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'''James Adelbert "Jim" McDermott''' (born December 28, 1936) is the current [[United States House of Representatives|U.S. Representative]] for [[Washington's seventh congressional district|Washington's 7th Congressional District]]. The 7th District includes most of [[Seattle, Washington|Seattle]] and [[Vashon Island]], and portions of [[Shoreline, Washington|Shoreline]], [[Lake Forest Park, Washington|Lake Forest Park]], [[Tukwila, Washington|Tukwila]], [[SeaTac, Washington|SeaTac]], and [[Burien, Washington|Burien]]. He is running for re-election in 2010, with six opponents in the August 17, 2010 primary.<ref>{{cite news| url=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012576327_7thcongressionaldistrict08m.html | work=The Seattle Times | title=Rep. Jim McDermott facing six challengers | first=Susan | last=Gilmore | date=August 9, 2010}}</ref>
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'''James Adelbert "Baghdad Jim" McDermott''' (born December 28, 1936) is the current [[United States House of Representatives|U.S. Representative]] for [[Washington's seventh congressional district|Washington's 7th Congressional District]]. The 7th District includes most of [[Seattle, Washington|Seattle]] and [[Vashon Island]], and portions of [[Shoreline, Washington|Shoreline]], [[Lake Forest Park, Washington|Lake Forest Park]], [[Tukwila, Washington|Tukwila]], [[SeaTac, Washington|SeaTac]], and [[Burien, Washington|Burien]]. He is running for re-election in 2010, with six opponents in the August 17, 2010 primary.<ref>{{cite news| url=http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2012576327_7thcongressionaldistrict08m.html | work=The Seattle Times | title=Rep. Jim McDermott facing six challengers | first=Susan | last=Gilmore | date=August 9, 2010}}</ref>
   
 
McDermott is a member of the [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party]]. He serves on the [[U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means|House Ways and Means Committee]] and is a member of the House [[Progressive Caucus]]. He has consistently received strong support from his district, taking 84% of the popular vote in [[United States House of Representatives elections, 2008|2008]], easily winning against Republican challenger [[Steve Beren]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://vote.wa.gov/elections/wei/Results.aspx?ElectionID=26&JurisdictionTypeID=3&ViewMode=All |title=November 4, 2008 General Election - Congressional |publisher=Vote.wa.gov |date= |accessdate=2010-08-29}}</ref>
 
McDermott is a member of the [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democratic Party]]. He serves on the [[U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means|House Ways and Means Committee]] and is a member of the House [[Progressive Caucus]]. He has consistently received strong support from his district, taking 84% of the popular vote in [[United States House of Representatives elections, 2008|2008]], easily winning against Republican challenger [[Steve Beren]].<ref>{{cite web|url=http://vote.wa.gov/elections/wei/Results.aspx?ElectionID=26&JurisdictionTypeID=3&ViewMode=All |title=November 4, 2008 General Election - Congressional |publisher=Vote.wa.gov |date= |accessdate=2010-08-29}}</ref>

Revision as of 20:25, 4 October 2010

The Honorable

Jim McDermott
Jim mcdermott.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 1989
Preceded by Mike Lowry
Chairman of the House Ethics Committee
In office
1993–1995
Preceded by Louis Stokes
Succeeded by Nancy Johnson
Washington State Senator
In office
1975–1987
Member of the
Washington House of Representatives
In office
1971–1972
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Therese Hansen
Residence Seattle
Alma mater Wheaton College, University of Illinois
Profession Psychiatrist
Military service
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1968–1970
Unit Medical Corps

James Adelbert "Baghdad Jim" McDermott (born December 28, 1936) is the current U.S. Representative for Washington's 7th Congressional District. The 7th District includes most of Seattle and Vashon Island, and portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Tukwila, SeaTac, and Burien. He is running for re-election in 2010, with six opponents in the August 17, 2010 primary.[1]

McDermott is a member of the Democratic Party. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and is a member of the House Progressive Caucus. He has consistently received strong support from his district, taking 84% of the popular vote in 2008, easily winning against Republican challenger Steve Beren.[2]

