Lloyd Doggett

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Lloyd Doggett
Lloyd Doggett, Official Portrait, c112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 35th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 25th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Chris Bell
Succeeded by Roger Williams
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 10th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by J. J. Pickle
Succeeded by Michael McCaul
Texas Supreme Court Justice
In office
1989–1994
Preceded by Ted Robertson
Succeeded by Priscilla Owen
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 14th district
In office
1973–1985
Preceded by Charles F. Herring
Succeeded by Gonzalo Barrientos
Personal details
Born (1946-10-06) October 6, 1946 (age 68)
Austin, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Libby Doggett
Residence Austin, Texas
Alma mater University of Texas
Occupation Attorney
Religion Methodist

Lloyd Alton Doggett II (born October 6, 1946) is a U.S. Representative from Texas. A member of the Democratic Party, he has represented a district based in the state capital, Austin, since 1995, currently numbered as the 35th district.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Born in Austin, Doggett received both a Bachelor's degree in business and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he served as student body president his senior year. While attending the University of Texas at Austin, he also joined Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity.

Texas government[edit]

His electoral career began in 1973, when he was elected to the Texas State Senate, serving until 1985. He authored the bill creating the Texas Commission on Human Rights, as well as a law outlawing "cop killer" bullets and a "sunset law" requiring periodic review of government agencies. He first gained notoriety in 1979, as a member of the "Killer Bees" — a group of 12 Democratic state senators who opposed a plan to move the state's presidential primary to March 11. The intent was to give former governor John Connally a leg up on the 1980 Republican nomination. The Killer Bees wanted a closed primary. When this proposal was rejected, they walked out of the chamber and left the Senate two members short of a quorum. The bill was withdrawn five days later.

In 1989 he became both a justice on the Texas Supreme Court and an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law, his alma mater, serving until his election to Congress.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Described as an “endangered species”, Doggett was one of only three white Democratic House members from Texas in the 113th Congress (the other being Gene Green and Beto O'Rourke) in a state with mostly Republicans and minority members of the Democratic Party.[1] He is one of the most liberal white Democrats from a Southern district, and one of the most liberal congressmen ever to represent Texas in Congress. He has been described as a strong voice for his party on taxes and environmental policies and as a "muscular progressive".[2]

Doggett has been highly partisan at times. He was a frequent critic of Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker, while allying with David Bonior, the [Democratic] Minority Whip, when Bonior was leading “an effort to diminish Gingrich's power by raising continual questions about his ethics.”[3] He has been a close ally of Nancy Pelosi. In 2002, Doggett supported Pelosi's successful bid to become the party's House leader over fellow Texan Martin Frost, a more moderate candidate.[4]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Tenure[edit]

Doggett has long supported more open government, and is also a leading advocate for campaign finance reform. On the Ways and Means Committee, he has sought to close many overseas tax shelters. Doggett has authored legislation to create tax incentives for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and to create a nationwide Silver Alert system.

Abortion

Doggett is pro-choice. In 2003 he voted against a bill that would have banned all partial-birth abortions. He was given a 100% by the NARAL.[5] He voted in favor of a bill to provide federal funding for embryonic stem cell research in 2007.

Environment

Doggett is a strong supporter of environmental preservation. He is one of the leading opponents in the House of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve in Alaska. The League of Conservation Voters gives Doggett a 100%,[6] indicating that Doggett supports the League of Conservation Voter's interpretation of environmental preservation.

In June 2009, Doggett voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill that would have established an emissions trading system for American producers of carbon dioxide. Doggett remarked “It has been a difficult and significant decision”. “I just decided that I will have a better chance to make changes later in the process if I acted in good faith now. But don't think this means I'm signing off on the conference report”, Doggett added.[7]

Gay Rights

Doggett voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in the 109th Congress. He voted against HR 4380 and HR 2587, bills that would have banned adoption by same-sex couples.[8] In 1996, Doggett voted for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), but became a cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would repeal DOMA, in 2011.[9][10]

Taxes

Doggett introduced legislation focused on restricting American companies from using overseas strategies to reduce their corporate tax rates. He voted against the 2010 tax compromise, criticizing the renewal of the Bush tax cuts, saying “This bill is largely a mish-mash of rejected Republican ideas that cost too much to accomplish too little.”[11] He led a group of Democrats who “criticized the inclusion of a Social Security payroll tax reduction, saying it would endanger the soundness of the program.”[4]

