Gary Miller

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Gary Miller
GaryMiller.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Xavier Becerra
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 42nd district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Joe Baca
Succeeded by Ken Calvert
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Jay Kim
Succeeded by Jerry Lewis
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 60th district
In office
1995–1998
Preceded by Paul Horcher
Succeeded by Bob Pacheco
Mayor of Diamond Bar
In office
1992
Personal details
Born (1948-10-16) October 16, 1948 (age 65)
Huntsville, Arkansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Cathy Miller
Children 4
Residence Diamond Bar, California (c. 1987–2012)
Rancho Cucamonga, California (2012–present)
Alma mater Mt. San Antonio College
Occupation Real estate executive
Religion Protestant
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service Early September – October 1967[1]

Gary Gene Miller (born October 16, 1948), a member of the Republican Party, is the U.S. Representative for California's 31st congressional district. He was first elected in 2002. The district includes most of southern and western San Bernardino County. He previously represented the 42nd District from 1999 to 2013 (numbered as the 41st from 1993 to 2003). In February 2014, Miller announced he would stand down at the next election.[2]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Miller was born in Huntsville, Arkansas, but has lived in Southern California since his teens.[3] He attended Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California, and served briefly in the United States Army in 1967 being discharged after seven weeks of boot camp at Fort Ord near Monterey.[1]

He is a businessman who founded several companies bearing his name, including G. Miller Development, G. Miller Masonry, and G. Miller Framing. At the age of 20, he began his first company, which built single-family and custom homes. His business expanded to the development of planned communities. Miller remains active in real estate through his development company.

Early political career (1988–1994)[edit]

Local politics[edit]

Miller was appointed to the Diamond Bar, California, Municipal Advisory Council in 1988. In 1989, he was elected to the city's first council that helped incorporate the city. He served as mayor in 1992.

State Senate elections[edit]

In 1990, he decided to run for a seat in the California Senate. Incumbent Republican State Senator Bill Campbell of California's 31st State Senate district decided to resign. In the February 1990 special election (open primary), Miller ranked fourth, or last, among Republicans in the field, getting just 16% of the vote.[4]

In 1994, he decided to run for the vacant California's 29th State Senate district. In the open primary in September 1994, he ranked second among Republicans getting 21% of the vote, behind State Representative Dick Mountjoy, who ranked first with 45% of the vote.[5]

California Assembly (1995–1999)[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1995, Miller ran in a special election for a seat in the California State Assembly in the 60th district after incumbent Paul Horcher was recalled. Miller won the open primary with 39% of the vote in a six candidate field.[6]

In 1996, he won re-election defeating Democrat Susan Amaya 53–47%.[7] He was succeeded in office by Bob Pacheco.

Committee assignments[edit]

He was Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives (1999–present)[edit]

Elections[edit]

He was elected to the U.S. House in 1998, defeating incumbent Republican and fellow Diamond Bar resident Jay Kim in the primary and then Democrat Eileen Ansari in the general election with 53 percent. He won again in 2000 with 59 percent of the vote and was re-elected in 2002 with 68 percent of the vote. In 2004, he defeated Democrat Lewis Myers with 71.5% of the vote per OCvote.com, the official county elections office website. Similarly, he won in 2008 with 63.8% of the vote, defeating Democrat Ed Chau.

For his first seven terms in Congress, Miller represented a district comprising portions of northern and eastern Orange County, southern Los Angeles County and a small portion of San Bernardino County. After the 2010 United States Census, Miller's district was renumbered as the 39th District, and pushed further into Orange County, making this already strongly Republican seat even more so. The new map also placed the home of fellow Republican and 10-term incumbent Ed Royce into the 39th, setting up what would have been the only primary contest between two California Republicans. Although the 39th was more Miller's district than Royce's (Miller retained 53 percent of his former territory), Royce was considered the stronger candidate. Partly due to this, Miller announced in January 2012 that he would run in the newly created 31st District, located entirely in San Bernardino County. Miller's move effectively ended the career of House Rules Committee chairman David Dreier, who had represented a large slice of the new 31st.[9] As part of the move, he bought a second home in Rancho Cucamonga, which he now claims as his official residence.

