Jerry Lewis (California politician)
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 41st district
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Gary Miller|
|Succeeded by||Mark Takano|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 40th district
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2003
|Preceded by||Christopher Cox|
|Succeeded by||Ed Royce|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 35th district
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
|Preceded by||David Dreier|
|Succeeded by||Maxine Waters|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 37th district
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1983
|Preceded by||Shirley Neil Pettis|
|Succeeded by||Al McCandless|
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 67th district
|Preceded by||Paul Bannai|
|Succeeded by||Bill Leonard|
|Member of the California State Assembly
from the 73rd district
|Preceded by||L. Stewart Hinckley|
|Succeeded by||Robert H. Burke|
October 21, 1932 |
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Residence||Redlands, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
Charles Jeremy "Jerry" Lewis (born October 21, 1934), was a U.S. Representative, last serving California's 41st congressional district. He was first elected to Congress in 1978, and previously represented the 40th, 35th, and 37th districts. A Republican, he is a former chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, serving in that role during the 109th Congress. In January 2012 he announced that he was not running for re-election and would end his Congressional career in January 2013.
Early life, education, and business career 
Lewis was born in Seattle, Washington. In 1952 he graduated from San Bernardino High School in San Bernardino, California, where he captained the swim team and was a basketball star; his basketball jersey was later retired. In 1956 he received a B.A. from UCLA. Lewis served as a Coro Foundation fellow in San Francisco. After college, Lewis was in the insurance business.
Early political career 
He was a member of the San Bernardino School Board from 1964 to 1968. He was on the staff of Congressman Jerry Pettis in 1966.
He was a member of the California State Assembly from 1969 to 1978. In January 1974, he ran in a special election for the California State Senate, losing to Democrat Ruben Ayala. In the campaign, Ayala noted that two-thirds of the $130,000 that Lewis raised came from 43 donors — 22 of whom were Sacramento lobbyists.
U.S. House of Representatives 
In November 1978, Lewis was elected as a Republican to the 96th United States Congress, in what was then the 37th Congressional district, with 61% of the vote. He has been re-elected 16 times since then. He has never won re-election with less than 61% of the vote. In fact, he has only dipped below 65% four times (1990, 1992, 2006, and 2008).
In 2008, Lewis received his strongest challenge in decades from San Bernardino attorney Tim Prince, who won a 4-candidate Democratic primary. Lewis put up campaign signs all over the district and was forced to spend over a million dollars to retain his seat. He declined Prince's challenges for a debate. The incumbent defeated him with 62% of the vote.
After redistricting, Lewis decided to retire in 2012.
Lewis employs his wife, Arlene Willis, as the chief of staff in his office. Before they were married, Willis was her husband's top aide when he came to Capitol Hill in 1979. Lewis and Willis have four children of their own and three children from prior marriages.
In 2011, Lewis 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.
- Political positions
Lewis is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership and supports stem-cell research. Lewis considers himself pro-life, opposes most public funding of abortions, but encourages family planning efforts which are opposed by many Catholics. He thinks gun-control efforts should center on stiff prison terms for repeat criminals who use firearms, but is open to considering requiring trigger locks and other child safety measures for law-abiding gun owners. The American Conservative Union gave Lewis' 2008 voting record 84 out of 100 points. The liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave him 0 out of 100 for 2005 (most recent available). Lewis is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
- Controversies overall
In its 2009 report, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Lewis one of the 15 most corrupt members of Congress, saying that his "ethics issues stem primarily from the misuse of his position as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to steer hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks to family and friends in direct exchange for contributions to his campaign committee and political action committee."
Lewis was also included in the group's report in 2006, 2007, and 2008.
- Lowery lobbyist relationships
There is currently a large amount of controversy over the relationship between Lewis and a lobbying firm, Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, where his good friend and former U.S. Congressman Bill Lowery was a partner between 1993 and 2006. No individual has been formally charged with any wrongdoing, but there is now an ongoing federal investigation being run by the U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles, and a federal grand jury in Los Angeles has issued subpoenas to at least ten local governments, universities, and firms.
The basic allegations are that Lewis, by virtue of his chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee (since January 2005), and his prior chairmanship of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has been able, through earmarks and other methods, to steer hundreds of millions of dollars to clients of Lowery's firm. Lowery and his firm have earned millions of dollars in fees from these clients. Lowery and others in his firm, in turn, have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Lewis' campaign committee and political action committee. Defense contractors who are clients of the lobbying firm have also given hundreds of thousands of dollars. Lewis, who has not faced serious opposition in his re-election campaigns in the past ten years, has used his campaign and PAC funds in support of other Republicans, something that helped him become chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
In addition, two key individuals on Lewis' staff (Letitia White and Jeff Shockey) went to work for Copeland Lowery, earning millions of dollars for themselves; Richard White, Letitia's husband, has seen a steep increase in his income since he switched to being a lobbyist for defense firms; Lewis' stepdaughter has benefited from his ties to the lobbyists; and Jeff Shockey, upon returning to work for Lewis in 2005, was paid two million dollars by Copeland Lowery as "severance", based upon projected revenues of the lobbying firm for the eleven months following his departure.
