Kevin Yoder

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Kevin Yoder
KYmemberportrait.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 3rd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dennis Moore
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 20th district
In office
2003–2010
Preceded by Gerry Ray[1]
Succeeded by Rob Bruchman
Personal details
Born Kevin Wayne Yoder
(1976-01-08) January 8, 1976 (age 38)
Hutchinson, Kansas, USA
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Brooke Yoder
Residence Overland Park, Kansas
Alma mater University of Kansas (B.A.),
University of Kansas Law School (J.D.)
Profession Attorney
Religion Methodist
Website yoder.house.gov

Kevin Wayne Yoder[2] (born January 8, 1976) is an American politician who has been a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Kansas's 3rd congressional district, since 2011. A Republican, Yoder was the Kansas State Representative for the 20th district from 2003 to 2011.

Early life, education, and law career[edit]

Yoder was born and grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Yoder, Kansas, a small farming town outside of Hutchinson. He is the son of Susan Elizabeth Peck (née Alexander) and Wayne E. Yoder. His ancestry includes Northern Irish, German, and English.[3]

Yoder graduated from Hutchinson High School and, in 1999, from the University of Kansas with a dual major in English and Political Science. He served as KU Student Body president, president of the Kansas Union Memorial Corporation Board of Directors, and as a board member of the KU Athletics Corporation. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, served as president, and received the 2012 Order of Achievement award from Lambda Chi Alpha[4] - a recognition also received by former President Harry Truman. While at KU, Yoder interned with the Kansas State Legislature. In 2002, he received a law degree from the University of Kansas Law School where he served for two years as Student Bar Association President.[5] Yoder has previously served on the KU Law School Board of Governors. He was a 2007 graduate of Leadership Kansas.

Yoder worked as a law clerk for Payne and Jones from 2000 to 2001, then as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Counternarcotics in Washington, D.C., in 2001.[6] He joined Speer and Holliday LLP, a small law firm in Olathe, as an associate and became a partner in 2005. Yoder is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and the Kansas Bar Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Johnson County Bar Association.

Yoder and his wife, Brooke Robinson Yoder, live in Overland Park.[5] They are members of the Church of the Resurrection. On Monday, November 11, 2013, Yoder and his wife Brooke announced the birth of their first child, a baby daughter named Caroline Lucille. Caroline was born on Thursday, November 7 at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, measuring 20 inches and weighing 6 lbs. 1 oz.[7]

2009 traffic stop

In February 2009, Yoder was pulled over for speeding on the K-10 expressway. After passing a field sobriety test, Yoder declined the officer's request to take a roadside Breathalyzer test. The officer cited Yoder for speeding and for refusing to take the breathalyzer test, and then let Yoder drive himself home. In a plea agreement, the speeding charge was dropped. Yoder pleaded guilty to refusing law enforcement's request for a breath test and paid a $165 fine.[8][9][10]

Kansas House of Representatives[edit]

Yoder was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives (20th district) in 2003. He was then subsequently re-elected to the office three times.[5] The district includes portions of Overland Park and Leawood.

As chair of the Kansas State House Appropriations Committee, he had the responsibility to balance the budget, cut government spending, oppose raising taxes, and allocate over $13 billion in state revenue to public schools, universities, prisons, social services and highways. In March 2010, the committee introduced its budget plan.[11] The proposed plan was defeated by a bipartisan group of moderate Republicans and Democrats in May 2010.[12] Yoder also served on the Judiciary Committee from 2003 through 2011.[5]

In 2010, Yoder received the "Guardian of Small Business Award" from the National Federation of Independent Business.[13] Yoder was also recognized with the "Intergovernmental Leadership Award" by the League of Kansas Municipalities.[14]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Appropriations (Chair)
  • Legislative Budget (Chair)
  • Judiciary

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Legislation[edit]

Upon arriving in Congress, Yoder participated in the recitation of a redacted version of the U.S. Constitution by members of congress on January 6, 2011. The event marked the first time the text of the nation's founding document had ever been read on the House floor.[15] At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Yoder again joined both Democrats and Republicans to take turns reading the entire U.S. Constitution aloud on the House floor. Yoder read the First, Second, and Third Amendments to the Constitution, and this marked only the second time in history the Constitution was read aloud on the House floor.[16]

During his first term, Yoder has introduced several bills to reform Congress;[17] including legislation to eliminate the lifetime pensions Members of Congress currently receive once they leave office,[17] and a bill to cut Members’ paychecks.[18] He has also sponsored bills in Congress aimed at cutting back on federal spending, balancing the federal budget, and helping small businesses.[19]

In 2011, Yoder and Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) were included in a Washington Post article about bipartisan opposition to the deal to raise the national debt ceiling.[20] Yoder is also an original co-sponsor of the Start-up Act 2.0,[19] along with Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, and a co-sponsor of the STEM jobs act to help boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics employment.[21] Also in 2011, Yoder joined with Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) as coauthors to introduce the Federal Research Access Act (HR 5037).[22] The legislation would require federal agencies that spend more than $100 million in research to publish their research and make it available to the public for viewing. The bill has widespread bipartisan support.

