Paul Gosar

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Paul Gosar
Paul Gosar official portrait September 2016.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Ed Pastor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Ann Kirkpatrick
Succeeded by Ann Kirkpatrick
Personal details
Born Paul Anthony Gosar
(1958-11-27) November 27, 1958 (age 59)
Rock Springs, Wyoming, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Maude Gosar
Children 3
Education Creighton University (BS, DDS)
Website House website

Paul Anthony Gosar[1] (/ˈɡsɑːr/; born November 27, 1958) is an American politician who has served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Arizona since 2011. He currently represents Arizona's 4th congressional district, which includes most of the rural western portion of the state, as well as a few suburbs of Phoenix. He represented the neighboring 1st district during his first term and is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life, education and dental career

Gosar was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, in 1958,[2] son of Antone John Gosar and Bernadette M. (née Erramouspe) Gosar. His paternal grandparents were Slovenian and his maternal grandparents were Basque immigrants from Banca, France.[3]

He is the older brother of Pete Gosar, a former college football player at the University of Wyoming, who is a former chairman of the Wyoming Democratic Party and was a candidate for governor of Wyoming, in 2010[4] and 2014.[5]

Gosar received his B.A. from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and later, his D.D.S. from the Boyne School of Dentistry at Creighton. He owned his own dentistry practice in Flagstaff for twenty-five years. He was the Arizona Dental Association's “Dentist of the Year” in 2001, and was inducted into the ADA Hall of Fame, also serving as its president. He was also president of the Northern Arizona Dental Society and vice-chair of the ADA council on governmental affairs.[6]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

2010

In 2009, Gosar – who had never run for elected office before – announced he would challenge Democratic incumbent Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st district in the 2010 elections. Gosar has been identified as a Tea Party candidate by The New York Times because the Arizona Tea Party features Gosar on its website.[7] Libertarian nominee Nicole Patti was also on the ballot.[citation needed]

Gosar won the Republican primary. He was endorsed by Sarah Palin and three Arizona county sheriffs: Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio, Coconino County sheriff, Joe Richards, and Pinal County sheriff, Paul Babeu.[8] Kirkpatrick challenged him to five debates across the district.[9][10] Gosar initially agreed to one debate but later withdrew. Gosar released a statement explaining the decision to withdraw from the debate was based on the long drive to and from KAET in Phoenix, which organized the debate.[11] A producer at KAET said Gosar's staff told the station the candidate could not participate in the debate because he would be attending a fundraiser instead.[12]

Gosar defeated Kirkpatrick in the November 2, 2010, general election, taking 49.7 percent of the vote.[citation needed]

2012

Following changes made in redistricting, Gosar was going to seek re-election in the 1st district, which was made less favorable to Republicans.[13] However, with Kirkpatrick priming for a rematch, Gosar changed his mind and announced in January 2012 he would run in the newly created 4th district. The 4th had absorbed much of the western portion of the old 1st, and was heavily Republican. As part of the move, he bought a second home in Prescott, which he claimed as his official residence.[14]

Gosar initially faced a tough primary fight against Babeu. However, Babeu pulled out in May 2012 due to allegations of abuse of power.[15] Gosar defeated former state senator Ron Gould and businessman Rick Murphy in the Republican primary, all but assuring him of a second term. In the November general election, he defeated Democratic challenger Johnnie Robinson, with 67 percent of the vote.[16]

Tenure

Abortion

Paul Gosar describes himself as pro-life. On abortions, Gosar states, “These procedures undeniably rob the world of a human life in a most cruel fashion... The right thing to do is to ban these procedures.”[17] Gosar cosponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would make permanent restrictions on federal funding of abortions in the US.[18] Gosar also cosponsored the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, an act placing restrictions on abortions in the District of Columbia.[19] Gosar was given a 100% rating by the National Right to Life Committee, a pro-life interest group, and a 0% rating by NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League), a pro-choice interest group.[20]

Attempt to impeach EPA Administrator

On September 2015, Gosar submitted articles of impeachment against EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, asserting that she had committed by "high crimes and misdemeanors:" and "lied to the American people in order to force misguided and overreaching regulations, which have no scientific basis, down our throats."[21] An EPA spokeswoman said Gosar's resolution "has zero merit and is nothing more than political theater" while fellow Republican and House majority leader, Kevin McCarthy confirmed that “There’s no plan to impeach Gina McCarthy."[22]

