Ben Cardin

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Ben Cardin
Ben Cardin.jpg
U.S. Senate, Maryland
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 2007-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 7
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorPaul Sarbanes (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
Cost per vote$4.27 in 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2006
Next generalNovember 2018
Campaign $$18,157,133
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives
1987-2007
Education
Associate'sBaltimore City College
Bachelor'sUniversity of Pittsburgh
J.D.University of Maryland, Baltimore
Personal
BirthdayOctober 5, 1943
Place of birthBaltimore, Maryland
ProfessionAttorney
Net worth$5,276,037.50
ReligionJewish
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Ben Cardin campaign logo
Benjamin Louis "Ben" Cardin (b. October 5, 1943, in Baltimore, Maryland) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Maryland. Cardin was first elected to the Senate in 2006.[1]

Cardin ran for re-election in 2012. Eighteen other candidates ran in the primary election on April 3, 2012.[2] Cardin defeated Raymond Blagmon, C. Anthony Muse, J.P. Cusick, Christopher Garner, Ralph Jaffe, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus and Lih Young in the Democratic primary.[3]

Cardin won re-election on November 6, 2012.[4]

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

Biography

Cardin was born in 1943 in Baltimore, Maryland, where he also attended high school. After graduating from Baltimore City College in 1961, he went on to earn his B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh in 1964 and his J.D. at the University of Maryland in 1967. Cardin has also worked as a lawyer.[1]

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Cardin's political career:[1]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Cardin serves on the following Senate committees:[5][6]

2011-2012

Cardin served on the following Senate committees:[7]

Issues

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1 percent) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14 percent of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[8] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8 percent). For more information pertaining to Cardin's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[9]

National security

American response in Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Cardin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told John Kerry and Gen. Martin Dempsey that he supports the president’s objectives in Syria, but believes the military response should be limited.[10] Cardin also asked Kerry about other countries that would join the United States in this military action.

"We understand that America would be in the lead, but it does not seem like we have a growing list of countries that are joining us in the military operation," Cardin said during a hearing on September 3, 2013.[10]

Committee vote on Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Yea3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria. It was approved by a 10-7 vote.[11][12]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[11]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that made up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[13] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Cardin was one of the seven Democrats who approved the authorization.[14]

Russian proposal

Cardin said September 9, 2013, that the Russian proposal to put Syria’s chemical weapons under international control would be the “best possible outcome” of the debate over the use of the weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad.[15]

When asked by MSNBC host Ed Schultz if he was skeptical of the Russian offer Cardin answered, “Absolutely, but I would like to pursue it because I think if we can achieve international control of the chemical weapons, that’s the best possible outcome right now of the weapons that are in, the chemical weapons that are in Syria.”[15]

“I think we should always be prepared and understand the vulnerability of an open society and we always have to be on our toes...But I think President Assad has lost his legitimacy in the way he has governed in Syria. And that’s not just a United States senator saying that. The international community is saying it, the leaders in that region are saying it. So it’s time for change in Syria. Right now, our objective is to deal with the use of chemical weapons,” Cardin said.[15]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Cardin voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[16]

Economy

Farm bill

Yea3.png On February 4, 2014, the Democratic controlled Senate approved the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013, H.R. 2642, also known as the Farm Bill.[17] It passed the Senate with a vote of 68-32. The nearly 1,000-page bill reformed and continued various 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 will kick in if or when prices drop; however, cuts to the food stamp program cut an average of $90 per month for 1.7 million people in 15 states.[18] Cardin joined with 46 other Democratic senators in favor of the bill.

2014 Budget

Yea3.png On January 16, 2014, the Democratic-controlled Senate approved H.R. 3547, a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2014.[19][20] The Senate voted 72-26 for the 1,582 page bill, with 17 Republicans and 55 Democrats voting in favor of the bill.[20] The omnibus package included 12 annual spending bills to fund federal operations.[21] 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 left the Affordable Care Act without any drastic cuts. Cardin voted with the Democratic Party in favor of the bill.[19][20]

Minimum wage

In February 2014, Cardin led a roundtable discussion on minimum wage that included two dozen public officials, local business owners and community leaders at the Charles County Board of Education.[22]

Cardin partly blamed the shrinking middle class and the growing wealth disparity between rich and poor Americans on a stagnant minimum wage that has been outpaced by inflation.[22]

“You can’t have a healthy economy without a growing middle class...If you make the minimum wage and you work 40 hours a week, there’s not a state in this country where you can afford quality housing. If you believe in a minimum wage, then it needs to be adjusted to be real, and this is not an adequate minimum wage,” Cardin said.[22]

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, 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 final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Cardin voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[24]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Cardin voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[16]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Voted "Yes" Cardin voted for the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[16] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Cardin was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[16]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

Immigration

Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Cardin voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[16]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Cardin voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[16]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Cardin 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. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[25]

Senate Judiciary Committee

Cardin is a former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after he was first sworn into the Senate in 2007.[26] When Cardin was in the US House, he served in the House Judiciary Committee. While on the committee, Cardin served as one of the managers for the impeachment proceedings of former federal judge Walter Nixon in 1989.[27]

