Todd Tiahrt

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Todd Tiahrt
Todd Tiahrt, official portrait, 111th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dan Glickman
Succeeded by Mike Pompeo
Personal details
Born William Todd Tiahrt
(1951-06-15) June 15, 1951 (age 64)
Vermillion, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Vicki Tiahrt
Alma mater Evangel University
Missouri State University, Springfield
Religion Assembly of God

William Todd Tiahrt[1] (/ˈthɑrt/ TEE-hart; born June 15, 1951) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for Kansas's 4th congressional district from 1995 to 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. The district encompasses 11 counties in the south central region of the state, including the city of Wichita. He was succeeded by Republican Mike Pompeo.

Tiahrt ran unsuccessfully in 2010 for the United States Senate seat held by Sam Brownback.[2] He lost to fellow Republican U.S. Representative Jerry Moran of Hays, Kansas, 50%–45%.[3] After the primary election, Tiahrt endorsed Moran for the general election. Tiahrt was defeated again in the 2014 primary by incumbent Mike Pompeo.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Tiahrt was born in Vermillion, South Dakota, the son of Marcine (née Steele) and Wilbur E. Tiahrt.[4] He attended and earned a bachelor's degree from Evangel College and received a Master of Business Administration from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. He worked for Boeing, where he worked on numerous government contracts, from 1981 until his election to Congress.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Leadership roles and Caucus memberships[edit]

  • Dean of Kansas' delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Founder and chairman of the House Economic Competitiveness Caucus

Tiahrt Amendment[edit]

Main article: Tiahrt Amendment

Tiahrt is the author of the Tiahrt Amendment which prohibits the National Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with a criminal investigation.[5] This precludes gun trace data from being used in academic research of gun use in crime.[5] Additionally, the law blocks any data legally released from being admissible in civil lawsuits against gun sellers or manufacturers.[5] Some groups, including the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, believe that having further access to the ATF database would help municipal police departments track down sellers of illegal guns and curb crime. These groups are trying to undo the Tiahrt Amendment.[6] Numerous police organizations oppose the Tiahrt Amendment, such as the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).[7] Conversely, the Tiahrt Amendment is supported by the National Rifle Association,[8] and the Fraternal Order of Police (although it allows municipal police departments only limited access to ATF trace data in any criminal investigation). The National Rifle Association says that undoing the Tiahrt Amendment would lead to a rash of lawsuits against gun dealers.[6]

Tiahrt-Bilbray Bill Fairness for American Students Act[edit]

A bill was introduced by U.S. Congressman Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) and U.S. Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) called the Fairness for American Students Act that would close a loophole in current law that several states have used to provide lower-cost college tuition to illegal immigrants compared to tuition rates U.S. citizens from neighboring states have to pay. Kansas and Nebraska are two of the states that currently offer in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.

Political positions[edit]


Rep. Tiahrt has opposed measures to sanction government-funded abortions. In July 2009, he drew criticism from the Kansas Democratic Party when he suggested that President Barack Obama's mother might have aborted him if she had had access to government-paid abortion services.

Tiahrt said tax funding of abortion would "encourage women who are single parents, living below the poverty level, to have the opportunity for a free abortion. If you take that scenario and apply it to many of the great minds we have today, who would we have been deprived of? Our president grew up in those similar circumstances. If that financial incentive was in place, is it possible that his mother may have taken advantage of it?"

Tiahrt also applied the same suggestion to Clarence Thomas, who was born in poverty and reared mainly by his grandfather. "Clarence Thomas, Supreme Court justice, if those circumstances were in place, is it possible that we would be denied his great mind?" Tiahrt said.[9]

Comments on the TSA[edit]

On 23 November 2010, Tiahrt spoke in Wichita against recent TSA security measures and how they affect citizens' privacy.[10]

Stimulus spending[edit]

Tiahrt voted against the 2009 Stimulus Bill in the House [11] and spoke against the stimulus in the House, planning to introduce an act to repeal the stimulus.[12]

Political campaigns[edit]

Tiahrt was elected to the Kansas State Senate in 1992. After only one term, he won the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District and was elected in an upset over 18-year Democratic incumbent Dan Glickman. One factor in the win was the 1990s reapportionment, in which Hutchinson and surrounding Reno County were shifted to the "Big 1st" District. Hutchinson was replaced with more reliably Republican Montgomery County.[citation needed] After a tough reelection bid in 1996, Tiahrt was reelected to the U.S. House six more times with little difficulty, before his unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid in 2010.

Campaign finances[edit]

Tiahrt’s top campaign contributors and the amount of their contributions are as follows:[13]

  • Boeing Co with $37,900
  • Koch Industries with $36,363
  • QC Holdings with $21,300
  • NorPAC with 19,800
  • Textron Inc with $15,600
  • Hodgdon Powder with $12,200
  • The United Parcel Service with $10,250
  • American Interventional Pain Physicians with $10,000
  • Fiat SPA with $10,000
  • Lockheed Martin with $10,000

Electoral history[edit]

  • 2014 Republican primary race for Kansas 4th District
    • Mike Pompeo (inc), 42,877 votes, 63%
    • Todd Tiahrt, 25,501 votes, 37%
  • 2010 Republican primary race for U.S. Senator – Kansas
    • Jerry Moran, 160,620 votes, 50%
    • Todd Tiahrt, 144,221 votes, 45%
  • 2008 race for Kansas 4th District
  • 2006 race for Kansas 4th District
    • Todd Tiahrt (R), (inc.) 64%
    • Garth McGinn (D), 34%
  • 2004 race for Kansas 4th District
    • Todd Tiahrt (R), (inc.) 66%
    • Michael Kinard (D), 31%
  • 2002 race for Kansas 4th District
    • Todd Tiahrt (R), (inc.) 61%
    • Carlos Nolla (D), 37%
  • 2000 race for Kansas 4th District
    • Todd Tiahrt (R), (inc.) 54%
    • Carlos Nolla (D), 42%
    • Steven Rosile (L), 4%
  • 1998 race for Kansas 4th District
    • Todd Tiahrt (R) (inc.) 58%
    • Jim Lawing (D) 39%
    • Craig Newland (T) 3%
  • 1996 race for Kansas 4th District
    • Todd Tiahrt (R), (inc.) 50%
    • Randy Rathbun (D), 47%
  • 1994 race for Kansas 4th District


  1. ^ Rep. Todd Tiahrt,
  2. ^ Jeffrey Young (2009-01-31). "Kansan Tiahrt makes Senate bid official". The Hill. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  3. ^ Jean, Pamela (Aug 4, 2010). "2010: Kansas Primary Election Results". Kansas Free Press. 
  4. ^ Tiahrt,
  5. ^ a b c Grimaldi, James V.; Horwitz, Sari (Oct 24, 2010). "Industry pressure hides gun traces, protects dealers from public scrutiny". Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-02-03. 
  6. ^ a b Knight, Healther (June 19, 2007) "Mayors Fight Gun Measure." San Francisco Chronicle.
  7. ^ United Against the Tiahrt Amendment,
  8. ^ The Daily Show Jan. 16, 2013
  9. ^ Tiahrt's abortion remarks criticized, July 18, 2009, Wichita Eagle.
  10. ^ Tiahrts comments on the TSA on
  11. ^ Tiahrts voting records
  12. ^
  13. ^ Campaign Finances on

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dan Glickman
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Mike Pompeo