Mo Brooks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mo Brooks
Mo Brooks, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 5th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Parker Griffith
Madison County District 5 Commissioner
In office
2000–2011
Preceded by Rob Colson
Succeeded by Phil Riddick
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 10th District
In office
1984–1992
Preceded by James C. Haney[1]
Succeeded by Tom Drake[2]
Member of the Alabama House of Representatives from 18th District[3]
In office
1982–1984
Preceded by Charlie Britnell
Succeeded by Frank Riddick
Personal details
Born Morris Jackson Brooks, Jr.
(1954-04-29) April 29, 1954 (age 59)[4]
Charleston, South Carolina[4]
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Martha Jenkins Brooks (1976-present)
Children Four children
Residence Huntsville, Alabama
Alma mater Duke University,
University of Alabama School of Law
Occupation Politician
Religion Non-denominational Christian
(attends Mormon services, baptised Mormon)
Website brooks.house.gov

Morris Jackson "Mo" Brooks, Jr.[5] (born April 29, 1954) is an American politician who has been the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 5th congressional district since 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education, and legal career[edit]

Brooks was born in 1954 in Charleston, South Carolina, and moved to Huntsville, Alabama, in 1963. His mother, Betty J. (née Noland), taught economics and government for over twenty years at Lee High School, while he attended Grissom High School. His father, Morris Jackson "Jack" Brooks, was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee,[6] and worked as an electrical engineer before retiring from Redstone Arsenal's Meteorology Center.[7] They still live in Madison County, Alabama.[8]

Brooks graduated from Grissom High School in 1972. He graduated from Duke University in three years with a double major in political science and economics. Brooks later graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law in 1978.[citation needed]

Brooks started his legal career with the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office. Brooks left the Tuscaloosa District Attorney’s office in 1980 to return to Huntsville as a law clerk for presiding Circuit Court Judge John David Snodgrass. During every year except when he was serving as a prosecutor or court clerk, Brooks was a practicing lawyer. In 1993, he became of counsel to the firm of Leo and Associates, a business law firm with a national focus founded by Karl W. Leo. He became a partner in the firm which was reorganized as Leo & Brooks, LLC. He maintained a national practice that specialized in commercial litigation.[9]

Early political career[edit]

In 1982, Brooks was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives and was subsequently re-elected in 1983, 1986 and 1990. While in the legislature, Brooks was elected Republican House Caucus Chairman three times.

In 1991, Brooks was appointed Madison County District Attorney. In 1992, he ran for the office, but lost to Democrat Tim Morgan; a Republican had not been elected to the office since the Reconstruction era.

In 1995–1996, Mo Brooks was appointed special assistant attorney general for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. From 1996 to 2002, he was special assistant attorney general for Attorney General Bill Pryor.

In 1996, Brooks ran for the Madison County Commission and unseated an 8-year incumbent Republican. He was reelected to the Commission in 2000, 2004, and 2008.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

Brooks won the Republican primary, receiving 51% of the vote, defeating incumbent Parker Griffith (33%) and conservative activist Les Phillip (16%).[10][11][12]

Brooks was named a "Young Gun" by the Republican National Committee in 2010.[13] Larry Sabato, Charlie Cook, and Real Clear Politics rated this race "Likely Republican".[14][15][16] CQPolitics, Stuart Rothenberg, and the New York Times rated the race "Safe Republican".[17][18][19] Nate Silver in the FiveThirtyEight.com New York Times blog predicted that there was a 94.1% chance that Brooks would defeat Raby.[20]

In the general election, Brooks defeated Democratic nominee Steve Raby 58%-42%.[21] He became the first freshman Republican to represent this district since Reconstruction.[citation needed]

2012

In January 2012, Griffith filed for a rematch against Brooks in the Republican primary. He said of the incumbent "We'll contrast my time in Congress with my opponent's time in Congress. The distinction is clear, he has wandered away from many of the issues people want us to address."[22] Brooks carries the support of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum political action committee.[23] Brooks defeated Griffith in the rematch 71%-29%, a landslide margin of 42 points. Brooks won all five of the counties.[24] Griffith ran four points worse than he had in the 2010 primary.[citation needed]

Tenure[edit]

Brooks is one of the most conservative members of congress. In 2012, the National Journal ranked him as the 75th most conservative member of the U.S. House of Representatives.[25] His district is home to Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center and relies on Federal funding for many of the jobs in the area. Brooks supported the government shutdown of 2013[26] which left many of his constituents without pay for 12 workdays, but who were paid for the time off 15 days later. Brooks voted against the House majority leader and the successful deal to end the shutdown,[27] which, by the time it was resolved, had cost 6.6 million work days, $2 billion in back pay, and 120,000 private sector jobs, according to a White House report.[28]

