Jane Harman

Jane Harman

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Jane Margaret Lakes Harman (born June 28, 1945) is the former U.S. Representative
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 for , serving from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

.

She resigned from Congress in February 2011 to become the head of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars , located in Washington, D.C., is a United States Presidential Memorial that was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution by an act of Congress in 1968...

.

Early life and education


Harman was born Jane Margaret Lakes in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, the daughter of Lucille (née Geier) and Adolph. N. Lakes. Her father escaped Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 and worked as a medical doctor. Harman attended Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 public schools, graduating from University High School in 1962. She received a bachelor's degree
Bachelor's degree
A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

 from Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

 in 1966 and was Phi Beta Kappa. Harman continued her studies at Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School
Harvard Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Harvard University. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, it is the oldest continually-operating law school in the United States and is home to the largest academic law library in the world. The school is routinely ranked by the U.S...

, earning her law degree in 1969. In 1980, Harman divorced Richard Frank and later married Sidney Harman
Sidney Harman
Sidney Harman was an American businessman active in education, government, industry, and publishing. He was the Chairman Emeritus of Harman International Industries, Inc. Harman served as the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce in 1977 and 1978. As of August 2010 Harman was also the publisher of...

, 26 years her senior. Harman had recently sold his company Harman Kardon
Harman Kardon
harman/kardon is a division of Harman International Industries and manufactures home and car audio equipment.Founded in 1953 by Dr. Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon — two men with a deep interest in music and the arts — the company helped create the high-fidelity audio industry. Their first product...

 to Beatrice Foods
Beatrice Foods
Beatrice Foods Company was a major American food processing company. In 1987, its smaller international food operations were sold to Reginald Lewis, a corporate attorney creating TLC Beatrice International, after which the majority of its domestic brands and assets were acquired by Kohlberg,...

 for approximately $350 million (in 2009 dollars).

Career


After graduating from law school, Jane Harman began her political career in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, by serving as chief counsel and staff director for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights
United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights
The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution is one of seven subcommittees within the Senate Judiciary Committee. The subcomittee was best known in the 1970s as the committee of Sam Ervin, whose investigations and lobbying — together with Frank Church and the Church Commission — lead to...

. She served in that position until moving over to the Executive Branch of government where she served as special counsel to the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

, and as Deputy Secretary of the Cabinet, both positions in the Carter Administration. She held a brief teaching position at UCLA after losing the Democratic nomination for governor in 1998.

US Representative, 1993 to 1999


Harman was first elected to Congress in 1992. From 1993 to 1999, Harman represented the 36th
California's 36th congressional district
California's 36th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of California based in Los Angeles County. The district covers most of the coastal communities of Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, El Segundo, Venice, Wilmington, and San Pedro in Greater Los Angeles.The...

, serving in the 103rd
103rd United States Congress
- House of Representatives :- Leadership :- Senate :* President: Dan Quayle , until January 20, 1993** Al Gore , from January 20, 1993* President pro tempore: Robert Byrd - Majority leadership :* Majority Leader: George Mitchell...

, 104th
104th United States Congress
The One Hundred Fourth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1995 to January 3, 1997, during the third and...

, and 105th Congresses. In 1994, she barely survived reelection in a heavily Republican year, winning by 812 votes.

1998 California gubernatorial election


Harman did not run for the 106th United States Congress
106th United States Congress
The One Hundred Sixth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, DC from January 3, 1999 to January 3, 2001, during the last two...

 in 1998, instead entering the 1998 California gubernatorial race
California gubernatorial election, 1998
The 1998 California gubernatorial election was an election that occurred on November 3, 1998, resulting in the election of Gray Davis, the state's first Democratic governor in 16 years. Davis won the general election by an almost 20% margin over his closest opponent, Republican Dan Lungren...

. It was during that race that she called herself "the best Republican in the Democratic Party."

After losing the Democratic nomination to Gray Davis
Gray Davis
Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003...

, she briefly taught public policy
Public policy
Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and...

 and international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 at UCLA before running for and winning her old congressional seat in the 2000 election.

US Representative, 2000 to 2011


Harman won her old seat in 2000, and was easily re-elected in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010.