Boycott of Pope Francis

On September 17, 2015, in an op-ed on the conservative website Townhall.com, Gosar announced that he would not attend Pope Francis' planned address to a joint meeting of Congress, unless the Pope spoke about issues such as "violent Islam" or Planned Parenthood, instead of climate change. Gosar wrote that he would treat the Pope the same way he believes "leftist politicians" should be treated.[23] Gosar accused Francis of having "adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into ‘climate justice’ and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies."[24] Gosar condemned climate science as "questionable" and criticized Laudato si', Francis's encyclical on the environment.[23]

Gosar did not attend Pope Francis's September 24 address, the only member of Congress to do so.[25][26]

Shortly after the Pope's visit, Gosar used his opposition to Francis's addresses as a fundraising tool.[26][25] A fundraising email for Gosar used his Townhall.com op-ed's catchphrase, "When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one" and positioned Gosar as the victim of "unprecedented attacks" from "the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine."[26]

Cannabis

Gosar is against the legalization of marijuana and expressed concerns about public safety, children, and the commercial industry. He voted against the Veterans Equal Access Amendment, which allows veterans to access medical marijuana, if legal in their state, per their Veterans Health Administration doctor's recommendation. He has an "F" rating from NORML regarding his voting record on cannabis-related matters.[27]

Charlottesville "false flag" conspiracy theory

In October 2017, Gosar promoted the conspiracy theory that the violent march of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, that occurred earlier that year was a left-wing plot to stoke racial discord and to undermine President Donald Trump.[28] Gosar's statements echoed debunked claims that were circulating among the far right and promoted by conspiracy theorists such as Alex Jones of Infowars.[28] Gosar further believes the Charlottesville rally may have been funded by George Soros, who Gosar said "turned in his own people to the Nazis."[29] Soros was 14 in 1944 and escaped Vienna with the help of his parents. Seven of Gosar's own siblings wrote an open letter to the Kingman (Arizona) Daily Miner newspaper denouncing Gosar's claims about Soros as "despicable slander...without a shred of truth", saying the congressman "owes George Soros a personal apology."[30]

Environment

In 2015, Gosar scored 3% on the National Environmental Scorecard of the League of Conservation Voters. On January 30, 2017 Gosar introduced House Joint resolution 46 which would repeal the authority of the National Park Service to decline private drilling for oil, gas and minerals in 40 U. S. National Parks if the Park Service determines that the mining operation would threaten the environment. The Washington Post said Gosar was "no friend of environmentalists."[31][32][33]

Economy

In 2010, Gosar signed a pledge sponsored by Americans for Prosperity promising to vote against any Global Warming legislation that would raise taxes.[34]

Gosar voted in support of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[35]

Gun law

Gosar has stated that the “Second Amendment is one of the most important rights set forth by the Bill of Rights” and has stated he will “continue to oppose efforts to restrict, infringe, or remove this constitutionally protected right.”[36] Gosar was endorsed by the NRA (National Rifle Association) and given a rating of 92%. He was also endorsed by Gun Owners of America, and given a rating of 75%.[37]

Immigration

The Arizona Republic describes Gosar as "one of the staunchest opponents in Congress to legalizing undocumented dreamers".[38] Gosar stated, "I strongly believe we need to immediately secure our border and oppose amnesty for anyone who blatantly violates our law."[39] Gosar has cosponsored legislation to repeal the 14th Amendment, thus eliminating birthright citizenship for children born in the US to undocumented immigrants.[40][41] In an interview in May 2018, he accused immigration attorneys providing legal advice to undocumented immigrants of committing a crime: "What we need to do is also hold those that are actually helping — what they’re saying is help, but assisting in a crime — to be prosecuted as well." [42]

He was given an “A” rating by NumbersUSA, an organization in support of immigration reduction.[43]

Native Americans

In December 2014, Gosar drew controversy when he referred to American Indians as "wards of the federal government". He was responding to concerns from members of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona when he made the comment that stunned people at the round-table talk in Flagstaff, Arizona. The topic had addressed the proposal to swap 2,400 acres of southeastern Arizona's Tonto National Forest for about 5,300 acres of environmentally sensitive land. The proposal, which was attached as a rider to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, would give land sacred to the Apache in Arizona to Resolution Copper Mine, a joint venture owned by Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. Troy Eid, a Republican and former U.S. Attorney in Colorado, responded to Gosar's comments and said: "In the heated context of what this represents, it's especially inappropriate to be resorting to what amounts to race baiting." A Gosar spokesperson said his comments were misconstrued.[44]

