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John Conyers, Jr.

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John Conyers, Jr.
John Conyers.jpg
U.S. House, Michigan, District 13
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 1965-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 50
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorLucien N. Nedzi (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Cost per vote$4.21 in 2012
First electedNovember 3, 1964
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$5,892,860
Term limitsN/A
Education
Bachelor'sWayne State University
OtherWayne State Law School (LL.B.)
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army Reserves
Years of service1954-1957
Service branchUnited States Army
Years of service1950-1954
Service branchNational Guard
Years of service1948-195
Personal
Date of birthMay 16, 1929
Place of birthDetroit, Michigan
ProfessionAttorney
Net worth(2012) $-12,500
ReligionBaptist
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
John Conyers, Jr. (b. May 16, 1929, in Detroit, MI) is a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Michigan's 13th Congressional District. Conyers was first elected to the House in 1964.

Conyers won re-election to represent the 13th Congressional District of Michigan. He defeated challengers Jeff Gorman (R), Chris Sharer (L) and Sam Johnson (I) in the general election.[1]

On May 13, 2014, the Wayne County Clerk, Cathy Garrett, announced that the signatures coming from two of Conyers' petition circulators were invalid, disqualifying him from the August 5 primary ballot. However, Conyers appealed to a federal judge in Detroit who overturned the decision on May 23, 2014. Because of this, Conyers name appeared on the primary ballot and he advanced to the general election.[2][3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Conyers is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.

Biography

Conyers was born in 1929 in Detroit, MI. He earned his B.A. and L.L.B. from Wayne State University in 1957 and 1958, respectively.[4]

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Conyers' academic, professional and political career:[5]

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2015-2016

Conyers serves on the following committees:[6]

2013-2014

Conyers served on the following committees:[7]

  • Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice
    • Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet

2011-2012

Conyers served on the following House committees:[8]

  • Judiciary Committee Ranking Member
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution
    • Subcommitte on Intellectual Property, Competition, and Internet

Key votes

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The second session of the 113th Congress enacted into law 114 out of the 3,036 introduced bills (3.8 percent). Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 4.2 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the second session.[9] For more information pertaining to Conyers's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[10]

National security

NDAA

Nay3.png Conyers voted against HR 1960 - the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. The bill passed the House on June 14, 2013, with a vote of 315 - 108. Both parties were somewhat divided on the vote.[11]

DHS Appropriations

Neutral/Abstain Conyers did not vote on HR 2217 - the DHS Appropriations Act (2014) Act of 2014. The bill passed the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 245 - 182 that was largely along party lines.[12]

CISPA (2013)

Nay3.png Conyers voted against HR 624 - the CISPA (2013). The bill passed the House on April 18, 2013, with a vote of 288 - 127. The bill permitted federal intelligence agencies to share cybersecurity intelligence and information with private entities and utilities. The bill was largely supported by Republicans, but divided the Democratic Party.[13]

Economy


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Farm bill

Nay3.png On January 29, 2014, the U.S. House approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, known as the Farm Bill.[14] The bill passed by a vote of 251-166. The nearly 1,000-page bill provides for the reform and continuation of agricultural and other programs of the Department of Agriculture through 2018. The $1 trillion bill expanded crop insurance for farmers by $7 billion over the next decade and created new subsidies for rice and peanut growers that would kick in when prices drop.[15][16] However, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[16] Conyers voted with 102 other Democratic representatives against the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 15, 2014, the Republican-run House approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[17][18] The House voted 359-67 for the 1,582 page bill, with 64 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the bill.[18] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[19] It included a 1 percent increase in the paychecks of federal workers and military personnel, a $1 billion increase in Head Start funding for early childhood education, reduced funding to the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, and the protection of the Affordable Care Act from any drastic cuts. Conyers joined with the majority of the Democratic party and voted in favor of the bill.[17][18]

Government shutdown

See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Nay3.png On September 30, 2013, the House passed a final stopgap spending bill before the shutdown went into effect. The bill included a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and would have also stripped the bill of federal subsidies for congressional members and staff. It passed through the House with a vote of 228-201.[20] At 1 a.m. on October 1, 2013, one hour after the shutdown officially began, the House voted to move forward with going to a conference. In short order, Sen. Harry Reid rejected the call to conference.[21] Conyers voted against the stopgap spending bill that would have delayed the individual mandate.[22]

Yea3.png The shutdown ended on October 16, 2013, when the House took a vote on HR 2775 after it was approved by the Senate. The bill to reopen the government lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funded the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[23] The House passed the legislation shortly after the Senate, by a vote of 285-144, with all 144 votes against the legislation coming from Republican members. Conyers voted for HR 2775.[24]

