Mike Crapo

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Mike Crapo
Mike Crapo Official Photo 110th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Idaho
Assumed office
January 3, 1999
Serving with Jim Risch
Preceded by Dirk Kempthorne
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Idaho's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1999
Preceded by Richard Stallings
Succeeded by Mike Simpson
37th President pro tempore of the Idaho Senate
In office
December 1, 1988 – December 1, 1992
Preceded by Jim Risch
Succeeded by Jerry Twiggs
Member of the Idaho Senate
from the 32nd district
In office
December 1, 1984 – December 1, 1992
Preceded by ???
Succeeded by Mel Richardson
Personal details
Born Michael Dean Crapo
(1951-05-20) May 20, 1951 (age 64)
Bonneville County, Idaho, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Susan Hasleton (1974–present)
Children 5
Alma mater Brigham Young University
Harvard Law School
Religion Mormonism
Website Senate website

Michael Dean "Mike" Crapo (/ˈkrp/ KRAY-poh; born May 20, 1951) is the senior United States Senator from the state of Idaho, in office since 1999. A Republican, he previously served as the United States Representative for Idaho's 2nd congressional district from 1993 to 1999.

Born in the city of Idaho Falls, Crapo is a graduate of Brigham Young University and Harvard Law School. He practiced law in his home city throughout the 1980s, while maintaining an active role in local Republican politics. His brother Terry Crapo was majority leader in the Idaho House of Representatives and a growing political figure until his death from leukemia in 1982. Prompted by his brother's death, Crapo successfully ran for the Idaho Senate in 1984. He served as Senate President pro tempore from 1988 to 1992, in which position he served as acting governor of Idaho for 12 hours in January 1989.

Crapo was elected to an open seat in Congress in 1992, representing Idaho's second district in the United States House of Representatives. After three terms in the House, he ran for the open seat in the U.S. Senate in 1998, vacated when Dirk Kempthorne successfully ran for governor. Crapo was elected with 70% of the vote, and became the first Mormon to represent Idaho in the Senate. He was unopposed in the 2004 election, a rarity in the Senate, and was re-elected in 2010 with 71% of the vote.

Crapo, who had previously claimed that as a Mormon he abstained from using alcohol,[1] pled guilty to a drunk driving charge on January 4, 2013. He was fined $250 and received a one-year suspension of his driver's license.

Early life[edit]

Crapo was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the son of Melba (née Olsen) and George Lavelle Crapo.[2] He is distantly related to Henry Howland Crapo, who served as Governor of Michigan from 1865 to 1869, and William Crapo Durant, Henry's grandson, who founded General Motors. He graduated from Idaho Falls High School in 1969, then earned a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University in 1973 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1977.

Early political career[edit]

He served for one year as clerk to Judge James M. Carter at the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then returned to Idaho to become a lawyer. While practicing law in Idaho Falls in the 1980s, he was active in the Republican Party's campaigns for seats in the state legislature. His brother Terry Crapo served in Idaho House of Representatives, four years as majority leader and was seen as a rising star in Idaho politics.[3]

Terry Crapo's death from leukemia in 1982 prompted Crapo to run for an open seat in the Idaho Senate. He was elected to the state senate in 1984 where he served until 1992. In 1988, Senate President pro tempore Jim Risch unexpectedly lost reelection to the Idaho Senate and he was elected by his colleagues to that position. He served as senate president pro tempore from 1988 to 1992. On January 27, 1989 he served as acting governor of Idaho for 12 hours. Governor Cecil D. Andrus was out of the state testifying before Congress and then-Lieutenant Governor Butch Otter was out of the state on business for his employer Simplot. Laws of succession dictate that the president pro tempore is next in line. Andrus, a Democrat, left Crapo a note saying "Don't do anything I wouldn't do.... P.S. The chair is comfortable, isn't it?" [4]

Crapo was elected to Congress in 1992, representing Idaho's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. He was elected to the House for three terms from 1993 until 1999 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 1998.

