Tim Griffin

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Tim Griffin
Rep Tim Griffin Official Photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 2nd district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Vic Snyder
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas
In office
December 20, 2006 – June 1, 2007
Preceded by Bud Cummins
Succeeded by Jane Duke
Personal details
Born John Timothy Griffin
(1968-08-21) August 21, 1968 (age 45)
Charlotte, North Carolina
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Griffin
Children 2
Alma mater Hendrix College

Tulane University

Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army Reserve[1]
Years of service 1996-present[1]
Rank US-O5 insignia.svg Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 172nd Infantry Brigade SSI.svg 172nd Infantry Brigade[1]
Battles/wars Iraq[1]
Awards Meritorious Service Medal[1]
Army Commendation Medal (6)[1]
Army Achievement Medal (5)[1]
Combat Action Badge[1]

John Timothy "Tim" Griffin (born August 21, 1968) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who has been the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 2nd congressional district since 2011. He was an interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas from December 2006 to June 2007, appointed by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, but never confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Griffin will not seek a third term in 2014.[2][3] He is instead running for the Republican nomination for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas in the 2014 elections.

Early life and education[edit]

Griffin was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was reared in Magnolia in Columbia County in South Arkansas. He graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, and in 1994 from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Early political career[edit]

Prior to 2004[edit]

Griffin worked from September 1995 to January 1997 with Special Prosecutor David Barrett and his investigation of former Secretary of HUD, Henry Cisneros. For two years after that he was Senior Investigative Counsel for the House Committee on Government Reform. In September 1999 he became Deputy Research Director for the Republican National Committee (for George W. Bush's election campaign); while in that position, he was a legal advisor for the "Bush-Cheney 2000 Florida Recount Team" (see Bush v. Gore). From March 2001 through June 2002 he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, (i.e. Assistant's Assistant).

2004 presidential election[edit]

From June 2002 to December 2004, Griffin was Research Director and Deputy Communications Director for Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, a high-ranking position within the RNC.

In June 2007, Senators Edward Kennedy and Sheldon Whitehouse asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether Griffin led a Republican National Committee effort to suppress the African-American vote in Jacksonville, Florida through caging during the 2004 election. Griffin called the allegations of voter suppression "absolutely, positively false."[4] No wrongdoing was proved.[5]

White House (2005–2006)[edit]

In April 2005, Griffin began working at the White House as Karl Rove's aide, with the title of Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director in the Office of Political Affairs.[6]

U.S. Attorney (2006–2007)[edit]

Portrait of U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin

In September 2006, after ending a one-year military mobilization assignment, Griffin began working as a special assistant to Bud Cummins, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.[7]

On December 15, 2006, the Justice Department announced that Griffin would be appointed interim U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, effective December 20, 2006, the date when the resignation of Cummins took effect.[8][9][10][11] Before a March 2006 revision to the PATRIOT Act, interim U.S. Attorneys had a 120-day term limit, pending confirmation by the Senate of a Presidential nominee. The Attorney General makes interim appointments; after the revision, the Attorney General's interim appointees had no term limit, effectively bypassing the Senate confirmation process if the President declined to put forward a nomination. Griffin was among the first group of interim attorneys appointed by the Attorney General without a term limit.[12] Gonzales's decision to bypass confirmation for Griffin particularly angered Arkansas's two U.S. Senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor. Both Lincoln and Pryor stated that Gonzales promised them Griffin would go before the Senate for confirmation. Gonzales's decision not to do so prompted Lincoln and Pryor to join many of their Democratic colleagues in demanding Gonzales's resignation or firing.[13]

On May 30, 2007, Griffin resigned from his position effective June 1, 2007[14] with a tearful speech declaring that public service "not worth it. I'm married now and have a kid. I'm sorry I put my wife through this and I'm trying to move on."[15]

