Steve Scalise

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Steve Scalise
Steve Scalise.jpg
House Majority Whip
Incumbent
Assumed office
August 1, 2014
Leader Kevin McCarthy
Preceded by Kevin McCarthy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st district
Incumbent
Assumed office
May 3, 2008
Preceded by Bobby Jindal
Member of the Louisiana Senate
from the 9th district
In office
January 14, 2008 – May 6, 2008
Preceded by Jesse Kendrick "Ken" Hollis
Succeeded by Conrad Appel
Member of the Louisiana House of Representatives
from the 82nd district
In office
1996 – January 14, 2008
Preceded by Quentin Dastugue
Succeeded by Cameron Henry
Personal details
Born (1965-10-06) October 6, 1965 (age 48)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jennifer Letulle Scalise (born 1975)
Children Madison Carol Scalise

Harrison Joseph Scalise

Residence Jefferson, Louisiana
Alma mater Louisiana State University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Congressman Steve Scalise
Party website

Stephen Joseph "Steve" Scalise (born October 6, 1965) is the current United States House of Representatives Majority Whip and representative for Louisiana's 1st congressional district, serving since 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party[1][2] and the chairman of the 170-member conservative House Republican Study Committee.[3]

Prior to his congressional tenure, Scalise served for four months in the Louisiana State Senate and twelve years in the Louisiana House of Representatives. On June 19, 2014, Scalise was elected by his Republican colleagues to serve as Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives. He assumed office on August 1. He is the first Louisianan in the Majority Whip's position since the Democrat Hale Boggs of Louisiana's 2nd congressional district held the position from 1962 to 1971.

Early life and education[edit]

Scalise graduated from Archbishop Rummel High School in Metairie in Jefferson Parish and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, with a major in computer programming and a minor in political science. While at Louisiana State University, Scalise was initiated as a member of the Acacia fraternity.[citation needed]

Louisiana Legislature[edit]

Scalise was elected three times to the Louisiana House of Representatives: 1995, 1999, and 2003. Scalise initially succeeded fellow Republican Representative Quentin D. Dastugue, who made an ill-fated bid for governor in the 1995 primary.

His legislative peers named him to the House Appropriations Committee as the representative of the First Congressional District. Scalise opposed the 2002 Stelly Plan, a proposal by Lake Charles Representative Vic Stelly, since repealed, to reduce certain state sales taxes on food for home consumption and utilities in exchange for higher state income taxes.

Scalise was elected in the October 20, 2007, nonpartisan blanket primary to the District 9 seat in the Louisiana Senate. That position was vacated by the term-limited Ken Hollis of Metairie. Scalise received 19,154 votes (61 percent) in a three-way contest. Fellow Republican Polly Thomas polled 8,948 votes (29 percent). A Democrat, David Gereighty, polled 3,154 votes (10 percent) in the heavily Republican-oriented district. Scalise was succeeded in the state House by his aide, Cameron Henry of Metairie.

In the special election on November 4, 2008 to fill the remaining three and one-half years in Scalise's state Senate term, Conrad Appel defeated Polly Thomas, 21,853 (52.1 percent) to 20,065 (47.9 percent). Thomas had also lost the race for the seat in 2007 to Scalise.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

On being asked by the New Orleans Times-Picayune to assign Democrat Barack Obama a letter grade for Obama's first 100 days as President, Scalise awarded the new president an L (for "liberal").[5]

Scalise encouraged residents throughout Southeast Louisiana to provide feedback about the Corps of Engineers' Category 5 proposal, titled Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration (LACPR) report.[1][6] In a June 5, 2009 letter to the editor of The Times-Picayune, Anne Milling, founder of the Women of the Storm wrote, "Kudos to Rep. Steve Scalise, who led his congressional colleagues here last week for a first-hand glimpse of Louisiana's offshore oil and gas production and its critical importance to the nation."[7]

Committee assignments[edit]

Legislative history[edit]

