Tim Bishop

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Tim Bishop
Tim Bishop Portrait c111-112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2015
Preceded by Felix Grucci
Succeeded by Lee Zeldin
Personal details
Born Timothy Howard Bishop
(1950-06-01) June 1, 1950 (age 64)
Southampton, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathy Bishop
Children Molly
Alma mater College of the Holy Cross
Long Island University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website House website

Timothy Howard "Tim" Bishop (born June 1, 1950) is the former U.S. Representative for New York's 1st congressional district, serving from 2003 to 2015. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

The district includes most of Central and Eastern Suffolk County, including most of Smithtown, as well as the entirety of the towns of Brookhaven, Riverhead, Southold, Southampton, East Hampton, and Shelter Island. The district encompasses wealthy enclaves such as the Hamptons, middle-class suburban towns such as Selden, Centereach and Lake Grove, working-class neighborhoods such as Mastic and Riverhead and rural farming communities such as Mattituck and Jamesport on the North Fork.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Bishop is a twelfth-generation resident of Southampton, New York, where he was born on June 1, 1950.[1] He is the son of Catherine (Roesel) and Howard Cortland Bishop. He is the great-grandson of Benjamin H. Bishop, a mayor of Southampton, and has English, Irish, and German ancestry.[2] He received a bachelor's degree from The College of the Holy Cross and a master's degree from Long Island University. In 1986, he became Provost of Southampton College, where he began working in 1973 as an admissions counselor.[3]

Congressional tenure[edit]

Rep. Tim Bishop (at podium)

Bishop supported and voted for the Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[4]

Bishop also voted for the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (TARP), and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the “stimulus bill”), and for further measures in 2009 and 2010. He also voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which provided for further gradual increments in the debt limit.[5]

Bishop participated in the bipartisan coalition of elected officials and community advocates that saved the 106th Air Rescue Wing located at Gabreski Airport from being shut down by the Pentagon’s base closure commission.[6][7]

In opposition to a plan that would have dumped more than twenty million cubic yards of contaminated dredge waste in the Long Island Sound, Bishop sponsored legislation to limit the disposal schedule.[8] In January 2007, he voted for a reduction of interest rates on future federal student loans.[9]

Bishop supported the Shinnecock Indian tribe's successful attempts at gaining formal federal recognition.[10] Bishop supported a $160,000 line-item for the Shinnecock Nation in President Obama's 2013 budget proposal.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus Memberships[edit]

  • National Archives Caucus, Co-Chair
  • Democratic Budget Group, Co-Chair
  • Coalition for Autism Research and Education (CARE)
  • Community College Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues
  • Congressional Arts Caucus
  • Congressional Caucus on Addiction, Treatment and Recovery
  • Congressional Civility Caucus
  • Congressional Humanities Caucus
  • Congressional Labor and Working Families Caucus
  • Congressional Long Island Sound Caucus
  • Congressional Military Family Caucus
  • Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
  • Congressional Sri Lanka Caucus
  • Congressional Wine Caucus
  • House Cancer Caucus
  • House Democratic Caucus
  • House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus
  • House National Service Caucus
  • Sudan Caucus
  • Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition
  • United Services Organization (USO) Congressional Caucus

Ethics investigation[edit]

In September 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics recommended further review of an August 2012 incident in which Bishop was accused of soliciting a campaign contribution from hedge fund magnate Eric Semler in exchange for acting in an official capacity to obtain a fireworks permit for Semler's son's bar mitzvah on Long Island.[12][13] Bishop has denied the allegations as "outrageous, unfounded attacks on my character and my family".[14] After the incident was picked up by the media, Semler called the allegations a "nonstory" and said that, "Tim never said anything to me about a donation. I didn’t know he was running for re-election. After the fact, after I got the permit, I did receive a request for a donation. He didn’t tell me, one of his campaign people told me, that he was in a hot race and needed a lot of support. I would love to support a guy like that. There was never a discussion of a contribution while he was trying to help me. He never asked me for money. It was someone with his campaign."[15]

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the incident.[16] In September 2014, the Justice Department closed its investigation without filing charges.[17]

A two-year-old complaint filed by a political opponent against Bishop to The Office of Congressional Ethics remained under review by the United States House Committee on Ethics. The Office of Congressional Ethics had issued a 177-page report on the situation in September 2013, referring the complaint to the United States House Committee on Ethics.[18] Upon leaving office the case against Congressman Bishop was closed without any official findings.[19]

Political campaigns[edit]


In his first political race, Bishop ran as a Democrat against Republican Incumbent Felix J. Grucci, Jr. During the campaign, Grucci ran radio ads accusing Bishop of falsifying rape statistics at Southampton College, but his claims were based on articles from a college newspaper that contained numerous inaccuracies. Grucci refused to repudiate the ads, and was defeated by Bishop.[20]