Documents released by a subsequent Congressional investigation showed that, in the summer of 2006, White House officials wanted a vacant slot in Little Rock, Arkansas, so Griffin could fill it.[16] Prior to this he was a top Republican researcher and aide to Rove.[17] On February 16, 2007, 10 days after McNulty testified that Cummins was dismissed in order to make a vacancy for Griffin to be appointed to, Griffin announced that he would not seek the presidential nomination to be U.S. attorney in Little Rock.[18]

In September 2008, the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Justice issued a report concluding that Cummins had not been removed for any reasons related to his performance, but rather to make a place for Griffin.[19][20]

On August 11, 2009, the New York Times reported that previously classified White House emails, showed Karl Rove had lobbied for Griffin to be appointed Cummins's successor.[21]

2008 presidential election[edit]

On May 31, 2007, the Washington Post reported speculation that Griffin was in discussions with the then-nascent Presidential campaign of Fred Thompson for a top-level post.[22] Instead, Griffin set an office in Little Rock, Arkansas, for Mercury Public Affairs, a New York City-based firm, part of the Omnicom Group, where he had worked as general counsel and managing director. (The Thompson campaign paid Mercury Public Affairs to have Griffin as an advisor.[23]) Then, after a short period with Mercury, he started Griffin Public Affairs and the Griffin Law Firm.[24]

In late May 2008, columnist Robert Novak reported that Griffin had been named as the Republican National Committee's Director of Research for the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, to direct opposition research, "although final arrangements have not been pinned down".[25] But Griffin said he was not going back to the Republican National Committee (RNC), and that he had not talked to anyone in the GOP's leadership structure or with the McCain campaign about that role.[24]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2010

On September 21, 2009, Griffin announced that he was running for Congress, to replace Democrat Vic Snyder who stepped down after 14 years in Congress.[26] He defeated the Democratic nominee Joyce Elliott, Majority Leader of the Arkansas Senate. Elliott's campaign highlighted Griffin's past controversies such as the Bush campaign's voter caging efforts and his being named one of the "Crooked Candidates of 2010" by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.[27]

Griffin won with 58% of the vote.[28]

2012

Griffin won reelection with 55.19% of the vote, over former state representative Herb C. Rule III.[29]

Legislation sponsored[edit]

  • Authority for Mandate Delay Act (H.R. 2667; 113th Congress) (H.R. 2667) - Rep. Griffin introduced this bill on July 11, 2013 in response to a July 2, 2013 announcement from the Obama Administration that they would be delaying one of the key requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as "Obamacare").[30] Their decision was that the requirement that all companies which employed more than 50 workers must offer an employee health insurance plan or pay a fine, scheduled to begin January 1, 2014, would now be delayed until 2015.[31] This decisions was immediately criticized for exceeding executive authority.[32] In response to the Obama Administration's decision, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that Congress would need to formally approve any delay.[30] When he explained why he had introduced the bill, Rep. Griffin argued that, although he believed the Obama Administration's unilateral decision to delay the mandate was illegal, he still believed delaying the mandate was a good idea in order to save jobs and protect workers.[30]
  • Griffin, along with Rep. Ander Crenshaw and Rep. Candice Miller, introduced the Save Our Military Shopping Benefits Act in 2014. The bill would prohibit the military from closing or cutting commissary stores and exchanges on bases in the United States.[33]

Committee assignments[edit]

Congressman Griffin serves on the following committees and subcommittees:

