Geoff Davis

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Geoff Davis
Geoffdavis.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 4th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – July 31, 2012
Preceded by Ken Lucas
Succeeded by Thomas Massie
Personal details
Born Geoffrey C. Davis
(1958-10-26) October 26, 1958 (age 55)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pat Davis
Residence Hebron, Kentucky
Alma mater US Military Academy
Occupation manufacturing consultant
Religion Baptist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1976-1987[1]
Rank US military captain's rank.gif Captain
Commands 82nd Combat Aviation Battalion[1]
311th Aviation Battalion[1]

Geoffrey C. "Geoff" Davis (born October 26, 1958) is a former U.S. Representative for Kentucky's 4th congressional district, serving from 2005 to 2012. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district includes 24 counties in the northeastern part of the state, stretching from the fringes of the Louisville area to the West Virginia border. Most of its vote, however, is cast in the counties bordering Cincinnati. On December 15, 2011, Davis announced he would not seek reelection in 2012.[2] On July 31, 2012, he announced his resignation from Congress effective immediately.[3]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Davis was born in Montreal, Canada to American parents (one of few House members to be born in Quebec). After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Army and later received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. At West Point, Davis studied national security and international affairs, as well as the Arabic language. In the U.S. Army he served as an aviation officer, eventually becoming an Assault Helicopter Flight Commander in the 82nd Airborne Division. Davis also ran U.S. Army aviation operations for peace enforcement between Israel and Egypt. During his U.S. Army career, he attained both Senior Parachutist and Ranger qualification.[4][5]

Before running for the U.S. House of Representatives, he owned a consulting firm specializing in lean manufacturing and systems integration.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2002[edit]

In the 2002 elections, Davis challenged Ken Lucas, the Democratic incumbent but was narrowly defeated 51%-48%.[6]

2004[edit]

Lucas declined to run for re-election, honoring a promise to serve only three terms. In the 2004 race for the open seat, Davis defeated his Democratic opponent Nick Clooney, father of actor George Clooney, 54%-44%.[7]

2006[edit]

On January 30, 2006, Lucas announced he would challenge Davis later that year. The announcement instantly turned the race into one of the hottest in the campaign cycle, even though the 4th is considered the most Republican district in Kentucky. Despite a substantial Democratic advantage in voter registration, the influence of the heavily Republican Cincinnati suburbs kept the district in Republican hands from 1967 until Lucas won the seat in 1998. In August Congressional Quarterly rated this race as "Lean Republican." In late July the Washington Post also rated the race as a toss-up.[8] A SurveyUSA poll released on July 25, 2006 showed Lucas leading 50% to 41%.[9] However, the most recent independent SurveyUSA poll shows Davis up by two percentage points (46% Davis - 44% Lucas).[10] Davis has a decisive lead in fundraising.[11] The Cook Political Report, an independent non-partisan newsletter, rated the race for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District as a "Republican Toss-Up", meaning either party has a good chance of winning.[12]

Davis won re-election 52%-43%, a margin of 17,023 votes.[7]

2008[edit]

Davis won re-election with 63% of the vote, defeating Michael Kelley.[13][14]

2010[edit]

Davis campaigning with Sen. Rand Paul, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Ron Paul in 2010

Davis was challenged by Democrat John Waltz, whom he defeated with 69% of the votes cast.[15][16]

Tenure[edit]

Davis has a solidly conservative voting record; according to his congressional website, he has positioned himself as pro-life and in favor of industrial deregulation.

In November 2005, Davis made headlines for his response to Pennsylvania representative John Murtha's call for withdrawal from Iraq, saying, "Ayman Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, as well as Abu Musab Zarqawi, have made it quite clear in their internal propaganda that they cannot win unless they can drive the Americans out. And they know that they can't do that there, so they've brought the battlefield to the halls of Congress. And, frankly, the liberal leadership have put politics ahead of sound, fiscal and national security policy. And what they have done is cooperated with our enemies and are emboldening our enemies." Davis faced harsh criticism for his remarks, including, for example, from the Democratic Veterans of Northern Kentucky, and sparked a drive led by national Democratic Party leaders to get Ken Lucas to run against him in 2006.[17][18][19]

Davis is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he supported H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte-Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[20] In 2008, he opposed H.R. 5767, the Payment Systems Protection Act (a bill that sought to place a moratorium on enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act while the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve defined "unlawful Internet gambling").

