Lynn Westmoreland

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Lynn Westmoreland
Lynn Westmoreland Official.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 3rd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Preceded by Jim Marshall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th district
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Mac Collins
Succeeded by Jim Marshall
Personal details
Born Leon Acton Westmoreland[1]
(1950-04-02) April 2, 1950 (age 64)
Atlanta, Georgia
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Joan Westmoreland
Residence Grantville, Georgia
Alma mater D.M. Therrell High School,
Atlanta, GA, Class of 1968
Occupation Construction Executive
Religion Southern Baptist[2]

Leon Acton "Lynn" Westmoreland (born April 2, 1950) is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 3rd congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district stretches from the far southern Atlanta suburbs to the suburbs of Columbus. He previously represented Georgia's 8th congressional district from 2005 to 2007.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Westmoreland was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Margaret Ferrell (née Lawson) and Leon Acton Westmoreland.[3] He grew up in metro Atlanta. He has no degree beyond a high school diploma. He attended Georgia State University, but dropped out to work in a family construction business in which he later became an executive. He served in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1993 to 2005, rising to the position of House Republican Leader in 2001. He held that position until 2003 when he stepped down in order to devote time to his Congressional campaign in late 2003. He continued to serve in the Georgia House until his election to the U.S. House in 2005.

As Republican Leader in the Georgia House, he led the fight against intense partisan gerrymandering during the redistricting process controlled by the Democratic majority in 2001. He was instrumental in the mid-decade redistricting that took place in 2005 after Republicans won control of the Georgia legislature in the 2004 elections.[4][5][6]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Tenure[edit]

During his first term in the 109th United States Congress, Westmoreland was appointed to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business, U.S. House Committee on Government Reform, and the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.[citation needed]

As a U.S. congressman, Westmoreland cosponsored a bill to place the Ten Commandments in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Westmoreland also sponsored a bill that the Ten Commandments could be displayed in courthouses in a historical setting.[7] In May 2006, political humorist Stephen Colbert interviewed Westmoreland for The Colbert Report show segment Better Know a District, and during the interview, asked Westmoreland to name the Ten Commandments. The edited interview showed Westmoreland being able to name only three of them, but his press secretary later said that he had named seven of the ten.[8][9] Govtrack.us ranked Westmoreland as tied for the most conservative member of the 112th Congress

Westmoreland led a group of congressmen who opposed the 2006 renewal of certain provisions in the Voting Rights Act that require nine Southern states and a number of counties (mostly in the South) to obtain Federal permission for certain changes to election law or changes in venue. Westmoreland and his colleagues claimed that it was no longer fair to target their states, given the passage of time since 1965 and the changes their states had made to provide fair elections and voting. Despite Westmoreland's objections, a strong bipartisan majority renewed the Voting Rights Act for another 25 years without changes.[10]

In 2008, Westmoreland ran unopposed in the Republican primary and was re-elected after defeating his Democratic opponent Stephen Camp.[11] After his win, Westmoreland announced that he was considering running for the office of Governor of Georgia in 2010,[12] but later indicated in an April 2009 press release that he would not.[13]

In 2010 Westmoreland signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[14]

Legislation[edit]

Westmoreland has sponsored ten bills of his own, including:[15]

110th Congress (2007-2008)[edit]

  • H.R. 3229, a bill to mint 350,000 $1 infantry coins for sale during 2012, with a surcharge of $10 on the sale of such coins, and with revenue to be allocated to the National Infantry Museum, introduced July 30, 2007, signed into law October 8, 2008
  • H.R. 3492, a bill to increase the allowable amount of campaign contributions to political action committees (PACs), introduced September 6, 2007

112th Congress (2011-2012)[edit]

  • H.R. 5710, a bill to establish a total daily energy consumption standard for medium temperature commercial refrigerators, introduced May 10, 2012

113th Congress (2013-2014)[edit]

  • H.R. 3985, a bill to prohibit health insurers from making required payments under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) for transitional reinsurance in the individual health insurance market, and to repeal the PPACA's risk corridors and risk adjustments for insurance companies, introduced February 3, 2014
  • H.R. 4604, a bill to allow for consumers to opt out of having personally identifiable information collected by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and to set a 60-day time limit on how long the CFPB can store such information, introduced May 7, 2014

Committee assignments[edit]

Controversy[edit]

On September 4, 2008, Westmoreland described Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife Michelle as "uppity," a pejorative considered by some as historically used to describe African-Americans who have made economic, social, or political progress.[16] He told reporters: "Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Senator Obama, they're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they're uppity," Westmoreland said. Asked to clarify that he used the word "uppity," Westmoreland said, "Uppity, yeah."[17][18]

The ensuing media attention compelled Westmoreland to issue the following statement: "I’ve never heard that term used in a racially derogatory sense. It is important to note that the dictionary definition of 'uppity' is 'affecting an air of inflated self-esteem—snobbish.' That's what we meant by uppity when we used it in the mill village where I grew up."[19]

Political campaigns[edit]

Westmoreland won a plurality of votes in the Republican primary election in 2004, but faced fellow Republican Dylan Glenn in a runoff. Westmoreland received 55.5% of the vote in the runoff. The district was so heavily Republican that Westmoreland's primary victory was tantamount to election in November. He routed his Democratic opponent, businesswoman Silvia Delamar, with almost 76% of the vote. He was handily reelected in 2006 after his district was renumbered as the 3rd and made even more Republican than before.

Personal life[edit]

He resides in Grantville, Georgia, with his wife, Joan; they have three children and seven grandchildren.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Baptist Press - Ten Southern Baptists sworn in as new reps. - News with a Christian Perspective
  3. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/reps/westmoreland.htm
  4. ^ "Election districts drawing attention". The Washington Times. February 26, 2005. Archived from the original on November 1, 2006. 
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/us/20murphy.html
  6. ^ Times-Georgian - Georgia Carroll Haralson remember Tom Murphy
  7. ^ "GOP Intros 10 Commandments Bill". Associated Press. [dead link]
  8. ^ Just who is this 'Stephen Colbert' character?[dead link], June 9, 2008, CNN.
  9. ^ Running for office? Better run from Colbert October 22, 2006, Los Angeles Times.
  10. ^ "House Renews Voting Rights Act Unchanged". CBS News. Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  11. ^ Pedraza-Vidamour, Brenda (2008-11-04). "Westmoreland retains seat". Newnan Times-Herald. Retrieved 2008-11-06. 
  12. ^ Smith, Ben (2008-11-05). "Georgia House incumbents win their races". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 13 November 2008. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Westmoreland won't run for governor". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2009-07-28. [dead link]
  14. ^ http://americansforprosperity.org/noclimatetax//wp-content/uploads/2008/08/westmoreland.pdf
  15. ^ "Representative Westmoreland's Legislation". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 3, 2014. 
  16. ^ The Resonance of Racism, April 16, 2008, Los Angeles Times.
  17. ^ Westmoreland Calls Obama Uppity, September 4, 2008, The Hill.
  18. ^ Audio recording of Rep. Westmoreland referring to Obamas as "uppity"
  19. ^ "Top of the Ticket". The Los Angeles Times. September 5, 2008. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mac Collins
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 8th congressional district

January 3, 2005–January 4, 2007
Succeeded by
Jim Marshall
Preceded by
Jim Marshall
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 2007 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
D-Florida
United States Representatives by seniority
193rd
Succeeded by
Doris Matsui
D-California