In the June 2006 Democratic primary, Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America
The Progressive Democrats of America is a progressive political organization and grassroots political action committee operating inside the United States Democratic Party.-History:...

 candidate Marcy Winograd challenged Harman. After watching Harman defend the recently revealed Bush program of warrantless wiretapping on Meet the Press
Meet the Press
Meet the Press is a weekly American television news/interview program produced by NBC. It is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, despite bearing little resemblance to the original format of the program seen in its television debut on November 6, 1947. It has been...

, Winograd moved into the congressional district and filed for Harman’s seat. Winograd criticized Harman's role as ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee in failing to protest when briefed on the Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program and voting for the Iraq war authorization Then-Vice-President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 later confirmed that Harman knew about and approved of the program.

Harman won the primary, 62.5% to 37.5%. Harman was re-elected in the 2006 general election
United States general elections, 2006
The 2006 United States midterm elections were held on Tuesday, November 7, 2006. All United States House of Representatives seats and one third of the United States Senate seats were contested in this election, as well as 36 state governorships, many state legislatures, four territorial...

 to the 110th United States Congress
110th United States Congress
The One Hundred Tenth United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, between January 3, 2007, and January 3, 2009, during the last two years of the second term of President George W. Bush. It was composed of the Senate and the House of...

, defeating Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 challenger Brian Gibson.

AIPAC controversy


In October 2006, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine, quoting anonymous sources, asserted that an FBI and US Department of Justice investigation of Harman was underway. The magazine alleged that Harman had agreed to lobby the Department of Justice to reduce espionage charges against Steve J. Rosen
Steve J. Rosen
Steven J. Rosen served for 23 years as one of the top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee . He is regarded as an influential and controversial figure in the "pro-Israel movement", often singled out in writings critical of AIPAC...

 and Keith Weissman, two officials at the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In exchange, Time said there was a quid pro quo
Quid pro quo
Quid pro quo most often means a more-or-less equal exchange or substitution of goods or services. English speakers often use the term to mean "a favour for a favour" and the phrases with almost identical meaning include: "give and take", "tit for tat", "this for that", and "you scratch my back,...

 in which AIPAC would lobby then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

 to appoint Harman as chair of the House Intelligence Committee if the Democrats captured the House after the 2006 elections. Harman, the FBI, the Justice Department and Pelosi's office have all denied knowledge of or involvement with any investigation. AIPAC denied it had engaged in a quid pro quo with Harman. "AIPAC would never engage in a quid pro quo in relation to a federal investigation or any federal matter and the notion that it would do so is preposterous," a spokesperson said at the time.

In April 2009, CQ Politics, also quoting anonymous sources, said Harman had been captured on a National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 wiretap prior to the 2006 elections, telling an "Israeli agent" that she would "waddle into" lobbying the Department of Justice on the AIPAC case. Harman ended the phone call, according to CQ, by saying, "This conversation doesn’t exist." Harman denied the allegations, saying: "These claims are an outrageous and recycled canard, and have no basis in fact. I never engaged in any such activity. Those who are peddling these false accusations should be ashamed of themselves."

According to CQ, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
Alberto Gonzales
Alberto R. Gonzales was the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Gonzales was appointed to the post in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. Gonzales was the first Hispanic Attorney General in U.S. history and the highest-ranking Hispanic government official ever...

 pressed Central Intelligence Agency
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 Director Porter Goss to drop the agency's investigation of Harman because he wanted Harman's support during the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
NSA warrantless surveillance controversy
The NSA warrantless surveillance controversy concerns surveillance of persons within the United States during the collection of foreign intelligence by the U.S. National Security Agency as part of the war on terror...

 about to break in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

. Harman called The New York Times and urged them not to publish details on the program. Gonzales and Goss declined to comment.

In point of fact, Harman had been the ranking Democrat on the House committee prior to the 2006 election, making her the most likely appointee. Pelosi appointed Silvestre Reyes
Silvestre Reyes
Silvestre "Silver" Reyes is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997, and the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the primary Committee in the U.S...

 instead.

Political positions


Harman is on most issues a liberal, earning a 95 percent rating from the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action
Americans for Democratic Action
Americans for Democratic Action is an American political organization advocating progressive policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research and supporting progressive candidates.-History:...

