|Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee|
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Jane Harman|
|Succeeded by||Dutch Ruppersberger|
|Chair of the House Intelligence Committee|
September 23, 2004 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Porter Goss|
|Succeeded by||Silvestre Reyes|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 2nd district
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Carl Pursell|
|Succeeded by||Bill Huizenga|
October 30, 1953
|Alma mater||Hope College (BA)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MBA)
Pieter "Pete" Hoekstra (//; born October 30, 1953) is a Dutch-American politician who is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Michigan's 2nd congressional district from 1993 to 2011. Hoekstra is a member of the Republican Party.
Born in Groningen, Netherlands, Hoekstra is a graduate of Hope College and the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. In 1992, Hoekstra ran for the U.S. House, defeating 13-term incumbent Guy Vander Jagt in the Republican primary, and Democratic opponent John H. Miltner, in the general election. After the appointment of Congressman Porter Goss as Director of the CIA, Hoekstra became the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, serving from 2004 to 2007. He was a candidate for Governor of Michigan in Michigan's 2010 gubernatorial election, but came in second to Rick Snyder in the Republican primary. Hoekstra was also a candidate for the United States Senate in 2012. He won the Republican primary with 54% of the vote, but later lost to Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow in the general election.
Early life and education
Born Pieter Hoekstra in Groningen, Netherlands, he moved to America with his parents at the age of three. He received a B.A. in political science from Hope College in 1975 and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in 1977. He then joined office furniture maker Herman Miller and remained there for 15 years, eventually becoming vice president of marketing.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 1992, Hoekstra made his first bid for public office in the 2nd District. The district, previously the 9th, had been represented for 26 years by Guy Vander Jagt, longtime chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Hoekstra rode his bicycle across the district, charging that Vander Jagt had served in Congress for too long. He scored a monumental upset, winning by almost six percent. This primary win was tantamount to election with the 2nd district seen as the "most Republican" district in Michigan, as Republicans have held the district for all but four years since it was created in 1873. Hoekstra later defeated Democrat John H. Miltner and Libertarian Dick Jacobs in the general election, with 63% of the vote. Hoekstra continued to ride his bicycle across the district every summer, and biked across the state for his gubernatorial campaign.
Hoekstra had promised to only serve six terms (12 years) in the House when he was first elected. However, in 2003, Hoekstra announced he would break his self-imposed term limit and run for a seventh term in 2004, citing his membership on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In 2006, Hoekstra's Leadership PAC (the Mileage Fund) raised nearly $160,000 in Political Action Contributions from such diverse contributors as the Teamsters, Michigan Credit Union League, and Little Planet Books.
Hoekstra faced no significant opposition in the Republican primary or in the general election (as in his previous five reelection campaigns) and went on to secure his seventh term. Shortly after the primary, he was named chairman of the Intelligence Committee, succeeding Porter Goss, who became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Hoekstra ran for re-election in 2008 against Fred Johnson, Associate Professor of History at Hope College. He beat Johnson by 215,471 to 119,959 votes.
- Criticism of the Islamic Society of North America
Hoekstra and a fellow Republican sent an open letter to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales regarding the Islamic Society of North America as blogged about via the Washington Times: In a letter to then-Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, Reps. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican and ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sue Myrick, North Carolina Republican, called the Justice Department's involvement a "grave mistake."
"In light of the threat that our nation ... is currently facing from radical jihadists, and because of the president's commitment to fighting the war on terror on all fronts, we believe it is a grave mistake to provide legitimacy to an organization with extremist origins, leadership and a radical agenda," the lawmakers said.
The amendment, which was approved by a voice vote to a spending measure, states that "no funds appropriated under this act may be used to support a conference sponsored by any organization named as an unindicted co-conspirator by the government in any criminal prosecution.".
- Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
A number of other media outlets disputed the claims made by Hoekstra and Rick Santorum regarding the existence of weapons of mass destruction, reporting that the claims were disputed by both Pentagon officials, the Duelfer Report, and the intelligence community.
On November 3, 2006, The New York Times reported that a website created at the request of Hoekstra and Senator Pat Roberts was found to contain detailed information that could potentially be helpful to those seeking to produce nuclear weapons. The website was shut down on November 2 following questioning by The New York Times.
