Ted Poe

Last updated

Ted Poe
Ted Poe Official.jpg
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Texas's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 2005 January 3, 2019
Preceded by Jim Turner
Succeeded by Dan Crenshaw
Personal details
Born
Lloyd Theodore Poe

(1948-09-10) September 10, 1948 (age 70)
Temple, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)Carol Poe
Education Abilene Christian University (BA)
University of Houston (JD)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States.svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Air Force.svg  United States Air Force
Years of service1970–1976
Unit AFR Shield.svg Reserves

Lloyd Theodore Poe (born September 10, 1948) is an American politician who represented Texas's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2005 to 2019. Poe was the first Republican to represent the 2nd district.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Texass 2nd congressional district district representing parts of Houston, TX in the U.S. House of Representatives

Texas's 2nd congressional district of the United States House of Representatives is in the southeastern portion of the state of Texas. It encompasses much of northern and western Houston.

Contents

In November 2017, Poe announced that he would retire from Congress, and not seek re-election in 2018. [1] [2]

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of the United States. The legislature consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Early life

Poe was born in Temple in Bell County, Texas, but attended Spring Woods High School in Houston. Poe resides in Humble, Texas. He graduated in 1970, with a degree in political science from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas; he was his class president. In 1973, he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Center. He participated in the school's honor society. From 1970 to 1976, he served in the United States Air Force Reserve's C-130 Unit at Houston's Ellington Air Force Base.

Temple, Texas City in Texas, United States

Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. As of 2016, the city has a population of 73,600 according to a US census estimate.

Bell County, Texas County in the United States

Bell County is a county located in the central part of the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 310,235. Its county seat is Belton. The county was founded in 1850 and is named for Peter Hansborough Bell, the third governor of Texas.

Spring Woods High School

Spring Woods High School is a secondary school in Spring Branch, Houston, Texas. The school, serving grades 9 through 12, is operated by Spring Branch Independent School District.

Judicial career

After serving as a chief felony prosecutor in Harris County (Houston) for eight years, Poe was appointed a felony court judge in Harris County in 1981, becoming one of the youngest judges in the state. In this position, he gained national prominence for his unusual criminal sentences that included ordering thieves to carry signs in front of stores from which they stole. [3] However, in at least one case, Poe amended the sentence afterwards without notifying the victim's family. [4]

Harris County, Texas County in the United States

Harris County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas, located in the southeastern part of the state near Galveston Bay. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 4,092,459, making it the most populous county in Texas and the third most populous county in the United States. Its county seat is Houston, the largest city in Texas and fourth largest city in the United States. The county was founded in 1836 and organized in 1837. It is named for John Richardson Harris, who founded the town of Harrisburg on Buffalo Bayou in 1826. According to a July 2017 Census estimate, Harris County's population had grown to 4,652,980, comprising over 16 percent of Texas's population.

Elections to United States Congress

In November 2004, Poe ran for the U.S. House in the 2nd District. The district had previously been the 9th, represented by four-term Democrat Nick Lampson. However, as the result of a controversial mid-decade redistricting, the new 2nd was considerably more Republican than the old 9th. It lost Galveston and the area around the Johnson Space Center, while picking up several heavily Republican areas north of Houston, including Poe's home in Humble. Poe won 55% of the vote to Lampson's 43%. While Lampson trounced Poe in Beaumont and Port Arthur, Poe swamped Lampson in the Harris County portion of the district. [5]

Democratic Party (United States) political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

Nick Lampson American politician

Nicholas Valentino Lampson is an American politician from the state of Texas and a former Congressman representing the 22nd Congressional District and the 9th Congressional District of Texas.

2003 Texas redistricting controversial redistricting of Texass districts for the U.S. House of Representatives

The 2003 Texas redistricting refers to a controversial mid-decade state plan that defined new Congressional districts. In the 2004 elections, this redistricting supported the Republicans taking a majority of Texas's House seats for the first time since Reconstruction. Opponents challenged the plan in three suits, combined when the case went to the United States Supreme Court in League of United Latin American Citizens v. Perry (2006).

Poe made border security a centerpiece of his re-election strategy, calling for "more [National] Guardsmen on the border front". [6]

In November 2006, Poe won a second term with 65.6% of the vote, defeating Democrat Gary Binderim, who took 32.7%. [7]

In November 2008 and 2010, Poe did not face a Democratic challenger in the general election. In 2008, he defeated Libertarian Craig Wolfe, taking 88.9% of the vote to Wolfe's 11.1%. [7] In 2010, he defeated Libertarian David Smith with 88.6 percent of the vote to Smith's 11.4 percent. [8]

Poe's district was made significantly more compact in the 2010s round of redistricting. It was cut back to an exclusively Harris County-based district, wheeling from Humble through northern and western Houston to just outside downtown. This district was slightly less Republican than its predecessor, and Poe was elected three more times from this district with over 60 percent of the vote.