In 2010, Doggett was responsible for an amendment to an education jobs bill which would mandate Texas keeping the same amount of education funding for three years in order to receive $832 million in federal money. Rick Perry called it “an unconstitutional anti-Texas amendment” and would later file a lawsuit after the Department of Education declined the application for funds.[12][13]

Energy

Doggett has backed bills with the intention of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting cap-and-trade as well as clean technologies. Doggett supported the 2009 climate-change bill, “despite claiming it didn't do enough to protect the environment.” He said it stripped the EPA of too much power and was too beneficial to coal plants and “other polluters.” Doggett supports auctioning carbon allowances, and has worked to make legislation usually associated with the House Ways and Means Committee to be associated with the Energy and Commerce Committee.[12][14]

Healthcare

In March 2010, Doggett voted in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Prior to his vote, Doggett cited concerns with the bill not including enough affordability, insurance competition provisions, and consumer protection provisions. Originally an advocate of a public option, he conceded the option in the final vote.[4]

Criticism of healthcare opponents

In August 2009 a “rally” against the health care plans broke out after Doggett said that he would support the bill even if his constituents were opposed to the legislation. The protestors, who chanted “just say no”, were later criticized by Doggett, who called them a “mob” and “extremists”, and said the group was part of the “party of no.”[15] Of the situation, he said: “Their fanatical insistence on repealing Social Security and Medicare is not just about halting health care reform but rolling back 75 years of progress.” Doggett stated that he was committed to individual choices.

Doggett reportedly tried to answer questions, but felt the demonstrators opposed all government programs, including Social Security and Medicare, in addition to the health care plan. He said that “[i]n Texas, not only with the weather but with the politics, it is pretty hardball around here ... I have a pretty thick skin about all of this. But this really goes over the line.'”[16]

Immigration

Doggett supports a guest worker program for illegal immigrants. In 2004, he voted against a bill that would have required hospitals to report illegal immigrants who received hospital treatment to the U.S. Department of Justice. FAIR gave him a score of 0% in 2003.[17]

Iraq

Doggett was one of the leading opponents of the authorization of the Iraq War in 2003 and called for a timetable for U.S. troops pulling out of Iraq. On May 24, 2007, Doggett was one of 140 Democrats and 2 Republicans to vote against HR 2206, a bill that would provide emergency supplemental appropriations for funding the war, and in 2009 he was one of only 30 Representatives to vote against HR 2346 which provided funding to continue war.[18]

Political campaigns[edit]

Before 2012

In 1984 he lost the U.S. Senate election to Phil Gramm by a margin of 59%-41%. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 in what was then the 10th District after 32-year incumbent Jake Pickle retired. He was one of the few Democrats to win an open seat in that year's massive Republican landslide. Running for re-election in 1996, Congressman Doggett defeated a challenger in Republican Teresa Doggett, to whom he is no relation. It marked the second election in a row in which he defeated a black female Republican. In the years following his first re-election, Doggett would consistently win around 85% of the vote, facing only Libertarian opponents. The 10th, which had once been represented by Lyndon Johnson, had long been a liberal Democratic bastion in increasingly Republican Texas.

Redistricting by the Texas Legislature in 2003 split Austin, which had been located entirely or almost entirely in the 10th district for more than a century, among three districts. Through Republican gerrymandering, Doggett's home wound up in a new, heavily Republican 10th district stretching from north central Austin to the Houston suburbs. Most of Doggett's former territory wound up on the 25th district, which consisted of a long tendril stretching from Austin to McAllen on the Mexican border. It was called "the fajita strip" or "the bacon strip" because of its shape. Doggett moved to the newly configured 25th and entered the Democratic primary—the real contest in the heavily Democratic, majority-Hispanic district. He won the primary and went on to victory in November.[citation needed]

On June 28, 2006, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the nearby 23rd District's lines violated the rights of Latino voters. As part of the 2003 redistricting, heavily Democratic and majority-Latino Laredo had largely been cut out of the 23rd and replaced by several heavily Republican areas near San Antonio. The decision turned on the fact that the 23rd was a protected majority-Latino district—in other words, if the 23rd was ever redrawn to put Latinos in a minority, an acceptable majority-Latino district had to be created in its place. While the new 23rd was 55% Latino, only 46% of its voting population was Latino. The Court therefore found that the 23rd was not an acceptable Latino-majority district. It also found that the 25th was not compact enough to be an acceptable replacement because the two Latino communities in the district were more than 300 miles apart, creating the impression that it had been deliberately drawn to pick up as many Latinos as possible without regard to compactness.[19]

