Spencer Bachus

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Spencer Bachus
Spencer Bachus.jpg
U.S. House, Alabama, District 6
Incumbent
In office
1993-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 21
PartyRepublican
PredecessorBen Erdreich (D)
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 3, 1992
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$10,666,002
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Alabama Board of Education
1986-1990
Alabama State House of Representatives
1984-1986
Alabama State Senate
1983
Education
Bachelor'sAuburn University, 1969
J.D.University of Alabama, 1972
Military service
Service/branchAlabama National Guard
Years of service1969-1971
Personal
BirthdayDecember 28, 1947
Place of birthBirmingham, AL
Net worth$745,506
ReligionBaptist
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Spencer Bachus (b. December 28, 1947 Birmingham, Alabama) is a Republican member of the U.S. House representing Alabama's 6th congressional district. Bachus was first elected to the House in 1992.

Bachus most recently won re-election in 2012. He defeated Scott Beason, Al Mickle and David Standridge in the March 13 Republican primary.[1] He then defeated Democrat Penny Bailey in the November 6 general election.[2][3]

The March 13 primary received a great deal of attention because of the Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability, which targeted incumbents in primaries across the country. The 6th district primary was called the top race to watch in Alabama. Despite the increased primary opposition, Bachus was able to win handily without the need for a runoff election, securing 58.5% of the vote.[4][5]

Bachus began his political career by serving in the Alabama State Senate from 1983 to 1984. He then served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1984 to 1987.

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Bachus is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

Career

Below is an abbreviated outline of Bachus's academic, professional and political career:[6]

  • 1969: Graduated from Auburn University with B.A.
  • 1972: Graduated from University of Alabama School of Law
  • 1969-1971: National Guard
  • 1983-1984: Alabama State Senate
  • 1984-1987: Alabama House of Representatives
  • 1987-1991: Alabama board of education
  • 1991-1992: Chairman, Alabama Republican executive committee
  • 1993-Present: U.S Representative from Alabama

Committee assignments

U.S. House

2013-2014

Bachus serves on the following committees:[7]

2011-2012

Issues

Insider trading investigation

On February 9, 2012, the same day that the U.S. House voted 417-2 to pass new ethics requirements on legislators and federal agency officials, The Washington Post reported that Bachus was under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) for possible violations of insider-trading laws.[8] It is the first time such a case has involved a member of Congress since the OCE was created in March 2009.[9] The ethics bill began after a "60 Minutes" profile of Peter Schweizer's book "Throw Them All Out," which addressed stock trading in Congress, including activity by Bachus.[10]

In the summer of 2008, while a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Bachus made several options bets on railroads. On two occasions he bet the stock of Burlington Northern Railroad would rise - in July he made a $16,588 profit on the bet, while in August he lost $2,900.[9] In September 2008, Bachus, the highest ranking Republican member of the Financial Services Committee, took part in a closed-door meeting with then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The next day, Bachus placed trades betting the nation's financial markets would broadly decline, which netted him $5,715. The same day he made $12,713 on a bet that General Electric stock would rise. The book, however, stated incorrectly that Bachus bet GE's stock would fall. Schweizer conceded his mistake, but Bachus wrote to the publisher that “The book is absolutely false and factually inaccurate when it states that I ‘shorted General Electric options’ and did so ‘four times in a single day.’ ” He went on to say that no insider information was passed during the meeting.[9]

Bachus acknowledged on February 10 that he was the target of an investigation, but said he believes the inquiry will clear his name. In a statement, Bachus said, “I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. I respect the congressional ethics process. I have fully abided by the rules governing Members of Congress and look forward to the full exoneration this process will provide.”[11]

Specific votes

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "No" Bachus voted against 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 151 Republicans that voted against the bill. The bill was passed in the House by a 257/167 vote on January 1, 2013.[12]

King Amendment

Nay3.png In June 2013 the House approved an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security spending bill that would end the department's discretion policies by cutting off funding for the proposed DREAM Act, which would have temporarily halted the deportations of young immigrants if they have served in the military or are attending college. This vote overturns an executive order signed by President Obama that formalized a process for the "Dreamers" to remain in the U.S.[13][14][15]

The amendment, offered by Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa, passed the House by a vote of 224-201 and was approved mostly along party lines. However, three Democrats supported the amendment and six Republicans opposed it, while nine members did not vote.[15]Bachus was one of the six Republican members who voted against the amendment.[14]

