Pete Stark

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Pete Stark


Pete Stark was a far left Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 13th district of California.

Stark lost his re-election bid in November 2012. He was defeated by Eric Swalwell (D) in the November 6, 2012 election.[1]

Education/career

Stark is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a degree in engineering and the University of California, Berkeley with a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA).

Before being elected to Congress in 1972, Stark was a successful businessman and banker.

In 1963, he founded Security National Bank in Walnut Creek. The bank grew from a small storefront operation to a $1 billion financial institution with branches in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Stark sold his interest in the bank after his election to Congress.

Before his business career, Stark served in the U.S. Air Force. His other civic activities have included: Director, Common Cause; Chairman, Board of Trustees, Starr King School of Ministry; Board Member, Housing Development Corporation; Board Member, Council for Civic Unity, and many others.[2]

Congress

Congressman Pete Stark served in Congress from 1973-2013. A senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, he was the Ranking Minority Member of its Health Subcommittee. Stark previously served as the subcommittee's Chairman from 2007 to 2010 and 1985 to 1994, and previously as Ranking Minority Member from 1995 to 2006.

Before being elected to Congress in 1972, Stark was a successful businessman and banker. Upon entering Congress, he served on the House Banking and Currency Committee. After completing his first term, Stark was named to the Ways and Means Committee, whose scope includes taxes, Medicare, Social Security, trade and public assistance.

From 1981 to 1984, Stark served as Chairman of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures. As Chairman, Stark became known as one of the nation's foremost advocates of tax reform. He later served a critical role in shaping the historic tax reform act of 1986. In the years since, he has been a vocal voice for tax fairness and opposed the addition of corporate loopholes to our nation's income tax laws.

In January of 1985, Stark became the Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. As Chairman, he presided over major reforms to the Medicare system. While cutting billions of dollars in waste, fraud, and abuse, Stark expanded benefits for tens of millions of Medicare beneficiaries, provided COBRA health continuation benefits to workers, and made numerous improvements in the quality of our nation's health care.

As Chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee from 2007 to 2010, Stark helped write the health reform law that is bringing quality, affordable health care to millions of Americans.

Stark champions universal health care, and speaks out for peace, freedom of choice, and protecting our environment. He is a tireless advocate for children, families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities, as well as the residents of the 13th Congressional District.[3]

The Chile letter

On August 1 1979 Thirty-five U.S. Congressmen signed a letter[4]to President Jimmy Carter demanding that private bank loans to Chile be barred unless the Chilean government chose to extradite three military officials, including the former director of the Chilean intelligence service. The three had been indicted for complicity in the assassination of marxist Unidad Popular government member and KGB agent Orlando Letelier and the killing of Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) staffer Ronni Moffitt in 1976.

In May 1978 the Chief Justice of the Chilean Supreme Court rejected the U.S. request for extradition.

Chief sponsor of the letter was Rep. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who was joined by Congressmen John Burton (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), Ron Dellums (D-CA), Berkley Bedell (D-IA), Richard Ottinger (D-NY), Fred Richmond (D-NY), Robert Drinan (D-MA), Leon Panetta (D-CA), Don Edwards (D-CA); Norman Mineta (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA}, Anthony Beileson (D-CA) George Brown (D-CA), Toby Moffett (D-CT), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Eugene Atkinson (D-PA), Michael Barnes (D-MD), David Bonior (D-MI), Adam Benjamin (D-IN), William Brodhead (D-MI), Robert Carr (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Tom Downey (D-NY), Harold Hollenbeck (R-NJ), Pete Kostmayer (D-PA), Stewart McKinney (R-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Andrew Maguire (D-NJ) Rick Nolan (DFL-MN), Gerry Studds (D-MA), Bruce Vento (DFL-MN) and Howard Wolpe (D-MI).