Federal Pay Adjustment Elimination

Nay3.png Conyers voted against HR 273 - Eliminates the 2013 Statutory Pay Adjustment for Federal Employees. The bill passed the House on February 15, 2013, with a vote of 261 - 154. The bill called for a stop to a 0.5 percent pay increase for all federal workers from taking effect, saving the federal government $11 billion over 10 years.[25]

Immigration

Morton Memos Prohibition

Nay3.png Conyers voted against House Amendment 136 - Prohibits the Enforcement of the Immigration Executive Order. The amendment was adopted by the House on June 6, 2013, with a vote of 224 - 201. The purpose of the amendment as stated on the official text is to "prohibit the use of funds to finalize, implement, administer, or enforce the Morton Memos." These memos would have granted administrative amnesty to certain illegal aliens residing in the United States.[26] The vote largely followed party lines.[27]

Healthcare

Healthcare Reform Rules

Nay3.png Conyers voted against House Amendment 450 - Requires Congressional Approval for Any Rules Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The amendment was adopted by the House on August 2, 2013, with a vote of 227-185. The amendment requires that all changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act be approved by Congress before taking effect. The vote was largely along party lines.[28]

Social issues

Abortion

Nay3.png Conyers voted against HR 1797 - Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The resolution passed the House on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 228 - 196 that largely followed party lines. The purpose of the bill was to ban abortions that would take place 20 or more weeks after fertilization.[29]

SNAP challenge

See also: United States Farm Bill 2013

In June 2013, more than two dozen House Democrats, including Conyers, took part in a SNAP challenge, feeding themselves for a week on the average benefit level of a SNAP recipient.[30] Participants agreed to eat all meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant, approximately $1.50 per meal, or $4.50 a day.[31]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Conyers voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. He was one of 172 Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[32]

Issues

On The Issues Vote Match

Conyers' Vote Match results from On The Issues.
See also: On The Issues Vote Match

On The Issues conducts a VoteMatch analysis of elected officials based on 20 issue areas. Rather than relying on incumbents to complete the quiz themselves, the VoteMatch analysis is conducted using voting records, statements to the media, debate transcripts or citations from books authored by or about the candidate. Based on the results of the quiz, Conyers is a Hard-Core Liberal. Conyers received a score of 80 percent on social issues and 2 percent on economic issues.[33]

On The Issues organization logo.

The table below contains the results of analysis compiled by staff at On The Issues.

On The Issues Vote Quiz[34]
Economic Issues Social Issues
Issue Stance Issue Stance
Legally require hiring women & minorities Strongly Favors Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right Strongly Favors
Expand ObamaCare Strongly Favors Comfortable with same-sex marriage Strongly Favors
Vouchers for school choice Strongly Opposes Keep God in the public sphere Strongly Opposes
Absolute right to gun ownership Strongly Opposes Human needs over animal rights Strongly Opposes
Higher taxes on the wealthy Strongly Favors Stricter punishment reduces crime Strongly Opposes
Support & expand free trade Opposes Pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens Strongly Favors
Stricter limits on political campaign funds Strongly Favors Maintain US sovereignty from UN Strongly Opposes
Prioritize green energy Strongly Favors Expand the military Strongly Opposes
Stimulus better than market-led recovery Strongly Favors Stay out of Iran Strongly Favors
Privatize Social Security Strongly Opposes Never legalize marijuana Strongly Opposes
Note: Information last updated: 2014.[33]

House Judiciary Committee

Conyers served on the House Judiciary Committee since shortly after he was sworn into Congress in 1965.[35] The Congressman holds the distinction of being the first ever African-American to be appointed to the House Judiciary Committee.[35] Conyers was one of the managers responsible for the impeachment trial of federal judge Alcee Hastings in 1989.[36]

Conyers also served on the committee in the impeachment proceedings of former Presidents Bill Clinton in 1998 and Richard Nixon in 1974.[37]

Campaign themes

2012

  • Conyers highlighted the issue of Healthcare on his campaign website:

"It is my belief that the best way to create an efficient, cost effective, and high quality universal health care system in the United States is to pass H.R. 676, and establish a non-profit universal single payer program that would be similar to an improved 'Medicare for all' program."[38]

Elections

2014

See also: Michigan's 13th Congressional District elections, 2014

Conyers ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. House to represent Michigan's 13th District. Conyers won the Democratic nomination in the primary against Horace Sheffield on August 5, 2014. He defeated Jeff Gorman (R), Chris Sharer (Libertarian) and Sam Johnson (I) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House, Michigan District 13 General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Conyers, Jr. Incumbent 79.5% 132,710
     Republican Jeff Gorman 16.3% 27,234
     Libertarian Chris Sharer 2.1% 3,537
     Independent Sam Johnson 2.1% 3,466
Total Votes 166,947
Source: Michigan Secretary of State
U.S. House, Michigan District 13 Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Conyers, Jr. Incumbent 86.3% 42,005
Horace Sheffield 13.7% 6,696
Total Votes 48,701
Source: Michigan Secretary of State