U.S. Senate[edit]


Crapo was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998, gaining the seat of Republican Dirk Kempthorne, who stepped down to run successfully for governor. In his Senate bid, as in his House campaigns, his campaign signs had a macron placed over the "a" in his name (Crāpo) to indicate at the correct pronunciation ("Cray-poe").[citation needed]

He was re-elected in 2004 with 99% of the vote, with the other 1% going to write-in candidates.[citation needed] He was the only Senate candidate in 2004 to run unopposed on the ballot.[citation needed]

In November 2010, he was re-elected to a third term with 71% of the vote, defeating Democratic Party challenger P. Tom Sullivan and Constitution Party candidate Randy Bergquist.


In the 111th Congress, Crapo served on the following Senate Committees: Banking, Housing and Urban Development; Budget; Environment and Public Works; Indian Affairs; and Finance. He co-chairs the Senate Nuclear Caucus, the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group (IPG); the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Caucus, which he also founded; and the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

Crapo became the state's senior senator when the 111th United States Congress convened on January 3, 2009, succeeding Larry Craig, who decided not to seek re-election. At the convening of the 112th United States Congress he is now ranked 39th in seniority in the Senate.

He opposed President Barack Obama's health reform legislation; he voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in December 2009,[5] and he voted against the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.[6]

In April 2013, he was one of forty-six senators to vote against the passing of a bill which would have expanded background checks for all gun buyers. He voted with 40 Republicans and 5 Democrats to stop the passage of the bill. NY Times predicted a 0% chance of Crapo voting for the bill.[7]

The New York Times noted that Crapo became "something of a hero among advocates of bipartisanship" for his involvement in the "Gang of Six".[8]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • International Conservation Caucus
  • Senate Diabetes Caucus
  • Senate Nuclear Cleanup Caucus (co-chair)
  • Senate Renewables and Energy Efficiency Caucus (co-chair)
  • Sportsmen's Caucus (co-chair)
  • Western Water Caucus
  • Zero Capital Gains Tax Caucus

Environmental record[edit]

Crapo introduced S. 700, legislation to update and improve conservation incentives for landowners to protect endangered and threatened species through tax benefits. The legislation is supported by a broad array of prominent environmental advocacy organizations and outdoor recreationists.[9] This bipartisan, widely-supported legislation has twice been approved by the Senate Finance Committee. Two environmental initiatives Crapo has sponsored or promoted continue that collaborative approach. He sponsored a local working group partnership in Owyhee County, Idaho, to protect and preserve sensitive ecological and riverine areas in the county while ensuring the cooperation of landowners and grazers in the area. The Owyhee Initiative working group brings together local tribal members, ranchers, recreators, land managers, environmentalists, and county leaders and the process has been endorsed by editorials in local papers, including the Boise-based Idaho Statesman newspaper. Another collaboration promoted by Crapo is the Elk Cooperative, a loose working group of tribal members, wildlife officials, and recreators to identify plans that preserve stable populations of elk in northern Idaho.[citation needed]

Project SEARCH (Special Environmental Assistance for the Regulation of Communities and Habitat) has been approved in several Congresses, most recently authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill. It provides grants to small communities, to assist rural communities throughout the country with planning and engineering grants for environmental infrastructure projects necessary to meet the requirements of water and wastewater regulations.[citation needed]

Crapo partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to provide funding and technical assistance to the Coeur d'Alene Basin Planning Commission, a partnership of state, local, community, and federal officials charged with implementing restoration of formerly-contaminated Superfund areas in the Silver Valley of North Idaho. In 2006, Crapo was given the lowest possible score (0%) by the League of Conservation Voters for his voting record in the Senate. This followed his score of 5% in 2005 to bring his lifetime score down to 4%. The LCV uses selected set of votes to determine the scoring for its yearly rating. Reasons for the low score include his votes for offshore drilling, for arctic refuge drilling, against funding to help "low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes", against funding for the environment and natural resources, against independent review of Army Corps of Engineers projects, and for having the Army Corps of Engineers review themselves.[10]

Gun control[edit]

On April 17, 2013, Crapo voted against the bipartisan Toomey-Manchin Gun Control Amendment, which would expand federal background checks to include gun shows and online sales, while exempting private sales between individuals.[11] Despite receiving majority support, the amendment failed to garner the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster.