Due to the size of the 23rd, the ruling forced the redrawing of five districts between El Paso and San Antonio, including the 25th. For the 2006 election, Doggett regained most of his old base in Austin (though not the area around the University of Texas at Austin, which stayed in the 21st), and also picked up several suburbs southeast of the city. After skating to reelection in 2006 and 2008, he was held to only 52 percent of the vote in 2010—his closest race since 1996.

2012

It was reported that the new Congressional maps in Texas turned Doggett's district from a strongly Democratic district into a strongly Republican one.[20] The new map split Doggett's old territory among five districts. His home was placed in a new, heavily Republican 25th District stretching from western Austin all the way to the fringes of the Metroplex. Much of his old base, however, was placed in the newly created 35th district, a majority-Hispanic district stretching from San Antonio to eastern Austin.[21] Doggett's home was located approximately five blocks east of the 35th. It appeared that the Republican-controlled state legislature had gerrymandered the district by packing as many Democrats in the San Antonio-Austin corridor into it as possible.[22]

Doggett accused the Republicans of wanting to make it difficult, if not impossible, for an Anglo Democrat to be elected to Congress from Texas, saying, "The Republican Party is determined to make the Democratic Party a party of minorities — that is what this is about, as well." He added that the Republicans were deliberately trying to reduce Austin's clout in Congress by "deny(ing) the capital city an opportunity to have a district that reflects the capital city." He was faced with the choice between running in the reconfigured 25th or moving, joking that he would live in a Winnebago to be able to run in the newly created 35th.[23]

Doggett was set to face State Representative Joaquin Castro in the District 35 primary election. The potential race was described as the biggest threat to Dogett's survival yet, with Castro being seen as a “rising star” in the Democratic party. Doggett accused Castro of working alongside Republicans throughout the redistricting process. The Republican House Redistricting Committee later clarified, saying that any discussions with Castro took place after the area for the district was decided.[24] However, Castro opted to run in the neighboring 20th District after its incumbent, Charlie Gonzalez, announced his retirement.

Doggett eventually decided to run in the 35th District, facing Bexar County assessor Sylvia Romo. Before the primaries, he said that he would move into the district if he were to win. Political commentators suggested that Romo had the district numbers in her favor, but was attempting the difficult leap from local office to Congress, while Doggett had a huge amount of funding. Doggett has stressed his long tenure as a progressive Democrat, saying he wants to “stoutly defend Social Security, Medicare, and national health care, and also notes his strong support for both higher education programs and public education.” By contrast, Romo’s campaign stressed her tax knowledge and CPA license, focusing on her potential to help with Congressional tax reform and economic growth.[22]

Doggett won the primary with 73.2% of the vote.[25] He performed strongly in San Antonio, an area he had never before represented. The district is so heavily Democratic that he was heavily favored to win the general election in November.[26] He easily defeated Republican challenger Susan Narvaiz in the general election to become the first Anglo Democrat to represent a significant portion of San Antonio since Chick Kazen left office in 1985.

Electoral history[edit]

Texas's 10th congressional district: Results 1994–2010[27]
Year Subject Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  %
1994 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 113,738 56.31 Jo Baylor Republican 80,382 39.22 Other 7,866 3.89
1996 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 132,066 56.20 Teresa Doggett Republican 97,204 41.36 Other 5,721 2.43
1998 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 116,127 85.21 Vincent J. May Libertarian 20,155 14.79
2000 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 203,628 84.55 Michael Davis Libertarian 37,203 15.45
2002 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 114,428 84.37 Michele Messina Libertarian 21,196 15.63
Texas's 25th congressional district: Results 2004–2008[27]
Year Subject Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  %
2004 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 108,309 67.60 Rebecca Klein Republican 49,252 30.74 James Werner Libertarian 2,656 1.66
2006 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 109,839 67.25 Grant Rostig Republican 42,956 26.30 Barbara Cunningham Libertarian 6,933 4.25 Brian Parrett Independent 3,594 2.20
2008 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 191,755 65.82 George Morovich Republican 88,693 30.44 Jim Stutsman Libertarian 10,848 3.72
2010 Lloyd Doggett Democratic 99,967 52.82 Donna Campbell Republican 84,849 44.83 Jim Stutsman Libertarian 4,431 2.34

