William Lacy Clay, Jr.
|William Lacy Clay, Jr.|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 1st district
January 3, 2001
|Preceded by||William L. Clay, Sr.|
|Member of the Missouri Senate
from the 4th district
September 1991 – January 2001
|Preceded by||John Bass|
|Succeeded by||Pat Dougherty|
|Member of the Missouri House of Representatives
from the 59th district
November 1983 – September 1991
|Succeeded by||Frank Williamson Sr.|
July 27, 1956 |
St. Louis, Missouri
|Spouse(s)||Ivie Lewellen Clay (divorced)|
|Residence||St. Louis, Missouri|
|Alma mater||University of Maryland, College Park|
William Lacy Clay, Jr. (born July 27, 1956), usually known as Lacy Clay, is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 1st congressional district, serving since 2001. He is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life, education and career
In his teenage years, Clay Jr. attended public schools in Silver Spring, Maryland and graduated in the Springbrook High School Class of 1974. He then attended the University of Maryland-College Park, from which he earned a degree in political science and certification to be a paralegal. Clay is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2000, Clay, Sr. retired after 32 years in the U.S. Congress. Clay, Jr. won a crowded six-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic district—with 60 percent of the vote, and breezed to election in November. He has been reelected six times with no substantive opposition, never dropping below 70 percent of the vote.
For his first six terms, Clay, Jr. represented the northern two-thirds of St. Louis, while the southern third was located in the 3rd district, represented by fellow Democrat Russ Carnahan. However, Missouri lost a congressional district as a result of the 2010 Census. The final map resulted in the 3rd district being eliminated and the 1st district absorbing all of St. Louis. Clay beat Carnahan in the August 7, 2012 primary, 63% to 34%--all but handing him a seventh term.
- Committee on Financial Services
- Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
- Congressional Black Caucus
- Congressional Progressive Caucus (Vice-Chair)
- International Conservation Caucus
Since his first term, Clay has been a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He currently chairs the House Information Policy Subcommittee. He is also a member of the House Financial Services Committee. Ordinarily, House Democrats who serve on the Financial Services Committee would have to give up their other committee assignments. However, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank of Massachusetts granted him a waiver allowing him to remain on the Oversight Committee.
Clay made headlines in early 2007 when, as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (co-founded by his father), he objected to the possible inclusion of U.S. Representative Steve Cohen of Tennessee, a Caucasian who represents the majority-African American district in Memphis and had made a campaign promise to attempt to become the first white member of the CBC. Although it is not part of the CBC's bylaws that members must be black, all members so far have been black. Clay told Cohen "that he could not collaborate with the Congressional Black Caucus for the benefit of his black constituents 'until your skin turns black.'" In response to press inquiries, he said, "Mr. Cohen asked for admission, and he got his answer. He's white and the Caucus is black. It's time to move on. We have racial policies to pursue and we are pursuing them, as Mr. Cohen has learned. It's an unwritten rule. It's understood." In response to the decision, Cohen stated, "It's their caucus and they do things their way. You don't force your way in." Clay issued an official statement from his office in reply to Cohen's complaint: "Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept — there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it's our turn to say who can join 'the club.' He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives." Some have said that since Cohen represents a district with 60 percent of African American voters, that he has a legitimate interest in helping the goals of the CBC, and the decision should not be solely based on skin color.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington issued a report in June 2007 saying that Clay's sister Michelle Clay is a registered lobbyist for the Kansas City airport and previously for the city of St. Louis. They reported that in the 2006 election cycle, Michelle Clay's law office, Clay and Associates, received $51,800 in consulting fees from her brother's campaign funds, along with an additional $9,963 for reimbursements. In the 2004 election cycle, Michelle Clay's firm received $52,514 for consulting, and in 2002 Michelle Clay herself was paid $32,00 for campaign management and legal fees. During the 2004 election, Clay's campaign reimbursed his father more than $6,000 for book purchases.
During Clay's previous seventeen years in the state legislature, he authored Missouri's Hate Crimes Law which included gender, sexual orientation and sexual identity in the criteria of what constitutes a hate crime.
