|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th district
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Phil Crane|
|Succeeded by||Joe Walsh|
January 22, 1962 |
|Alma mater||Oakton Community College, A.A., 1982
Roosevelt University, B.A., 2002
|Occupation||Business consultant, marketing|
Melissa Luburich Bean (Serbian Cyrillic: Мелиса Бин Лубурић) (born January 22, 1962) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district from 2005 to 2011. Bean, who is of Serb origin, is a member of the Democratic Party.
Early life, education, and business career
Bean graduated from Oakton Community College with an Associates Degree in 1982 and from Roosevelt University in 2002 with a Bachelors Degree. Prior to her election to Congress, she was president of a home-based business, Sales Resources Inc., which counted many Fortune 1000 companies as clients.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2002, Bean ran against 73-year-old 8th District Republican incumbent Phil Crane. She charged that Crane, once a leader of conservative forces in the House, had become a "do-nothing" Congressman. Her campaign focus was on lobbyist-funded trips that he had taken. She lost, but gained 43% of the vote. This was unexpected since she had received very little funding from the national party. The 8th had historically been the most Republican district in the Chicago area, and by some accounts was the most Republican district in all of Illinois. Bean's performance was even more notable since the 8th had reportedly been redrawn to protect Crane.
Bean sought a rematch against Crane in 2004. During the campaign, Bean raised almost as much money as Crane, mostly from individual donors, whereas Crane's money came mostly from political action committees. Her surprising performance in the previous election led the national party to pump a large amount of money into her campaign. Bean was endorsed by the Daily Herald, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times—the three major newspapers in her district.
Faced with having to campaign for what was previously thought to be a safe seat, the Republicans tried their best to keep Crane in office. However, on November 2, 2004, Bean defeated Crane with 52% of the vote. Although George W. Bush won the district with 56% of the vote, Bean was helped by US Senate candidate Barack Obama, who carried the district. She is the first Democrat to represent the district since its formation in 1935. (The district was numbered the 10th District from 1935 to 1949, the 13th from 1949 to 1973, the 12th from 1973 to 1993 and has been the 8th since 1993.)
In 2006, Bean's seat was seen by Republicans as vulnerable to takeover due to her freshman status and the 8th district's historical Republican tilt at every level. As mentioned above, George W. Bush carried the district fairly easily in 2004. Most of the district's state representatives and state senators were Republicans. Even today, in much of the district Bean was the only elected Democrat above the county level. Bean's reelection was also a top priority of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
Bean faced the winner of a competitive six-candidate Republican primary, David McSweeney, in the 2006 general election. As in 2004, Bean was endorsed by all three of the major newspapers in her district. She defeated McSweeney, 51% to 44%.
Bean decisively defeated her 2008 opponent, businessman Steve Greenberg. Although she was one of forty-four Democrats in the House who voted to condemn the MoveOn.org group for their controversial "General Betray-us" ad in 2007, he criticized her for accepting over $80,000 in campaign donations from them three years earlier.   Bean defeated Greenberg, 60% to 40%.
Bean was a member of the Small Business and Financial Services committees for her entire House tenure. Normally, House Democrats who serve on the Financial Services Committee can't serve on any other committee. However, Bean was granted a waiver by the Democratic leadership.
Bean's business and financial record includes opposing a bill that would have allowed for drilling for oil in Lake Michigan which is a large source of drinking water for her district. She has departed from the Democrats in voting in May 2006 to extend about $70 billion in tax cuts (she was one of just 15 Democrats to back the legislation), voting to permanently reduce the estate tax, and voting in favor of a presidential line-item veto. Similarly, she is one of only 15 Democrats to vote in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). In 2009, she voted for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the American Clean Energy and Security Act. She was a co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.
On other issues, Bean opposed President Bush's troop "surge" in Iraq. In a February 2006 speech given before the surge had been fully implemented, Bean said, "regrettably, this surge does not constitute a new course." On social issues, Bean is pro-choice and voted in support of Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, health care reform. Bean was one of four Democrats to vote against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, joining 155 of 159 Republicans, blocking the vote (which needed a 2/3 majority to pass, as it was brought to vote under a motion to suspend rules.)
- Committee on Financial Services
- Committee on Small Business
|2002||Melissa L. Bean||70,626||43%||Philip M. Crane||95,275||57%||*|
|2004||Melissa L. Bean||139,792||52%||Philip M. Crane||130,601||48%|
|2006||Melissa L. Bean||93,355||51%||David McSweeney||80,720||44%||Bill Scheurer||Moderate||8,502||5%||*|
|2008||Melissa L. Bean||146,563||60%||Steve Greenberg||97,931||40%|
|2010||Melissa L. Bean||97,824||48.3%||Joe Walsh||98,115||48.5%||Bill Scheurer||Green||6,494||3.2%|
*Write-in and minor candidate notes: In 2002, Chuck Kelecic received 25 votes. In 2006, minor candidates received 817 votes.
Bean lives in unincorporated Palatine Township with her husband and two children. Their residence was in the 8th District when they moved there, but became part of the 10th District because of redistricting. They lived in an adjoining district for her entire time in Congress.
- Melissa Bean (D). The Washington Post.
- Lawrence Kestenbaum. "Illinois: U.S. Representatives". The Political Graveyard. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "IL - District 08 Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- Dems who condemned MoveOn took its cash - Kenneth P. Vogel - Politico.com
- FEC Disclosure Report Search Results
- The Swamp: MoveOn dust-up hits Bean race
- GOP congressional candidate asked to drop out. Associated Press. May 3, 2010.
- Bean concedes 8th Cong. District seat to Tea Party's Walsh Chicago Sun-Times. 2010-11-16.
- "For the U.S. House". Chicago Tribune. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "Bean right for her district". Chicago Sun-Times. 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-09.
- "Congress, 8th District: Bean". Daily Herald. 2010-10-16. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Our View: Bean, Seals for Congress". Lake County News-Sun. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
- "Melissa Bean". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- GOP Sees Opportunity to Pick Up Seat in Chicago Suburbs Kelley Beaucar Vlahos. FOX News. August 20, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2008.
- "H.R.1409: Employee Free Choice Act of 2009 - U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- Bean Speaks in Support of Iraq War Resolution, In Opposition to Troop Surge. Congresswoman Melissa Bean.
- "H.R.847: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 - U.S. Congress". 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
- "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- "The 2010 Results Maps". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- "Illinois State Board of Elections". Elections.state.il.us. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
- http://elections.chicagotribune.com/results/[dead link]
- "Ballots Cast: General Primary, 8th Congress - 2/2/2010". Illinois State Board of Elections. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
- Illinois Redistricting Hearing, C-SPAN, April 27, 2001
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th congressional district