In 2011, Scalise became a co-sponsor of Bill H.R.3261 otherwise known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (withdrawn Jan 23, 2012).[8] As chairman of the Republican Study Committee, Scalise dismissed Derek Khanna, a committee staffer, in December 2012 because of pressure from content industry lobbyists after the study committee published a memo advocating copyright reform.[9]

In 2013, Scalise voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.[10]

Leadership race[edit]

In the aftermath of Rep. Eric Cantor's unexpected defeat by David Brat on June 3, 2014, Scalise launched a campaign to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy in the position of Majority Whip of the House; McCarthy himself would replace Cantor as House Majority Leader. Scalise's ascent to leadership built on his "come-from-behind win in 2012 to become chairman" of the Republican Study Committee.[11] Scalise subsequently won a three-way race for whip, winning on the first ballot despite the efforts of fellow candidates Peter Roskam and Marlin Stutzman.[12][13] He came under fire for using the assistance of a federal lobbyist, John Feehery, when hiring staff for the Majority Leader's Press Office. [14]

Political campaigns[edit]

2008 special election[edit]

In 2004, Scalise announced that he would run for the U.S. House but thereafter deferred to the preference of party leaders and supported Jindal, who won the position vacated by the successful U.S. senatorial candidate, David Vitter.

In 2007, when Jindal was elected to the governorship of Louisiana, Scalise announced his intentions to seek the seat yet again. This time he received Republican party backing.

Scalise's strongest Republican primary opponent, State Representative Timothy G. "Tim" Burns from Mandeville in St. Tammany Parish, accused Scalise of push polling, a practice in which a campaign contacts voters by telephone and asks probing questions which leave a negative impression of his opponent. Scalise defended his poll from criticism by Burns: "We were running a public opinion survey this week conducted by the largest Republican polling firm in the country, Public Opinion Strategies. . . . conducted with a sample of 300 people, and it shows Scalise at 57 percent, Burns at 26 percent and undecided at 17 percent The margin of error is 5.6 percent. We ran a fact-based public opinion survey, not a push poll."[15]

In the March 8, 2008, Republican primary, Scalise polled 16,799 votes (48 percent). He went on to win the runoff election on April 5 against Burns, who received 9,631 votes (28 percent) in the initial primary.[16][16][17]

In the May 3 general election, Scalise received 33,867 votes (75.13 percent) to Democrat Gilda Reed's 10,142 ballots (22.5 percent). Two minor candidates polled the remaining 2.36 percent of the vote. Reed was a favorite of organized labor and the Democratic constituency groups. The First District has been Republican since 1977, when Bob Livingston won a special election.[18]

Scalise was sworn in on May 7, 2008.

2008[edit]

In the regularly scheduled election, Scalise was reelected over Democrat Jim Harlan, 66 percent to 34 percent.

2010[edit]

Scalise defeated the Democratic nominee, Myron Katz, and an Independent, Arden Wells, in his 2010 bid for reelection.

2012[edit]

In June 2009, Scalise joined Dan Kyle, the former legislative auditor and the treasurer of the Louisiana GOP, as directors of a national presidential fund-raising effort promoting Governor Jindal. According to Kyle, the group hoped to raise $60 million to persuade Jindal to seek the 2012 party nomination.[19] Others on the committee include former State Representative Woody Jenkins. Former Republican State Senator Tom Schedler of Slidell had his name removed from the group, not because he opposes Jindal but because such fund-raising activity could conflict with Schedler's role at the time as first assistant to Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne.[19] In 2010, Schedler succeeded Dardenne as secretary of state.