On paper, Miller faced daunting odds. He was running in a district that he had never represented before, had a sizable Democratic lean and was majority-Hispanic. Had it existed in 2008, Barack Obama would have won it with 56 percent of the vote. However, due to California's new "top-two" primary system, the three Democrats in the field split the vote, allowing Miller to come in first with only 27 percent of the vote while a fellow Republican, State Senator Bob Dutton came in second with 25% while three Democrats split the remaining 48% of the vote. In the general election, Miller defeated Dutton with 55 percent of the vote.

Tenure[edit]

Transportation and Infrastructure

Congressman Miller is the most senior Republican from the California delegation on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.[10] He serves on the Highways and Transit; Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials; and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittees.[11]

In 2005, Congressman Miller secured a provision in the 2005 SAFE-TEA LU Highway Reauthorization that initiated a pilot program where 5 states, including California would assume the responsibility for conducting the federal environmental review process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In California, the NEPA pilot program has shaved 17 months off of environmental review processes and 30 months off of overall project delivery.

Streamlining regulations and review for transportation projects

During the 112th Congress, Miller introduced legislation to build off the success of the 2005 pilot program to further improve highway project delivery by eliminating bureaucratic red tape and restoring greater control to state and local governments.[12]

In June 2011, he introduced the Environmental Review Cooperation Act, which would make permanent a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) pilot program that authorizes five states—including California—to take on the responsibility of complying with NEPA for Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funded projects. The bill would also expand the program to all states that have environmental standards that are equal to or exceed federal requirements.[13]

In August 2011, Congressman Miller introduced the Breaking Down Barriers Act, which provides common sense proposals to make highway project delivery more efficient. HR 2766, The Breaking Down Barriers Act includes language that allows transportation agencies to move forward on construction activities prior to receiving grant funds, and requires prompt action by federal agencies by establishing deadlines for project approvals.[14]

Energy

During the 111th Congress, Congressman Miller introduced a comprehensive energy bill that would reduce regulatory burdens that delay improvements and advancements in domestic energy production. The bill would open U.S. coastal waters for drilling, allow states to share a portion of the revenue derived from such drilling, and use the earnings from offshore drilling to pay down the national debt. The legislation also included energy tax incentives for wind, solar, biodiesel, clean coal technologies and other forms of energy.[15] Congressman Miller stated his resolution and plan to lower gas prices and work for a long term solution for the country.[16]

Animal Welfare

During the 111th and 112th Congresses, Congressman Miller cosponsored the Puppy Uniform Protection Statute (PUPS) Act, which sets out to close loopholes in the 1966 law that allows breeders to sell puppies over the Internet without federal oversight. Specifically, this legislation requires any breeder who sells or offers to sell more than 50 dogs annually directly to the public, including over the Internet, to be licensed and inspected. The bill would also require that dogs in commercial breeding facilities have appropriate space and daily exercise.[17]

Congressman Miller was an original cosponsor of legislation in the 111th Congress to prohibit knowingly selling or offering to sell videos of animal crush videos in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain. This legislation, H.R. 5566, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, was signed into law on December 9, 2010. In the 110th Congress, he sponsored the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act, which imposes a fine and up to three years in jail for violations of the Animal Welfare Act related to sponsoring or exhibiting animals in an animal fighting venture and for buying, selling, or transporting any animal for participation in an animal fighting venture. This legislation became law on May 3, 2007.[18]

Supporting Breast Cancer Research

Congressman Miller cosponsored legislation supporting Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, a call to action for policymakers, researchers, breast cancer advocates, and other stakeholders to end the disease by the end of the decade. H.R. 3067 would create a commission to identify promising research, encourage partnerships between government and the private sector, and create opportunities for trans-disciplinary collaboration that may advance the mission of ending breast cancer.[19] Congressman Miller also cosponsored H.R. 466, legislation to reauthorize the sale of the Breast Cancer Stamp, with proceeds from the stamp going to the National Institute of Health to fund breast cancer research.[20] Congressman Miller is also a long time supporter of the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.