Clay made it clear that he supports the Employment Non-discrimination Act which would make it illegal to discriminate against employees of any sexual orientation, notably gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered workers. He also noted that he believes that the 33 states that are allowed to fire employees due to sexual orientation are in the wrong.
Clay has been a consistent critic of the War in Iraq and was among those who voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002. Clay's NPAT also displays disagreement with elements of the War on Drugs. He believes that government reform is necessary to make sure every citizen's voice is heard. Clay also continues to fight for programs that will improve that status of the poor, including initiatives to allow lower-class people to purchase homes.
Clay is also active in election reform and believes that any electronic voting system must include a paper trail to verify the results.
|Year||Democrat||Votes||Pct||Republican||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct||3rd Party||Party||Votes||Pct|
|2000||William Lacy Clay||149,173||75.21||Z. Dwight Billingsly||42,730||21.54%||Ziah Reddick||Green||3,099||1.56%||Tamara A. Millay||Libertarian||2,253||1.14%||Robert Penningroth||Reform||1,092||0.55%|
|2002||William Lacy Clay||133,946||70.11%||Richard Schwadron||51,755||27.09%||Jim Higgins||Libertarian||5,354||2.80%|
|2004||William Lacy Clay||213,658||75.29%||Leslie L. Farr II||64,791||22.83%||Terry Chadwick||Libertarian||3,937||1.39%||Robert Rehbein||Constitution||1,385||0.49%|
|2006||William Lacy Clay||141,574||72.89%||Mark J. Byrne||47,893||24.66%||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||4,768||2.45%|
|2008||William Lacy Clay||242,570||86.86%||(no candidate)||Robb E. Cunningham||Libertarian||36,700||13.14%||Write-ins||7||0.00%|
|2010||William Lacy Clay||135,907||73.55%||Robyn Hamlin||43,649||23.62%||Julie Stone||Libertarian||5,223||2.83%|
Clay married his wife Ivie in 1992, when he was a state senator. He filed for divorce in 2009. Ivie initially found out about the divorce "only through the media." After Clay had the court file sealed, Ivie released the following statement to the media:
I and my children are devastated and embarrassed that my husband let us find out from the children’s friends and the media that he had filed for divorce, and mostly that he still has not contacted our children. I would have wanted to prepare the children. I have been a loving, supportive wife throughout our 17-year marriage. I have raised the children and held down the fort so that my husband could work 4 days a week, first in Jefferson City and now in Washington, DC, travel overseas, and do everything required to fulfill the duties of his elected office – all while working my own full-time job. 
Clay responded today, saying:
"This is a time of great sadness for my family and me. My wife and I have been discussing this situation for a number of months and this action should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Of course, my first concern is for our children, whom I love dearly, and for their peace & privacy. I will continue to be a devoted father to them, and I hope that the public will understand that this is a difficult, private family matter that will hopefully be resolved amicable and swiftly by all parties." 
The Clays have two children Will and Carol.
- Rebecca McDowell Cook. Official Manual: State of Missouri 1997-1998. p. 112.
- "UPDATE: House Redistricting Committee Unveils Map". OzarksFirst.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "William Lacy Clay wins easily over Russ Carnahan". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. August 8, 2012.
- "Missouri - Summary Vote Results". August 8, 2012.
- "Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed". The Politico. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- DiLorenzo, Thomas (2011-02-11) My Associations with Liars, Bigots, and Murderers, LewRockwell.com
- "Family Affair". Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- See his opening statement in the video: http://financialservices.house.gov/Hearings/hearingDetails.aspx?NewsID=1752
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- Mullins, Anne Schroeder (2009-05-05) Rep. Lacy Clay's wife is "devastated" she learned about divorce through media, Politico
- Garrison, Chad (2011-02-15) Congressman Lacy Clay Files for Divorce and a Democratic Loyalist Does What He Can to Help, Riverfront Times
- Congressman William Lacy Clay official U.S. House site
- Lacy Clay Jr. for Congress
- William Lacy Clay, Jr. at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
William L. Clay, Sr.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 1st congressional district
January 3, 2001 – present
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
Shelley Moore Capito
|United States Representatives by seniority