Ballot controversy

On May 13, 2014, the Wayne County Clerk, Cathy Garrett, announced that the signatures coming from two of Conyers' petition circulators were invalid, disqualifying him from the August 5 primary ballot. It was later discovered that one of Conyers' petitioners was a fugitive with a criminal record.[39][40][3][2]

On May 23, 2014, a federal judge overturned the original decision. Because of this, Conyers was reinstated on the ballot.
The judge said in his ruling: "There is evidence that their failure to comply with the Registration Statute was the result of good faith mistakes and that they believed they were in compliance with the statute."[41]

2012

See also: Michigan's 13th Congressional District elections, 2012

Conyers won re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing Michigan's 13th District.[42] He defeated Glenn Anderson, Bert Johnson, John Goci and Shanelle Jackson in the August 7 Democratic primary. He then defeated Harry T. Sawicki (R), Chris Sharer (L) and Martin Gray (UST) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[43]


John Conyers, Jr., "This is John Conyers "[44]
U.S. House, Michigan District 13 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Conyers, Jr. Incumbent 82.8% 235,336
     Republican Harry T. Sawicki 13.6% 38,769
     Libertarian Chris Sharer 2.1% 6,076
     UST Martin Gray 1.4% 4,089
Total Votes 284,270
Source: Michigan Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Michigan District 13 Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJohn Conyers, Jr. 55.4% 38,371
Glenn Anderson 18.2% 12,586
Shanelle Jackson 12.6% 8,708
Bert Johnson 10% 6,928
John Goci 3.8% 2,664
Total Votes 69,257

Endorsements

Conyers was endorsed by the organizations below for the 2012 election.[45]

  • Mich. Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Mich. AFSCME Council 25
  • Seafarers Intl. Union
  • UAW-CAP
  • Detroit Federation of Musicians
  • Operating Engineers Local 324 PAC
  • Mich. Maritime Trades Port Council
  • Mich. State AFL-CIO

Full history


Campaign donors

Fundraising events

The below chart from Find The Best tracks the fundraising events Conyers attends.


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.


Comprehensive donor history

Comprehensive donor information for Conyers is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Conyers raised a total of $5,892,860 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 16, 2013.[70]

John Conyers, Jr.'s Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Michigan, District 13) Won $1,044,468
2010 US House (Michigan, District 14) Won $1,137,010
2008 US House (Michigan, District 14) Won $1,096,282
2006 US House (Michigan, District 14) Won $1,069,653
2004 US House (Michigan, District 14) Won $560,101
2002 US House (Michigan, District 14) Won $410,787
2000 US House (Michigan, District 14) Won $574,559
Grand Total Raised $5,892,860

Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

2014

Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Conyers’ reports.[71]

John Conyers (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[72]April 15, 2013$63,322.67$92,905.18$(82,660.82)$73,567.03
July Quarterly[73]July 15, 2013$73,567.03$90,218.83$(49,472.70)$114,313.16
October Quarterly[74]October 15, 2013$114,313.16$83,684.56$(65,482.43)$132,515.29
Year-End[75]January 31, 2014$132,515.29$75,057.68$(91,262.92)$116,310.05
April Quarterly[76]April 15, 2014$116,310.05$60,921.19$(65,228.62)$112,002.62
July QuarterlyJuly 15, 2014$112,002.00$166,195.00$(135,539.00)$143,806.00
Running totals
$568,982.44$(489,646.49)

2012

Breakdown of the source of Conyers' campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Conyers won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012. During that election cycle, Conyers' campaign committee raised a total of $1,044,468 and spent $990,585.[77]

Cost per vote

Conyers spent $4.21 per vote received in 2012.

2010

Breakdown of the source of Conyers' campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Conyers won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010. During that election cycle, Conyers' campaign committee raised a total of $1,137,010 and spent $1,227,587.[78]

Personal Gain Index

Congressional Personal Gain Index graphic.png
See also: Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress)

The Personal Gain Index (U.S. Congress) is a two-part measurement that illustrates the extent to which members of the U.S. Congress have prospered during their tenure as public servants.
It consists of two different metrics:

PGI: Change in net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives
Net Worth Metric graphic.png

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Conyers' net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $-15,000 and $-10,000. That averages to $-12,500, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2012 of $5,700,168.36. Conyers ranked as the 108th most wealthy representative in 2012.[79] Between 2004 and 2012, Conyers' calculated net worth[80] decreased by an average of 98 percent per year. Between 2004 and 2012, the average annual percentage increase for a member of Congress was 15.4 percent.[81]

John Conyers, Jr. Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$1,824
2012$-12,500
Growth from 2004 to 2012:-785%
Average annual growth:-98%[82]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[83]
The data used to calculate changes in net worth may include changes resulting from assets gained through marriage, inheritance, changes in family estates and/or trusts, changes in family business ownership and many other variables unrelated to a member's behavior in Congress.