As of September 17, 2007, some news outlets reported that the Congressional committee Hoekstra had overseen had created "erroneous" and "misleading" reports about Iran's nuclear capabilities. "Among the committee's assertions is that Iran is producing weapons-grade uranium at its facility in the town of Natanz. The IAEA called that "incorrect", noting that weapons-grade uranium is enriched to a level of 90 percent or more. Iran has enriched uranium to 3.5 percent under IAEA monitoring." 
- Repatriation of Yemeni captives in Guantanamo
On December 27, 2009, Hoekstra commented on reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who had allegedly tried to set off a suicide bomb on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on December 25, 2009, had subsequently confessed to being trained and equipped in Yemen. Hoekstra called for a halt to the repatriation of Yemeni captives in Guantanamo.
- Tea Party Caucus
- Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
- As ranking member of the full committee, Rep. Hoekstra may serve as an ex officio member of all subcommittees
- Committee on Education and Labor
- Founding chairman of the Education Freedom Caucus
- Founding chairman of the Congressional Caucus on the Netherlands
2010 gubernatorial election
In December 2008, Hoekstra said he would not seek re-election to his U.S. House seat in 2010, and instead campaign to be Michigan's governor. Hoekstra joined Mike Bouchard, the Oakland County Sheriff and former state senator, former Gateway, Inc. president Rick Snyder, State Senator Tom George and Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox as 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidates. In the primary, held on August 3, 2010, Hoekstra finished second to Snyder.
2012 U.S. Senate election
Hoekstra was suggested as a possible challenger for incumbent Debbie Stabenow in the 2012 Senate election, but he initially declined to run. Hoekstra later changed his mind and decided to challenge Stabenow in the election. On 29 August 2011, Hoekstra was endorsed by Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, and on 23 September 2011, Hoekstra was endorsed by 2012 Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann. Critics also pointed out that Hoekstra voted for the $700-billion Wall Street bailout and voted for trillions more in deficit spending while he was in Congress.
Hoekstra faced Stabenow and four third-party candidates in the general election. On November 6, 2012, Hoekstra was defeated by Stabenow, receiving just 38% of the vote.
|Democratic||Debbie Stabenow (incumbent)||2,735,826||58.8%||+1.9|
|Natural Law||John Litle||11,229||0.2%||+0.1|
Hoekstra targeted Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow with a television ad which ran statewide during the 2012 Super Bowl. The 30-second ad, created by Republican advertising consultant Fred Davis III, opened with the sound of a gong and the image of a Chinese woman (played by 2012 Miss Napa Valley Lisa Chan) riding a bike alongside a rice paddy. The ad sarcastically accused Stabenow of contributing to the U.S.' spending problem, with the woman thanking "Michigan Senator Debbie Spenditnow", in broken English, implying Stabenow has earned China's gratitude for making the U.S. economy "very weak" while China's "get very good".
The commercial included a link to a Hoekstra campaign website with statistics about federal spending, decorated with images of Chinese flags and currency and using a stereotypical Chinatown font. In the HTML code on Hoekstra’s site, the woman in the ad is identified as "yellowgirl". A statement released by the Hoekstra campaign claimed the HTML code was mistakenly shortened from “yellowshirtgirl”.
Asian-American groups called the ad “very disturbing”, and two of Hoekstra’s GOP opponents, Clark Durant and Gary Glenn, questioned whether Hoekstra was the right candidate for Republicans to support. The ad was called “blatantly racist" by Michael Yaki, former aide to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Sen. Dan Inouye, the longest-serving senator in Congress, said Hoekstra's "racist thoughts are not welcome in the United States Senate.” Journalist James Fallows of The Atlantic called it the "most revolting ad". The NAACP denounced the ad as an "unnecessary race card."
Hoekstra initially stood by the ad, claiming it hit Stabenow "smack dab between the eyes" on the economy. However, on February 10, 2012 Hoekstra shut down his controversial Chinese-themed website and phased in a new TV commercial in place of his original ad. American Values super PAC, an Asian American group, claimed credit for the scrub shortly after the group's launch of an online viral ad condemning Hoekstra.
