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Gene Taylor

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Gene Taylor previously served the 4th Congressional district of Mississippi

Gary Eugene "Gene" Taylor, a Democrat, is a former U.S. Representative for the 4th Congressional district of Mississippi, having served 1989 to 2011.[1] The district included Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, and Hattiesburg.

Record and controversies

Iraq War

Taylor voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. [Iraq War House record] However, since then, he has been aggressively questioning and pushing General Petraeus and the chairman of foreign affairs for a timeline, and specific target dates to help both the Iraqi government and U.S. government to move forward and beyond the war. [1] In addition, he voted for the Funding for Military Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan bill in May 2008, that would have required the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State to send a report to Congress detailing performance standards and goals with a timetable for the achievement of security, economic, and security force training objectives in Iraq, starting with an initial report to be submitted by December 5, 2008 and updating the report every 90 days thereafter through the end of fiscal year 2009 (Sec. 9204). It also would have required the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the individual transition readiness assessments of security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, starting with an initial report 30 days after enactment of this bill and updating the report every 90 days after the initial submission until October 1, 2009 (Sec. 9205). [2]

Environmental record

Like most Democrats, Taylor wants to require the federal government to reimburse citizens when environmental regulations limit use of privately owned lands, strengthen the Clean Water Act, increase fees charged to ranchers who graze cattle on federal lands, strengthen emission controls on all gasoline or diesel powered engines, including cars and trucks, among other measures that would help promote a cleaner environment. However, he does not want to increase federal taxes on gasoline and diesel fuels to promote conservation and alternative fuel development or promote the selling of pollution credits to encourage industries to decrease amount of pollution. [3] He has voted for the Deep Ocean Energy Resources Act of 2006 that would ban offshore drilling within 50 miles of states, unless states petition the Interior Department to open it (Sec. 8(1)(A) and Sec. 8(3)(A)). But would allow offshore drilling between 50 and 100 miles, unless states petition the Interior Department to extend the moratorium (Sec. 8(1)(B)), and also allow offshore drilling beyond 100 miles at the discretion of the Interior Department. [4] Taylor has followed closely to the interests of the American Wind Energy Association (100 percent of the time in 2006), which "promotes wind energy as a clean source of electricity for consumers around the world."[5] He has also received very high ratings from other conservation interest groups such as Environment America, Defenders of Wild Life Action Fund, and League of Conservation Voters (all three above 70 percent). And interests groups such as American Land Rights Association, who "are dedicated to the wise-use of our resources, access to our Federal lands and the protection of our private property rights," gave Taylor a score of 33. [6]

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

Abortion

Taylor holds a much more conservative view on abortion than most Democrats, and believes that abortion should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape or when the life of the woman is endangered, or another not specified principle. He has voted for bills in the past that protect the fetus such as the Prohibit Partial Birth Abortion bill, that prohibits any individual from knowingly performing the procedure known as intact dilation and extraction, and penalizes that individual with fines and up to two years in prison. This bill only allows the operation if the life of the mother were in danger. [7] Furthermore, Taylor has opposed bills in the past that promote or aid abortion, such as the Abortion Fund Bill that would adopt an amendment that would strike language from the bill that prohibits using any of the funds it distributes to pay for abortions or the administrative expenses connected to any federal health plan that provides benefits or coverage for abortions. [8] The National Right to Life Committee has repeatedly given Taylor a rating of higher than 90 percent since 1996. However, pro-choice groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America have never given Taylor a rating higher than 0 ( the numbers indicate the percent of time Taylor adhered to the interests of the interest group).

Comments on Tom Price

On March 21st 2007, Rep. Taylor criticized Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) by name on the house floor stating, "Mr. Price, I wish you would have the decency, if you are going to do that to the people of South Mississippi, that maybe you ought to come visit South Mississippi and see what has happened.” Taylor said." Because it is against House rules to criticize another member by name, the comments were ruled "not in order". [9]

Bio

Background

Taylor was born September 17, 1953 in New Orleans and is a graduate of Tulane University. He earned additional post-graduate work at University of Southern Mississippi, Gulf Park Campus. From 1971 through 1984, he was a member of the United States Coast Guard, commanding a search and rescue boat and earning several commendations. Taylor is a devout Roman Catholic, one of the few who has been elected in the predominantly Southern Baptist state of Mississippi.

