Bill McCollum

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Bill McCollum
McCollum bio photo.jpg
36th Attorney General of Florida
In office
January 2, 2007 – January 4, 2011
Governor Charlie Crist
Preceded by Charlie Crist
Succeeded by Pam Bondi
Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference
In office
1989–1995
Chairman Jerry Lewis (1989-1993)
Dick Armey (1993-1995)
Preceded by Lynn Morley Martin
Succeeded by Susan Molinari
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 8th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Bill Young
Succeeded by Ric Keller
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th district
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by Richard Kelly
Succeeded by Karen Thurman
Personal details
Born (1944-07-12) July 12, 1944 (age 69)
Brooksville, Florida
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Ingrid Seebohm
Alma mater University of Florida

Ira William "Bill" McCollum, Jr. (born July 12, 1944 in Brooksville, Florida) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party. He was a member of the United State House of Representatives from 1981 to 2001, representing Florida's 5th congressional district, which was later redistricted to the 8th congressional district in 1993. As a member of the House, McCollum rose to become Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, the fifth-highest ranking position in the House Republican leadership. He voted to impeach President Bill Clinton and subsequently took a leadership role in managing Clinton's trial in the Senate, which ended in acquittal. He was the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2000, losing to incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson. He ran for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate again in 2004 but lost to Mel Martinez. In 2006 he was elected Attorney General of Florida and in 2010 was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of Florida, losing to businessman Rick Scott.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Brooksville, Florida, McCollum graduated from Hernando High School and earned his bachelor's degree and law degree from the University of Florida. While at the University of Florida, he was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame, the most prestigious honor a student leader could receive, and served as president of Florida Blue Key.

McCollum's professional career began in 1969 with the United States Navy's Judge Advocate General Corps where he served on active duty until 1972. McCollum was an officer for more than 23 years before retiring from the United States Naval Reserve as a Commander (O-5) in the JAG Corps in 1992. In 1973, he entered private practice in Orlando and became involved in local politics, serving as Chairman of the Seminole County Republican Party from 1976 to 1980.

Congressional career[edit]

1981, Congressional Pictorial Directory, McCollum as a first term Congressman

In 1980 McCollum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from a district including Walt Disney World and most of Orlando. He defeated incumbent Representative Richard Kelly in the Republican primary.

While in Congress, McCollum founded the House Republican Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, chairing it for six years. He also served three terms on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, two of which as Chairman of its Subcommittee on Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence. Additionally, McCollum served as Vice Chairman of the House Banking Committee and served on the Judiciary Committee, where he was Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime.

While serving the House, McCollum was also selected for a variety of Republican leadership positions, including three terms as Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference. McCollum voted eight times to cut Medicare, voted to raise the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security.[2][3] McCollum gained national attention as one of 15 members selected to serve on the House Committee to Investigate the Iran-Contra Affair, and, in 1998–1999, as one of the House Managers of President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial. Rather than seek reelection to the House in 2000, McCollum ran unsuccessfully for an open United States Senate seat, bringing to an end his 20-year Congressional career.

McCollum ran again in 2004, seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Bob Graham. He was defeated in the Republican primary by HUD Secretary Mel Martinez, who went on to win the seat.

McCollum served as a partner with the Baker & Hostetler LLP law firm, practicing in the federal policy area. In addition to his duties as the state's chief legal officer, he serves as President and Chairman of the Healthy Florida Foundation, chartered in 2002 to find consensus on long-term solutions to the nation's health care system. He is a member of the North Florida Committee on Foreign Relations. He is also a board member of the James Madison Institute.

Florida Attorney General[edit]

In 2006, McCollum ran for the office of Attorney General of the State of Florida, defeating State Senator Skip Campbell in the general election.

McCollum was the lead attorney general in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Florida et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services. McCollum has argued that the individual mandate provision of the PPACA violates the Constitution. The State of Florida position is supported by 26 states.