Early life, education, and family

McDermott was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was the first member of his family to attend college; he graduated from Wheaton College, Illinois, and then went to medical school, getting an M.D. from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago in 1963. After completing an internship from 1963 to 1964 at Buffalo General Hospital in Buffalo, New York, a two-year psychiatry residency at the University of Illinois Research and Educational Hospital (now called University of Illinois Hospital), and fellowship training in child psychiatry from 1966 to 1968 at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, he served in the United States Navy Medical Corps as a psychiatrist in California during the Vietnam War.[3][4] He is married to Therese Hansen, an attorney, and has two grown children.[5]

Early political career

In 1970, McDermott made his first run for public office and was elected to the state legislature as a representative from the 43rd District. In 1974, he ran for the state senate, and subsequently was re-elected three times, to successive four-year terms. In 1980, while still a state senator, McDermott defeated incumbent Dixy Lee Ray in the Democratic primary for Governor of Washington, but lost the general election to Republican John Spellman. He ran again in 1984, losing the primary to Booth Gardner, who then went on to defeat Spellman.

In 1987, McDermott left politics to become a Foreign Service medical officer based in Zaire, providing psychiatric services to Foreign Service, USAID, and Peace Corps personnel in sub-Saharan Africa.

U.S. House of Representatives

In 1988, when the 7th Congressional District seat became open, McDermott returned from Africa to run for the seat.

Committee assignments

McDermott in the early 2000s

On August 22, 2007, McDermott was knighted by King Letsie III of Lesotho. This knighthood was given in recognition of McDermott's leadership on the African Growth and Opportunity Act, which helped improve Lesotho's economy.[6][7]

Ethics violation for leaking recorded telephone conversation

In December 2004, Rep. McDermott came under investigation by the House Ethics Committee when they had to determine whether he violated standards of conduct for leaking an illegally recorded telephone conversation during a committee investigation in 1997. At that time, the committee was investigating the conduct of then-Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The illegal recording was made by a Florida couple, John and Alice Martin, who overheard a conversation between Rep. Gingrich and top Republicans on their police scanner inside their car. After listening to the conversation for several minutes they decided to record it, at first for posterity's sake and after listening further decided that it might be important for the Ethics Committee to hear.[8] It was at that time that they delivered the tape to McDermott, the senior Democrat on the committee at that time, and who was in town for a swearing-in ceremony. (No action was taken by the Ethics Committee against Gingrich, Boehner or other participants in the recorded conversation.)

Shortly afterward, McDermott leaked the tape to several media outlets, including the New York Times. Rep. John Boehner, who was part of the Gingrich conversation, sued McDermott for illegally leaking the tape; U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan concluded that McDermott was behind the leak and ordered him to pay Boehner for "willful and knowing misconduct" that "rises to the level of malice".

McDermott challenged that ruling in a federal appeals court, arguing that since he was not the one involved in the recording, "his actions were allowed under the First Amendment, and said a ruling against him would have 'a huge chilling effect' on reporters and newsmakers alike. Lawyers for 18 news organizations — including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The Associated Press, the New York Times and the Washington Post — filed a brief backing McDermott.[9] But on March 29, 2006, the court ruled 2–1 that McDermott violated federal law when he turned over the illegally recorded tape to the New York Times and other media outlets. The court then ordered McDermott to pay for Boehner's legal costs (over $600,000) as well as $60,000 in damages.

On June 26, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the earlier judgment, and decided to re-hear the case with all nine judges in September.[10] However, that decision also went against McDermott.[11]

On December 11, 2006, a report released by the House Ethics committee concluded that McDermott "violated ethics rules by giving reporters access to an illegally taped telephone call involving Republican leaders a decade ago."[12] The report stated, "Rep. McDermott's secretive disclosures to the news media ... risked undermining the ethics process regarding" former Speaker Gingrich. It said McDermott's actions "were not consistent with the spirit of the committee."[12]

On July 6, 2007, McDermott announced he would ask the Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision in favor of Boehner.[13] On December 3, 2007, the Supreme Court declined his request for review, so the decision of the appeals court stands.[11]

On March 31, 2008, Chief Judge Thomas Hogan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered McDermott to pay $1.05 million to Boehner, covering attorney's fees, costs and interest. McDermott also has had to pay over $60,000 in fines and close to $600,000 to his own lawyers. McDermott said he would not appeal further.[14]

Visit to Iraq in 2002

On March 26, 2008, an indictment unsealed in Detroit accused Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a member of a Michigan nonprofit group, of arranging for McDermott, Rep. David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California to take a trip to Iraq in 2002, a few months before the U.S. invasion, paid for by Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency.[15]

McDermott received sharp criticism from conservatives for his visit, and then afterwards when he began his prediction that President George W. Bush would "mislead the American public" to justify military action. During the run up to the Iraq war, McDermott insisted that no WMD would be found in Iraq.