U.S. Attorney Carol Lam was actively investigating Lewis when she became one of eight U.S. attorneys controversially dismissed in February 2007. In Early December 2010 a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles announced that they were terminating the investigation into wrongdoing by Congressman Lewis without bringing any charges after nearly five years of exhaustive investigation.
- Cerberus Capital Management lobbyist relationships
In March 2003, New York investment company Cerberus Capital Management hired its first lobbyist, the powerhouse firm Patton Boggs. Separately, Cerberus hired former Senator Jake Garn, a Utah Republican, as a lobbyist.
In the early summer of 2003, Lewis said that he heard that "some business people in New York" were interested in giving money to his political action committee, the Future Leaders PAC. On June 16, the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, which Lewis chaired, preserved the money for a Navy-Marine Corps network, an $8.8 billion project that Lewis had criticized in October 2002, and a project that Cerebus had a major interest in, through its ownership share of MCI, a major subcontractor on the project, and Netco Government Services, another major subcontractor.
On June 26, the full House Appropriations committee approved the action of the subcommittee. On July 7, Cerberus raised $110,000 for Lewis at a fundraiser, which Lewis attended. On July 8, the full House passed the defense spending bill, which included the recommended action on the Navy project. Over the following weeks, Cerberus executives and their spouses, lawyers and business associates continued to donate to Lewis' PAC, bringing the total to nearly $130,000 for the month. This amount represented a quarter of all funds collected in 2003 by the PAC ($522,725).
Lewis also got Cerberus to help with his fundraising for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the arm of the GOP that gives money to House candidates. Lewis said he invited Cerberus executives to an April 2004 NRCC fundraiser he chaired that included a speech by President Bush. The NRCC got $70,000 in Cerberus-related donations during the first two weeks of April 2004, including $25,000 from Cerberus founder Stephen Feinberg.
Eighteen months after the July 2003 fundraiser and the full House vote, Lewis won the chairmanship of the Appropriations Committee. He acknowledges that the fundraising efforts of Cerberus "played a very significant role" in winning the post.
- Military lobbyist relationships
Lewis' aide in charge of tracking defense appropriations was "a military officer on the Pentagon's payroll, an apparent violation of House rules and a possible conflict of interest". Department of Defense regulations state that military personnel can work on committee staffs but not on the personal staff of an individual member. Lewis' aide, Marine Lt. Col. Carl Kime, has apparently worked for Lewis since 2001 while being on the Pentagon payroll. Congressional watchdogs call Kime's role a conflict of interest and defense experts state that his position may give the Marines greater leverage over contracts and earmarks in the Appropriations Committee.
On February 22, 2006, The Hill reported that the Pentagon was recalling Kime from Lewis's office. Kime's "service for Lewis appeared to violate the Members' Congressional Handbook issued by the Committee for House Administration, which defines a detailee as a 'non-congressional federal employee assigned to a committee for a period of up to one year.' The handbook also states that 'detailees may not be assigned to a member office' and cites the relevant section of U.S. law: 2 USC Section 72a(f)."
- Free meals
In October 2006, The Wall Street Journal reported that Lewis and seven other members of Congress flew to Europe in July 2003 to confer with officials in Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom. On the 11-day trip, the group dined in restaurants from Warsaw to Lisbon. Instead of paying for the meals out of their government allowances, they were treated by a host of defense contractors and lobbyists, most of which sent personnel to Europe to host the meals. The free meals likely violated House rules and possibly federal law, experts on congressional ethics say; both prohibit members from accepting any gifts worth $50 or more; federal law also bans soliciting gifts.
- Barracks Row earmarks
In July 2007, CBS News reported that since 2004, Lewis has earmarked $2.75 million for the "Barracks Row" area of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. "Neither I nor my spouse has any financial interest in this project," Lewis said of the improvements being funded by the earmarks. But the congressman's wife, who is also his chief of staff, owns a three-bedroom home valued at $943,000 that is four blocks from the work being paid for by the earmarks. CBS also reported that Tip Tipton, a property owner in the area and a member of the board of director of the redevelopment project receiving the earmarks, is a top Washington lobbyist who is also a longtime Lewis friend and campaign donor.
- Loma Linda University
From 1998 to 2003, Loma Linda University received $167.2 million in congressional earmarks. That made it the number one academic recipient in the country, with its total nearly $60 million more than the runner up, the University of South Florida. In 2000, Loma Linda University was the single largest recipient of higher education earmarks, at $36 million, largely brought in by Lewis. Several grants were from the U.S. Department of Defense, including $5 million from NASA for space radiation research.
In 2008, Loma Linda University received nearly $9.5 million, of which $5 million came from the Defense Department.
Committee assignments 
Lewis was chair of the House Republican Conference from 1989 to 1992. In January 1995, he became chairman of the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations subcommittee. In January 1999, he became chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee. In January 2005 he became chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.
