Jim Kolbe

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James Thomas Kolbe was a Republican member of the U. S. House of Representatives representing the 5th District of Arizona from 1985 to 2003 and the 8th District from 2003 to 2007. He opted to retire rather than seek reelection in 2006.



Kolbe was born June 28, 1942 in Evanston, Illinois. He was a Congressional Page in high school and was educated at Northwestern University and Stanford University. He served in the United States Navy and was a special assistant to Illinois Governor Richard Ogilvie, a business executive, and a member of the Arizona Senate before entering the House.

Congressional career

Kolbe was one of three openly gay members of the U.S. House and was the second openly gay Republican to serve in the House. Kolbe revealed his homosexuality in August 1996 after his vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act spurred efforts by some in the gay community to "out" him. In spite of the "outing", he won re-election. He has been mild in his support of same-sex marriage, although strong in his support of universal civil unions. Kolbe supports abortion rights and is a strong proponent of guest worker programs for immigrants.

Iraq War

Kolbe 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.

2006 Elections

On November 23, 2005, Kolbe announced that he would not seek a 12th term in 2006. His exit left the politically competitive district open. Democrats nominated Gabrielle Giffords and Republicans nominated Randy Graf to contest the November 2006 election for his vacant seat. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [1]

Meet the Cash Constituents

Links to more campaign contribution information for Jim Kolbe
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


Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) congressional page scandal

In October 2006, Kolbe became swept up in the Mark Foley page scandal. Following Rep. Mark Foley’s (R-Fla.) resignation after the revelation of “over-friendly” emails and sexually suggestive instant messages that he sent to teenage congressional pages, Kolbe revealed that he had learned of similar correspondence by Foley as early as 2000. He was subsequently criticized by some for not taking stronger action upon receiving the information. In December 2006, Kolbe asked the FEC for permission to use his remaining campaign funds to pay any legal bills that he would incur as a result of the scandal.

Justice Department investigation

On October 13, federal prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation of a camping trip that Kolbe took in July 1996 to the Grand Canyon with two teenage congressional pages. Also on the trip were National Park Service employees, several Kolbe staffers and Kolbe's sister. The investigation was launched after an unidentified former page made allegations about Kolbe's behavior on the trip. [2] Specifically, the young man allegedly told authorities that he was “uncomfortable with a particular social encounter” that involved physical contact when he and Kolbe were alone. [3]

On October 17, the House Page Committee asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate the matter as well. [4]

Committees and Affiliations

Committees in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

More Background Data

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

Articles and Resources



Page scandal

Local blogs and discussion sites


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