On February 16, Chan apologized for her involvement in the ad. In a statement on her Facebook page, she said the role was "not in any way representative of who I am" and "absolutely a mistake on my part."
Despite the controversy, Hoekstra won the Republican primary. He lost to Stabenow in the general election.
Post political career
In February 2011, Hoekstra joined the government relations group and Washington D.C. law firm Dickstein Shapiro, and was named a visiting distinguished fellow at the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation, concentrating on education reform. Hoekstra left Dickstein Shapiro in 2014 to join one of its rivals, Greenberg Traurig.
Hoekstra joined the Investigative Project on Terrorism in 2014 as a Shillman Senior Fellow, specializing in national security, international relations, global terrorism and cyber security.
Hoekstra published his first book in October 2015, "Architects of Disaster: The Destruction of Libya" with Terri Blumenfeld. An Obama administration spokesman took issue with the book on November 11, 2015 because of Hoekstra's assertion that the removal of Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi was a serious mistake since he had become an ally of the United States and his down fall caused Libya to become a terrorist safe haven. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said: "a careful consideration of his long record would probably not conclude Col. Qadaffi was not a friend and ally of the United States."
In an interview with NPR's Robert Siegel on December 10, 2014, Hoekstra said he disagreed with the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture. Hoekstra endorsed John Kasich for President in 2016.
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- "Report sparks debate over Iraq arsenal". The Seattle Times. June 23, 2006.
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'They should stay there. They should not go back to Yemen,' Hoekstra said. 'If they go back to Yemen, we will very soon find them back on the battlefield going after Americans and other western interests.'
- Josh Gerstein (2009-12-27). "Bomb plot complicates Gitmo plan". Politico. Archived from the original on 2009-12-28.
'Yesterday just highlights the fact that sending this many people back—or any people back—to Yemen right now is a really bad idea,' said Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee. 'It’s just dumb….If you made a list of what the three dumbest countries would be to send people back to, Yemen would be on all the lists.'
- "Rep. Pete Hoekstra joins Michele Bachmann in House Tea Party Caucus". Associated Press. July 20, 2010.
- "Michigan News – Hoekstra Joins Bachmann In House Tea Party Caucus". KTRK-TV. July 21, 2010.
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- Toeplitz, Shira (April 15, 2011). "Ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra Won't Challenge Stabenow". Roll Call. Retrieved April 15, 2011.
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- Inouye on Hoekstra: ‘His racist thoughts are not welcome in the United States Senate’ ([[Washington Post, 02/07/2012)]
- Super Bowl Special! My Nominee for Most Revolting Ad ([[The Atlantic)]
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- "Pete Hoekstra Scrubs Racially Tinged Super Bowl Ad From Internet" February 22, 2012 ABC News
- Stableford, Dylan. Actress in controversial ad for Pete Hoekstra’s Senate campaign is ‘deeply sorry’. Yahoo! News, 2012-02-16.
- Michigan U.S. Senate seat: Pete Hoekstra wins Republican primary; Stabenow up next
- Cranson, Jeff (February 1, 2011). "Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra named senior adviser at Washington law and lobbying firm". The Grand Rapids Press. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- "Heritage Foundation Names Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra as Visiting Distinguished Fellow" (Press release). The Heritage Foundation. February 22, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
Former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan has been named a visiting distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He will concentrate on education reform for the prominent think tank.
- Tau, Byron.13 K Streeters cross the street Politico, July 9, 2014.
- PR NewsWire January 14, 2014.
- Gizzi, John.White House Hits Hoekstra on Libya Book Newsmax, November 11, 2015.
- "Former Congressman: Enhanced Interrogation Techniques Can Be Valuable". NPR.org. 2014-12-10. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- Pete Hoekstra for Senate official campaign site
- Articles by Pete Hoekstra IPT (Investigative Project on Terrorism)
- PeteHoekstra.com Anti-Hoekstra site
- on YouTube Auto-tuned version of Hoekstra's famous "Turtle Fence" speech
- 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
- Profile at SourceWatch
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan's 2nd congressional district
|Chair of House Intelligence Committee
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Michigan