Ricci v. DeStefano witness panel

Cardin presided on the witness panel during Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009 over the Ricci v. DeStefano case. New Haven, Connecticut, firefighters Frank Ricci and Lieutenant Ben Vargas who were a couple of the plaintiffs in the case were invited to testify as witnesses for the Republicans on the committee.[28]

When the case was discussed during the discussion panel, both Vargas and Ricci testified with Wade Henderson from The Leadership Council on Civil Rights and Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel who were witnesses for the Democratic members on the committee.[28]

During the witness panel, Attorney General McDaniel defended the ruling the Second Circuit issued in Ricci v. DeStefano. Judge Sotomayor was one of three judges who heard oral arguments in the case. McDaniel defended the three sentence summary order the Second Circuit issued claiming that the appeals court was consistent in its ruling citing 28 years of previous rulings in similar cases involving discrimination on civil service examinations. Also, McDaniel said that the ruling was in line with the doctrine of stare decisis.[29] McDaniel was one of five state Attorneys general to file an Amicus brief in support of the Second Circuit ruling when the U.S. Supreme Court granted certorati.[29]

However, both Lt. Vargas and Ricci countered with McDaniel's testimony and said that the case took a personal and emotional toll on themselves and their families. Ricci who suffers from dyslexia gave up a second job to study thirteen hours a day on a promotion test in the New Haven Fire Department. Ricci said to the committee that he was an "absentee father" sacrificing time from his kids and wife to secure the promotion.[30]

Lt. Vargas is Puerto Rican and said that the case focused too much on race and too little on who was qualified to be promoted to the New Haven Fire Department. Vargas said to Senator Cardin after the Second Circuit issued its ruling "that I was penalized for my hard work" as his reaction to the ruling.[30]

Elections

2012

See also: United States Senate elections in Maryland, 2012

Cardin ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. Senate, representing Maryland.[31] Cardin defeated Dan Bongino in the general election. Cardin defeated Raymond Blagmon, C. Anthony Muse, J.P. Cusick, Christopher Garner, Ralph Jaffe, Blaine Taylor, Ed Tinus and Lih Young in the Democratic primary.[3]

General election

U.S. Senate, Maryland General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBen Cardin Incumbent 56% 1,474,028
     Republican Dan Bongino 26.3% 693,291
     Libertarian Dean Ahmad 1.2% 32,252
     Independent Rob Sobhani 16.4% 430,934
     Democratic Lih Young (Write-in) 0% 163
     Republican Mary Podlesak (Write-in) 0% 21
     Independent Brandy Baker 0% 151
     Independent Ed Tinus 0% 48
     N/A Other Write-ins 0.1% 2,346
Total Votes 2,633,234
Source: Maryland State Board of Elections "U.S. Senator"

Primary Election

U.S. Senate, Maryland Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBen Cardin Incumbent 74.2% 240,704
Raymond Blagmon 1.8% 5,909
C. Anthony Muse 15.7% 50,807
J.P. Cusick 1.5% 4,778
Christopher Garner 2.9% 9,274
Ralph Jaffe 1% 3,313
Blaine Taylor 1.3% 4,376
Ed Tinus 0.3% 1,064
Lih Young 1.2% 3,993
Total Votes 324,218

Full history


2006

On November 7, 2006, Cardin won election to the United States Senate. He defeated Michael S. Steele (R), Kevin Zeese (G) and Lih Young (D, Write-In) in the general election.[33]

U.S. Senate General Election, Maryland, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBen Cardin 54.2% 965,477
     Republican Michael S. Steele 44.2% 787,182
     Green Kevin Zeese 1.5% 27,564
     Democratic, Write-In Lih Young 0% 120
     Independent Write-In 0% 796
Total Votes 1,781,139

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Ben Cardin is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Ben Cardin raised a total of $18,157,133 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 24, 2013.[34]

Ben Cardin's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. Senate (Maryland) Won $6,908,143
2006 U.S. Senate (Maryland) Won $8,739,737
2004 U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland District 3) Won $941,126
2002 U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland District 3) Won $827,419
2000 U.S. House of Representatives (Maryland District 3) $740,708
Grand Total Raised $18,157,133

2012

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

Cardin won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Cardin's campaign committee raised a total of $6,908,143 and spent $6,281,916.[35]

Cost per vote

Cardin spent $4.27 per vote received in 2012.

2006

Breakdown of the source of Cardin's campaign funds before the 2006 election.