Incumbent Tim Bishop beat Republican candidate William M. Manger, Jr. 56.2%-43.8%


Incumbent Tim Bishop beat Republican candidate Italo Zanzi 62.2%-37.8%


Incumbent Tim Bishop defeated Republican candidate Lee Zeldin 58%-42% and was re-elected.[21]


Bishop narrowly defeated Republican Randy Altschuler by a margin of 50.2% to 49.8%[22] after Altschuler conceded the race when trailing by 263 votes.[23]


Bishop again defeated Republican Randy Altschuler by a 52.2%-47.8% margin.[24] Although Bishop has received the Independence Party endorsement in most of his elections, in 2012 the endorsement went instead to his opponent.[25]


Bishop ran unopposed for the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Party nominations.[26] He was a member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's Frontline Program, a program designed to help protect vulnerable Democratic incumbents heading into the 2014 election.[26][27] He faced Republican nominee Lee Zeldin in the general election.[28] On November 4, 2014, Bishop lost his re-election bid to Zeldin 55% to 45%.[29]

Personal life[edit]

Bishop is married to Kathryn, founder and director of The Children's School Early Childhood program at Southampton College, and has two daughters, Molly and Meghan.[30]


  1. ^ "Meet Tim". Bishop for Congress 2012. [dead link]
  2. ^ http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/reps/bishoptim.htm
  3. ^ "Tim Bishop". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bender, Michael (May 15, 2014). "Vulnerable House Democrat Says Obamacare ’Damn Good Idea’". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Tim Bishop - Debt, Deficit, Spending, and the Size of Government". ThePoliticalGuide.com. 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ http://easthamptonstar.com/Archive/4/Air-Guard-Base-Dodges-Bullet-106th-Rescue-Wing-will-stay-Gabreski-Airport-Westhampton-Beac
  7. ^ Benson, Josh (December 5, 2004). "Supporters Rally for National Guard Unit". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Depalma, Anthony (May 20, 2005). "Two States Agree to Limit Dumping in the Sound". The New York Times. 
  9. ^ "House approves cut in student loan rate". boston.com. January 18, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Tim Bishop (D)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Obama's Budget Includes $160K for Shinnecocks". Southampton Patch. February 15, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  12. ^ Bresnahan, John (August 15, 2012). "Tim Bishop’s bar mitzvah episode could spell trouble". Politico. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Rattray, David (September 19, 2013). "Committee Will Extend Bishop Probe". Easthampton Star. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  14. ^ Earle, Geoff (August 17, 2012). "Explosive charges vs. LI pol". New York Post. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  15. ^ Bresnahan, John (August 15, 2012). "Tim Bishop’s bar mitzvah episode could spell trouble". Politico. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 
  16. ^ Short, Aaron; Miller, S.A. (February 20, 2014). "Politician blasts ‘House of Cards’ dig on Long Island wine". New York Post. Retrieved June 5, 2014. 
  17. ^ Brune, Tom (September 10, 2014). "Lawyer: Justice Dept. probe of Bishop closes with no charges; ethics probe still open". Newsday. Retrieved September 11, 2014. 
  18. ^ Office of Congressional Ethics, "September 11, 2013 - OCE Referral Regarding Rep. Tim Bishop", September 11, 2013; retrieved October 1, 2014
  19. ^ http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/11/13/how-to-make-an-ethics-probe-disappear/?_r=0
  20. ^ "The 10 Dirtiest Political Races in U.S. History". Reason.com. 
  21. ^ "Ourcampaigns.com". Ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  22. ^ "New York 1st District - Altschuler vs. Bishop". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  23. ^ Green, Peter S. "Altschuler Concedes New York House Seat to Democratic Incumbent Bishop". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  24. ^ "New York 2012 Election Results". Election 2012. New York Times. Retrieved August 14, 2014. 
  25. ^ Gannon, Tim (March 10, 2014). "Independence Party backs Congressman Bishop". Suffolk Times. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b "New York Primary Election Results". New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  27. ^ "DCCC Chairman Steve Israel Announces 2013-2014 Frontline Members". Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. March 5, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 
  28. ^ Livingston, Abby (June 24, 2014). "Charlie Rangel Wins Primary (Video)". Roll Call. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  29. ^ LaRocco, Paul (November 5, 2014). "Lee Zeldin Defeats Tim Bishop, Kathleen Rice Wins Over Bruce Blakeman for Congress". Newsday. Retrieved November 10, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Biography". House of Representatives. Retrieved August 5, 2014. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Felix Grucci
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 1st congressional district

January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2015
Succeeded by
Lee Zeldin