The Harkin letter characterized the Chilean government as "an enemy of the American people" and urged the President to "take strong action against this terrorist government." The letter was released (9 A.M. on August 1 1979) at the same time a press statement from the Washington, DC, Chile Legislative Center of the National Coordinating Center in Solidarity with Chile, staffed by veterans of the Venceremos Brigade and the Communist Party USA, supported the Congressional letter and urged pressure so that the State Department does not accept a military trial of the three Chileans in Chile as a substitute for extradition and trial in the US

South Africa benefit

On January 17 1986, a benefit concert was held at Oakland's Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, for the National Emergency Fund of the South African Council of Churches.

Dinner Committee Members included Hon. Alan Cranston, Hon. Leo McCarthy, Hon. Barbara Boxer, Hon. Sala Burton, Hon. Ron Dellums (a DSA member), Hon. Don Edwards, Hon. Tom Lantos Hon. George Miller, Jr. Hon. Norman Mineta, Hon. Pete Stark, Hon. Willie Brown, plus Democratic Socialists of America members Julian Bond, Nancy Skinner, Harry Britt, John Henning, Adam Hochschild, Frances Moore Lappe, Stanley Sheinbaum, Communist Party USA affiliates Wilson Riles, Jr., Maudelle Shirek, Al Lannon, and Irving Sarnoff, and radical socialists Julianne Malveaux, Drummond Pike, John George, Peter Yarrow and actor/activist Sidney Poitier.[5]

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Pete Stark, California 13, in that year's Congressional elections.[6]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 Pete Stark Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[7]

As of February 20 2009 Pete Stark was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[8]

Progressive Majority Advisory Committee

In 2003 Rep. Pete Stark served on the Progressive Majority Advisory Committee.[9]

Clinton/Pinochet letter

On October 21, 1998, many Members of Congress wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton, urging him to release information to a Spanish judge investigating former Chilean President Pinochet for alleged crimes committed during and after the overthrow of the Marxist Allende government.

Dear Mr. President:
The October 17 arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in London is a good example of how the goals you outlined in your anti-terrorism speech at the United Nations can be put into practice. Indeed, when the rule oflaw is applied to combat international lawlessness,humanity's agenda gains...we call upon you to ensure that the U.S. government provides Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon material related to Pinochet's role in international terrorism -- material and testimony that the U.S. government has thus far withheld.

Signatories included Rep. Pete Stark.[10]

Clinton/Chile letter

February 24, 2000, 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to President Clinton requesting full U.S. cooperation with the Spanish case against former Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, a thorough investigation into the car-bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and American citizen Ronni Moffitt, and the release of all U.S. documents pertaining to human rights abuses in Chile.

Dear President Clinton,
We would like to take this opportunity to commend your Administration's recent activity concerning the ongoing investigation into former Chilean General Augusto Pinochet's role in the 1976 car bombing of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in Washington D.C. We also appreciate your efforts to release documents pertaining to human rights abuses in Chile.

Signatories were George Miller (D-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Conyers (D-MI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Pete Stark (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Tim Roemer (D- IN), Howard Berman (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Mel Watt (D- NC), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Patsy Mink (D-HI), Marcy Kaptur (D- OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Tierney (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Martin Sabo (D-MN), and Bob Filner (D-CA).[11]

Communist inspired letter to defund Colombian military

Sam Farr had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia, and was contacted by the communist dominated Colombia Support Network in 1997. Efforts by Colombia Support Network were instrumental in getting a letter sent to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, with the 19 other members signing on. The January 30, 1998 letter called for the continued suspension of funding to the Colombian military then engaged in a bloody civil war against communist guerillas.

Dear Secretary Albright :
We are writing to express our concern with the worsening human rights situation in Colombia and urge you to take steps to address this matter.
News reports and first-hand accounts indicate that violence in Colombia is escalating, particularly in the country's northern most regions and the southern coca growing regions. Many different groups and individuals have been implicated in the violence, but an increasing number of human rights abuses are being instigated by paramilitary groups --armed civilians who torture, evict, kidnap and murder Colombian civilians.
There is also evidence of links between paramilitaries and local drug lords, who rely on paramilitary groups to undertake violent activities on their behalf. The Peasant Self-Defense Group of Cordoba and Uraba, a paramilitary group lead by Carlos Castano, is considered one of the most powerful paramilitary groups in Colombia. Reports indicate that last yeqar Castano's group killed hundreds, if not more than a thousand, peasants it accused of helping rebels.