Treason accusations against the FBI and DOJ

In Feb 2018, Gosar posted on his Facebook page that the so-called Nunes memo shows "clear and convincing evidence" certain members of the FBI and Justice Department committed treason[45][46]. In addition, Gosar specifically characterized conduct by James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein as "not just criminal but constitutes treason." In what Gosar referred to as "My full statement on the declassified memo", Gosar reported he would be "leading(sic) a letter to the Attorney General seeking criminal prosecution against these traitors to our nation."

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

As of November 2017, Gosar is a member of dozens of House caucuses. They include:

Electoral history

Arizona's 1st congressional district Republican primary election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar 21,941 30.73
Republican Sydney Hay 16,328 22.87
Republican Bradley Beauchamp 11,356 15.91
Republican Russell "Rusty" Bowers 10,552 14.78
Republican Steve Mehta 5,846 8.19
Republican Thomas Zaleski 2,105 2.95
Republican Jon Jensen 1,736 2.43
Republican Joe Jaraczewski 1,530 2.14
Arizona's 1st congressional district election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar 112,816 49.77
Democratic Ann Kirkpatrick (inc.) 99,233 43.73
Libertarian Nicole Patti 14,869 6.55
Arizona's 4th congressional district Republican primary election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 40,033 51.35
Republican Ron Gould 24,617 31.57
Republican Rick Murphy 13,315 17.08
Arizona's 4th congressional district election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 162,907 66.83
Democratic Johnnie Robinson 69,154 28.37
Libertarian Joe Parnelia 9,306 3.82
Americans Elect Richard Grayson 2,393 0.98
Arizona's 4th congressional district election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 122,560 69.96
Democratic Mike Weisser 45,179 25.79
Libertarian Chris Rike 7,440 4.25
Arizona's 4th congressional district election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Gosar (inc.) 203,487 71.5
Democratic Mikel Weisser 81,296 28.5