Cardin won election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. During that election cycle, Cardin's campaign committee raised a total of $8,739,737 and spent $8,799,604.[36]


Endorsements

2012

Cardin was endorsed by the organization Progressive Maryland in the race for U.S. Senate.[37] Cardin was also endorsed by President Obama, County Executive Rushern Baker and Governor Martin O'Malley.[38]

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Cardin is a "moderate Democratic leader" August 13, 2013.[39]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Cardin missed 6 of 1,935 roll call votes from January 2007 to April 2013, which is 0.3% of votes during that period. This is better than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.[40]

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.[41]

Cardin most often votes with:

Cardin least often votes with:

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Cardin paid his congressional staff a total of $2,838,620 in 2011. He ranked 15th on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranked 19th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Maryland ranked 33rd in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[42]

Net worth

See also: Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Cardin's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $3,164,075 and $7,388,000. That averages to $5,276,037.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Cardin ranked as the 28th most wealthy senator in 2012.[43]

Ben Cardin Yearly Net Worth
YearAverage Net Worth
2004$3,078,108
2012$5,276,037
Growth from 2004 to 2012:71%
Average annual growth:9%[44]
Comparatively, the American citizen experienced a median yearly decline in net worth of -0.94%.[45]
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.

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, as compared to other members, in the previous year. More information about the analysis process can be found on the vote ratings page.

2012

Cardin ranked 10th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[46]

2011

Cardin ranked 10th in the liberal rankings in 2011.[47]

Voting with party

March 2012

Cardin voted with the Democratic Party 96% of the time, which ranked 5 among the 51 Senate Democratic members as of March 2012.[48]

Personal

Cardin has been married to his wife Myrna (nee Edelman) since 1964. They have a daughter and two grandchildren.[49]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Ben + Cardin + Maryland + Senate

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

Ben Cardin News Feed

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See also

External links

Track-at-political-tracker-com.png


References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Congress Biographical Guide, "Ben Cardin," accessed August 21, 2013
  2. City Biz List, "Eighteen Challengers Vie for Cardin's Senate Seat," accessed February 18, 2012
  3. 3.0 3.1 Maryland State Board of Elections, "Primary Election Results 2012," accessed April 3, 2012
  4. Politico, "2012 Election Map, Maryland" accessed 2012
  5. Congressional Quarterly, "Senate Committee List," accessed January 22, 2013
  6. United States Senate, "Committee Assignments," accessed March 29, 2014
  7. U.S. Senate Official Website, "Committee Assignments," accessed October 29, 2011
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  9. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 WBAL.com, "President Gathers Congressional Support For Syria Action; Cardin Raises Questions On Support," accessed September 4, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  12. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  14. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Politico, "Ben Cardin: Plan ‘best possible outcome’," accessed September 10, 2013
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 Project Vote Smart, "Ben Cardin Key Votes," accessed October 17, 2013
  17. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2642 (Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013)," accessed February 12, 2014
  18. NY Times, "Senate Passes Long-Stalled Farm Bill, With Clear Winners and Losers," accessed February 12, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 Politico, "Senate approves $1.1 trillion spending bill," accessed January 20, 2014
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 U.S. Senate, "January 16 Vote," accessed January 20, 2014
  21. Roll Call, "House Passes $1.1 Trillion Omnibus," accessed January 20, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 So Md News, "Cardin hosts roundtable on minimum wage," accessed February 27, 2014
  23. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  24. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. U.S. Senate, "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff," accessed January 4, 2013
  26. United States Senate, "Senate Judiciary Committee," accessed 2012
  27. Congressional BioGuide, "Cumulative biography of Senator Cardin," accessed 2012
  28. 28.0 28.1 Senate Judiciary Committee, "Sotomayor Hearing Witness Panel List" accessed July 15, 2009
  29. 29.0 29.1 LA Times, "Day 4 Sotomayor Hearing Transcripts," accessed July 16, 2009
  30. 30.0 30.1 LA Times, "Sotomayor Hearings, Day 4-Part 5," accessed July 16, 2009
  31. ABC 2 News, "Senator Ben Cardin will announce his re-election campaign this weekend," accessed January 5, 2012
  32. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  33. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed October 29, 2011
  34. Open Secrets, "Donor history for Ben Cardin," accessed April 2013
  35. Open Secrets, "Ben Cardin 2012 Election Cycle," accessed February 2013
  36. Open Secrets, "Ben Cardin 2006 Election Cycle," accessed October 29 2011
  37. Hometown Annapolis, "Political Notes: Maryland gets C+ on transparency," accessed March 26, 2012
  38. Washington Post, "Muse faces uphill battle in primary against Cardin," accessed March 29, 2012
  39. GovTrack, "Ben Cardin," accessed August 13, 2013
  40. GovTrack, "Ben Cardin," accessed April 2013
  41. OpenCongress, "Ben Cardin," accessed August 8, 2013
  42. LegiStorm, "Ben Cardin" accessed 2012
  43. OpenSecrets, "Cardin, (D-MD), 2012," accessed February 18, 2014
  44. This figure represents the total percentage growth divided by the number of years for which there are net worth figures for each member.
  45. 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.
  46. National Journal, "TABLE: House Liberal Scores by Issue Area," accessed February 26, 2013
  47. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," accessed February 23, 2012
  48. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
  49. Official Site, "About Ben," accessed October 29 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Sarbanes
U.S. Senate - Maryland
2007-Present
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
'
U.S. House - Maryland
1987-2007
Succeeded by
-