The amendment would effectively demand the government force out "Dreamers" who came to the U.S. as children.[15] It contrasts with comprehensive immigration reform efforts, including proposed DREAM Act style legislation, and would resume the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children.[16] The amendment was the first immigration-related vote in either chamber of Congress in 2013, and blocks many of the provisions that are mirrored in the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill.[17][15]

Elections

2012

See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Alabama, 2012

Spencer Bachus campaign ad from January 2012

Bachus won re-election to the 6th congressional district in 2012. He defeated Scott Beason, Al Mickle and David Standridge in the March 13 Republican primary. He then defeated Penny H. Bailey in the November 6 general election.[18] Bachus had not faced a general election challenge since 2002, and he won his 2010 primary with more than 75 percent of the vote. 2012's primary had been called his "toughest electoral test in years."[4]

There was also a Democratic candidate on the general election ballot in the district for the first time since 1998.[19]

U.S. House, Alabama District 6 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Penny H. Bailey 28.6% 88,267
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSpencer Bachus Incumbent 71.2% 219,262
     N/A Write-In 0.2% 573
Total Votes 308,102
Source: Alabama Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"
U.S. House, Alabama District 6 Republican Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSpencer Bachus Incumbent 58.5% 61,485
Scott Beason 27.4% 28,854
David Standridge 11.2% 11,728
Al Mickle 2.6% 2,781
Stan Pate 0.2% 190
Justin Barkley 0.1% 128
Total Votes 105,166

Targeted by Super PAC

The Campaign for Primary Accountability, a Houston-based super PAC, had their sights set on defeating Spencer Bachus (R) in the 2012 primary. Curtis Ellis, a spokesman for the CPA, said "Incumbents like Mr. Bachus...are longtime passengers on the inside-the-beltway gravy train."[20] They backed Bachus's challenger in the Republican primary, Scott Beason.

The CPA, which went after incumbents of both parties, stated on their website "Our goal is to bring true competition to our electoral process, to give voters real information about their choices, and to restore fair, not fixed, elections."[21] Bachus said he asked a friend from Houston to contact Leo Linbeck, the grandfather of Leo Linbeck III, one of the CPA's largest donors. He, however, has long been deceased.[22]

According to a Washington Post report, as of March 7 the CPA had spent $53,000 on TV ads and phone calls to Republican voters in Bachus's district.[23] A Politico report on March 9 said the CPA had spent $125,000 in the race.[24]

Following Bachus's win in the primary, he, along with some media outlets, tried to paint the victory as a clear defeat for the CPA, stating, "We overcame a lot of big money. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars distorting my record, but the voters of the 6th District didn't go for it."[25] According to a report in the LA Times, the group spent $322,000 in Alabama, targeting Bachus as well as congressman Jo Bonner in the 1st district. However, Bachus's campaign alone spent more than five times that sum, dumping $1.5 million into the primary.[26]

As of February 16, 2012, Bachus has been in office longer than 345 members of congress. Thirty-one have been in office the same number of years as Bachus, while 59 have been in office longer than him. In the Alabama delegation, he is the senior representative out of the seven members.

Endorsements

  • National Right to Life[27]
  • Business Council of Alabama[28]
  • National Association of REALTORS®.[29]
  • Birmingham News[30]
  • Former Governor Bob Riley[31]
  • U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions[32]
  • Central Alabama Fire Chief’s Association[33]

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Bachus is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Bachus raised a total of $10,666,002 during that time period. This information was last updated on March 21, 2013.[44]

Spencer Bachus's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $2,725,003
2010 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $1,415,672
2008 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $1,460,646
2006 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $1,638,815
2004 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $1,647,636
2002 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $1,105,801
2000 US House (Alabama, District 6) Won $672,429
Grand Total Raised $10,666,002

2012

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

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2012. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $2,725,004 and spent $2,904,500.[45]

2010

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

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2010. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $1,415,672 and spent $1,634,114. The percentage of contributions from PACs was 72 percent, while individual contributions made up 41 percent.[46]

His top 5 contributors between 2009-2010 were:

2008

Breakdown of the source of Bachus's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2008. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $1,460,646 and spent $1,414,799. The percentage of contributions from PACs was 61 percent, while individual contributions made up 36 percent.[47]

His top 5 contributors between 2007-2008 were:


2006

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

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2006. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $1,638,815 and spent $1,893,917. The percentage of contributions from PACs was 63 percent, while individual contributions made up 26 percent.[48]

His top 5 contributors between 2005-2006 were:


2004

Breakdown of the source of Bachus's campaign funds before the 2004 election.

