcement officer.[25][26][27]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Ratings of congress

Past years’ congressional vote ratings

 200320042005200620072008200920102011
American Conservative Union's conservative scores (%)[28]92100100961009610010087.50
National Journal's conservative scores (%)[29]93.1786.292.592.3928693.284.285
National Journal's conservative rank of congress--------125576140

Political campaigns

Redistricting after the 2000 Census moved Blackburn's home from the 6th District into the 7th District. The 6th District incumbent Congressman, Democrat Bart Gordon, had faced three tough races in the 1990s (including a near-defeat in 1994) seemingly due to the 6th's inclusion of Williamson County, the wealthiest county in the state and the most Republican county in Middle Tennessee. It appears that the Democratic-controlled Tennessee General Assembly wanted to protect Gordon by moving Williamson County into the already heavily Republican 7th District.[30] To maintain approximately equal district sizes (as required by Wesberry v. Sanders – 1964) and to compensate for the increase in 7th District population by the addition of Williamson County, the General Assembly shifted some of the more Democratic parts of Clarksville to the nearby 8th District. This created a district that is 200 miles long, but in some parts of Middle Tennessee is only two miles wide--roughly the width of a highway lane.

In 2002, 7th District incumbent Congressman Republican Ed Bryant decided to run for the Senate seat being vacated by Republican Fred Thompson. Blackburn entered the Republican primary to replace Bryant. The primary was watched very closely in Tennessee Republican circles. The 7th District is considered the state's most Republican district outside the state's traditional Republican heartland, East Tennessee. Republicans had held the 7th since 1972 by margins rivaling those usually scored by East Tennessee Republicans.

Of the four serious candidates, Blackburn was the only one from the Nashville suburbs, while the other three were all from Memphis and its suburbs. The three Memphians split the vote in that area, allowing Blackburn to win the primary by 20 points. Blackburn's primary win was tantamount to election in November. In the general election, Blackburn defeated Democratic nominee Tim Barron. She was the fourth woman elected to Congress from Tennessee, but the first not to serve as a stand-in for her husband. (Irene Bailey Baker and Louise Reece had served as caretakers after their husbands died in office, and Marilyn Lloyd replaced her husband on the ballot when he died after the primary election.) She is also the first Republican to represent part of Nashville itself since Reconstruction; a small portion of Nashville (roughly coextensive with the Davidson County portion of her State Senate district) was shifted from the heavily Democratic 5th District to the 7th District after the 2000 Census.

Blackburn was unopposed for reelection in 2004, which is somewhat unusual for a freshman member of Congress, even from a district as heavily Republican as the 7th. Washingtonian's September 2004 "Best and Worst of Congress", obtained from a survey of Congressional aides, identified Blackburn as one of the three best freshman members.

Electoral history

Tennessee's 6th congressional district: 1992 results[31]
YearDemocratVotesPctRepublicanVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct
1992Bart Gordon120,17757%Marsha Blackburn86,28941%H. Scott BensonIndependent5,9523%*
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 1992, write-ins received 10 votes.
Tennessee's 7th congressional district: Results 2002–2010[31]
YearDemocratVotesPctRepublicanVotesPct3rd PartyPartyVotesPct
2002Tim Barron51,79026%Marsha Blackburn138,31471%Rick PattersonIndependent5,4233%*
2004(no candidate)Marsha Blackburn232,404100%
2006Bill Morrison73,36932%Marsha Blackburn152,28866%Kathleen A. CulverIndependent1,8061%*
2008Randy Morris98,20731%Marsha Blackburn214,21469%
2010Greg Rabidoux54,34125%Marsha Blackburn158,89272%J.W. StoneIndependent6,3193%*
2012(no candidate)----Marsha Blackburn----Jack ArnoldIndependent----
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, write-ins received 31 votes. In 2006, James B. "Mickey" White received 898 votes; William J. Smith received 848 votes; John L. Rimer received 710 votes; and Gayl G. Pratt received 663 votes.

Personal life

Blackburn is married to Charles "Chuck" Blackburn, and they live in Brentwood, a wealthy suburb of Nashville. The couple has two children. Blackburn is Presbyterian.[32] The Presbyterian Church is made up of several independent governing bodies known as denominations.[33] The church Blackburn belongs to[34] is affiliated[35] with the Presbyterian Church in America. Blackburn is a member of The C Street Family, a prayer group which includes many members of Congress.[36]