In his own 2012 congressional race, Scalise prevailed with 193,490 votes (66.6 percent) over four opponents, the strongest of which was the Democrat M. V. "Vinny" Mendoza, who finished with 61,979 votes (21.3 percent). A second Republican, Gary King, received 24,838 votes (8.6 percent). Independent Arden Wells ran again and received 4,285 votes (1.5 percent) in his second race against Scalise.[20]

Legislation[edit]

Scalise sponsored a bill called the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act. The bill makes the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) consolidate several of their reports into one report. The bill is expected to help streamline the FCC's work and make the agency more efficient.[21]

Personal life[edit]

He is a member of the Seventh Ward Senior Center and the American Italian Renaissance Foundation. He is married to the former Jennifer Letulle (born 1975). The couple has two children, Madison Carol Scalise (born March 17, 2007), and Harrison Joseph Scalise (born May 8, 2009).[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CURRENT HOUSE FLOOR PROCEEDINGS LEGISLATIVE DAY OF MAY 7, 2008 110TH CONGRESS - SECOND SESSION". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  2. ^ "Office of the clerk, U.S. House of Representative". Clerk.house.gov. 2008-05-07. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Deborah Barfield Berry, With Alexander departing, delegation's clout in question? Will Alexander loss, Senate battle hurt Louisiana in the nation's capital?". Shreveport Times. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State, November 4, 2008, election results: http://www400.sos.louisiana.gov:8090/cgibin/?rqstyp=elcms3&rqsdta=110408
  5. ^ Tilove, Jonathan, "Obama's first 100 days are graded on a curve" in Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 2009 April 29, Saint Tammany Edition, pp. A1, A6 (web version = Louisiana's congressional delegation grades President Obama's first 100 days from A to L.)
  6. ^ scalise.house.gov/hurricane[dead link]
  7. ^ Sisco, Annette (ed.) (2009-07-05). "A visit to Louisiana opens eyes". Blog.nola.com. Retrieved 2013-10-06. 
  8. ^ Bill H.R.3261; GovTrack.us;
  9. ^ Lee, Timothy B. (December 6, 2012). "Staffer axed by Republican group over retracted copyright-reform memo". Ars Technica (Condé Nast Publications). Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  10. ^ Trotter, J.K. (February 28, 2013). "Here's Who Voted Against the Violence Against Women Act". The Atlantic. 
  11. ^ Joachim, David S., "Louisianan Seeks to Extend Rapid Rise in House G.O.P.", New York Times, June 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  12. ^ Parker, Ashley, and Jeremy W. Peters, "House Republicans Name McCarthy as Cantor’s Replacement", New York Times, June 19, 2014. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  13. ^ Sherman, Jake; Bresnahan, John; Palmer, Anna (19 June 2014). "Inside the House GOP leadership shake-up". Politico. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  14. ^ Palmer, Anna; Sherman, Jake. "To pick staff, Scalise turns to lobbyist". www.politico.com. Politico. Retrieved 6 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "Scalise defends integrity of GOP runoff survey". NOLA.com. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  16. ^ a b Louisiana Secretary of State Unofficial Election Results Inquiry Results for Election Date: 4/05/08
  17. ^ "'''nola.com''' ELECTIONS section". Nola.com. Retrieved 2014-06-07. 
  18. ^ Louisiana Secretary of State-Multi-Parish Elections Inquiry
  19. ^ a b "Michelle Millhollon, "Official pulls out of Jindal group", June 16, 2009". Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Retrieved November 23, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Louisiana election returns, November 6, 2012". staticresults.sos.la.gov. Retrieved November 11, 2012. 
  21. ^ Harrison, Julie, "Scalise’s FCC consolidation bill sails through House", The Ripon Advance, 9-12-13. (Retrieved 9-12-13).
  22. ^ Alpert, Bruce, "You can call him 'Mr. Majority Whip' -- Rep. Steve Scalise wins House leadership race", Times-Picayune, June 19, 2014. "... [W]ife, Jennifer, and children Madison and Harrison"; caption. Retrieved 2014-06-19.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bobby Jindal
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Louisiana's 1st congressional district

May 3, 2008 – present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Kevin McCarthy
House Majority Whip
2014–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Jordan
Ohio
Chairman of the Republican Study Committee
2013–2014
Succeeded by
Rob Woodall
Georgia
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Jackie Speier
D-California
United States Representatives by seniority
226th
Succeeded by
Donna Edwards
D-Maryland