. On intelligence and defense issues she tends to be a moderate. For example, she was one of many Democrats who supported the Iraq War. As a member of the Democratic Leadership Council
Democratic Leadership Council
The Democratic Leadership Council was a non-profit 501 corporation that, upon its formation, argued the United States Democratic Party should shift away from the leftward turn it took in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s...

, Harman has combined a moderate stance on economic, trade, and foreign policy issues with a more liberal stance on social issues. For instance, while voting with Republicans to restrict rules on personal bankruptcy
Personal bankruptcy
Personal bankruptcy is a procedure which, in certain jurisdictions, allows an individual to declare bankruptcy. In other jurisdictions, bankruptcies are reserved for corporations.-Canada:...

, for lawsuit reform
Tort reform
Tort reform refers to proposed changes in common law civil justice systems that would reduce tort litigation or damages. Tort actions are civil common law claims first created in the English commonwealth system as a non-legislative means for compensating wrongs and harm done by one party to...

, and to abolish the estate tax — as well as on protecting those defense contractors with business interests in her congressional district — Harman voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions, lawsuits against gun manufacturers, the Defense of Marriage Act
Defense of Marriage Act
The Defense of Marriage Act is a United States federal law whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, no U.S. state may be required to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state...

, and banning indecent broadcasting.

H.R. 1955


Jane Harman was criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

 (ACLU) for submitting HR 1955, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 was a bill sponsored by Rep. Jane Harman in the 110th United States Congress...

, which passed in the House 404-6. The ACLU claims the bill includes unconstitutional limitations on free speech and beliefs. A related piece of legislation in the US Senate, , has been submitted by Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins
Susan Collins
Susan Margaret Collins is the junior United States Senator from Maine and a member of the Republican Party. First elected to the Senate in 1996, she is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs...

.

US House Resolution on the Armenian Genocide


Jane Harman was a co-sponsor of the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 recognition resolution bill
United States resolution on Armenian genocide
The proposed Armenian Genocide resolution is a measure currently under consideration in the U.S. House of Representatives that would recognize the 1915 Genocide. It is officially called H. Res 106 or the Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution...

  in 2007. However, while still cosponsoring the bill, she wrote a letter to House Foreign Relations Committee Chair Tom Lantos
Tom Lantos
Thomas Peter "Tom" Lantos was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1981 until his death, representing the northern two-thirds of San Mateo County and a portion of southwest San Francisco...

 urging him to withdraw the bill. Her argument was that while the genocide deserves recognition, it was not a good time to embarrass Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, given that country's role in moderating extremism in the Middle East.

Military support


Jane Harman is a strong supporter of the United States Department of Defense. She believes the United States holds foreign states accountable for terrorists who operate in their country. Harman claims she is still undecided on whether the United States should grant law enforcement agencies greater discretion to read mail and email, tap phones, and conduct random searches to prevent future terrorist attacks; however she has stated she believes it essential to National Security. She remains undecided on whether to support a policy of pre-emptive
Preemptive war
A preemptive war is a war that is commenced in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived inevitable offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending war before that threat materializes. It is a war which preemptively 'breaks the peace'. The term: 'preemptive war' is...

 military strikes against countries deemed to be a threat to U.S. national security. Although Harman gives strong support for the military she supports the elimination of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners in U.S. custody.

Warrantless wiretapping


Harman defended the Bush administration's use of international (cross-border) warrantless wiretapping through the National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

, saying: "I believe the program is essential to U.S. national security and that its disclosure has damaged critical intelligence capabilities." Harman suggested that both the original "despicable" whistleblowers and The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, which broke the story, should be investigated, and in the case of The Times, "limits on press immunity" should be looked into.
Harman repeatedly pressured the Times not to publish the warrantless wiretap story. In October or November 2004, Harman called Phillip Taubman, Washington bureau chief of the Times, to discourage him from running the story. In December 2005, Harman was among a group of lawmakers who visited Taubman in an attempt to convince him not to run the story.
Following reports in April 2009 of her conversations being recorded without her knowledge, she appeared to take a different stance regarding wholly domestic wiretaps. In an interview with Andrea Mitchell
Andrea Mitchell
Andrea Mitchell is an American television journalist, anchor, reporter, and commentator for NBC News based in Washington, D.C.. She is the NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, and has recently reported on the 2008 Race for the White House for NBC News broadcasts, including NBC Nightly...

 on MSNBC
MSNBC
MSNBC is a cable news channel based in the United States available in the US, Germany , South Africa, the Middle East and Canada...