On January 16, 2014, House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security held a hearing with the head of Social Security and the Social Security inspector general. During the hearing, Congressman Griffin challenged statistics presented by the Social Security Administration Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin. In her testimony, Acting Commissioner Colvin said that 99% of all Social Security disability payments are correctly made without fraud.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Once a Soldier... Always a Soldier". Legislative Agenda. Association of the United States Army. 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Rep. Tim Griffin will not seek third term". Washington Times. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Ostermeier, Eric (October 22, 2013). "Two and Done: Tim Griffin's Abrupt Exit from the US House". Smart Politics. 
  4. ^ Rushing, J. Taylor (June 20, 2007). "Senators seek inquiry into GOP's Duval acts". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ Marisa Taylor; Margaret Talev (June 18, 2007). "Politics weakens Justice Dept. independence". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ Griffin's resume, DOJ emails released to the Senate Judiciary Committee, p.15
  7. ^ Sabin, Warwick. End around: Senators question U.S. attorney appointment. Arkansas Times, December 28, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  8. ^ "Justice Department Announces Appointment of J. Timothy Griffin as Interim United States Attorney" (PDF). Press Release. Department of Justice. December 15, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  9. ^ Waas, Murray (May 10, 2007). "Administration Withheld E-Mails About Rove". National Journal (National Journal Group). Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  10. ^ Q & A from Committee for Bud Cummins (no date). United States House Committee on the Judiciary Retrieved May 18, 2007. (Written responses by Bud Cummins to committee interrogatories, post-hearing.)
  11. ^ "J. Timothy Griffin sworn in as Interim United States Attorney fpr the Eastern District of Arkansas" (PDF). Press Release. Department of Justice. December 20, 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-08-09. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  12. ^ Satter, Linda (December 16, 2006). "Prosecutor post is filled in recess". Arkansas Democrat Gazette. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  13. ^ Lincoln, Pryor say Gonzales should be replaced - FOX16.com
  14. ^ Brantley, Max (May 30, 2007). "It's official". Arkansas Blog (The Arkansas Times). Archived from the original on 2007-06-03. Retrieved 2007-05-31. 
  15. ^ Jon Gambrell, Associated Press, "Griffin, wiping away tears, says public service is 'not worth it' after flap", June 14, 2007
  16. ^ Serrano, Richard (March 14, 2007). "E-mails detail White House tactics behind firings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-03-16. [dead link]
  17. ^ "E-mails lay out plan to dismiss U.S. attorneys". CNN. March 14, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  18. ^ Dan Eggen (2007-04-17). "Interim Ark. U.S. Attorney Won't Seek Job: Former Rove Aide Says Senate Democrats Would Block Permanent Nomination". The Washington Post. p. A10. 
  19. ^ "An Investigation into the Removal of Nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006". United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. September 2008. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  20. ^ Roth, Zachary (October 1, 2008). "Report Shows White House Engineered U.S. Attorney Firings". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  21. ^ Eric Lichtblau, Eric Lipton (2009-08-11). "E-Mail Reveals Rove’s Key Role in ’06 Dismissals". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  22. ^ Shear, Michael D. and Dan Balz (May 31, 2007). "Thompson Bid Would Stir Up GOP Race". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-06-01. 
  23. ^ Andrew Zajac, "McCain aide: DOJ scandal 'nonsense'", Chicago Tribune, July 8, 2008
  24. ^ a b David J. Sanders, "Tim Griffin's proximity attracts lots of attention", Arkansas News Bureau, May 28, 2008
  25. ^ Robert Novak, "McCain Won't Play by Obama's Rules", May 22, 2008
  26. ^ "Ark. Business online media newspaper Arkansas News ebusiness research journal". ArkansasBusiness.com. Retrieved 2010-08-22. 
  27. ^ http://www.slate.com/id/2274043/
  28. ^ "Arkansas Election Results". The New York Times. 
  29. ^ http://www.thegreenpapers.com/G12/AR
  30. ^ a b c Kasperowicz, Pete (July 12, 2013). "House releases texts of health insurance mandate delays". The Hill. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  31. ^ Cannon, Michael F. "Yes, Delaying Obamacare's Employer Mandate Is Illegal". Cato Institute. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  32. ^ McConnell, Michael W. (July 8, 2013). "Michael McConnell: Obama Suspends the Law". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "Measure introduced to prevent military commissary closures". Ripon Advance. February 10, 2014. (Retrieved 02-11-2014).
  34. ^ Martin, Aaron (2014-17-20). "Griffin probes Social Security disability program". Ripon Advance. Retrieved January 21, 2014.

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Vic Snyder
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arkansas's 2nd congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Trey Gowdy
R-South Carolina
United States Representatives by seniority
300th
Succeeded by
Morgan Griffith
R-Virginia