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James Clyburn ()
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| Next election: Nov. 6, 2012
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James Enos "Jim" Clyburn, Democrat, has represented the Sixth Congressional District of South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. He is the House Majority Whip in the 111th Congress, and is the third-ranking Democrat in the House behind Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.
Record and controversies
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Clyburn voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.
In response to criticism that the Congress should lift the moratorium on offshore oil drilling, Clyburn described further domestic oil production as at best a band-aid solution. "I am an ardent supporter of expanding our country's nuclear capacity. Here in South Carolina, more than 50 percent of our electricity is produced by nuclear power. New technology makes nuclear a very safe, and viable energy alternative," Clyburn wrote in an opinion column. Clyburn approvingly sited claims by former Greenpeace activist turned nuclear energy industry consultant, Patrick Moore, that nuclear power is "cost effective". Clyburn sought to point out that in August 2008 he would host a seminar in Charleston titled 'the Nuclear Alternative' "where we will discuss the benefits of expanding this important industry."
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
Meeting with Howard Dean
On September 19, 2006, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Clyburn calling on him to appear before the House Ethics Committee to provide details about a conversation he had with DNC Chairman Howard Dean. According to press reports, the two had met the previous month at Clyburn's congressional office, and Clyburn had asked that the DNC provide more money to Democratic candidates running in November 2006 elections. House rules prohibit the use of congressional offices and buildings for any matters relating to campaigning, including fundraising and discussions of campaign strategy. 
National security and foreign policy
When the Iraq supplemental spending bill intended to withdrawal U.S. forces from Iraq was being debated in the House, Democratic Whip Clyburn promised not to “whip” votes, citing that it was “a vote of conscience.” Reports, however, indicated that Democratic leaders were strongly pressuring members to support the bill. Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), responded, saying, “Jim Clyburn said he was doing an assessment, so that's what I was doing. Now that he's whipping, I'm going to start whipping.”
Clyburn was born July 21, 1940 in Sumter, South Carolina. He was educated at South Carolina State College (B.S., 1962) and attended the University of South Carolina Law School (1972-74). Clyburn worked as "a teacher, an employment counselor, and director of two youth and community development projects" before joining the staff of Governor John West in 1971. In 1974 he became the state's Human Affairs Commissioner, a position in which he held until 1992, when he was elected to Congress.
During the 2004 Democratic presidential primaries, Clyburn supported Dick Gephardt until he dropped out of the race. (He later supported John Kerry). Gephardt described Clyburn as "a congressional leader," "particularly on affirmative action and civil rights issues." 
Clyburn has been described in the press as a "highly influential South Carolina congressman" and "the state's top black elected official."
According to Clyburn's House biography, he "was co-President of his Freshman class [and] served as Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus' Annual Legislative Conference in 1997 and 1998, and most notably enjoyed rare unanimous support as he was sworn-in to Chair the Congressional Black Caucus for the 106th Congress. It was in that role that Congressman Clyburn led the largest Congressional delegation ever to visit the financial centers of New York's Wall Street and Chicago's LaSalle Street. He moved environmental justice issues to the forefront of the Caucus' agenda and successfully pushed for integration of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals."
In 2006, following the Democratic victory in the midterm congressional elections, Clyburn was elected House majority whip for the 110th Congress. He had previously been the Chair of the Democratic Caucus. 
2006 congressional elections
In 2006, the Republicans nominated Gary McLeod to face Clyburn in his November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) Clyburn defeated McLeod, receiving 64% of the vote. 
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.
|Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle|
|Donor||Amount (US Dollars)|
|Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance||$ 16,500|
|Northwestern Mutual||$ 15,500|
|Merck & Co||$ 15,000|
|Union Pacific Corp||$ 15,000|
|United Parcel Service||$ 15,000|
|Pinnacle West Capital||$ 14,500|
|Scana Corp||$ 12,250|
|National Cable & Telecommunications Assn||$ 11,500|
|American Hospital Assn||$ 11,000|
|Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' www.OpenSecrets.org site.|
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
|Links to more campaign contribution information for James Clyburn
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|
- Revolving door profile for James Clyburn from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for James Clyburn from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for James Clyburn from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Committees and Affiliations
Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)
Previous Committee Membership
109th Congress (2005-2006)
- House Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Transportation Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, The Judiciary, District of Columbia
Coaltions and Caucuses
- House Democratic Caucus - Chairman
- Congressional Black Caucus (Chair, 106th Congress)
Boards and Other Affiliations
- Allen University Governing Board
- The Palmetto Conservation Foundation
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
- Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
- Brookgreen Gardens
- Congressional Advisory Board, Humpty Dumpty Institute
More Background Data
|On the Web|
Campaign contact information
District Office - Columbia:
1703 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
District Office - Florence:
Business and Technology Center
181 East Evans Street, Suite 314
Post Office Box 6286
Florence, SC 29502
District Office - Santee:
8833 Old Number Six Highway
Santee, SC 29142
Articles and resources
Local blogs and discussion sites
- Clyburn Took Abramoff-paid Trip to Marianas by R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post, 5/4/05
- Patrick O'Connor, "McHenry calls for ethics review," The Hill, September 20, 2006.
- Lois Romano and Jonathan Weisman, "Democrats Elect Hoyer as New Majority Leader," Washington Post, November 16, 2006.
Semantic data ()
|From the Sunlight Foundation API|
|Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives|
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|U.S. House of Representatives|
Ranking Member On:
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|First Elected to Current Office:
November 3, 1992
|First Took Current Office:
January 4, 2007
November 4, 2008
|Previous Political Work?
South Carolina Human Affairs Commissioner
|Other Party Membership:|
Date of Birth: July 21, 1940
November 3, 1992