Personal life[edit]

The Sunlight Project estimates his average net worth in 2006 was over $13 million.[28] In 2008, the Sunlight Foundation pointed out that among the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Doggett has the 11th-highest amount of investment in oil stocks.[29]

In April 2008 while celebrating the upcoming Earth Day Doggett fell off of his bicycle and broke his leg. This accident was similar to a bicycle crash that occurred a year previously in which his friend, the former mayor of Austin Bruce Todd, fell off his bicycle and suffered a serious head injury and several broken bones.[30] [31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alex Isenstadt. "Is Lloyd Doggett Texas toast?". Politico. 
  2. ^ "Sober Look at the Depth Chart Intensifies for House Democrats". Roll Call. February 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D)". National Journal. 
  4. ^ a b c "Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.)". Washington Post. July 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lloyd Doggett on Abortion". Ontheissues.org. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Lloyd Doggett on Environment". massscorecard.org. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Lerer, Lisa; Patrick O'Connor (2009-06-25). "House passes climate-change bill". Capitol News Company LLC. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Family and Children Issues". Votesmart. Retrieved 12 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)". votesmart.org. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  10. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:HR01116:@@@P
  11. ^ Alister Bull (December 17, 2010). "Obama willing to fight the left if needed-White House". Reuters. 
  12. ^ a b "Lloyd Doggett (D-Tex.)". Washington Post. July 17, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ Lisa Falkenberg (April 27, 2011). "Lisa Falkenberg: Political chess match has schools as pawns". Houston Chronicle. 
  14. ^ "Lloyd Doggett on Energy & Oil". On The Issues. 
  15. ^ Situation Room (August 6, 2009). "Interview with Rep. Lloyd Doggett". Real Clear Politics. 
  16. ^ David M. Herszenhorm & Sheryl Gay Stolberg (August 3, 2009). "Health Plan Opponents Make Voices Heard". New York Times. 
  17. ^ "Lloyd Doggett on Immigration". ontheissues.org. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ Scahill, Jeremy (2009-06-17). "Shame: The 'Anti-War' Democrats Who Sold Out". Alternet. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Decision in LULAC v. Perry". Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 2010-03-10. , which forced the redrawing of the 25th
  20. ^ Aaron Blake (June 2, 2011). "The GOP’s big Texas gerrymander". Washington Post. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  21. ^ Map of Texas Congressional districts 25-36
  22. ^ a b Michael King. "CD 35: Doggett, Romo, Alvarado". Austin Chronicle. 
  23. ^ Sean Miller. "Doggett: Texas GOP's redistricting plan aims to eliminate white Dems". The Hill. 
  24. ^ Cindy Casares. "Doggett vs. Castro: Getting Ugly Already". Texas Observer. 
  25. ^ Brad Rollins. "Election 2012: The Morning After cheat sheet". San Marcos Mercury. 
  26. ^ Martin, Gary. "Doggett beats rivals favored to win in November". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2012-05-30. 
  27. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2012-06-02. 
  28. ^ [1] The Sunlight Project
  29. ^ "The Sunlight Foundation Blog - Oil Industry Influence: Personal Finances'". Sunlight Foundation. August 8, 2008.  Retrieved on Aug. 8, 2008
  30. ^ [2][dead link]
  31. ^ Smith, Amy (2005-12-02). "Bike Spill Leaves Former Mayor Todd in Stable Condition". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by
Charles F. Herring
Texas State Senator
from District 14 (Austin)

1973–1985
Succeeded by
Gonzalo Barrientos
Legal offices
Preceded by
Ted Robertson
Texas Supreme Court Justice,
Place 2

1989–1994
Succeeded by
Priscilla Owen
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
J. J. Pickle
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 10th congressional district

1995–2005
Succeeded by
Michael McCaul
Preceded by
Chris Bell
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 25th congressional district

2005-2013
Succeeded by
Roger Williams
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 35th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Frank Lucas
R-Oklahoma
United States Representatives by seniority
71st
Succeeded by
Mike Doyle
D-Pennsylvania