NSA
Brooks supports the right for the NSA to collect telephone data on Americans, saying its potential to thwart terrorist attacks outweighs potential infringements on privacy.[29]
Abortion and stem cell research
Representative Brooks is against abortion and any stem cell research that uses human embryos.[30]
He is opposed to federal funding for abortions and is also against federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Brooks was a co-sponsor of Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would have ended the federal funding of Planned Parenthood.[30]
Economy
Brooks is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge.[31]
Brooks has stated that he believes that the economy is the sole issue for Congress. He has stated, "Financial issues overshadow everything else going on in Washington. That one set of issues is sucking everything else out of the room.”[32]
Brooks has stated that he supports reforming Social Security,[33][34] including allowing individuals to invest some of their Social Security money in private retirement accounts.[35][36] Brooks has stated on his website that he does not support the full privatization of Social Security, "because the stock market and many other investments are simply too volatile."[33]
Brooks also supports the plan proposed by Paul Ryan to shift Medicare from a publicly run program to one that is managed by private insurers.[37] He believes that if the national debt of the United States continues to grow, the damage done to the nation will be catastrophic.
Brooks has also stated that he supports the Fair Tax proposal.[34]
While at a monthly breakfast meeting of the Madison County Republican Men's Club, Brooks referred to the jobs bill proposed by President Obama as the "Obama 'kill jobs' bill."[38] He told the crowd that it adds to the debt, promotes "frivolous lawsuits", and creates new government agencies.[38] He challenged the president's promotion of the bill saying, "If Barack Obama is serious about jobs, how about repealing Obamacare, dealing with illegal immigration and urging the Democrat-controlled Senate to pass pro-jobs bills that have already cleared in the House."[38] At the same meeting, Brooks compared the recession of 2008 (and its after effects) with the Great Depression, saying that the problems associated with the Great Depression are "a cakewalk compared to what can happen to our country if we don't start acting responsibly in Washington, D.C., to try to get this deficit under control."[38]
The federal government is the largest employer in Brooks' district.[39]
Regulatory reform
In December 2011, Brooks voted in support of H.R. 10, the "Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny Act," which would have required Congressional approval for any "major regulations" issued by the executive branch but, unlike the 1996 Congressional Review Act, would not require the president's signature or override of a probable presidential veto.[40][41]
Foreign policy
Brooks believes that "we cannot continue to be the world police."[32] He has expressed disappointment that the U.S. military didn't leave Afghanistan immediately after the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1, 2011.[32]
He also has expressed his disapproval over NATO military actions in Libya that the United States has been involved in. He has stated, "I reject the president’s position that the way to prevent Libyans from killing Libyans is by Americans killing Libyans."[42] He voted against H.R. 2278 and, after voting, released this statement: "We should be out of Libya altogether, and not voting piecemeal on parts of the operation. While this bill excludes some operations in Libya, it approves many others. The lesson from Vietnam is that the one sure way to lose a war is by fighting it half-way."[42]
Health care
Brooks is opposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and has said that the committee that passed it didn't understand it.[37] He signed the Club for Growth's "Repeal-It!" pledge that stated that upon his election to Congress that he would "sponsor and support legislation to repeal any federal health care takeover passed in 2010, and replace it with real reforms that lower health care costs without growing government."[37] He was also endorsed by the website Defundit.org for his stance on the health care reform bill.[43] Brooks co-sponsored H.R. 127, which would have removed all funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and any amendments made by either act.[37]
According to a survey by the Christian Coalition, Brooks is also opposed to the idea of government-run health care.[37] He voted yes on repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[37]
Illegal immigration
Brooks is opposed to allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the United States. As part of his 2010 campaign, he advocated getting the federal government "out of the way so state and local governments can help solve the problem."[33][44] He also advocated making it "unprofitable" for employers to hire illegal immigrants over American citizens.[44]
Brooks has been endorsed by Americans for Legal Immigration (ALI),[44] a political action committee (or PAC).
Brooks has co-sponsored 14 immigration-reducing bills since taking office in January 2011.[45] Brooks also has stated that he feels Congress will probably do nothing about illegal immigration in the coming years.[34]
Technology
Brooks voted yes on terminating funding for NPR.[46][47][48]

Socialist controversy[edit]

