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Laura Richardson

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Laura Richardson
Laura Richardson.jpg
U.S. House, California, District 37
Former member
In office
2007-2013
PartyDemocratic
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedSeptember 4, 2007
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
California State Assembly, District 55
2006-2007
Long Beach City Council
2000-2006
Education
Bachelor'sUniversity of California, Los Angeles
Master'sUniversity of Southern California
Personal
Place of birthLos Angeles, California
ProfessionBusinesswoman
ReligionMethodist
Websites
Campaign website
BallotpediaAvatar bigger (transparent background).png
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 current district, the 37th by redistricting.[2]

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

Biography

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

Career

Outside of public life, Richardson worked as a businesswoman.

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2011-2012

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

Issues

Staff use controversy

Richardson has faced allegations of misusing her congressional staffers starting in early 2012. She has been 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 reads 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]

The House will now vote on adopting the findings, including a formal reprimand and a $10,000 fine.[8]

Out of cash

Richardson has 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 are afraid that they will be laid off following the November election.[9]

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.[9]

Any spending that takes place over each member's allotted amount of money must be made up out of pocket.[9]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" 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.[10]

Elections

2012

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][11][12] Richardson was considered one the vulnerable incumbents.[13]

U.S. House, California District 44 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJanice Hahn 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"

2010

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.[14]

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

2012

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.[15]

2010

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.[16]

His top 5 contributors between 2009-2010 were:

U.S. House, California District 37, 2010 - Laura Richardson Campaign Contributions
Total Raised $639,928
Total Spent $651,731
Total Raised by General Election Opponent $1,851,459
Total Spent by General Election Opponent $1,826,846
Top contributors to Laura Richardson's campaign committee
Carpenters & Joiners Union$10,000
Honeywell International$10,000
Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers$10,000
Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union$10,000
National Air Traffic Controllers Assn$10,000
Top 5 industries that contributed to campaign committee
Transportation Unions$63,500
Building Trade Unions$47,500
Air Transport$46,500
Public Sector Unions$43,500
Industrial Unions$26,500

Analysis

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.[17]

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, 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.[18]

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

2012

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.[19]

2011

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.[20]

Political positions

Voting with party

November 2011

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Laura Richardson has voted with the Democratic Party 89.2% of the time, which ranked 153 among the 192 House Democratic members as of 2011.[21]

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.

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External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 CNN "California Districts Race - 2012 Election Center"
  2. Roll Call "Democrat Ends Bid, Leaves Hahn and Richardson to Fight in California," Accessed March 10, 2011
  3. Gov Track "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. DailyBreeze.com, "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. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Politico, "Sources: Richardson out of cash," October 31, 2012
  10. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  11. California Secretary of State, Official candidate list
  12. Unofficial election results
  13. New York Times"House Race Ratings" Accessed October 3
  14. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010"
  15. Open Secrets "Laura Richardson 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed March 19, 2013
  16. Open Secrets "Laura Richardson 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed November 12, 2011
  17. LegiStorm "Laura Richardson"
  18. OpenSecrets.org, "Richardson, (D-Cali), 2010"
  19. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  20. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  21. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Juanita Millender-McDonald
U.S. House of Representatives - California, District 37
2007-2013
Succeeded by
Karen Bass
Preceded by
'
California State Assembly, District 55
2006-2007
Succeeded by
'
Preceded by
'
Long Beach City Council
2000-2006
Succeeded by
'