In October 2006, Lewis dismissed 60 contract employees, who made up the majority of investigators for the Appropriations Committee and its subcommittees. An Appropriations spokesman said the dismissals were part of a "bipartisan review" undertaken because the team's recent work "has not been that good", but later acknowledged that Lewis did not seek the approval of the committee's top-ranking Democrat, David R. Obey of Wisconsin, nor had he consulted with other committee Republicans.
Lewis was the chairman of appropriations during the 109th Congress. In the 110th and 111th, he was the Ranking Member on the committee. He sought the chairmanship for the 112th Congress, but it was instead given to Harold Rogers (R-KY).
- Committee on Appropriations
Caucus memberships 
- Congressional Fire Services Caucus
- Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus
- International Conservation Caucus
- Sportsmen's Caucus
Electoral history 
|1978||Jerry Lewis||106,581||61%||Dan Corcoran||60,463||35%||Bernard Wahl||American Independent||6,544||4%|
|1980||Jerry Lewis||165,371||72%||Don Rusk||58,091||25%||Larry Morris||Libertarian||7,615||3%|
|1982||Jerry Lewis||112,786||68%||Robert Erwin||52,349||32%|
|1984||Jerry Lewis||176,477||85%||No candidate||Kevin Akin||Peace and Freedom||29,990||15%|
|1986||Jerry Lewis||127,235||77%||Sarge Hall||38,322||23%|
|1988||Jerry Lewis||181,203||70%||Paul Sweeney||71,186||28%||Jeff Shuman||Libertarian||4,879||2%|
|1990||Jerry Lewis||121,602||61%||Barry Norton||66,100||33%||Jerry Johnson||Libertarian||13,020||6%|
|Year||Republican||Votes||%||Democratic||Votes||%||Third Party||Party||Votes||%||Third Party||Party||Votes||%|
|1992||Jerry Lewis||129,563||63%||Don Rusk||63,881||31%||Margie Akin||Peace and Freedom||11,839||6%|
|1994||Jerry Lewis||115,728||71%||Don Rusk||48,003||29%|
|1996||Jerry Lewis||98,821||65%||Bob Conaway||44,102||29%||Hale McGee||American Independent||4,963||3%||Joseph Kelley||Libertarian||4,375||3%|
|1998||Jerry Lewis||97,406||65%||Bob Conaway||47,897||32%||Maurice Maybena||Libertarian||4,822||3%|
|2000||Jerry Lewis||151,069||80%||No candidate||Frank Schmit||Natural Law||19,029||10%||Marion Lindberg||Libertarian||18,924||10%|
|2002||Jerry Lewis||91,326||67%||Keith Johnson||40,155||30%||Kevin Craig||Libertarian||4,052||3%|
|2004||Jerry Lewis||216,682||71%||No candidate||Peymon Mottahedek||Libertarian||37,332||17%|
|2006||Jerry Lewis||109,761||67%||Louie Contreras||54,235||33%|
|2008||Jerry Lewis||159,486||62%||Tim Prince||99,214||38%|
|2010||Jerry Lewis||127,857||63%||Pat Meagher||74,394||37%|
- William Heisel and Richard Simon, "Inland Empire Pays Firm for D.C. Clout: Why local entities hired the concern when Rep. Jerry Lewis has long delivered U.S. funds to his district isn't clear. The lobbyist is one of his key donors."[dead link], Los Angeles Times, June 18, 2006
- Woo, Elaine (2012-01-07). "Ruben S. Ayala dies at 89; known as a maverick state senator". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- George Watson, "Issue revisits Lewis: Lobby concern raised in 1974", San Bernardino Sun, July 5, 2006
- Los Angeles Times. January 12, 2012 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2012/01/jerry-lewis-congress-retire-california.html
|url=missing title (help).
- "It's all in the family as lawmakers hire", AP, April 15, 2006.
- Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers
- Rolling Stone | Political News, Matt Taibbi, Politics, Issues and More
- , New York Times
- Kelley, Matt (January 19, 2006). "Lawmaker defends contributions". USA Today. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
- Alexander Bolton, "Lewis’s use of military aide may break the rules"[dead link], The Hill, February 2, 2006
- Alexander Bolton, "Pentagon recalled Lewis’s approps staffer"[dead link], The Hill, February 22, 2006
- Scot J. Paltrow, "On Overseas Trips, Congress's Rules Are Often Ignored", The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2006
- Sharyl Attkisson, "Controversial Boon For D.C. Neighborhood: Ritzy Barracks Row Benefiting From Congressman's Earmark Boost — From Your Tax Dollars", CBS Evening News, July 20, 2007
- Quan, Douglas (July 9, 2006). "Funds for Colleges Raise Objections". Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 2008-06-29.[dead link]
- "Congressional Earmarks for Higher Education, 2008". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
- [dead link]
- "Office of the House Clerk – Electoral Statistics". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives.
- "Election Results". Federal Election Commission. pp. 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008.
- California Secretary of State official report of 2010 elections results
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- Official website
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Staff salaries, trips and personal finance (federal office) at LegiStorm.com
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Associated Press profile[dead link]