Charles Taylor

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Charles H. Taylor was a Republican who represented North Carolina's 11th Congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007. He was defeated in the 2006 congressional elections by Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).

Contents

Bio

Background

Taylor received his BA from Wake Forest University in 1963 and his JD in 1966, also from Wake Forest. Prior to serving in Congress, he was a tree farmer and a banker.

Congressional Career

Taylor was elected to his eighth consecutive term in the 2004 Congressional elections, earning 55% of the popular vote and defeating Democrat Maggie Lauterer.

Political analysts have been taken by surprise over the past decade, as Taylor has continued to be reelected in what was once a marginally Democratic district. Taylor has won with 55-65% of votes in recent elections. Democrats recruited former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler to move into North Carolina from his home in Knoxville, Tennessee to run for Taylor's seat in 2006. Shuler defeated Taylor 54% to 46% to take possession of the seat. [1]

Iraq War

Taylor 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.

Positions and Views

In his first term, as a member of the Gang of Seven, a group of young, idealistic Republican freshmen, Taylor worked to expose the congressional corruption in the form of Rubbergate, the House banking scandal.

He has been critized by environmental activists and has been dubbed with the nickname "Chainsaw Charlie" by his detractors.

Meet the Cash Constituents

Links to more campaign contribution information for Charles Taylor
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Controversy

Taylor serves on the advisory board of National Wilderness Institute, an organization that claims to be the "voice of reason on the environment." NWI is dedicated to weakening the Endangered Species Act and other environmental protections. [2]

Trade issues

A vote was not recorded for Taylor on the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement, which passed by two votes. Taylor had previously stated that he was opposed to the agreement. Taylor's spokesperson said that Taylor had attempted to vote but that the machine failed to record it. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, noted that Taylor voted on several other matters that day. [3] [4]

Savings and loan scandal

In 2001 a federal investigation was made into fraudulent loans made by the Blue Ridge Savings & Loan bank, which was founded and is chaired by Taylor. The probe produced guilty pleas by Taylor's former campaign manager and one of his biggest campaign donors, but did not result in charges for Taylor himself. [5]

Russian issues

Taylor is the majority owner of a bank and a frequent real estate investor in Russian city of Ivanovo. [6]

In 2005, Taylor created and funded the International Trade and Small Business Institute through an earmark for the Small Business Administration. The institute, funded by federal tax money, sends seven or eight students from Russia to study business at North Carolina schools and has an annual budget of $12 million. Taylor has touted the program as a way to foster small business development in Russia. The Russian coordinator for the program is Marina Bolshakov, who is the co-owner of the Ivanovo bank with Taylor as well as his business partner in the Columbus Russian investment partnership. Taylor has stated that Bolshakov is unpaid for her work on the program. [7]

The Education and Research Consortium of the Western Carolinas, a non-profit that Taylor helped found in 1997 and whose $12 million budget is funded entirely by federal tax dollars, also receives money from the Russian program earmark. Two of the Consortium's board members are also Taylor campaign donors. [8]

More information on the Russian deals can likely be found here:

Earmarks for non-profit group

In 1999, Taylor met with the presidents of four colleges in his district to plan a strategy for attracting high-tech jobs to the area. From these meetings, the tax-exempt Education and Research Consortium of the Western Carolinas began. In the years since its founding, Taylor has been able to use his influence on the House Appropriations Committee to receive funding for the program. In one 2006 appropriations bill, ERC-linked schools received $2 million for an astronomical research center, $1 million for a computer engineering program and an additional $1 million for no assigned purpose, according to the nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense. In addition, a Taylor earmark provided $2.8 million to the National Climatic Data Center, where the ERC operates a fiber-optic network and ERC board member Max Lennon manages a business interpreting weather data. Taylor has been heavily criticized by his 2006 re-election opponent, former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, for his reliance on earmarking to serve non-profit groups (who do not pay taxes). [9]


Principally as a result of these scandals, Taylor was named in 2006 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as one of the twenty most corrupt US legislators. [10]

Earmarks used for personal benefit

In October 2006, the Wall Street Journal ran an report claiming that Taylor had earmarked millions of dollars in federal funds for a project that would create a highway in a rural area where he owned land. Taylor vigorously denied the charges and claimed that he owned no land in the area. On October 25, however, The Hill revealed that public land records still list Taylor as the owner of 17 acres in the area.[11]

Committees and Affiliations

Committees in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • House Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Interior and Environment and Related Agencies - Chair
    • Subcommittee on Science State Justice and Commerce and Related Agencies

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Chair, Task Force on Environmental Balance
  • Vice-Chair, Energy Task Force
  • Republican Study Committee
  • Rural Health Care Coalition

Boards and other Affiliations

  • Congressional Coalition on Adoption
  • North Carolina Board of Transportation
  • North Carolina Energy Policy Council
  • Board of Visitors, United States Military Academy, West Point
  • Vice Chair, Western North Carolina Environmental Council.

More Background Data

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

Articles and Resources

Resources

Articles

Local blogs and discussion sites

Contact

DC Office:
339 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-3311
Phone: 202-225-6401
Fax: 202-226-6422
Web Email
Website

District Office- Spindale:
303 Fairground Road
Spindale, NC 28160
Phone: 828-286-8750
Fax: Not Currently Available

District Office- Asheville:
22 South Pack Square, Suite 330
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: 828-251-1988
Fax: 828-251-0794

District Office- Waynesville:
515 South Haywood Street, Suite 118
Waynesville, NC 28786-4341
Phone: 828-456-7559
Fax:

District Office- Hendersonville:
211-C 7th Avenue West
Hendersonville, NC 28791
Phone: 828-697-8539
Fax:

District Office- Franklin:
5 West Main Street, Room 35
Franklin, NC 28734
Phone: 828-349-9856
Fax:

District Office- Sylva:
26 Ridgeway Street, Suite 3
Sylva, NC 28779
Phone: 828-586-6100
Fax:

District Office- Murphy:
Cherokee County Courthouse, PO Box 1271
75 Peachtree Street
Murphy, NC 28906
Phone: 828-837-3249
Fax:

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