After this visit to Iraq, McDermott received a $5,000 contribution to an unrelated legal defense fund from Shakir al Khafaji, an Iraqi-American businessman with alleged ties to the Oil for Food scandal. McDermott returned the contribution in 2004 after it was questioned in the media. Aides asserted that McDermott had no prior knowledge of Khafaji's alleged connections to Iraqi oil money.

It was from this series of events that McDermott earned the nickname "Baghdad Jim" , often used by his opponents to call attention to his controversial Iraq visit.[16][17] His supporters point out that he correctly predicted that no WMD would be found in Iraq.[18]

Pledge of Allegiance

On April 28, 2004, Congressman McDermott omitted the phrase "under God" while leading the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The incident occurred after atheist Michael Newdow lost his court case to have the phrase "under God" dropped from the Pledge, and after McDermott had voted against a congressional resolution that called for overturning a court ruling that declared the phrase unconstitutional. McDermott later stated that he had "reverted to the pledge as it was written and taught in the public schools throughout my childhood", as the phrase "under God" was added in 1954, when McDermott was 18.[19]

Internet gambling tax

On June 7, 2007, McDermott conceded that attempts to ban internet gambling had been "ineffective." He proposed instead to "subject the revenue to taxation," and introduced a tax on online gambling, labeled Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act (IGRTEA). On January 31, 2008, McDermott stated that the tax could generate "$8 billion to $42 billion in revenue in its first 10 years".[20] In detailing the IGRTEA, McDermott explained that the bill calls for a 6% tax on online casino deposits that would directly benefit state and tribal governments and a 2% federal tax, of which one-quarter would be allotted to foster-care programs.[21]

Political campaigns

2006

2008

2010

References

  1. ^ Gilmore, Susan (August 9, 2010). "Rep. Jim McDermott facing six challengers". The Seattle Times. 
  2. ^ "November 4, 2008 General Election - Congressional". Vote.wa.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  3. ^ Sheehan offers refuge to war deserters
  4. ^ Retrieved 2007-03-25.
  5. ^ Retrieved 2007-03-25.
  6. ^ "McDermott knighted by king of Lesotho". Seattlepi.nwsource.com. 2007-09-07. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  7. ^ Congressman Jim McDermott – News – Rep. McDermott Knighted by King in Lesotho, South Africa
  8. ^ "Potentially Illegal Gingrich Tape Turned Over To Criminal Investigators". CNN. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ Daly, Matthew (March 28, 2006). "Appeals Court rules against McDermott in taped call dispute". The Seattle Times. 
  10. ^ Daly, Matthew. "Court to Hear Arguments in Taped Call Case". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Justices steer clear of lawmakers' feud - CNN.com". CNN. December 3, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  12. ^ a b Panel: Leaked Gingrich Call Broke Rules
  13. ^ The Crypt's Blog - Politico.com
  14. ^ "Lawmaker Must Pay $1 Million in Legal Fees", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), April 2, 2008.
  15. ^ Retrieved 2008-03-26
  16. ^ "'Baghdad Jim' questions timing of capture". MSNBC.com. 
  17. ^ "Buzzing Over Baghdad Jim". Real Clear Politics. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  18. ^ Robert L. Jamieson, Jr., 'Baghdad Jim' was dead on about war, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 16, 2003. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  19. ^ http://www.seattlepi.com/national/171126_jim29.html
  20. ^ McDermott sponsors Internet gambling tax legislation, Associated Press / Seattle Times, January 31, 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2008.
  21. ^ McDermott introduces bill to decriminalize online gaming, Live Casino Direct, 6 April 2010. Accessed online 19 May 2010.

External links

Articles
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Lowry
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 7th congressional district

1989–present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Louis Stokes
Ohio
Chairman of House Ethics Committee
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Nancy Johnson
Connecticut

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