During the 111th and 112th Congresses, Congressman Miller sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee requesting that appropriators include $120 million for the Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) in defense appropriations legislation.

Veterans

Congressman Miller supports continuing the extension of benefits to all veterans of the armed services of the United States.[16] During the 112th Congress, Congressman Miller cosponsored the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, which addresses the high rate of veteran unemployment by streamlining the bureaucratic processes for veterans with relevant training to get jobs when they return home. Specifically, H.R. 4155 would direct federal agencies to view relevant military training as the equivalent of federal licensing and certification requirements.[21]

Congressman Miller also cosponsored H.R. 178, legislation to repeal the so-called "Widow's Tax" and ensure military widows and families of military heroes will be fully protected. H.R. 178, also known as the Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act, would repeal current law that requires a dollar-for-dollar deduction of VA benefits for service connected deaths from military survivors' Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity.[22]

Anti-Terrorism

In 2005, Miller cosponsored the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437) with representative Jim Sensenbrenner. In 2006, after widespread demonstrations by immigrants, Miller wrote: "Too bad their protest didn't include giving up government-paid social services—because a day without illegal aliens would be a boon to U.S. taxpayers."[23]

Miller backed the development of a rail link between Ontario and Anaheim, part of a proposed 269-mile (433 km) line between Orange County and Las Vegas. "Once completed, there would be no need for an airport in south Orange County, and the Inland Empire will reap the economic benefits as a true transportation hub," Miller said.

Miller, a history buff, become involved in the preservation of Civil War battlefields, after he played a bit part in the 2003 movie Gods and Generals.

Miller signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[24]

In 2011, Miller 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.[25]

Allegation of sheltering profits of real estate sales

Miller sold 165 acres (0.67 km2) to the city of Monrovia, in 2002, making profit of more than $10 million. Normally, he would have had to pay state and federal taxes of up to 31% on that profit.

Instead, Miller told the Internal Revenue Service and the state of California that Monrovia had forced him to sell the property under threat of eminent domain. That allowed him to shelter the profits from capital gains taxes for more than two years before he had to reinvest the money.

But Monrovia officials say that Miller sold the land willingly and that they didn't threaten to force him to sell. A videotape of a February 2000 City Council meeting shows Miller asking city officials four times to buy his land. Another, earlier videotape confirmed Miller's position that the city had refused to let him develop the land and threatened "condemnation" of his property for public use. Although all early drafts of Monrovia's sales contract with Miller included the phrase "friendly condemnation", it was deleted when the final deal was made. Miller and his wife signed an amendment to the escrow instructions on August 1, 2002, saying, "condemnation deleted", or no longer in effect.[26]

Miller took an exemption again in 2005 when he sold the 10 lots to the city of Fontana and again in 2006 when he sold a building to Fontana, claiming both were compulsory sales. The lots and building had been purchased in late 2004 with proceeds from the Monrovia sale. Such exemptions give him another two years after each sale to reinvest the funds without paying capital gains taxes.

In each of those cases, those involved in the purchases say eminent domain was neither used nor threatened.[26] On January 31, 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that Miller's transactions are being investigated by the FBI.[27]

Miller declined to comment on the sales.[26] The FBI also declined to comment. As of 2008, no investigation or legal action could be confirmed.

2005 profits from dealings with business partner and federal transportation bill

As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Miller pushed for a provision in the 2005 transportation bill that allowed the city of Rialto to close its airport, the first time an act of Congress has ever shuttered an airport. It is a power the Federal Aviation Administration traditionally has had sole authority to exercise. The closing of the airport paved the way for Lewis Operating, a business partner and campaign contributor, to win a multimillion dollar contract from the city to develop the airport land and build a planned community consisting of 2,500 homes, parks and 80 acres (320,000 m2) of retail space on the former airport and adjacent land.