References

  1. ^ "Elections 2012 – AP Election Guide : Paul Anthony Gosar". NPR. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  2. ^ "Guide to the New Congress" (PDF). CQ Roll Call. November 4, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 8, 2011. Retrieved November 24, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Paul Anthony Gosar, D.D.S." Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  4. ^ Profile contrasting Paul and Pete Gosar Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Mead wins GOP primary for Wyoming governor". Wyoming Tribune-Eagle. August 19, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014. .
  6. ^ "Arizona's Former Dentist of The Year Launches Robust Bid to Unseat Ann Kirkpatrick in Congressional District One". Gosar for Congress. October 14, 2009. Retrieved April 18, 2011. 
  7. ^ Zernike, Kate (October 14, 2010). "Where Tea Party Candidates Are Running". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  8. ^ "Endorsements". Gosar For Congress. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  9. ^ "Paul Gosar Finds Easy Victory in CD1 Primary". Prescott eNews. 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  10. ^ "Arizona Capitol Times Blog Archive » Kirkpatrick wants 5 debates with GOP challenger". Azcapitoltimes.com. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  11. ^ "Gosar pulls plug on televised debate". Arizona Daily Sun. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  12. ^ "Gosar backs out of today's TV debate in favor of fundraiser". Prescott Daily Courier. 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  13. ^ Taylor, Jessica (October 5, 2011). "House Democrats Gain With New Arizona Map". National Journal. Archived from the original on October 6, 2011. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  14. ^ Wilson, Reid (January 7, 2012). "Gosar Will Switch Districts". National Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  15. ^ Sheriff Babeu Abandons Race for Arizona Congressional Seat. Fox News Latino. 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  16. ^ "Election 2012". Azcentral.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  17. ^ "Dr. Gosar Condemns Abortion Genocide: Disgusted at Congress' Failure to Protect the Unborn and Ban Pain Capable Abortions". Gosar.house.gov. July 31, 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  18. ^ "Bill Summary & Status – 112th Congress (2011 – 2012) – H.R.3 – All Information – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  19. ^ "Bill Summary & Status – 112th Congress (2011 – 2012) – H.R.3803 – All Information – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Thomas.loc.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  20. ^ "Paul Gosar – Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  21. ^ Smith, Steven "Rep. Gosar Files Articles of Impeachment against EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy", House.gov Press Release, September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2015
  22. ^ "GOP lawmaker moves to impeach EPA chief McCarthy", Fox News, September 15, 2015, Retrieved September 22, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Paul Gosar, Paul Gosar. "Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis's Address to Congress". Town Hall (republished on Time.com). Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  24. ^ Viebeck, Elise, "Who is Paul Gosar, the congressman boycotting Pope Francis?", Washington Post, September 21, 2015; retrieved September 22, 2015.
  25. ^ a b Flores, Jessica (September 30, 2015). "Gosar goes after Pope; uses boycott to raise campaign money". fox10phoenix.com. KSAZ-TV. Retrieved July 10, 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c Weigel, Dave (September 30, 2015). "Arizona congressman raises funds off his boycott of Pope Francis". washingtonpost.com. Washington Post. Retrieved July 10, 2016. 
  27. ^ "Arizona Scorecard - NORML.org - Working to Reform Marijuana Laws". norml.org. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  28. ^ a b Hawkins, Derek (2017-10-06). "Arizona congressman repeats claim that Charlottesville violence was left-wing plot". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-10-07. 
  29. ^ https://news.vice.com/story/paul-glosar-charlottesville-soros
  30. ^ "Gosar Siblings Do Not Support Rep. Paul Gosar’s Statements on George Soros", Daily Miner, October 24, 2017, Retrieved October 25, 2017
  31. ^ Fears, Darryl (February 1, 2017). "This lawmaker wants to ease rules on drilling in national parks, and conservationists aren't happy". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 2, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Representative Paul Gosar (R)". National Environmental Scorecard. League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved February 2, 2017. 
  33. ^ "H.J.Res.46 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule of the National Park Service relating to "General Provisions and Non-Federal Oil and Gas Rights"". Library of Congress. Retrieved February 2, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 1, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2014. 
  35. ^ Almukhtar, Sarah (19 December 2017). "How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 December 2017. 
  36. ^ "Second Amendment Gun Rights". Gosar.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  37. ^ "Paul Gosar – Ratings and Endorsements". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  38. ^ "Rep. Paul Gosar misstates crime statistics about 'Daca-aged' immigrants". azcentral. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  39. ^ "Gosar for Congress". gosarforcongress.com. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  40. ^ "H.R.140: Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 – U.S. Congress". OpenCongress. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  41. ^ "Trump's elimination of DACA creates a crisis for 'dreamers.' Is it a crisis for Congress?". azcentral. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  42. ^ "Arizona congressman warns attorneys helping refugees". Retrieved 2018-05-10. 
  43. ^ "2012 Arizona 04th Congressional District | NumbersUSA – For Lower Immigration Levels". NumbersUSA. Retrieved 2012-12-18. 
  44. ^ Fonseca, Felicia (December 10, 2014). "Rep. Paul Gosar Calls Native Americans 'Wards Of The Federal Government'". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 25, 2015. 
  45. ^ "Nunes memo proves FBI committed "treason," GOP lawmaker says". Newsweek. 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-04. 
  46. ^ Delk, Josh (2018-02-02). "GOP lawmaker on memo: FBI conduct 'constitutes treason'". TheHill. Retrieved 2018-02-04. 
  47. ^ "Member List". Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  48. ^ "Gosar, Caucus lauds proposal to rescind BLM fracking rule". Kingman Daily Miner. August 3, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  49. ^ Valley, Jackie (September 28, 2017). "Trump's comments cast uncertain shadow over federal funding for Interstate 11". The Nevada Independent. Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  50. ^ Edwards, James (September 26, 2017). "Inventions Caucus Educates Congress on Patents, Commercialization Basics". Inventors Digest. Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  51. ^ DeSilver, Drew (October 20, 2015). "What is the House Freedom Caucus, and who's in it?". Pew Research Center. Retrieved November 3, 2017. 
  52. ^ "Members". Congressional Constitution Caucus. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ann Kirkpatrick
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 1st congressional district

2011–2013
Succeeded by
Ann Kirkpatrick
Preceded by
Ed Pastor
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Arizona's 4th congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Bob Gibbs
United States Representatives by seniority
206th
Succeeded by
Trey Gowdy
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