Personal life[edit]

Crapo married Susan Diane Hasleton in June 1974 and the couple has five children. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[12]

Crapo was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and underwent a radical prostatectomy in January 2000. While he had a full recovery and was declared cancer-free at that time, prostate cancer recurred in 2005, and he underwent a series of radiation treatments. His experience led him to become active in advocating for early detection tests for cancer and other treatable diseases. Following his experience with prostate cancer, Crapo has pushed to create a federal Office of Men's Health.[13]

Though he had previously told the Associated Press that he abstains from alcohol, Crapo was arrested in 2012 for DUI at around 12:45 am EST on December 23 in Alexandria, Virginia. He ran a red light, failed field sobriety tests, and registered a blood alcohol content of 0.11 percent.[14][15] He was transported to the Alexandria jail and released on an unsecured $1,000 bond about four hours later.[16] Crapo pleaded guilty to a drunk driving charge on January 4, fined $250, and received a one-year suspension of his driver's license.[17] Crapo was criticized by Boise's Idaho Statesman for putting his life and the life of others in danger.[18] After his arrest for DUI, Pocatello's Idaho State Journal noted, "[Crapo's] reputation as a faithful Mormon conservative has been blown to smithereens.”[19] Hours after his arrest on December 23, Crapo issued a public apology for his behavior.[20]

Crapo is an Eagle Scout, awarded in 1966, and was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) in 2000.

Electoral history[edit]

Idaho's 2nd congressional district: Results 1992–1996[21]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 J. D. Williams 81,450 35% Mike Crapo 139,783 61% Steven L. Kauer Independent 4,917 2% David W. Mansfield Independent 3,807 2%
1994 Penny Fletcher 47,936 25% Mike Crapo 143,593 75%
1996 John D. Seidl 67,625 29% Mike Crapo 157,646 69% John Butler Natural Law 3,977 2%
Senate elections in Idaho (Class III): Results 1998–2010[21]
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1998 Bill Mauk 107,375 28% Mike Crapo 262,966 70% George J. Mansfeld Natural Law 7,833 2%
2004 (no candidate) Mike Crapo 499,796 99% Scott F. McClure Write-in 4,136 1%
2010 Tom Sullivan 112,057 25% Mike Crapo 319,953 71% Randy Bergquist Constitution 17,429 4%


  1. ^ "U.S. senator Mike Crapo pleads guilty to DWI charge". klewtv.com. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ 1
  3. ^ http://www.nationaljournal.com/almanac/2008/people/id/ids2.php
  4. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=goJfAAAAIBAJ&sjid=mTAMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4205,2984195&dq=crapo+idaho+falls&hl=en,
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records". Senate.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  7. ^ Silver, Nate (April 18, 2013). "Modeling the Senate's Vote on Gun Control". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (20 July 2012). "Tax Loopholes Block Efforts to Close Gaping U.S. Deficit". New York Times. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Mike Crapo, U.S. Senate: General CRESA Information". Crapo.senate.gov. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 
  10. ^ "National Environmental Scorecard" (PDF). League of Conservation Voters. 2006. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  11. ^ http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/04/19/4788103/crapo-risch-help-squash-gun-control.html
  12. ^ "Mike Crapo Bio". obamatwits.com. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Sen. Mike Crapo". National Journal Almanac. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "Sen. Michael Crapo arrested on DUI in Virginia". Political Eye (CBS News). Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "DUI charge: Jan. 4 court date for Idaho Sen. Crapo". Seattle PI. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "POLICE: US SEN. CRAPO ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH DUI". AP. Retrieved 24 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "U.S. senator Mike Crapo pleads guilty to DWI charge". klewtv.com. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  18. ^ "Sen. Crapo's DUI bust is latest Idaho politician scandal". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  19. ^ Horowitz, Jason (4 January 2013). "Sen. Mike Crapo pleads guilty to drunken driving Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options Resize Text Print Article Comments". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  20. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/mike-crapo-drunk-driving-85451.html
  21. ^ a b "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Retrieved 2007-08-08. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Mike Crapo at Wikimedia Commons

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Richard Stallings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Idaho's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Mike Simpson
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dirk Kempthorne
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Idaho
(Class 3)

1998, 2004, 2010
Most recent
Preceded by
Richard Burr
Senate Republican Chief Deputy Whip
United States Senate
Preceded by
Dirk Kempthorne
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Idaho
Served alongside: Larry Craig, Jim Risch
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Chuck Schumer
United States Senators by seniority
Succeeded by
Bill Nelson