In October 2009, Congressman Davis filed the REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act which would give Congress an up or down vote on major rules. On December 7, 2011, the bill was passed in the House. The President has threatened to veto it if it comes to his desk.[21][22]

In 2011, Davis 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.[23]

Contributors[edit]

The Davis campaign has received contributions from the Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC), which was led by former Texas Congressman Tom DeLay. As of June 30, 2006, according to the Federal Election Commission, of the $2.4 million contributed to the Davis campaign for the current 2006 electoral cycle, $10,000 was contributed by ARMPAC.[24] Tom DeLay is the subject of indictments sought by Ronnie Earle, the district attorney for Travis County, Texas, alleging violations of Texas campaign-finance law. Judge Pat Priest has dismissed one indictment against DeLay, the second has not yet come to trial.[25] The charges against DeLay are considered by some to be politically motivated.[26][27] Democrats have indicated that they consider the ARMPAC contributions to be a campaign issue.[28] Davis was never accused of any misconduct.

Davis has received donations from Republican Duke Cunningham, who pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. Davis has not chosen to give back the money from Cunningham, while many other recipients have.[29][30] Davis received a donation from Congressman Bob Ney, who pleaded guilty for bribery and his involvement with convicted felon Jack Abramoff.[31]

Controversies[edit]

On April 12, 2008, at a Northern Kentucky Lincoln Day dinner, Davis compared the campaign slogans of Barack Obama to the sales pitch of a "snake oil salesman". He said in his remarks at the GOP dinner that he participated in a "highly classified, national security simulation" with Obama.

"I'm going to tell you something: That boy's finger does not need to be on the button," Davis added. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country." [32]

Davis also made reference to Obama as being put into the Senate by someone who will probably spend many years of his life in prison (presumably a reference to Tony Rezko) and that Obama had never had a real job before. [33]

Davis later apologized for his comment in a letter:

Dear Senator Obama:

On Saturday night I gave a speech in which I used a poor choice of words when discussing the national security policy positions of the Presidential candidates. I was quoted as saying "That boy's finger does not need to be on the button."

My poor choice of words is regrettable and was in no way meant to impugn you or your integrity. I offer my sincere apology to you and ask for your forgiveness.

Though we may disagree on many issues, I know that we share the goal of a prosperous, secure future for our nation. My comment has detracted from the dialogue that we should all be having on legitimate policy differences and in no way reflects the personal and professional respect I have for you.

Sincerely,
Geoff Davis

[34]

Resignation[edit]

On July 31, 2012, Geoff Davis resigned from Congress due to family health issues, effective immediately. Governor Steve Beshear called for a special election to fill the seat to occur the same day as the general election in November, which would allow the winner to be sworn in immediately.

Committee assignments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier". Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved January 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ http://geoffdavis.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=272857
  3. ^ http://1.usa.gov/M9LUmf
  4. ^ a b http://geoffdavisforcongress.com/meet-geoff/
  5. ^ http://geoffdavis.house.gov/Biography/
  6. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=1152
  7. ^ a b http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=4153
  8. ^ "Eight Issues That Will Shape the 2006 Elections". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #9886
  11. ^ "Key Races". The Washington Post. [dead link]
  12. ^ [2][dead link]
  13. ^ Staff writer (January 25, 2008). "DAVIS, CHALLENGER FILE FOR PRIMARY". Lexington Herald-Leader. 
  14. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=387971
  15. ^ Staff writer (November 3, 2010). "Davis cruises to re-election in KY-4". nky.com. 
  16. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=489201
  17. ^ "House Republicans Respond to Murtha". The New York Times. November 17, 2005. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  18. ^ The Enquirer - This article is no longer available
  19. ^ Milbank, Dana. "An Unlikely Lonesome Dove". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  20. ^ Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4411
  21. ^ http://geoffdavis.house.gov/REINS/history.htm
  22. ^ Sonmez, Felicia (December 7, 2011). "REINS bill to expand congressional power over executive regulations passed by House". The Washington Post. 
  23. ^ http://www.ibtimes.com/ndaa-bill-how-did-your-congress-member-vote-384362
  24. ^ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results
  25. ^ Smith, R. Jeffrey; Weisman, Jonathan (December 6, 2005). "DeLay's Felony Charge Is Upheld". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2010. 
  26. ^ The Wall Street Journal Online - Featured Article
  27. ^ Washington Times - Prosecutorial politics
  28. ^ The tricky politics of scandal - US News and World Report
  29. ^ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results
  30. ^ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results
  31. ^ FEC Disclosure Report Search Results
  32. ^ [3][dead link]
  33. ^ [4][dead link]
  34. ^ http://www.politico.com/static/PPM43_080414_apology.html

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ken Lucas
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kentucky's 4th congressional district

2005–2012
Succeeded by
Thomas Massie
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Henry Cuellar
D-California
United States Representatives by seniority
237th
Succeeded by
Charlie Dent
R-Pennsylvania