Congressional career

Shortly after leaving the Coast Guard, Taylor was elected to the Mississippi State Senate. After only one term, he ran as the Democratic candidate to succeed Trent Lott in Mississippi's 5th District when Lott made an ultimately successful run for the Senate He lost to Harrison County sheriff Larkin I. Smith by almost 10 points. However, Smith died in a plane crash eight months later. Taylor came in first in an all-party primary to fill the vacancy and handily won the runoff two weeks later, taking office on October 18, 1989. He won a full term in 1990 with 81% of the vote and has had little trouble being reelected despite representing a district that has not supported the official Democratic presidential candidate since 1956. His district was renumbered the 4th after the 2000 census, when Mississippi's sluggish population growth cost it a congressional seat.

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Randy McDonnell to face Taylor in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [10] Taylor retained his seat.

2010 elections

In 2010, Taylor lost his House seat to Republican Steve Palazzo.[1]

Positions and views

Taylor was one of the most conservative Democrats in the House. He voted for all four articles of impeachment against Bill Clinton, making him the only Democrat to do so, and has frequently skipped Democratic conventions. He is pro-life and a firm supporter of the right to bear arms. He strongly supports the death penalty and is more conservative on issues of immigration, crime, and drugs than many Republicans. Taylor also opposes affirmative action and was one of the few Democrats to vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1991. He is also a cosponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment. He has voted in favor of lawsuit reform and tightening rules on personal bankruptcy. He also supported amending the U.S. Constitution to require a balanced budget and another amendment requiring a two-thirds majority to raise taxes.

However, he has been a severe critic of the Bush Administration's fiscal policy. Taylor voted against the tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003, claiming that the cuts contained in those bills would only increase the national debt. He derided the prescription drug plan passed in 2003 as a give away to companies that donate to the Republican Party. He opposes free trade and was strongly opposed to the Bush Administration's proposals for reforming Social Security. He has also denounced Vice President Dick Cheney's ties to Halliburton.

In the 2004 primary elections, Taylor endorsed fellow Southern Democrat, General Wesley Clark.

Hurricane Katrina

Taylor has been a particularly harsh critic of the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Much of his district took a direct hit from the storm, which destroyed his home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi as well as Lott's home in Pascagoula. When Republican leaders appointed a select committee to investigate the federal, state and local response to Katrina, most Democrats boycotted it because they felt it would be a whitewash. However, Taylor was one of three Democrats invited to attend the hearings because their districts were particularly hard-hit by the storm. When former FEMA director Michael Brown appeared before the committee, Taylor reacted angrily to Brown's attempts to put primary responsibility for the failed response at the local level.

Quotes

  • Here in Mississippi, there's a great provision of the constitution that says you can't get any financial benefit from any law that passes a body of which you are a member. There's an outfit out there called Halliburton with billions of dollars in noncompetitive contracts that passed through the United States Senate. The vice president of the United States is the president of the United States Senate. He could not do that in Mississippi. He's still drawing money from that firm. That's government by auction. We don't allow that in Mississippi. It shouldn't be allowed in Washington.--referring to Dick Cheney's ties to Haliburton.
  • To Michael Brown on Hurricane Katrina:
(Y)ou can try to throw as much as you can on the backs of Louisianians, but I'm a witness as to what happened in Mississippi. You folks fell on your face. You get an F-minus in my book.
Maybe the president made a very good move when he asked you to leave your job.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00003350&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Gene Taylor
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals


Committees and affiliations

Committees

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

Coalitions and caucuses

  • Coast Guard Caucus
  • Co-Chair, Congressional Boating Caucus
  • Co-Chair, Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus
  • Conservative Democrat Forum
  • Democratic Leadership Conference
  • House Boating Caucus
  • Member, House Impact Aid Coalition
  • House Co-Chair, National Security Caucus
  • Co-Chair, National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus
  • Steering Committee

Boards and other affiliations

  • American Legion
  • Boys and Girls Club of the Gulf Coast
  • Co-Chair, National Guard and Reserve Components Congressional Members Organization
  • Rotary

More background data

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

Articles and resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gene Taylor profile, The Washington Post, accessed January 2011.

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