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2004. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $1,647,636 and spent $1,376,103. The percentage of contributions from PACs was 53 percent, while individual contributions made up 39 percent.[49]

His top 5 contributors between 2003-2004 were:


2002

Breakdown of the source of Bachus's campaign funds before the 2002 election.

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2002. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $1,105,801 and spent $747,977. The percentage of contributions from PACs was 60 percent, while individual contributions made up 31 percent.[50]

His top 5 contributors between 2001-2002 were:


2000

Bachus won re-election to the U.S. House in 2000. During that election cycle, Bachus's campaign committee raised a total of $672,429 and spent $577,565. The percentage of contributions from PACs was 52 percent, while individual contributions made up 40 percent.[51]

His top 5 contributors between 1999-2000 were:


PACs

Breakdown of the source of Bachus's campaign funds over the course of his career, as of February 22, 2012.

As of February 22, 2012, Bachus had raised $11,762,872 in his career in Congress. Of those funds, 40 percent ($4,691,857) came from individuals and 56 percent ($6,567,163) from PACs.[52]

Spencer Bachus's campaign contributions - PACs vs. Individuals
Year Amount from PACs Amount from Individuals
2009-2010 $1,021,400 (72%) $582,778 (41%)
2007-2008 $895,867 (35%) $521,439 (36%)
2005-2006 $1,028,133 (63%) $425,331 (26%)
2003-2004 $867,989 (53%) $637,879 (39%)
2001-2002 $662,086 (60%) $348,000 (31%)
1999-2000 $351,503 (52%) $226,008 (40%)
Career $6,567,163 (56%) $4,691,857 (40%)

Analysis

Ideology and leadership

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

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Bachus is a "rank-and-file Republican" as of June 2013.[53]

Lifetime voting record

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

According to the website GovTrack, Bachus missed 504 of 13,520 roll call votes from January 1993 to March 2013. This amounts to 3.7%, which is worse than the median of 2.2% among current congressional representatives as of March 2013.[54]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Bachus paid his congressional staff a total of $998,407 in 2011. He ranked 194th on the list of the lowest paid Republican Representative Staff Salaries and he ranked 269th overall of the lowest paid Representative Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Alabama ranked 22nd in average salary for representative staff. The average U.S. House of Representatives congressional staff was paid $954,912.20 in fiscal year 2011.[55]

Staff bonuses

According to an analysis by CNN, Bachus was one of nearly 25 percent of House members who gave their staff bonuses in 2012. Bachus's staff was given an apparent $11,500.00 in bonus money.[56]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Bachus's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $379,014 and $1,111,999. That averages to $745,506, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Representatives in 2011 of $7,859,232. His average net worth decreased by 5.09% from 2010.[57]

2010

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org - The Center for Responsive Politics, Bachus' net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $452,010 and $1,118,999 . That averages to $785,504.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Republican Representatives in 2010 of $7,561,133.[58]

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. Bachus ranked 142nd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[59]

2011

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Bachus ranked 186th in the conservative rankings.[60]

Voting with party

2013

Spencer Bachus voted with the Republican Party 97.6% of the time, which ranked 84th among the 233 House Republican members as of June 2013.[61]

Personal

Bachus has a wife, Linda. He has three children and two stepchildren.

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term "Spencer + Bachus + Alabama + House"