:

Stance on health issues


Congresswoman Jane Harman maintained that the United States needs a universal healthcare program to guarantee coverage to all Americans regardless of income and affirms there should be pre-established limits on the amount of punitive damages awarded in medical malpractice
Medical malpractice
Medical malpractice is professional negligence by act or omission by a health care provider in which the treatment provided falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient, with most cases involving medical error. Standards and...

 lawsuits. Harman supports automatic enrollment of children in federal healthcare programs such as CHIP
State Children's Health Insurance Program
The State Children's Health Insurance Program – later known more simply as the Children's Health Insurance Program – is a program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children...

 and Medicaid
Medicaid
Medicaid is the United States health program for certain people and families with low incomes and resources. It is a means-tested program that is jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and is managed by the states. People served by Medicaid are U.S. citizens or legal permanent...

. Harman voted yes on the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2009 which expands the coverage of children’s insurance. The bill was passed in February 2009 and became Public Law Number 111-3. Other medical issues she supports includes stem cell research on existing lines of stem cells and allowing laboratories to create new lines of stem cells for additional research.

Harman supports that abortions should always be legal, especially in instances where the pregnancy has resulted from incest or rape, or when the life of the mother is endangered. In 2009, the Stupak–Pitts Amendment
Stupak–Pitts Amendment
The Stupak–Pitts Amendment was a proposed amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2010 . It was submitted by Representatives Bart Stupak and Joseph R. Pitts...

 was being considered for inclusion in the healthcare bill under construction. Harman says the amendment makes it impossible for most women to use their own funds to purchase insurance to pay for abortions. Harman states “I respect the right of any woman or man to oppose abortion. But, in return, I expect those who are anti-choice to respect my views. My views are that abortion should be safe and rare” and “I am old enough to remember the days of back alley abortions. Some women I know had them. I cannot bear the idea that the 111th Congress would restore that horror.”

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Homeland Security
    United States House Committee on Homeland Security
    The U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security is a standing committee of the United States House of Representatives, the lower house of Congress. Its responsibilities include U.S...

    • Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism
      United States House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism
      The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security is a subcommittee within the House Homeland Security Committee.-Members, 112th Congress:-External links:*...

    • Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment

  • Committee on Energy and Commerce
    United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce
    The Committee on Energy and Commerce is one of the oldest standing committees of the United States House of Representatives. Established in 1795, it has operated continuously—with various name changes and jurisdictional changes—for more than 200 years...

    • Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
    • Subcommittee on Health

Personal life


Harman maintains a residence in Venice, Los Angeles, California, and was married to the late Sidney Harman
Sidney Harman
Sidney Harman was an American businessman active in education, government, industry, and publishing. He was the Chairman Emeritus of Harman International Industries, Inc. Harman served as the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce in 1977 and 1978. As of August 2010 Harman was also the publisher of...

, who was Undersecretary of the Department of Commerce during the Carter administration.

Harman had previously sold his company, Harman Kardon
Harman Kardon
harman/kardon is a division of Harman International Industries and manufactures home and car audio equipment.Founded in 1953 by Dr. Sidney Harman and Bernard Kardon — two men with a deep interest in music and the arts — the company helped create the high-fidelity audio industry. Their first product...

, to Beatrice Foods for $100 million. In 1980 Sidney Harman bought the company back from Beatrice for only $55 million, rebuilt it into Harman International Industries
Harman International Industries
Harman International Industries is an American-based international audio and infotainment equipment company. The company designs, manufactures and markets audio and infotainment products for the car, the home, theatres and venues, as well as electronics for audio professionals...

 and managed it personally until the age of 88. Asked about possible conflict of interest
Conflict of interest
A conflict of interest occurs when an individual or organization is involved in multiple interests, one of which could possibly corrupt the motivation for an act in the other....

, Sidney Harman said: "We’ve been married for over 30 years. I’ve never told her how to run the government and she’s never told me how to run the business. That’s absolutely fundamental to us."

Her first marriage was to Richard Frank, in 1969, and she had two children with him, and two with Sidney Harman.

External links