In April 2011, Brooks stated, during a congressional speech, "Folks, we are here today forcing this issue because America is at risk. We are at risk of insolvency and bankruptcy because the socialist members of this body choose to spend money that we do not have." After Brooks made this remark, Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison asked that Brooks' comments be "taken down." This request forced Brooks to either have the comment stricken from the record or defend the remark and wait until later in the day for a formal ruling over whether or not the comment was inappropriate. Brooks chose to have the remark withdrawn before he continued with his speech. Ellison accepted the withdrawal.[49]

Afterwards, Brooks stated that he did not regret his initial remark and that he thought those who objected to his comment, particularly those within the Democratic Party, were "thin-skinned."[49] He stated, "People could quite clearly infer that socialism is what the other guys are promoting."[49]

"Shooting immigrants" controversy[edit]

On June 29, 2011, in an interview with reporter Venton Blandin of WHNT-TV, Brooks was asked by Blandin to repeat what he had previously stated at a town hall meeting about illegal immigrants. Brooks repeated his previous statement, saying, "As your congressman on the House floor, I will do anything short of shooting them. Anything that is lawful, it needs to be done because illegal aliens need to quit taking jobs from American citizens." [50]

Sanctuary city controversy[edit]

Brooks said Birmingham, a city where Alabama's strict immigration law has been criticized, needed to prepare to spend more money if it wants to be a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. He told Blandin, "They need to start picking up the tab that American citizens are having to pick up. If Birmingham wants to be a sanctuary city, or wants to head in that direction, that is their decision. They are absolutely wrong."[50]

Committee assignments[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Alabama Republican Primary, 5th Congressional District, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mo Brooks 35,746 50.81%
Republican Parker Griffith(I) 23,525 33.44%
Republican Les Phillip 11,085 15.76%
Alabama 5th Congressional District Election, 2010[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mo Brooks 130,927 57.9%
Democratic Steve Raby 95,078 42.1%
Alabama Republican Primary, 5th Congressional District, 2012[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mo Brooks (I) 65,123 70.94%
Republican Parker Griffith 26,680 29.06%
Alabama 5th Congressional District Election, 2012[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mo Brooks (I) 188,924 65.04%
Democratic Charlie Holley 101,536 34.96%

Personal life[edit]