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External links


References

  1. The Birmingham News, "U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus turns back three challengers in primary and wins without run-off," March 13, 2012
  2. Alabama Secretary of State "Certification of Democratic Primary Candidates," Accessed February 21, 2012
  3. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Montgomery Advertiser "Bachus re-election bid top US House race," March 5, 2012
  5. The Birmingham News "Texas-based Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability targets US Rep. Spencer Bachus, backs challenger Scott Beason," February 15, 2012
  6. Biographical Director of the United States Congress "Spencer T. Bachus, III," Accessed October 28, 2011
  7. CQ.com - Roll Call, "House Committee Rosters for the 113th Congress," accessed January 18, 2013
  8. New York Times, "House Passes Bill Banning Insider Trading by Members of Congress," February 9, 2012
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Washington Post, "Rep. Spencer Bachus faces insider-trading investigation," February 9, 2012
  10. New York Times, "Bachus Expects ‘Full Exoneration’ in Insider-Trading Inquiry," February 10, 2012
  11. ABC News, "Rep. Bachus Welcomes Ethics Probe to ‘Set Record Straight’," February 10, 2012
  12. U.S. House "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  13. LA Times, "GOP rejects Dream Act-like deportation deferrals," accessed June 10, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 U.S. House, "Final Vote Results," accessed June 10, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Huffington Post, "Steve King Amendment Passes House To Deport More Dreamers," accessed June 10, 2013
  16. Fox News, "House votes to resume deporting young DREAM Act immigrants," accessed June 10, 2013
  17. Huffington Post, "Steve King's Amendment To The Immigration Bill Worsens The GOP's Latino Problem," accessed June 10, 2013
  18. ABC News "2012 General Election Results"
  19. Birmingham News "Alabama Campaign 2012: Two Democrats on ballot in Bachus' GOP-leaning district," March 5, 2012
  20. The Birmingham News, "Texas-based Super PAC Campaign for Primary Accountability targets US Rep. Spencer Bachus, backs challenger Scott Beason," February 15, 2012
  21. Campaign for Primary Accountability "About," Accessed February 2, 2012
  22. New York Times, "‘Super PAC’ Increasing Congress’s Sense of Insecurity," March 8, 2012
  23. Washington Post, "One super PAC takes aim at incumbents of any party," March 7, 2012
  24. Politico, "Super PAC's next target: Spencer Bachus," March 9, 2012
  25. Chicago Tribune, "Powerful Alabama Congressman Bachus survives tough primary," March 14, 2012
  26. LA Times, "Alabama congressman wins primary despite 'super PAC' offensive," March 14, 2012
  27. ReElect Spencer Bachus, "National Right to Life Endorsement," February 10, 2012
  28. ReElect Spencer Bachus, "Business Council of Alabama Endorses Spencer Bachus,"
  29. ReElect Spencer Bachus, "Spencer Bachus announces REALTOR® support for U.S. House Re-election bid,"
  30. Birmingham News, "OUR VIEW: Spencer Bachus is the better choice for Republicans, and Penny Bailey is best for Democrats.," March 7, 2012
  31. Birmingham News, "Former Gov. Bob Riley backs U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus in Alabama primary," March 7, 2012
  32. Birmingham News, "Sen. Jeff Sessions endorses Rep. Spencer Bachus," March 6, 2012
  33. ReElect Spencer Bachus, "Central Alabama Fire Chief's Association Endorses Bachus," March 7, 2012
  34. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  35. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008," accessed March 28, 2013
  36. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  37. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2004," accessed March 28, 2013
  38. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  39. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  40. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1998," accessed March 28, 2013
  41. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  42. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 8, 1994," accessed March 28, 2013
  43. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 3, 1992," accessed March 28, 2013
  44. Open Secrets "Career Fundraising for Spencer Bachus," Accessed March 21, 2013
  45. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2012 Election Cycle," Accessed February 19, 2013
  46. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2010 Election Cycle," Accessed October 28 2011
  47. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed February 24, 2012
  48. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2006 Election Cycle," Accessed February 24, 2012
  49. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2004 Election Cycle," Accessed February 24, 2012
  50. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2002 Election Cycle," Accessed February 24, 2012
  51. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus 2000 Election Cycle," Accessed February 24, 2012
  52. Open Secrets "Spencer Bachus Career Cycle," Accessed March 9, 2012
  53. Gov Track "Spencer Bachus," Accessed June 7 2013
  54. GovTrack, "Spencer Bachus," Accessed April 2, 2013
  55. LegiStorm "Spencer Bachus"
  56. CNN Politics, "Congressional bonuses in a time of cuts," accessed March 8, 2013
  57. OpenSecrets.org, "Bachus, (R-Alabama), 2011"
  58. OpenSecrets.org, "Bachus, (R-Alabama), 2010"
  59. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 21, 2013
  60. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: House," February 23, 2012
  61. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Ben Erdreich
U.S. House - Alabama District 6
1993-Present
Succeeded by
-