Laura Richardson

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Laura Richardson
Laura Richardson.jpg
U.S. House, California, District 37
Former member
In office
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedSeptember 4, 2007
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
California State Assembly, District 55
Long Beach City Council
Bachelor'sUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Master'sUniversity of Southern California
Place of birthLos Angeles, California
Campaign website
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors

Laura Richardson was a Democratic member of the U.S. House representing California's 37th Congressional District from 2007 to 2013. She lost her re-election bid in 2012.[1]

Richardson ran for re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing California's 44th District as a Democrat. She was displaced from her previous district, the 37th, by redistricting.[2]

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Richardson was a "moderate Democratic follower."[3]


Richardson was born in Los Angeles, California. She earned her B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1984, and her MBA from the University of Southern California in 1996.[4]


Committee assignments

U.S. House


Richardson served on the following committees:[5]

  • Homeland Security Committee
    • Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies
    • Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Ranking Member
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
    • Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
    • Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials
    • Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment


Staff use controversy

Richardson faced allegations of misusing her congressional staffers starting in early 2012. She was accused of telling her congressional aides to collect information about communities outside her district, organizing a workshop to train constituents, and writing talking points for those constituents to deliver while the California Citizens Redistricting Commission met.[6]

On March 9, 2012, Brenda Cruz, who worked as an aide to Richardson, submitted a letter of resignation that stated she was mistreated by Richardson and a senior staffer during and after her pregnancy, making Cruz leave the job for her and her child's health.

Her letter read in part, "As a service connected-disabled veteran it is sad to say that I [would] rather be at war in Afghanistan then work under people that are morally corrupt. I have a child to think about now, and my son needs his mother to be healthy and happy."[7]

Cruz also said she was routinely made to work on Richardson's re-election campaign while in her district office. Richardson's office denied the claims, calling them "completely baseless."

The House Ethics Committee said that Richardson broke the law by, "improperly using House resources for campaign, personal, and nonofficial purposes; by requiring or compelling her official staff to perform campaign work," and that she later tried "to influence the testimony of witnesses."[8]

Richardson pleaded guilty to seven counts of ethics violations and the House formally reprimanded her and levied a $10,000 fine. As of March 2013, she still had not paid her fine.[8][9]

Out of cash

Richardson spent all of the taxpayer money allotted for her official congressional duties, according to an internal email obtained by Politico. As a result of these money troubles, some of her aides were afraid that they will be laid off following the November election.[10]

Richardson's chief of staff, Shirley Cooks, wrote the following in an email to staff, "Since we are over-budget, we don’t have money for mailings etc so we have to go the way of putting on public events that do not require the use of the MRA." The MRA, member’s representational allowance, is the account members of congress use for costs from providing services to constituents.[10]

Any spending that takes place over each member's allotted amount of money must be made up out of pocket.[10]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Yea3.png Richardson 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. She was 1 of 172 Democrats that voted in favor of the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257 - 167 vote on January 1, 2013.[11]



See also: California's 44th Congressional District elections, 2012

Richardson ran for re-election in the 2012 election for the U.S. House, representing California's 44th District as a Democrat. She was displaced from her current district, the 37th by redistricting. She and incumbent Democrat Janice Hahn advanced past the June 5, 2012, blanket primary. They faced off in the general election on November 6, 2012, and Hahn won.[1][12][13] Richardson was considered one the vulnerable incumbents.[14]

U.S. House, California District 44 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJanice Hahn Incumbent 60.2% 99,909
     Democratic Laura Richardson Incumbent 39.8% 65,989
Total Votes 165,898
Source: California Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"


On November 2, 2010, Richardson won re-election to the United States House. She defeated Star Parker (R) and Nicholas Dibs (Independent) in the general election.[15]

U.S. House, California District 37 General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngLaura Richardson Incumbent 68.4% 85,799
     Republican Star Parker 23.2% 29,159
     Independent Nicholas Dibs 8.4% 10,560
Total Votes 125,518

Campaign donors


Breakdown of the source of Richardson's campaign funds before the 2012 election.

Richardson did not win election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Richardson's campaign committee raised a total of $599,696 and spent $540,277.[16]


Breakdown of the source of Richardson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Richardson won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that election cycle, Richardson's campaign committee raised a total of $639,928 and spent $651,731.[17]

Her top five contributors between 2009-2010 were:


Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Richardson paid her congressional staff a total of $1,027,922 in 2011. She ranked 89th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic representative staff salaries and ranked 135th overall of the highest paid representative staff salaries in 2011. Overall, California ranked 5th in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[18]

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

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Richardson's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $-1,230,988 and $463,996. That averages to $-383,496, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic representatives in 2010 of $4,465,875.[19]

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. Richardson ranked 92nd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[20]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Richardson ranked 100th in the liberal rankings in 2011.[21]

Political positions

Voting with party

November 2011

Laura Richardson voted with the Democratic Party 89.2 percent of the time, which ranked 153 among the 192 House Democratic members as of 2011.[22]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Laura + Richardson + California + House

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

Laura Richardson News Feed

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN, "California Districts Race - 2012 Election Center," accessed December 1, 2012
  2. Roll Call, "Democrat Ends Bid, Leaves Hahn and Richardson to Fight in California," accessed March 10, 2011
  3. GovTrack, "Richardson" accessed May 22, 2012
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, "RICHARDSON, Laura, (1962 - )"
  5. Congresswoman Laura Richardson, Representing the 37th District of California, "Committees"
  6., "Rep. Richardson's attorney disputes allegations she ordered redistricting work," February 14, 2012
  7. Politico, "Former Laura Richardson aide: I'd rather be at war in Afghanistan," March 25, 2012
  8. 8.0 8.1 Washington Post, "Ethics panel says Rep. Laura Richardson broke federal law," August 1, 2012
  9. SCPR, "Former LA Congresswoman Laura Richardson still owes ethics fine," accessed January 11, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Politico, "Sources: Richardson out of cash," October 31, 2012
  11. U.S. House, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  12. California Secretary of State, "Official primary candidate list," accessed March 13, 2014
  13. California Secretary of State, "Unofficial election results," November 6, 2012 (dead link)
  14. New York Times"House Race Ratings" accessed October 3
  15. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  16. Open Secrets, "Laura Richardson 2012 Election Cycle," accessed March 19, 2013
  17. Open Secrets, "Laura Richardson 2010 Election Cycle," accessed November 12, 2011
  18. LegiStorm, "Laura Richardson"
  19. OpenSecrets, "Richardson, (D-Cali), 2010"
  20. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  21. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  22. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Juanita Millender-McDonald
U.S. House of Representatives - California, District 37
Succeeded by
Karen Bass
Preceded by
California State Assembly, District 55
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Long Beach City Council
Succeeded by