Miller also helped secure $1.28 million in that bill for street improvements in front of a planned housing and retail center, including a Target store that he co-owned with Lewis Operating.

Miller took out nearly $7.5 million in promissory notes in 2004 from Lewis Operating, which he used to purchase land from the company. In 2005, he sold some of that land to a part of the company, making a profit of between $1.1 million and $6 million, according to his financial disclosure report (which requires reporting a dollar range, not an exact dollar figure). The majority of the parcels that Miller bought are about two miles (3 km) from the airport.

House Rules explicitly state that before entering into loans from an entity other than a financial institution, members of Congress and staff must submit the terms of the loans for review and a determination from the ethics committee on whether the loan is acceptable under the gift rule. It is not clear if Miller complied with this requirement.[28]

December 2006 allegations

In December 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that Miller had used "congressional muscle" for "personal business matters".[29] This included having congressional staff do Miller's personal errands, collecting nearly $25,000 a year in rent from his campaign committee, using the offices of his real estate development firm as his campaign office, and ordering an aide to find a way to get a city business-friendly council member on the National Park Board who was involved in a city purchase of Miller's property.[29]

May 2010 allegations

In May 2010, the FOX affiliate MyFOXLA interviewed Miller over claims led by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) that he "directed millions of dollars in government money to non-profits headed by one of his campaign contributor[s], developer Jeffrey Burum".[30] Burum, his company, and his wife donated more than $30,000 [31] to Miller's campaign for what CREW alleges is over a million dollars in congressional earmarks kicked back to Burum's non-profit Hope Through Housing Foundation. A request was made to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's office to investigate.

Controversy over Congressman Miller's federal earmarks for Islamist defense contractor

In June 2011, the Orange County Register reported that Rahim Sabadia, the CEO of Sabtech Industries, a local defense contracting firm, had been stripped of his SECRET security clearance in July 2010, forcing an abrupt halt to the company's work on a classified multimillion dollar Navy contract. The reason for this unusual action was reportedly the concerns of the Defense Security Service (DSS) over Sabadia's large contributions to Islamic charities, including $1.2 million to the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—a group the U.S. government suspects of connections with the Islamic terror organization, Hamas.[32]

According to the non-profit investigative group, Watchdog Institute, Congressman Miller was instrumental in securing over $9 million in federal defense earmarks for Sabadia's defense firm. Meanwhile, records show that Sabadia, along with his wife, Nafees, gave Miller more than $40,000 to Miller's campaign since the year 2000, maxing out their contributions in every election cycle.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus membership[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Miller and his wife, Cathy, have three sons and one daughter.

Abduction of grandchildren[edit]

