|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 5th district
January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Karen McCarthy|
|51st Mayor of Kansas City|
|Preceded by||Richard Berkley|
|Succeeded by||Kay Barnes|
|Born||Emanuel Cleaver II
October 26, 1944
Waxahachie, Texas, U.S.
|Alma mater||Prairie View A&M University
St. Paul School of Theology
Emanuel Cleaver II (born October 26, 1944) is a United Methodist pastor, American politician and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Cleaver currently represents Missouri's 5th congressional district, where he's served since 2005. The district includes the southern three-fourths of Kansas City, including all of the city south of the Missouri River, as well as the more rural counties of Lafayette, Ray, and Saline east of Jackson. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and in January 2010, Cleaver became chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Cleaver previously served on the Kansas City Council from 1979 to 1991, until he was elected Mayor, serving from 1991 to 1999. In 2004, Cleaver was elected to represent Missouri's 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- 1 Early life, education and career
- 2 Early political career
- 3 U.S. House of Representatives
- 4 Political campaigns
- 5 Electoral History
- 6 Personal life
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early life, education and career
Cleaver was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Marie (née McKnight) and Lucky G. Cleaver. He grew up in public housing in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University where he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Cleaver then moved to Kansas City where he founded a branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and received a Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul School of Theology.
Early political career
Cleaver served as Kansas City Councilman from 1979 to 1991 and as Mayor of Kansas City for two terms from 1991 until 1999. He was the first African American Mayor of Kansas City. During the last days of his tenure as Mayor, Reverend Cleaver agreed to an international visit to London, England. On the invitation of UK NGO Operation Black Vote he assisted in campaigning for increased electoral participation in the elections for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. His visit culminated in a keynote speech at Westminster City Hall alongside British political figures including Ken Livingstone, Simon Hughes and Lee Jasper. Cleaver is a cousin to exiled Kansas City Black Panther leader Pete O'Neal. In 1997, Cleaver attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a pardon for O'Neal from President Bill Clinton.
U.S. House of Representatives
After the compromise Budget Control Act deal had been reached to resolve the 2011 United States debt ceiling crisis in August 2011, Cleaver wrote on Twitter calling it a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich."
- Committee on Financial Services
- Congressional Black Caucus (Chair)
- Congressional Cement Caucus
- Congressional Serbian Caucus
During his tenure, Cleaver has voted with the Democratic Party 95.8% of the time. He has been recognized as a congressman who is "not shy about earmarks" and has brought many tax dollars back to Kansas City.
On April 6, 2012, the Kansas City Star reported that Bank of America had sued Cleaver Company LLC over a commercial real estate loan for a Grandview car wash. In a lawsuit filed March 30, Bank of America said Cleaver, his wife Dianne, and the company owed over $1.46 million on the loan.
On September 11, 2014 around 2:50 a.m. what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of Cleaver's Kansas City office. He was in Washington D.C. at the time and no staff members were present during the attack.
In late 2003, Karen McCarthy, who had represented the 5th Congressional District since 1995, announced her retirement. Despite having served in city government for 20 years, including eight years as mayor, Cleaver initially posted weak numbers in the Democratic primary and general elections. Cleaver went on to defeat former Clinton Administration official Jamie Metzl in the Democratic primary by a margin of 60-40 percent. In the general election, Republican Jeanne Patterson made the race far more competitive than conventional wisdom would suggest for the district, which has long been reckoned as the second-most Democratic district in Missouri (behind the St. Louis-based 1st Congressional District). The Democrats have held this seat for all but eight years since 1909, and without interruption since 1949. By comparison, McCarthy won 65 percent of the vote in 2002.
2008 Democratic Presidential Primary Election
During the course of the contentious 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary, Cleaver endorsed Hillary Clinton. Cleaver claimed that African American superdelegates who supported Clinton were subjected to harassment, threatened with primary opponents and called “Uncle Tom.” He said they were told, “You’re not black if you’re not supporting Barack Obama. … It's ugly.” On March 30, 2008, he was interviewed on The Sunday Edition on CBC Radio and said he realized he was on the losing team: "Even though I don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, I cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs."  According to BlackMissouri.com., U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois asked Cleaver, “If it comes down to the last day and you’re the only superdelegate? … Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?" “I told him I’d think about it," Cleaver explained. Cleaver said during the course of the primary he'd be shocked if Obama wasn't the next President but made it clear he still supported Clinton until she suspended her bid.
Emanuel Cleaver and his wife, Dianne, have four children. They reside in Kansas City.
- Kim, Seung Min (1 August 2011). "Debt-ceiling deal frustrates House liberals". Politico. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Voting Statistics for Emanuel Cleaver". The Political Guide. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II". Jackson County Democratic Committee. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Kraske, Steve (15 June 2012). "Cleaver wants ethics charges against Waters, Rangel dropped". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- "BOA sues Cleaver, company for $1.5 million". BusinessWeek. Associated Press. April 6, 2012.
- Helling, Dave; Kraske, Steve (April 6, 2012). "Taxpayers could have to cover Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's bad loan". The Kansas City Star.
- "FBI Probes Vandalism as Congressman's Office". ABC News. 11 Sep 2014. Retrieved 11 Sep 2014.
- Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II Endorses Clinton hillaryclinton.com, August 21, 2007
- Cleaver: Black superdelegates backing Clinton are being "threatened" Kansas City Star, Keith Chrostowski, February 28, 2008
- What Not To Say on Canadian Radio, Christopher Beam, Slate, April 1, 2008
- Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri Endorses Hillary blackmissouri.com, February 15, 2008
- "Full Biography". U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- City of Kansas City [MO] (2000-06-15). Ordinance #000771, Council of Kansas City. kcmo.org, passed 15 June 2000, effective 25 June 2000. Retrieved from http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/LiveWeb/Documents/Document.aspx?q=Kuh8rXvHZqk3AMAQH1LHksLCIicTHNYXojLZy1x/0AsdOxTi42VHlGoLabg22X7B.
- Congressman Emanuel Cleaver official U.S. House site
- Emanuel Cleaver at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|Mayor of Kansas City
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Missouri's 5th congressional district
|Chairperson of Congressional Black Caucus
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Representatives by seniority