Barbara Cubin

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Barbara Cubin
BarbCubin.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's At-large district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Craig Thomas
Succeeded by Cynthia Lummis
Personal details
Born (1946-11-30) November 30, 1946 (age 67)
Salinas, California
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Fritz Cubin (Deceased)
Residence Casper, Wyoming
Alma mater Creighton University
Occupation chemist
Religion Episcopalian

Barbara Lynn Cubin (born November 30, 1946) was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, having served as the sole member of that body from Wyoming. In the 109th Congress, she was a member of the House Resources Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In the wake of the Democratic takeover of Congress in the 2006 elections, Cubin was relegated to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as a Member of both the Health and Telecommunications Subcommittees. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Wyoming and also the only member of Congress who was a member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors.

Early life, education[edit]

Cubin was born in Salinas, California. She grew up in Casper, Wyoming, and graduated from high school there. She received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

Cubin worked as a substitute science and schools employed full-time as a social worker for senior citizens and disabled adults. She later worked for the state Labor Department and Ironworkers' Union to train minorities and Vietnam War veterans to become iron workers.

In 1974, Cubin joined the Wyoming Machinery Company as a chemist, and in 1975, began managing the office of her husband, Fritz Cubin, a physician. She became a Realtor in 1979.

Personal[edit]

The Cubins have two children.

In past elections, Cubin has had to fend off attacks on missed floor votes, which she attributed to her husband's severe health problems.[1][2] Cubin also has had health issues of her own. In 1993 and 1995, she had surgeries related to her gall bladder. In July 2005 she suffered a mild heart attack and underwent surgery to place a stent in an artery that was 70 percent blocked.[3]

The Wyoming GOP confirmed on February 22, 2010 that Rep. Cubin's husband Fritz had died.

Early political career[edit]

Cubin began her political career in November 1986, when she was elected to the Wyoming House of Representatives from Natrona County, Wyoming. She served there for six years. During the 1992 session, she was the primary sponsor of legislation that put on the ballot an initiative that would create the sentence of life without parole.

In November 1992, Cubin was elected to the Wyoming Senate, representing part of Casper, Wyoming. She served there for two years before being elected to the U.S. House.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

1994 election[edit]

In November 1994, Cubin ran for Wyoming's U.S. House seat, to succeed Republican Craig Thomas, who was running for (and would be elected to) the United States Senate. Cubin defeated eight other Republicans in the primary, then won the general election against Bob Schuster, a wealthy Jackson attorney and then-partner of prominent trial attorney Gerry Spence.

Cubin's first race was very close by Wyoming standards (Wyoming is one of the most Republican states in the nation), with Cubin getting 53% of the vote. It was also the most expensive campaign in state history.

Cubin became the first woman to win an election for federal office in the state of Wyoming.

Subsequent elections[edit]

In 1996, Cubin was re-elected with 55 percent. Subsequent races were less close, until 2004, when she again won with 55% of the vote. By contrast, George W. Bush won the state with 69 percent of the vote. In 2006, Cubin won her seat again, but barely, registering 48.3 percent of the vote to her Democratic opponent Gary Trauner's 47.8 percent.

Political positions[edit]

Cubin's voting record is conservative: the American Conservative Union gave her 2005 voting record a rating of 96 points out of 100.

A staunch opponent of abortion in any form, Cubin consistently voted for restrictions on abortion and against funding of family planning groups that provide abortion services, counseling or advocacy.[4]

In 2006, Cubin was listed as cosponsoring legislation that would sell off some federal land to help pay for Hurricane Katrina and other disaster relief. Cubin maintains she never signed on to the legislation, saying there must have been a clerical error. About 42 percent of Wyoming's land is owned by the federal government, including Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.[5]

With regard to global warming, Cubin has stated that "there still exists broad disagreement within the scientific community on the extent to which humans actually contribute to the Earth's temperature changes."[6]

The League of Conservation Voters, a nonpartisan PAC, gave Cubin a lifetime rating of 3 on a scale of 0 to 100. In 2006, she scored a 0.[7]

Controversies[edit]

Racial comment[edit]

On April 9, 2003, Cubin said on the House floor, "My sons are 25 and 30. They are blond-haired and blue-eyed. One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean if you go into a black community, you cannot sell a gun to any black person, or does that mean because my …" Representative Melvin Watt, (D-N.C.), who is black, interrupted and demanded that Cubin retract the statement. Cubin said that she did not mean to offend her "neighbors" on the Democratic side, and maintained that her comment was within House rules.[8]

On the motion from Watt to strike Cubin's words, the motion was defeated along mostly party lines of 227 to 195, with 4 Democrats voting with the Republicans.[9][10]

Slap[edit]

On October 22, 2006, after a televised debate with Democratic candidate Gary Trauner and Libertarian candidate Thomas Rankin, Cubin approached Rankin, who has multiple sclerosis and is a wheelchair user. Rankin states that Cubin said, "If you weren't sitting in that chair, I'd slap you across the face." Rankin called her comment an inappropriate slur to the disabled. Rankin maintains he said nothing to Cubin before her remark.[11]

ARMPAC[edit]

The Wyoming Democratic Party has repeatedly called for Cubin to return the $22,520 she received from Tom DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority political action committee (ARMPAC).[12]

On July 23, 2006 the Casper Star-Tribune reported Cubin "will keep the money she received from former Rep. Tom DeLay's fundraising committee even though the organization has been fined for campaign finance violations and is shutting down." ARMPAC agreed to pay a fine to the Federal Election Commission for "misstatements of financial activity, failure to report debts and obligations and failure to properly allocate expenses between federal and non-federal accounts.""[12] As of October 2006, Cubin's position was that she will return the money if DeLay is convicted.[13]

2009 retirement[edit]

Cynthia Lummis replaced Cubin as the Republican Nominee for Wyoming's At-Large U.S. House District, and succeeded her in the U.S. House of Representatives.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fritz Cubin to Undergo Emergency Surgery: Husband of Wyoming Representative Continues to Battle Illness", press release, July 30, 2002
  2. ^ "Fritz Cubin in stable condition", Casper Star-Tribune, November 25, 2003
  3. ^ Mary Clare Jalonick, "Cubin recovers, leaves hospital"], Associated Press, July 8, 2005
  4. ^ Cubin Casts Vote to Ban Partial Birth Abortions Barbara Cubin Press Release
  5. ^ Casper Star-Tribune Online - News
  6. ^ NewWest Politics — Climate Change and Barbara Cubin
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ Juliet Eilperin, " Debate on Gun Rights In House Turns Racial", Washington Post, April 8, 2003
  9. ^ Procedural Motion/Vote to Table (Kill) an Effort to Chastise Congresswoman Cubin (R-WY) For Her Racially-Charged Remarks on the House Floor
  10. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 119
  11. ^ Cubin tells challenger, "I'd slap you" Casper Star-Tribune . October 24, 2006; Morton, Tom.
  12. ^ a b Noelle Straub, "Cubin keeps DeLay dollars", Casper Star-Tribune, July 17, 2006
  13. ^ Dan Lewerenz and Bob Moen, "Wyo. opponent says incumbent made threat"], Associated Press, October 24, 2006

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Craig Thomas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wyoming's at-large congressional district

January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2009
Succeeded by
Cynthia Lummis
Party political offices
Preceded by
Deborah Pryce
Ohio
Secretary of House Republican Conference
2001–2003
Succeeded by
John Doolittle
California