He was also the Florida Chairman for Rudy Giuliani presidential campaign in 2008.[4]

2010 gubernatorial candidate[edit]

On May 18, 2009 McCollum announced his candidacy for Governor of Florida. The election determined the successor of Charlie Crist who later lost his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate.[5]

McCollum opposed federal health care mandates in Florida, decrying them as an unconstitutional "tax on living," and joining with 13 other state attorneys general in filing a federal lawsuit.[6] The majority of polled Florida voters oppose such a lawsuit.[7] He has advocated a state constitutional amendment that would opt Florida out of Washington mandates on health care, although questions about whether such an amendment would be constitutional have been raised. On Sept 8, 2009 McCollum said he supported Medicare and Medicaid programs but opposed a government run 'public option' for health insurance.[2]

Democratic opponent Alex Sink accused McCollum of awarding no bid contracts for a state advertisement to a former campaign ad man at an elevated cost.[8][9] Democrats have criticized McCollum's as making too many public announcements.[10]

On August 24, 2010, McCollum lost the Republican primary election to Rick Scott.[1]

State plane usage[edit]

McCollum was the subject of reports questioning his 2009 use of state planes,[11] resulting in ongoing ethics complaints filed against him by citizens.[citation needed]

Controversy over spending related to opposing gay adoption[edit]

In December 2009, Bill McCollum came under fire with the revelation that as the Florida Attorney General he used over $120,000 in state funds to hire a psychologist, George Rekers, to testify as the star expert witness and one of only two to testify in defense of the state's homosexual-adoption ban. Rekers testified that homosexual parents are as undesirable as "Fifteen-year-old couples, 90-year-old couples, Thai-language-only speaking couples, blind and deaf parents, households with a pedophilic-behaving adult, households with practicing criminals, households with drug dealers and drug abusers, households with unemployed adults, households that advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government, households with an active terrorist, households with sexually promiscuous unmarried men and women co-habitating and households" and questioned the fitness of Native-Americans as parents.

In her ruling on the case Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman struck down the law, stating that the testimony of George Rekers “was far from a neutral and unbiased recitation of the relevant scientific evidence,” and that “Dr. Rekers’ beliefs are motivated by his strong ideological and theological convictions. … The court cannot consider his testimony to be credible nor worthy of forming the basis of public policy.” [12] Controversy over the case reemerged in May 2010, while Bill McCollum was running for governor, when it was discovered that Rekers hired a homosexual prostitute for a 10 day vacation in Europe, again raising questions about Bill McCollum's connections to Rekers and his conduct as Attorney General in the homosexual adoption case.[13]

Personal life[edit]

McCollum is married to Ingrid Seebohm McCollum. They have three sons: Douglas, Justin and Andrew, two daughters-in-law and two grandsons and one granddaughter.

See also[edit]

Joe Jacquot (McCollum's Deputy Attorney General and chief of staff)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Scott Shakes Up Florida Governor Race With GOP Primary Win Over McCollum". FOXNews.com. 2010-04-07. Archived from the original on 28 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  2. ^ a b Bousquet, Steve. "Bill McCollum opposes insurance `public option' - Healthcare Reform". MiamiHerald.com. Retrieved 2010-07-13. [dead link]
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ [3][dead link]
  6. ^ "States Sue to Block Health-Care Reform as Illegal (Update2)". BusinessWeek. 2010-03-23. Archived from the original on 15 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  7. ^ Quinnipiac University - Office of Public Affairs (2010-04-19). "Florida (FL) Poll * April 19, 2010 * McCollum Leads Tight Florida G - Quinnipiac University – Hamden, Connecticut". Quinnipiac.edu. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  8. ^ [4][dead link]
  9. ^ "Sink Scolds McCollum For No-Bid, Out-Of-State Ads". .tbo.com. 2009-03-26. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  10. ^ [5][dead link]
  11. ^ "On the fly: Florida's Cabinet members rack up miles in state planes - St. Petersburg Times". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  12. ^ Billman, Jeffrey C. "News+Features: Florida'S Case Against Gay Adoption". Orlandoweekly.com. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  13. ^ Burnside, Jeff (2010-05-07). "AG Paid $60,000 to Anti-Gay Activist Who Hired Male Prostitute". NBC Miami. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Kelly
Member of the House of Representatives
from Florida's 5th congressional district

1981–1993
Succeeded by
Karen Thurman
Preceded by
Bill Young
Member of the House of Representatives
from Florida's 8th congressional district

1993–2001
Succeeded by
Ric Keller
Party political offices
Preceded by
Lynn Morley Martin
Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference
1989–1995
Succeeded by
Susan Molinari
Preceded by
Connie Mack
Republican nominee for United States Senator
from Florida
(Class 1)

2000 (lost)
Succeeded by
Katherine Harris
Preceded by
Charlie Crist
Republican nominee for Attorney General of Florida
2006 (won)
Succeeded by
Pam Bondi
Legal offices
Preceded by
Charlie Crist
Attorney General of Florida
2007–2011
Succeeded by
Pam Bondi