As concerned Members of Congress, we urge you to place the issue of human rights and the problem of paramilitary groups in the forefront of your priority list in your dealings with Colombia. We understand that aid to the Colombian army is currently on hold because of human rights concerns and urge you to continue to withhold funding.

Signatories were;Sam Farr, John Porter, Ron Dellums, David Bonior, Marty Meehan, Marcy Kaptur, Scott Klug, James McGovern, Elizabeth Furse, Jim Oberstar, Peter DeFazio, Maurice Hinchey, Gerald Kleczka,John Conyers, Pete Stark, Robert Wexler, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Lane Evans, David Price, Sherrod Brown, [12]

Colombia Support Network letter

CCSN.JPG

In 2002, the Colombia Support Network organized a :dear colleague" letter to President Andres Pastrana Arango, of Colombia, through Ned Steiner, a staffer in Rep. Sam Farr's office.

The letter called on President Pastrana to end a military blockade on the Colombian town of San Jose de Apartado, a sister community of Madison Wisconsin, where the Colombia Support Network is based.

We write to you to bring your attention to the humanitarian crisis facing the civilian population of the Peace Community San Jose de Apartadó and its outlying settlements.
We urge the appropriate authorities of your government to dismantle the paramilitary checkpoint on the road between San Jose and Apartadó, ensure the continued safety of the road, and fully investigate recent threats and attacks on the Peace Community.
The Peace Community San Jose de Apartadó and its settlements, including the village of La Union, receive the permanent accompaniment of international organizations.

These include Peace Brigades International (PBI), as well as the U.S. Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), which currently has two US citizens in La Union. We support the work of these two respected organizations as well as the Peace Community in its effort to build a non-violent alternative to the conflict.

Representatives who signed the Colombia Support Network inspired letter in 2001 included Pete Stark. [13]

2006 letter to Condoleezza Rice on Colombia

Alleged Colombian Army killings prompted Fellowship of Reconciliation to work with Representative Sam Farr to forge a response that would impact the 17th Brigade, the unit allegedly responsible for the violence against San José de Apartadó and communities throughout northwestern Colombia.

As a result, Reps. Sam Farr and Jim McGovern, wrote a letter to their colleagues in Congress urging them to join in calling on Secretary Condoleezza Rice to cut funding for the Colombian military.

Letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
(Deadline for Congressional representatives to sign: February 22)
We applaud the decision, noted in your certification letter of August 2005, that the US "will not consider providing assistance to the 17th Brigade until all significant human rights allegations involving the unit have been credibly addressed." Because the Brigade is a component of the Colombian Armed Forces' command structure and has been implicated in the above referenced human rights violations, we implore you to abide by both the letter of the law and the spirit of the law by withholding human rights certification for Colombia until the following conditions are met:

Signatories included Pete Stark.[14]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included Pete Stark. [15]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In 2012, Pete Stark was listed as an associate member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.[16]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[17]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

Supporting Sandre Swanson

In 2006, Pete Stark was one of many prominent Northern California leftists to serve on State Assembly hopeful Sandre Swanson's Honorary Campaign Committee.[18]

"Progressives' on "Ways & Means" committee

In 2008, the U.S. Congress' most powerful committee, "Ways & Means" was heavily influenced by members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus including Chairman Charles Rangel, Pete Stark, John Lewis, Xavier Becerra and Jim McDermott.

Congressional Progressive CaucusVice Chairman Raul Grijalva and Danny Davis, joined "Ways & Means" late in the year.

"Single - payer" movement

According to Michael Lighty, a former National Director of Democratic Socialists of America, and Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, writing in DSA's Democratic Left, Winter 2007/2008 .[19]

There’s a growing movement for single-payer universal healthcare. The movement is led by activists in Healthcare-Now!, doctors in the Physicians for a National Health Program, nurses in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, leaders in labor unions such as United Steelworkers of America and Communication Workers of America, activists in the Progressive Democrats of America, and Congressman John Conyers, with the support for HR 676 by 300 union locals, 75 Central Labor Councils, and 25 state Federations of Labor, and hundreds of clergy and faith-based organizations, as well as civil rights, women’s and healthcare advocacy groups in the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare.
The policy proposals developed by Beltway think tanks and the principles for reform adopted by the AFL-CIO confer support for single-payer while allowing for private insurance-based approaches as well. Other bills in Congress, notably sponsored by Ted Kennedy and John Dingell and “Americare” introduced by Pete Stark, seek to incrementally establish a single-payer system.