Brooks met Martha Jenkins of Toledo, Ohio, at Duke University. They were married in 1976. Martha graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in accounting. In 2004, Martha attended the University of Alabama in Huntsville for a degree in teaching and currently teaches at Whitesburg Middle School in Huntsville. They have four children, two granddaughters, and two grandsons.[8] Brooks joined the LDS Church in 1978, and though he still attends Mormon services with his wife, he considers himself a non-denominational Christian.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=208790
  2. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=217177
  3. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=216888
  4. ^ a b "Guide to the New Congress". CQ Roll Call. November 4, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2010. 
  5. ^ http://www.legistorm.com/memberbio/2724/Rep_Mo_Brooks_AL.html
  6. ^ Khan, Naureen (October 13, 2010). "Mo Brooks (R)". National Journal. 
  7. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/%7Ebattle/reps/brooks.htm
  8. ^ a b Brooks, Morris (November 2, 2010). "Morris J. "Mo" Brooks, Jr. Biography". Madison County Commission. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ Martindale-Hubbell law directory and Karl W. Leo
  10. ^ Cillizza, Chris (June 2, 2010). "Party switcher Parker Griffith, Rep. Artur Davis lose in Alabama primaries". Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Alabama Republican Rep. Parker Griffith was soundly defeated in a Republican primary tonight, the second party switcher to lose an intraparty fight in the past two weeks. Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks had 51 percent of the vote to Griffith's 33 percent and 16 percent for Les Phillip with 99 percent of precincts reporting." 
  11. ^ Stephens, Challen (2010-06-01). "Parker Griffith concedes: It's Mo Brooks vs. Steve Raby". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  12. ^ Blandin, Venton (June 2, 2010). "Mo Brooks Wins Alabama's 5th District Congressional Primary Race". WHNT-TV. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Brooks won the GOP ticket with 51% the vote. The majority vote means almost 36,000 people picked Brooks over his opponents-- Les Phillip and Incumbent Congressman Parker Griffith." 
  13. ^ Stephens, Challen (August 25, 2010). "Times Watchdog Report: National Republicans back Mo Brooks, Democrats undeclared on Steve Raby". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Meanwhile, the Republicans in congress have adopted Mo Brooks, slapping on him their highest label for a hot prospect: Young Gun." 
  14. ^ Sabato, Larry; Issac Wood (2010-08-28). "Alabama (05) House 2010". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Likely R" 
  15. ^ Cook, Charlie (November 2, 2010). "House". Cook Political Report. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Likely R" 
  16. ^ "Alabama 5th District – Brooks vs. Raby". Real Clear Politics. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Likely GOP" 
  17. ^ "Alabama – 5th District". CQPolitics. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Safe Republican" 
  18. ^ Rothenberg, Stuart (November 1, 2010). "House Ratings". Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Alabama 5th District Profile". The New York Times. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 2, 2010. "Solid Republican" 
  20. ^ Silver, Nate (October 20, 2010). "FiveThirtyEight Forecasts Alabama 5th District". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  21. ^ a b Chapman, Beth (June 11, 2010). "2010 Election Information, Primary Election – June 1, 2010, Election Results – Republican Primary (Excel file; 6/11//2010)". Alabama Secretary of State. Retrieved November 2, 2010. 
  22. ^ http://blog.al.com/breaking/2012/01/parker_griffith_says_he_will_c.html
  23. ^ "Candidates endorsed by Eagle Forum PAC, October 31, 2012". eagleforum.org. Retrieved November 3, 2012. 
  24. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=751060
  25. ^ "2012 Vote Rankings". National Journal. February 21, 2013. 
  26. ^ Gattis, Paul (October 16, 2013). "Rep. Mo Brooks says he will vote against Senate deal, calls it 'financially irresponsible'". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  27. ^ Galloway, Drew (October 16, 2013). "Shelby, Sessions, Brooks, Aderholt, Roby Vote Against Bill to Lift Shutdown, Raise Debt Ceiling". Huntsville, AL: WHNT-TV. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  28. ^ Lowrey, Annie (November 8, 2013). "White House Puts Price on Government Shutdown". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  29. ^ Jackson, Dale (August 1, 2013). "Congressman Mo Brooks’ response to constituents questions on NSA vote and programs…". Retrieved November 9, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "Mo Brooks on Abortion". On the Issues. Retrieved July 3, 2011. 
  31. ^ "The Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers 112th Congressional List" (PDF). Americans for Tax Reform. Retrieved November 30, 2011. 
  32. ^ a b c Delinski, Bernie (June 30, 2011). "Brooks: Economy biggest issue". TimesDaily. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  33. ^ a b c "Seniors' Issues". Mo Brooks for Congress. Retrieved July 3, 2011. 
  34. ^ a b c Lawson, Brian (June 12, 2011). "U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks warns government has dire financial problems". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Public Notes on 10-CC-q6". On the Issues. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  36. ^ "Mo Brooks on Social Security". On the Issues. Retrieved 3 July 2011. 
  37. ^ a b c d e f "Mo Brooks on Health Care". On the Issues. On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  38. ^ a b c d Kesner, Keith (September 17, 2011). "Mo Brooks warns of threat to nation from deficits, says Obama employment plan a 'kill jobs' bill". The Huntsville TImes. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  39. ^ "Leading Employers Huntsville/Madison County". Retrieved November 6, 2013. 
  40. ^ Sonmez, Felicia (December 7, 2011). "REINS bill to expand congressional power over executive regulations passed by House". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  41. ^ "FreedomWatch Scorecard". 
  42. ^ a b Brooks, Mo. "6/24/2011, Congressman Brooks' Statement on Libya". Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  43. ^ "Endorsements". DefundIt.org - Pledge to DeFund Obamacare!. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  44. ^ a b c "Mo Brooks on Immigration". On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Freshman Rep. Mo Brooks Co-Sponsors 14 Immigration-Reduction Bills". Congress Watch. NumbersUSA. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  46. ^ "Mo Brooks on Technology". On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  47. ^ "Vote number 11-HV192 terminating funding for National Public Radio on Mar 17, 2011 regarding bill H.1076 Prohibit Federal Funds for NPR Results: Passed 228-192". On the Issues. On the Issues. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  48. ^ "H.R.1076". Bill Summary & Status 112th Congress (2011 - 2012). The Library of Congress. Retrieved November 14, 2011. 
  49. ^ a b c Orndorff, May (April 16, 2011). "US Rep. Mo Brooks retracts 'socialist' remark". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  50. ^ a b Blandin, Venton (June 29, 2011). "Congressman Mo Brooks Makes Strong Comments on Illegal Immigration Law". Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  51. ^ a b Chapman, Beth. "AL Secretary of State". Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  52. ^ Brooks, Mo. Parker Griffith Attacks Mo Brooks With False “Push Polling”.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Parker Griffith
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Alabama's 5th congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Diane Black
R-Tennessee
United States Representatives by seniority
281st
Succeeded by
Larry Bucshon
R-Indiana