Additionally in 2012, Yoder returned $120,000 of unused office funds to the U.S. Treasury – an amount in addition to two years of 5 percent cuts to office budgets imposed by the House passed budgets in 2011 and 2012.[23]

In February 2013, Yoder became one of the sponsors of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act to expedite open access to taxpayer-funded research.[24]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Yoder has received recognition and several awards for his voting record throughout his first term. While in Congress, Yoder has received the National Association of Manufacturers' “Award for Legislative Excellence”;[25] the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB)'s “Guardian of Small Business” award;[26] the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Spirit of Enterprise” award;[27] the 2012 “Kansas State Children’s Champion” award from the National Head Start Association;[28] the FreedomWorks “Freedom Fighter” award;[29] was named a "True Blue" award recipient by the Family Research Council,[30] and received the International Foodservice Distributors Association's “Thomas Jefferson Award”. Yoder was also recognized by the National Down Syndrome Society as a 2013 "Champion of Change" award recipient for his advocacy for Down syndrome awareness.[31]

Recently, Yoder and Missouri Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver II were jointly awarded the Consensus Civility award for their respectful and bipartisan efforts to work with members of both political parties.[32]

On August 31, 2011, Yoder was appointed to serve on the board at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts university for the deaf and hard of hearing in Washington, D.C. Also in 2011, Yoder was named one of Kansas City's "40 Under 40" by Ingram's Kansas City Business Magazine.

Representative Yoder has received the following awards and recognition for his advocacy and legislative work during his time in Congress:

2012[edit]

The AbilityOne Award - Cottonwood, Inc.; 2012 Head Start Kansas State Children's Champion Award, Region VII Head Start Association - National Head Start Association; Thomas Jefferson Award - International Foodservice Distributors Association; Spirit of Enterprise Award - U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Guardian of Small Business - National Association of Independent Businesses; Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence - National Association of Manufacturers; Freedom Fighter - FreedomWorks; Civility Award - Consensus Kansas City; Friend of Farm Bureau - Kansas Farm Bureau

2013[edit]

Wheat Award - National Association of Wheat Growers; National Down Sydrome Society Champion of Change - National Down Syndrome Society; ACU Conservative Award - American Conservative Union; Spirit of Enterprise Award - U.S. Chamber of Commerce; National Down Syndrome Society Super Hero Award - National Down Syndrome Society; Champion of the Merit Shop - Association of Builders and Contractors; Guardian of Small Business Award - National Federation of Independent Businesses

2014[edit]

ACU Conservative Award - American Conservative Union; Top 100 Kansas City's Most Powerful - Kansas City Business Journal; Spirit of Enterprise Award - U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Champion of Healthcare Innovation - Healthcare Leadership Council

Controversies[edit]

In an August 2012 story from the news outlet Politico, it was alleged that Yoder joined other Members of Congress in a spontaneous dive into the Sea of Galilee during a 2011 Congressional trip to Israel.[33][34] Yoder disrobed after a night of dining with his wife and others in a Tiberias restaurant. Yoder dove into the Sea of Galilee in a dark secluded area by the restaurant.[35] Yoder issued a statement apologizing to his constituents.[35]

112th Congress Committee assignments[edit]

113th Congress Committee assignments[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010 election

On December 15, 2009, Yoder announced his intention to run for the open seat in the United States Congress.[36] On August 3, 2010, he won the Republican primary with 45% of the vote, running against former State Representative Patricia Lightner, Dave King, Gerry B. Klotz, Daniel Gilyeat, Jerry M. Malone, Craig McPherson, John Rysavy, and Jean Ann Uvodich.

Yoder's campaign platform centered on reducing wasteful spending in Washington, keeping taxes lower for Kansas families, and reforming the federal government.[37] He received the endorsement of the Kansas City Star, which stated, "He believes government spending has to be controlled and is best used when it spurs economic growth, a good stance in this jobless recovery. His experience as the Kansas House appropriations committee would serve him well in Congress".[38] Yoder also received endorsements from Kansans For Life,[39] National Rifle Association,[40] and the Johnson County Sun.[41]

In the general election, with 59% of the vote, Yoder won against Democratic nominee obstetrics nurse Stephene Moore and Libertarian nominee Jasmin Talbert.[42] Yoder outperformed prior Republican election year results in heavily Democratic Wyandotte and Douglas counties by 50 percent and took voter-rich, Republican-leaning Johnson County with a resounding 65 percent of the vote.[43] Yoder's win returned the 3rd district to the GOP after a 12-year hold by retiring Democratic incumbent Dennis Moore, husband of Stephene Moore.

