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Gary Miller

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Gary Miller currently serves the 42nd Congressional district of California

Gary G. Miller, a Republican, has represented the 42nd District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1999. (map)

Record and controversies

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)

In 2007, Congress took up the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides health care for about 6 million children and 670,000 adults from families who earn too much money qualify for Medicare but not enough to afford health insurance. Congressional Democrats and many Republicans tried to use the opportunity to dramatically expand the program but were opposed by President George W. Bush and other Republicans. In 2006, 5.4 million children were eligible but not enrolled in SCHIP or Medicaid and 9.4 million total children were uninsured.

Rep. Gary Miller voted against the first House bill, which passed along party lines. It would have added $47 billion over five years to the $25 billion cost of the program and added about 5 million people to the program, including children, some legal immigrants, pregnant women and adults aged 18 and 19. The bill was financed mainly by an increase in cigarette taxes.[1]

House Democrats, with 45 Republicans, later compromised and passed a bill which expanded the plan by $35 billion and would have insured about 3.5 million more children from families generally making between 250% and 300% of the federal poverty line (about $51,000 to $62,000 for a family of four). Most non-pregnant, childless adults were excluded, as were most legal immigrants and all illegal immigrants. Miller voted against the bill.[2]

After President Bush vetoed the bill, Democratic leaders attempted to override the veto with the same bill but failed. Miller voted against the bill.[3]

House Democrats then attempted to override it with another bill, which gave into Republican demands for increased checks for citizenship, the quick phasing-out of adult coverage, a hard limit of 300% of the federal poverty level and funding for families that covered their children through private insurance instead. Republicans, angry that the vote was scheduled during massive fires in California, blocked the veto override. Miller abstained from voting[4]. For details on the bills and the debate, see the main State Children's Health Insurance Program page.


Iraq War

Miller voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Earmarks

On June 22, 2006, the Washington Post reported that Miller helped secure $1.28 million in a 2005 highway bill for street improvements near a planned residential and commercial development in Diamond Bar, Calif. Miller co-owns the development with a top campaign contributor. Kevin McKee, a spokesman for Miller, argued that the road improvement was a mile away from the development. In addition, he stated, the development had designated by Diamond Bar officials as their top priority. [5]

Real estate deal

On July 13, 2006, The Hill reported that Miller took out nearly $7.5 million in promissory notes in 2004 from his top campaign contributor and business partner, Lewis Operating Corp., for the purpose of purchasing real estate from the company.

Miller proceeded to sell some of the land to the Southern California city of Fontana and some back to the contributor, according to property records, information in financial disclosure documents and responses from his spokesman. In 2005, Miller made between $1.1 million-$6 million in real-estate deals that involved Lewis Operating in some part of the transaction, according to his financial disclosure report.

The majority of the land parcels that Miller sold to Fontana are adjacent to the 210 freeway, located roughly two miles from the city of Rialto’s municipal airport. As a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Miller pushed for a provision in the 2005 Transportation Bill that allowed the city to close the airport, the first time an act of Congress has ever shut down an airport, a power the Federal Aviation Administration traditionally has sole authority to exercise.

The closing of the airport allowed Lewis Operating, whose employees have contributed at least $19,300 to Miller’s campaign committee since his election in 1998, to win a contract from the city of Rialto to develop the airport land and build a planned community consisting of 2,500 homes, parks and 80 acres of retail space on the former airport and adjacent land.

House rules state that loans to members from sources other than financial institutions must be approved by the House Ethics Committee. Miller, however, called the initial $7.5 million loan "a normal transaction that happens in real estate" because of the difficulty in obtaining bank financing for land that does not have building entitlements. Therefore, he believes it should fall outside the provisions of House rules. [6]

Shaun Martin, a law professor at the University of San Diego specializing in professional ethics, said Miller’s business arrangement with Lewis "screams out" as an abuse of power. [7]

Federal investigation into land sales

Shelters profits from land sales

In January 2007, several officials from the California cities of Monrovia and Fontana publicly said they had been interviewed by FBI agents regarding land deals between the cities and Miller. In 2002, Miller had sold 165 acres of land to Monravia for over $10 million. In 2005 and 2006, he sold land and buildings to Fontana. In each case, Miller claimed that the respective cities had imposed eminent domain, meaning they were able to force the sale of his land because it was in the public interest. This, he claimed, gave him the right to shelter the profits he earned from state and federal capital gains taxes through at least 2009. The taxes would have combined to take up to 31% of Miller’s profits. [8] [9]

Both Monrovia and Fontana, however, denied ever invoking eminent domain, insisting that Miller sold his land willingly. In addition, several reports indicated that Miller and his office were actively involved in trying to make the Monrovia land sale possible. Miller appeared at a Monrovia City Council meeting in 2000 to lobby the city to buy his land and convert it into a wilderness preserve. Earlier that day, Miller reportedly asked a staff member to look into placing a member of the City Council on the National Park System Advisory Board, though the member had no experience in the area. The attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, though Miller continued to push for it even after staffers warned that it may appear to be an attempt to bribe the councilman. [10]

