|This is a profile of a U.S. Representative. (See the Oklahoma portal for all incumbents, candidates and blogs.)|
Tom Cole has represented Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican since 2003 (map). As of 2005, Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, is the only registered Native American in the U.S. House. He was the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 110th Congress, but relinquished that role in the 111th Congress.
- 1 Records and controversies
- 2 Bio
- 3 Money in politics
- 4 Committees and Affiliations
- 5 More Background Data
- 6 Articles and Resources
- 7 Contact
Records and controversies
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
Tom Cole has voted in favor of big oil companies on 90% of important oil-related bills from 2005-2007, according to Oil Change International. These bills include Iraq war funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and emissions. See below for oil money in politics.
Although born in Shreveport, Louisiana on April 28, 1949, Cole is a fifth-generation Oklahoman, raised in Moore, Oklahoma. He graduated from Grinnell College in 1971 with a BA in History. His postgraduate degrees include an MA from Yale University (1974) and a PhD from the University of Oklahoma (1984), both in British History. Cole did research abroad as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and was a Fulbright Fellow (1977-78) at the University of London. He was a college professor in history and politics before becoming a politician.
Cole is a major figure in contemporary Oklahoma politics. Following his mother Helen, who served as a state representative and senator, Cole served in the Oklahoma State Senate from 1988 to 1991, resigning mid-term to accept a job in Washington. From 1995 to 1999, he was the Oklahoma Secretary of State under Frank Keating, and assisted with the recovery efforts following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. He has also served as Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
Cole has been heavily involved in national politics as well, having served both as Executive Director of the National Republican Congressional Committee and as Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee. He also spent two years working as a paid consultant for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But Cole's primary involvement in politics has been as a political consultant. His firm Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates played a large part in the reconstruction of Oklahoma's political landscape, and backed a number of candidates that took office during the Republican Revolution of 1994. Among their clients have been Frank Keating, J.C. Watts, Tom Coburn, Frank Lucas, Mary Fallin, Wes Watkins, Steve Largent, Mississippi congressman Chip Pickering, and Hawaii governor Linda Lingle.
During his initial campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2002, Cole received the endorsement of Watts, the popular outgoing incumbent. This helped him win a hard-fought general election over Democratic nominee Darryl Roberts with 54% of the vote. Cole subsequently won an easy re-election campaign in 2004, gaining 78% of the vote against independent candidate Charlene Bradshaw.
In 2006, the Democrats nominated Hal Spake to face Cole in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006)  Cole retained his seat. Following the elections, Cole was named chairman of the National Republican Campaign Committee for the 110th Congress.
National Republican Campaign Committee
Cole has withdrawn his name from race to be the chairman of the NRCC due to large amount of Republican losses in the November elections. 
Money in politics
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Tom Cole
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|
Oil Money in Politics
Tom Cole has received $80,100 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $50,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS. In total, Cole has accepted $305,050 from oil companies between 2000 and 2008, which makes him one of the top recipients of oil money. See above for oil voting record.
Committees and Affiliations
- House Committee on Armed Services
- Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces
- Subcommittee on Readiness
- House Committee on Natural Resources
- Subcommitee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans
- Subcommitee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Rules
- Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House
- House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
More Background Data
Articles and Resources
- Vote Tracker, Oil Change International.
- Pete Sessions wins leadership role in GOP campaign efforts The Dallas Morning News November 19, 2008 Accessed December 15, 2008
- See "Follow the Oil Money," "Follow the Coal Money," and vote tracker from Oil Change International and Appalachian Voices.
- Official Website
- Congressional biography
- Technorati Search: Tom Cole
- Google News: Tom Cole
- Yahoo! News Search: Tom Cole
- Power Trips: How much did Tom Cole travel?
- Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database
- Follow the Oil Money
- Vote Tracker
- Follow the Coal Money
- Appalachian Voices
Local blogs and discussion sites
- Cole Denies Comparing Vote Against Bush to support for Hitler; Restates that "if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election" Associated Press, 3/4/04.
- Cole speaks about President's Social Security Plan, "He cannot afford to fail. It would have repercussions for the rest of his program, including foreign policy. We can't hand the president a defeat on his major domestic initiative at a time of war" by Jackie Calmes, Wall street Journal, 1/6/05.
- DeLay's Legal Defense Fund Received Contributions from Two New Ethics Committee Members by Mike Allen, Washington Post, 3/14/05.
District Office- Ada:
104 East Twelfth
Ada, OK 74820
District Office- Lawton:
711 Southwest D Avenue, Suite 201
Lawton, OK 73501
District Office- Norman:
2420 Springer Drive, Suite 120
Norman, OK 73069
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
Chairman, Republican Congressional Campaign Committee
Ranking Member On:
|Committees: House Committee on Armed Services, House Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Air and Land Forces, House Committee on Armed Services/Subcommittee on Readiness, House Committee on Natural Resources, House Committee on Natural Resources/Subcommittee on Fisheries Wildlife and Oceans, House Committee on Natural Resources/Subcommittee on National Parks Forests and Public Lands|
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 2002
|First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2003
November 2, 2010
|Previous Political Work?
Oklahoma Secretary of State; Oklahoma Senate
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: April 28, 1949