During the campaign, Yoder set up the website stephenemoore.com in the name of Stephene Moore, his Democratic opponent. Yoder used the site to smear and raise questions about her campaign and issue policy positions.[44] Moore's campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about the website on grounds that an "unauthorized committee" is not permitted to use the name of a candidate in the title of a special project or message if it "clearly and unambiguously" shows opposition to the named candidate. The FEC dismissed the complaint against Yoder.[45]

Yoder released several advertisements during the campaign, including one commercial with his wife, three nieces and a nephew walking through a field.[46] Some Democrat opponents made issue of the ads as Yoder and his wife do not have children.[46] This was similar to one of his campaigns for the Kansas Legislature in which Yoder posted campaign photos of himself, his wife, and two nieces on his website.[46]

2012 election

In the election of 2012, Yoder ran for re-election. He faced no opposition in the 2012 primary election.[47] In the general election, Yoder was endorsed by the Kansas City Star,[48] and faced Libertarian nominee Joel Balam, a college professor. Yoder won with 68.4% of the vote.[49]

Electoral history[edit]

2002 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 55% Kirk Perucca (D) 45%

2004 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 67% Max Skidmore (D) 33%

2006 election for state legislature'

Kevin Yoder (R) 58% Alex Holsinger (D) 42%

2008 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 65% Gary Glauberman (D) 35%

2010 election for U.S. House of Representatives
US House election, 2010: Kansas District 3
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Kevin Yoder 136,246 58%
Democratic Stephene Moore 90,123 39%
Libertarian Jasmin Talbert 6,846 3%
Total votes 233,285 100%

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 Kansas Official General Election Results. Kansas Secretary of State.
  2. ^ http://www.kssos.org/elections/04elec/LegDirec2004.pdf
  3. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/%7Ebattle/reps/yoder.htm
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c d About Kevin, Kevin for Congress website
  6. ^ Representative Kevin W. Yoder (KS), Project Vote Smart
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Carpenter, Tim (2010-10-25). "Yoder's '09 traffic stop clarified". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 2010-10-26. 
  9. ^ Carpenter, Tim (2010-10-23). "Yoder declined '09 breath test". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  10. ^ Diepenbrock, George (2010-10-24). "Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 
  11. ^ "House GOP offer budget fix". CJOnline.com. The Associated Press. 2010-03-18. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  12. ^ Carpenter, Tim. "GOP leaders' budget refused". CJOnline.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  13. ^ "NFIB/Kansas Honors Rep. Kevin Yoder as Guardian of Small Business" (Press release). National Federation of Independent Business/Kansas. July 7, 2010. 
  14. ^ http://forum.eastwestcenter.org/alumni/2010/11/23/new-generation-seminar-alumnus-elected-to-u-s-congress/
  15. ^ Goldstein, David (2011-01-06). "Reading Constitution, House breaks into bipartisanship". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  16. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx2goIu6U0E&list=UUCeYmn4A8kZEHCcAfeUW9lQ&index=1
  17. ^ a b [3]
  18. ^ [4]
  19. ^ a b [5]
  20. ^ [6]
  21. ^ [7]
  22. ^ [8]
  23. ^ [9]
  24. ^ http://lofgren.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=783&Itemid=130
  25. ^ [10]
  26. ^ [11]
  27. ^ [12]
  28. ^ [13]
  29. ^ [14]
  30. ^ [15]
  31. ^ [16]
  32. ^ [17]
  33. ^ "Exclusive: FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel". Politico. 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  34. ^ http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4270537,00.html
  35. ^ a b [18]
  36. ^ Yoder to run for Congress, Prime Buzz, Kansas City Star[dead link]
  37. ^ [19]
  38. ^ [20]
  39. ^ [21]
  40. ^ [22]
  41. ^ [23]
  42. ^ Klepper, David (November 2, 2010). "Yoder rolls to victory in Kansas’ 3rd District". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 2010-11-04. 
  43. ^ http://www.kssos.org/ent/kssos_ent.html
  44. ^ "Website Creates Rancor in Congressional Race". 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  45. ^ "Federal Elections Commission members question dismissal of complaint against Congressman Kevin Yoder". 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2011-08-12. 
  46. ^ a b c Kendall, Justin (2010-06-22). "Kevin Yoder sure does have cute kids. What? Those aren't his kids? Not again! | Plog". Pitch.com. Retrieved 2011-09-13. 
  47. ^ [24]
  48. ^ [25]
  49. ^ [26]

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dennis Moore
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rob Woodall
R-Georgia
United States Representatives by seniority
347th
Succeeded by
Todd Young
R-Indiana