References

  1. ^ U.S. Rep. Marsha Wedgeworth Blackburn 2008 - Annual
  2. ^ http://library.msstate.edu/cprc/blackburn.asp
  3. ^ Poole, Patrick (2007-05-17), "Schwarzenegger Should Terminate His health Care Plan", American Thinker, http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/05/schwarzenegger_should_terminat.html, retrieved 2012-06-06
  4. ^ Sistrunk, Ed (2007-12-05). "Grassroots Conservative Majority Interviews Congressman Marsha Blackburn (part 1 and 2)". Free Republic.
  5. ^ ANDREWS, HELENA (Apr/15/2008). "The lady prefers 'congressman'". Politico. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9622.html.
  6. ^ Kleinheider (January 7, 2009). "Marsha Blackburn Has Not Yet Decided On A Run For Guv". NashvillePost.com. http://politics.nashvillepost.com/2009/01/07/marsha-blackburn-has-not-yet-decided-on-a-run-for-guv/.
  7. ^ "Governor Mitt Romney Announces Two New Senior Advisers"
  8. ^ "Blackburn endorses Fred Thompson"
  9. ^ Elizabeth Bewley (March 6, 2012). "Blackburn says Romney victory in TN wouldn’t surprise her". The Tennessean. http://blogs.tennessean.com/politics/2012/blackburn-says-romney-victory-in-tn-wouldnt-surprise-her/.
  10. ^ David Lightman and Chris Echegaray (November 16, 2010). "TN senators back freeze on special spending". The Tennessean: p. 2. http://www.tennessean.com/article/20101116/NEWS02/11160323/2067.
  11. ^ Memphis Fox Network Online, Sept 4 2009
  12. ^ "Blackburn wont deny reform will create death panels". MSNBC. 2009-08-25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Kn14Yndy4.
  13. ^ Factcheck.org, August 14, 2009/
  14. ^ "Blackburn to speak at GOP dinner". Shelbyville Times-Gazette. April 1, 2008. http://www.t-g.com/story/1322013.html.
  15. ^ "Biography". official U.S. House website. 2010-03-30. http://blackburn.house.gov/Biography/.
  16. ^ BEADLE, NICHOLAS (August 8, 2008). "Blackburn beats Leatherwood". The Jackson Sun. http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080808/NEWS03/80808001.
  17. ^ L., James (August 8, 2008). "8/7 Primary Results Round-up". Swing Stage Project. http://www.swingstateproject.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=2725.
  18. ^ "2005 Votes by State Delegation". ACU Ratings. http://www.acuratings.org/2005all.htm#TN. Retrieved 2010-03-14.[dead link]
  19. ^ "2007 Votes by State Delegation". ACU Ratings. http://www.acuratings.org/2007all.htm#TN. Retrieved 2010-03-14.[dead link]
  20. ^ "2009 Votes by State Delegation". ACU Ratings. http://67.20.95.56/ratings/ratingsarchive/2009/House%20Ratings.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
  21. ^ Sullivan, Bartholomew. "Blackburn added to 'most corrupt' in Congress list". The Commercial Appeal. http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/sep/11/blackburn-added-to-most-corrupt-in-congress-list/. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  22. ^ Allen, Nick (3 November 2009). "Al Gore 'profiting' from climate change agenda". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/6496196/Al-Gore-profiting-from-climate-change-agenda.html.
  23. ^ Usborne, David (4 November 2009). "Al Gore denies he is 'carbon billionaire'". The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/al-gore-denies-he-is-carbon-billionaire-1814199.html.
  24. ^ "STRIP Act Bill Text (PDF)". http://blackburn.house.gov/UploadedFiles/STRIP_Act_Bill_Text.pdf. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  25. ^ a b Simon, Richard (December 20, 2011). "STRIP Act targets TSA uniforms: End 'impersonation' of 'real cops'". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/12/strip-act-targets-tsa.html.
  26. ^ Blackburn, Marsha (February 29, 2012). "The TSA is coming to a highway near you". Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/02/29/the-tsa-is-coming-to-a-highway-near-you/2/. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  27. ^ "H.R.3608: STRIP Act - U.S. Congress - OpenCongress". http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3608/news_blogs. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  28. ^ "Congressional Ratings 2011". American Conservative Union. March 2012. http://conservative.org/legislative-ratings/.
  29. ^ National Journal Staff (February 21, 2012). "Past Years’ National Journal Vote Ratings". http://www.nationaljournal.com/voteratings2011/past-years-national-journal-vote-ratings-20120221.
  30. ^ DAVIS, KENT (2010-01-12). "2011 Redistricting TN". TN Precinct Project. http://www.tnprecinctproject.com/2010/01/12/2011-redistricting-tn/.
  31. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  32. ^ Campaign 2004, Associated Press
  33. ^ Presbyterian Family, Association of Religious Data Bases
  34. ^ "Marsha Blackburn -- 7th Congressional District", The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), June 30, 2010
  35. ^ PCA/Denomination, Christ Presbyterian Church, "About Us"
  36. ^ Inside The C Street House, Salon.com July 21, 2009

External links

Tennessee Senate
Preceded by
Keith Jordan
Member of the Tennessee State Senate for the 23rd District
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Jim Bryson
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ed Bryant
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 7th congressional district

2003–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Tim Bishop
D-New York
United States Representatives by seniority
198th
Succeeded by
Jo Bonner
R-Alabama