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Pete Stark was one of the signatories of the letter. [20] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Council for a Livable World, 50th Anniversary

On June 6, 2012, Council for a Livable World, along with its sister organizations Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their founding by Leo Szilard in 1962.

An evening celebration was held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Congressman Barney Frank acted as the Master of Ceremonies and, in the process, received a lifetime achievement award from former Rep. Tom Downey, a member of the Council’s Board of Directors. The Robert F. Drinan Peace and Human Award was presented to former Representative and PeacePAC Chairman David Bonior and the late Edith Wilkie, a longtime advocate and leader for peace and justice.

Over 225 people attended to celebrate the Council’s legacy of working to advocate for sensible national security policies and helping to elect congressional candidates who support those policies.

Other notables included Hawaii Senate candidate Mazie Hirono (D), Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), former Sen. Tim Wirth (D-CO) and former Rep. Jim Moody (D-WI).[21]

Corporate Accountability

The Corporate Accountability Coalition is an alliance of organizations whose work includes a focus on issues of corporate accountability and transparency, abuse of power by corporations, responsible business practices, and the rights of people.

Organizations include leftist groups the Center for Corporate Policy , the Institute for Policy Studies , CorpWatch, Corporate Accountability International , the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable, and EarthRights International

The report card is based on 17 actions (9 in the House and 8 in the Senate) that form a good litmus test of whether lawmakers are working for the narrow interests of large corporations or for all of us.

According to the Coalitions first-ever Congressional Report Card on Corporate Accountability issued in 2013, only two Representatives and four Senators scored higher than 87 percent. The top scores went to former Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) in the House and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MN), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).[22]

ARA endorsement

Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Pete Stark in 2012.[23]

Praising CAIR

“I applaud CAIR’s mission to “enhance the understanding of Islam and to encourage dialogue, protectcivil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.” - Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) (October 2011). [24]

Staff

The following people are either present or past staff:[25]

External links

References

  1. National Journal "Members of Congress who were not re-elected," November 7, 2012
  2. official congressional bio, accessed July 30, 2011
  3. official congressional bio, accessed July 30, 2011
  4. Information Digest August 10 1979 p 244
  5. EBONY & IVORY invite you to attend a dinner benefit for theNational Emergency Fund of the South African Council of Churches
  6. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  7. DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
  8. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  9. MAJORITY BACKGROUNDER September 2003
  10. October 21, 1998, Members Of Congress Call On Clinton To Release Key Information On Gen. Pinochet To Spanish Judge
  11. US REPRESENTATIVES SEND LETTER TO CLINTON
  12. CSN, Letter of US Congressman Sam Farr and 19 other Representatives tob U.S. State Department over Colombian Human Rights Abuses
  13. DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER CSN-MADISON, MAY 15, 2002
  14. FOR February 2006 Peace Presence Update
  15. [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  16. [Jump up ↑ http://capac-chu.house.gov/membership, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus website, accessed Feb. 10, 2012] ]
  17. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  18. Sandre Swanson website, Endorsements, accessed July 28, 2011
  19. Dem. Left, Winter 2007/8
  20. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  21. Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation website. Council for a Livable World 50th Anniversary Celebration
  22. HuffPo, Sarah Anderson IPS Global Economy Project Director Failing Grades for Congress on Corporate Accountability Posted: 12/20/2013
  23. ARA endorsements 2012
  24. [https://www.cair.com/images/pdf/What-They-Say-About-CAIR.pdf What They Say About CAIR (October 2014)
  25. http://www.legistorm.com/member/491/Rep_Pete_Stark_CA.html. Accessed 12/1/2011