Poe announced on November 7, 2017 that he would not seek re-election in 2018. [9]

Committee assignments

In addition to Poe's committee assignments, he is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Victim's Rights Caucus. [10] [11] Since 2012, he has been the head of the Congressional Serbian Caucus. [12] He is also a member of the Republican Study Committee, [13] the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus, the Tea Party Caucus, the House Baltic Caucus [14] and the United States Congressional International Conservation Caucus. [15]

Political positions

Ted Poe speaking at a Tea Party in Texas in 2009 Ted Poe Tea Party April 2009.jpg
Ted Poe speaking at a Tea Party in Texas in 2009

Taxes

Poe is a signer of Americans for Tax Reform's Taxpayer Protection Pledge. [16]

Abortion

Poe received a 0 rating from the abortion rights group NARAL in 2007 and a rating of 100 from the National Right to Life Committee in 2007–2008. [17] He also voted for the Prohibiting Federal Funding of Abortion Services amendment on November 7, 2009. [18]

Fiscal policy

In 2008, the National Taxpayers Union, an organization that supports "lower taxes and smaller government", gave Poe the grade B+, and in 2007 received a rating of 90 from the group Americans for Tax Reform, an organization that advocates "taxes [that] are simpler, [and] flatter". [19] Poe voted against the 2009 Economic Stimulus Package (HR 1) and the 2010 Concurrent Budget Resolution (S. Con. Res. 13). [20] The Club for Growth PAC gave him a power ranking of 85.85%. [19]

Healthcare

Poe favors repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). [21] Poe does not support what he calls "government-run health care". [22] Poe voted "Nay" on the Health Care and Insurance Law Amendments bill on November 7, 2009. [23] In 2008, Poe voted for the Medicare Bill (HR 6331). [23] Poe supports healthcare reform that would "Allow insurance to be purchased across state lines, provide for a safety net for catastrophic injury or illness…and allow for a health savings account". [24] Poe resigned from the Freedom Caucus in March 2017, after the Caucus's opposition to the American Health Care Act of 2017 contributed to Speaker Ryan's decision to pull the bill. [25] Poe supported the March 2017 version of the American Health Care Act before its collapse. [26]

On May 4, 2017, he voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act. [27] [28]

Immigration

Poe is an advocate of stronger action against illegal immigration and increased security on the Mexico–United States border. [29] He voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006 and against the DREAM Act when it was introduced in 2010. [30] He opposed the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, calling it "an imperial decree" that violated immigration law. [31]

Poe co-sponsored, along with fellow Republican Representative Steve King, the "Deport Foreign Convicted Criminals Act of 2011" (H.R. 3256), which would require the U.S. government to deny certain visas to citizens of nations that refuse to accept convicted foreign nationals that the U.S. is seeking to deport. If passed, the law would mandate visa denials to nationals of 153 nations worldwide. Poe's bill was opposed by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which noted that the bill would block visas issued to citizens of American allies, including Israel, Britain, and Canada. The bill was also criticized by Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, who called it "the most stupid bill I've ever seen" and stated it would wipe out the U.S. tourism industry. [32]

Human trafficking

Poe introduced the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2013 and the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, a bill to combat human trafficking. [33] [34] [35] The 2015 bill passed the House in a 420-3 vote and, following a delay, passed the Senate in a 99-0 vote. The bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama in May 2015. [35]

Controversies

In 1998, Judge Poe was known for sentences that involved a measure of humiliation, including ordering offenders to shovel manure, a practice which led to the nickname "The King of Shame." [36] Poe explained, "The people I see have too good a self-esteem. I want them to feel guilty about what they've done. I don't want 'em to leave the courthouse having warm fuzzies inside." [37] Poe's "public notice" sentences included ordering a drunk driver to stand outside a bar, wearing a sign that said "I killed two people while driving drunk." [38]

As a state judge, in November 2002, Poe ruled that he would permit the PBS documentary show Frontline to videotape jury deliberations of a capital murder case. [39] There was considerable concern that this would affect the result of the trial, possibly by skewing the composition of the jury, and the decision was appealed by Harris County prosecutors. [40] [41] The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the state's highest criminal appellate court, ruled against Poe's decision and prohibited the videotaping. [42]

Poe speaking in 2009 Ted Poe 2009.jpg
Poe speaking in 2009

On June 7, 2009, Poe signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1503, the bill introduced as a reaction to conspiracy theories which claimed that U.S. President Barack Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen. [43] On July 23, 2009, he appeared on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight in which he claimed that Certifications of Live Birth issued by Hawaii State Department of Health cannot be used to obtain a U.S. passport, which is untrue. [44] [45] [46] His support of H.R. 1503 and public advocacy for it earned him a negative editorial in the Houston Chronicle . [47]

In August 2011, AlterNet reported that Poe, along with John Culberson and Michael McCaul, was attempting to remove the right of deceased soldiers' families to choose which prayers, if any, were to be read at a soldier's funeral. [48] [49] The three politicians were said to be attempting to impose Christian ceremonies on the military funerals of everybody who has served in the military, regardless of whether or not the deceased was Christian and with or without the consent of the family of the deceased. The three politicians stated their demands were a response to Veterans Affairs (VA) banning Christian prayers at military funerals. The VA, however, asserted that this claim was "blatantly false" and that VA respects a family's "rights to pray however they choose at our national cemeteries". [48] [49]

Poe was elected to his seventh term in the House in the general election held on November 8, 2016. With 168,692 votes (60.6 percent), he defeated the Democrat Pat Bryan, who received 100,231 ballots (36 percent). Two other candidates held the remaining 3.35 percent of the votes cast. [50]

Personal life

Poe and his wife, Carol, have four children (Kim, Kara, Kurt, and Kellee). [51]

Poe announced on July 13, 2016, that he had recently been diagnosed with leukemia and would be seeking treatment at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. [52]

Poe was interviewed about his controversial public humiliation practices while still a Texas district judge by Jon Ronson for Ronson's 2015 book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed . [53]

In 2011, Poe gave a speech on the house floor concerning excessive spending by the Justice Department on refreshments served at conferences at the Capitol Hilton. He expressed significant disapproval that muffins apparently costing $16 dollars each were served at the conferences. The speech was made notable by his humorous opening line, "Madame Speaker, do you know the muffin man?" [54] The speech was further popularized by his inclusion in a Songify the News video by the Gregory Brothers in which he is autotuned, appearing to sing a song about the muffin man. [55]

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References

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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim Turner
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 2nd congressional district

2005–2019
Succeeded by
Dan Crenshaw