Later that year, Miller allegedly helped Monrovia (which is not in his congressional district) in its attempt to secure money for the preserve by trying to secure a federal earmark. The earmark was allegedly brought to the attention of Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.), who informed the city he was unable to pursue the manner because some of the the money would go to Miller. Miller denied knowing anything about efforts to secure federal funding, but then-Monrovia City Council member Lara Larramendi Blakely stated that Miller often asked about the progress of the wilderness preserve when she traveled to Washington to lobby on behalf of the city. [11] In 2002, Miller also attended a meeting in Washington between Monrovia officials and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in which funding was allegedly discussed. Ultimately, no federal funds were directed to Monrovia for the wilderness preserve. [12] [13]

Possible Ethics Committee violation

In addition to raising questions about his eminent domain claim, Miller’s efforts to foster the sale of his land to Monrovia raised allegations that he violated House rules. The ethics manual warns members to avoid conflicts of interest, such as when “a situation in which an official’s conduct of his office conflicts with his private economic affairs.” Proclaiming he violated no rules, Miller asked the House Ethics Committee to review his business transactions late in 2006 after initial allegations regarding misconduct were reported. [14]

Named ranking member of Oversight and Investigative subcommittee

On January 9, 2007, despite the ongoing investigation, Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) named Miller as the ranking member of the Oversight and Investigative Subcommittee of the House Committee on Financial Services. DCCC spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield responded by stating “House Republicans seem to mistakenly believe that being investigated by the FBI qualifies you for an influential position on the oversight and investigative subcommittee...This kind of lack of leadership and accountability from the GOP is exactly why Americans voted for a change of direction in Congress.” [15]

Proclaims innocence to House Republicans

On February 6, in a closed-door conference on how House Republicans could regain control of the House majority in 2008, Miller pleaded his innocence to his colleagues. Miller affirmed his previous comments that the press and Democrats had launched a smear campaign against him, singling out The Hill and the Los Angeles Times as perpetrators, as well as the former Democratic mayor of Monrovia, Lara Larramendi Blakely. [16]

Before Miller spoke, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) remarked that defining an ethics strategy would be “critical to winning back the majority and that members need to hold each other accountable,” sources said. [17] [18]

Connection to conflict-of-interest fine

On February 6, 2007, it was reported that Miller’s Monrovia land deal was not the first transaction to be scrutinized by government agencies. In 1990, while Miller was a member of the Diamond Bar City Council and running for state Senate, he paid $8,000 to Covina City Councilman Christopher Lancaster just before Lancaster voted to support Miller's resolution. In 1992, the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), a state government entity that regulates political activity and investigates conflict-of-interest allegations, subsequently charged Lancaster a $1,750 fine for accepting the $8,000 from Miller. [19]

According to the Fair Political Practices Commission summary, Miller’s campaign committee paid Lancaster the money for “his work as a political campaign consultant.” On Sept. 17, 1990, Lancaster subsequently voted in favor of Miller’s resolution, which created a "formula for the exchange and division of property tax revenue between Los Angeles County and the City of Covina." [20]

Rule change

Following what he called "unfounded allegations in the press that I have used my office to benefit certain individuals or private business," Miller in May 2007 adopted a new rule in his office for cities or counties coming to him seeking federal aid. The rule declared that "From this point forward...any city or county submitting an appropriations request to my office will be required to certify in writing that the request is for the benefit of the community and not the specific benefit of any individual, organization or business entity." [2]

Biography

Miller was born October 16, 1948 in Huntsville, Arkansas. He was educated at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, California, served in the United States Army, and was a business owner, a member of the Diamond Bar, California City Council, and a member of the California State Assembly before entering the House.

2006 elections

No major candidates announced their intentions to contest Miller’s seat in the November 2006 election. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [21] Miller retained his seat.

Committees and Affiliations

Committees

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Gary Miller. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Contact

DC Office:
1037 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3201
Fax: 202-226-6962
Email: gary.miller AT mail.house.gov
Website

District Office - Brea:
1800 East Lambert Road, Suite 150
Brea, CA 92821
Phone: 714-257-1142
Fax: 714-257-9242

District Office - Mission Viejo:
200 Civic Center Drive
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Phone: 949-470-8484

Articles and resources

Resources

Articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Committees,
Ranking Member On:

Caucuses:
Committees:
110th Congress
Leadership Position:
None
Committees Chaired:
Committees,
Ranking Member On:

Caucuses:
Committees: House Committee on Financial Services, House Committee on Financial Services/Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, House Committee on Financial Services/Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Railroads Pipelines and Hazardous Materials, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure/Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 3, 1998
First Took Current Office:
January 6, 1999
Next Election:
November 4, 2008
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
No
Previous Political Work?
California Assembly, Diamond Bar City Council,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 1800 East Lambert Road, Suite 150, Brea, CA 92821
Phone: 714-257-1142 / Fax: 714-257-9242
2. 200 Civic Center Drive, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Phone: 949-470-8484 / Fax:




Campaign Contact:

Website:
Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

1.
Phone: / Fax:



Zip Code Affiliations:
Misc:

Date of Birth: October 16, 1948








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