On November 19, 2007, three of Miller's grandsons, Brian (8) and twins Evan and Christian (6), were abducted by their estranged mother, Jennifer Lopez DeJongh, from their Diamond Bar home. DeJongh was divorced from Miller's son, and the boy's father, Brian Miller, and the two were in dispute over certain custodial rights regarding medical and educational decisions for the children, though at the time Brian had sole custody. In August 2011, DeJongh and the boys were located in Mexicali, Mexico. DeJongh was charged with three counts of child custody deprivation in Los Angeles County, but federal charges of flight to avoid prosecution were dropped following her extradition. The boys, now 12 and twins 10, were reunited with the Miller family. Congressman Miller commented that, "My wife and I are extremely relieved that after more than 3 1/2 years our grandchildren have been found unharmed and returned safely to the United States" and that he was "eternally grateful" to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Mexican authorities and "all those whose hard work and unwavering dedication made this possible".[33][34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Silverstein, Ken (June 1, 2010). ""It has been a tremendous honor to have served": Congressman Gary Miller's Vietnam Odyssey". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2010-06-03. 
  2. ^ Aaron Blake (February 12, 2014). "Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) to retire". The Washington Post. 
  3. ^ "Miller, Gary G., (1948 - )". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ "CA State Senate 31 - Special Election Primary Race - Feb 06, 1990". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  5. ^ "CA State Senate 29 - Special Election Primary Race - Sep 13, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  6. ^ "CA State Assembly 60 - Special Election Race - May 16, 1995". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  7. ^ "CA State Assembly 60 Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  8. ^ Newlin, Eliza. "Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA, 42nd District) - The Almanac of American Politics". Nationaljournal.com. Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  9. ^ Trygstad, Kyle. Gary Miller Switches California Districts to Avoid Battle With Ed Royce. Roll Call, 2012-01-12.
  10. ^ "Seniority list of the United States House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress". Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. December 3, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  11. ^ "House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure - The United States House of Representatives, One Hundred Twelfth Congress". 
  12. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.2538 -- REBUILD Act (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. July 14, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  13. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.2389 -- Environmental Review Cooperation Act (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. June 24, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  14. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.2766 -- Breaking Down Barriers Act of 2011 (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. August 1, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  15. ^ "111th Congress (2009-2010) - H.R.3505 -- American Energy Production and Price Reduction Act (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. July 31, 2009. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  16. ^ a b http://garymiller.house.gov/legislativeissues/
  17. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.835 -- Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. February 28, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  18. ^ "110th Congress (2007-2008) - Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2007". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  19. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.3067 -- Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2011 (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. September 26, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  20. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.466 -- To amend title 39, United States Code, to extend the authority of the United States Postal Service to issue a semipostal to raise funds for breast cancer research. (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  21. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - Veteran Skills to Jobs Act". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  22. ^ "112th Congress (2011-2012) - H.R.178 -- Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act (Introduced in House - IH)". Thomas.loc.gov. January 5, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  23. ^ Gary Miller (2006-05-05). "Capitol Connection: April 29 to May 5, 2006". Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  24. ^ Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers
  25. ^ 0:59. "NDAA Bill: How Did Your Congress Member Vote?". Ibtimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  26. ^ a b c Heisel, William (2006-08-13). "Official's Tax Break: on Firm Ground?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  27. ^ Heisel, William (2007-01-31). "FBI probing Rep. Miller's land sales". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  28. ^ Crabtree, Susan (2006-08-09). "Miller may have violated House ethics rules by borrowing $7.5M". The Hill. Archived from the original on 2006-12-19. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  29. ^ a b Heisel, William (December 12, 2006). "Ex-aides allege abuse of power". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2006-12-13. [dead link]
  30. ^ Silva, Gina (May 6, 2010). "Congressman Under Fire Over Earmarks". MyFOXLA. Retrieved 2010-05-07. 
  31. ^ "Individuals Who Gave To: MILLER, GARY G. G". Federal Election Commission. May 19, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20. 
  32. ^ Yorba Linda contractor who got millions in defense earmarks loses clearance. www.ocregister.com/articles/sabtech-303104-sabadia-miller.html
  33. ^ Blankstein, Andrew (2011-08-12). "Rep. Gary Miller's three missing grandchildren found in Mexico". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  34. ^ Girardot, Frank C. (2011-08-12). "Former Miss Diamond Bar arrested in Mexico with congressman's missing grandkids". Whittier Daily News. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 

External links[edit]

California Assembly
Preceded by
Paul Horcher
California State Assemblyman
60th District
1995–1998
Succeeded by
Bob Pacheco
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jay Kim
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st congressional district

1999–2003
Succeeded by
Jerry Lewis
Preceded by
Joe Baca
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 42nd congressional district

2003-2013
Succeeded by
Ken Calvert
Preceded by
Xavier Becerra
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 31st congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
John Larson
D-Connecticut
United States Representatives by seniority
116th
Succeeded by
Grace Napolitano
D-California