PGI: Donation Concentration Metric

See also: The Donation Concentration Metric (U.S. Congress Personal Gain Index)

Filings required by the Federal Election Commission report on the industries that give to each candidate. Using campaign filings and information calculated by OpenSecrets.org, Ballotpedia calculated the percentage of donations by industry received by each incumbent over the course of his or her career (or 1989 and later, if elected prior to 1988). In the 113th Congress, Conyers is the ranking member of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary. Conyers received the most donations from individuals and PACs employed by the Lawyers/Law Firms industry.

From 1989-2014, 32.96 percent of Conyers' career contributions came from the top five industries as listed below.[84]

Donation Concentration Metric graphic.png
John Conyers, Jr. Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $8,176,962
Total Spent $8,067,049
Ranking member of the House Committee on Judiciary
Top five industries that contributed to campaign committee
Lawyers/Law Firms$936,507
TV/Movies/Music$719,281
Public Sector Unions$391,363
Building Trade Unions$325,350
Industrial Unions$322,250
% total in top industry11.45%
% total in top two industries20.25%
% total in top five industries32.96%

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Conyers was a "far-left Democratic leader" as of June 2013.[85] This was the same rating Conyers received in July 2014.

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[86]

Conyers most often votes with:

Conyers least often votes with:


Source: This graphic was generated by Find The Best.

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Conyers missed 4,440 of 26,653 roll call votes from January 1965 to July 2014. This amounts to 16.7 percent, which is worse than the median of 2.5 percent among current congressional representatives as of July 2014.[87]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Conyers paid his congressional staff a total of $1,172,123 in 2011. He ranked 19th on the list of the highest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 22nd overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Michigan ranked 13th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[88]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Click the link above for the full ratings of all members of Congress.

2013

Conyers ranked 20th in the liberal rankings in 2013.[89]

2012

Conyers was ranked one of the in the liberal rankings in 2012. Thirteen other representatives across the country held this ranking. This is the most liberal ranking held by any of Michigan's representatives.[90]

2011

Conyers ranked 51st in the liberal rankings in 2011.[91]

Voting with party

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus.

2014

Conyers voted with the Democratic Party 91.6 percent of the time, which ranked 137th among the 204 House Democratic members as of July 2014.[92]

2013

Conyers voted with the Democratic Party 93.7 percent of the time, which ranked 146th among the 201 House Democratic members as of June 2013.[93]

Personal

Conyers has two sons with his wife, Monica (nee Esters).[94]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term John + Conyers + Michigan + House

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

John Conyers News Feed

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See also

External links

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References

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  34. The questions in the quiz are broken down into two sections -- social and economic. In social questions, liberals and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while conservatives and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers. For the economic questions, conservatives and libertarians agree in choosing the less-government answers, while liberals and populists agree in choosing the more-restrictive answers.
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  75. Federal Election Commission, "John Conyers Year-End," accessed February 10, 2014
  76. Federal Election Commission, "John Conyers April Quarterly," accessed April 21, 2014
  77. Open Secrets, " 2012 Re-Election Cycle," accessed February 15, 2013
  78. Open Secrets, "John Conyers 2010 Election Cycle," accessed December 23, 2011
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  80. This figure represents the total percentage growth from either 2004 (if the member entered office in 2004 or earlier) or their first year in office (as noted in the chart below).
  81. This number was found by dividing each member's total net worth growth percentage by the number of years included in the calculation.
  82. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  83. This figure was calculated using median asset data from the Census Bureau. Please see the Congressional Net Worth data for Ballotpedia spreadsheet for more information on this calculation.
  84. OpenSecrets.org, "Rep. John Conyers," accessed September 25, 2014
  85. GovTrack, "John Conyers, Jr.," accessed July 30, 2014
  86. OpenCongress, "John Conyers," accessed July 30, 2014
  87. GovTrack, "John Conyers," accessed April 2013
  88. LegiStorm, "John Conyers," accessed June 13, 2013
  89. National Journal, "2013 Congressional Vote Ratings," accessed July 30, 2014
  90. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," February 26, 2013
  91. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  92. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  93. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  94. Official House Site, "Biography," accessed December 24, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Lucien N. Nedzi
U.S. House of Representatives - Michigan
1965-present
Succeeded by
'