Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D)
Elected: 1992, 9th term.
Born: Feb. 19, 1946, Greensboro, NC .
Education: Greensboro Col, A.B. 1968.
Family: Widowed; 2 children.
Elected office: NY City Cncl., 1982–92.
Professional Career: NYC Bd. of Ed., 1970–77; Legis. aide, NY Assembly & NY Senate, 1977–82.
The congresswoman from the 14th District is Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat elected in 1992. Born and educated in North Carolina, she visited New York in 1970 at the age of 22, loved it and “just stayed.” She taught adult-education classes in East Harlem and, from 1977 to 1982, was an influential legislative staffer in Albany. She was elected to the New York City Council in 1982. Redistricting in 1992 made the Silk Stocking district more Democratic, and Maloney ran against incumbent Bill Green, an independent Republican who shared Manhattan’s cultural liberalism. But he was poorly positioned to appeal to voters in the outer-borough neighborhoods that had been added to the district, who preferred Republicans to be conservative on cultural issues but liberal on economics. Maloney lost the Manhattan part of the district 50%-44% but carried Queens heavily, winning 50%-48% overall.
|Carolyn Maloney (D-WF)||183,190||(80%)||($1,257,989)|
|Robert Heim (R)||43,365||(19%)|
|Carolyn Maloney (D-WF)||Unopposed|
Prior Winning Percentages: 2006 (84%), 2004 (81%), 2002 (75%), 2000 (74%), 1998 (77%), 1996 (72%), 1994 (64%), 1992 (50%)
Maloney has a mostly liberal voting record. Long an active and effective legislator, she won new prominence in early 2009 when she became chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that tackles pressing economic issues. She is also a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, where she has been a prominent voice on banking issues. Her priorities include limits on predatory loans and protections from inaccurate credit reports. She worked hard to win House passage in September 2008 of her bill to promote more transparent practices by credit card companies and to restrict abusive lending practices. She called the bill “a much-needed correction to a market that is out of balance.” With a boost from President Obama, the bill was enacted in May 2009. Even though many bankers are her constituents, she had tough rhetoric for bankers who took millions of dollars in bonuses after their firms received federal bailout money in 2008. In earlier years, she worked to keep banks from controlling other businesses, sought more oversight of the Federal Reserve, and added privacy provisions to financial modernization bills. She helped to craft reforms tightening rules for foreign investment. With an eye to her corporate constituents, she voted for normal trade relations with China.
A leader of the Women’s Caucus, she demanded that the Food and Drug Administration permit over-the-counter sales of morning-after birth-control pills, and she opposed separating men and women in basic training in the military. She sponsored a bill to create an office within the Internal Revenue Service to prosecute sex traffickers who violate tax laws. In 2007, with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., she introduced the Women’s Equality Amendment, a latter-day version of the Equal Rights Amendment, which fell three states short of constitutional ratification in the 1970s. In June 2008, the House passed her bill to give eight weeks of paid leave to federal employees for the birth or adoption of a child. Also in 2008, she authored a book, Rumors of Our Progress Have Been Greatly Exaggerated: Why Women's Lives Aren't Getting Any Easier—And How We Can Make Real Progress for Ourselves and Our Daughters.
With part of her district in Lower Manhattan and close to Ground Zero, Maloney was heavily involved in the government response to the September 11 attacks. She was among the most outspoken House Democrats urging President George W. Bush to quickly send New York the $20 billion that Congress approved for cleanup and recovery, and she urged him to appoint a coordinator to work with the city. But her proposal to give a $1,000 tax credit to visitors to the city went nowhere.
Maloney has a firm lock on the district. In the Republican year of 1994, City Councilman Charles Millard of Manhattan spent almost $1 million running against her, but Maloney won 64%-35%. Aside from the perils of redistricting, she has not had to worry about re-election since then. She was bitterly disappointed when New York Gov. David Paterson appointed the less-seasoned Democratic Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton when she became secretary of State in 2009. Maloney publicly questioned Gillibrand’s conservative stance on issues such as gun control and curbing illegal immigration, and she began raising money for a primary challenge in 2010. As the first woman in Congress to get a black belt in martial arts, she should not be underestimated.