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Democrat

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D)

Emanuel Cleaver Contact
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Email: n/a
DC Contact Information

Phone: 202-225-4535

Address: 2335 RHOB, DC 20515

State Office Contact Information

Phone: (816) 842-4545

Address: 101 West 31st Street, Kansas City MO 64108-3318

Independence MO

Phone: (816) 833-4545

Fax: (816) 833-2991

Address: 211 West Maple Avenue, Independence MO 64050-2815

Higginsville MO

Phone: (660) 584-7373

Fax: (660) 584-7227

Address: 1923 Main Street, Higginsville MO 64037-1526

Emanuel Cleaver Staff
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Jolley, Geoff
District Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Jolley, Geoff
District Director
Jolley, Geoff
District Director
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Jolley, Geoff
District Director
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Abarca, Manuel
Community Affairs Liaison
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Jolley, Geoff
District Director
Jones, John
Chief of Staff
Long, Holly
District Scheduler
Low, Parker
Staff Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Smith, Vernetta
Executive Assistant
Vaughn, Jim
Special Projects Coordinator
Wilkens, Kyle
Policy Coordinator
Jones, John
Chief of Staff
Vaughn, Jim
Special Projects Coordinator
Wilkens, Kyle
Policy Coordinator
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Jolley, Geoff
District Director
Smith, Vernetta
Executive Assistant
Cameron, Breanna
Legislative Assistant
Mahoney, Christina
Senior Legislative Assistant
Petrovic, Mary
Legislative Assistant; Deputy Communications Director
Share, Taylor
Legislative Assistant
Shapiro, Jennifer
Legislative Director
Abarca, Manuel
Community Affairs Liaison
Cardwell, Nicki
Community Affairs Liaison
Long, Holly
District Scheduler
Low, Parker
Staff Assistant
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Emanuel Cleaver Committees
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Emanuel Cleaver Biography
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  • Elected: 2004, 5th term.
  • District: Missouri 5
  • Born: Oct. 26, 1944, Waxahachie, TX
  • Home: Kansas City
  • Education:

    Prairie View A&M U., B.S. 1968, St. Paul Schl. of Theology, M.Div. 1974

  • Professional Career:

    Pastor, 1970-present; Radio talk-show host, 2002-04.

  • Political Career:

    Kansas City Cncl., 1979-91; Mayor, 1991-99.

  • Ethnicity: Black/African American
  • Religion:

    Methodist

  • Family: Married (Dianne); 4 children

Democrat Emanuel Cleaver, first elected in 2004, is an ordained minister who is known for his leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus as well as his efforts to bring more civility to Congress. “I am convinced, irreversibly, that the lack of civility is causing most of the problems we have in our government,” he told National Journal in 2011. Read More

Democrat Emanuel Cleaver, first elected in 2004, is an ordained minister who is known for his leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus as well as his efforts to bring more civility to Congress. “I am convinced, irreversibly, that the lack of civility is causing most of the problems we have in our government,” he told National Journal in 2011.

Cleaver grew up in Waxahachie, Texas, in a three-room shack with no plumbing or electricity. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University, moved to Kansas City and earned a divinity degree, and then became pastor of St. James United Methodist Church. He was elected to the City Council in 1979 and elected mayor in 1991. As mayor, Cleaver voiced support for the Clinton administration’s changes in welfare policy, which he described as “corrective surgery.” He backed expansion of downtown’s Bartle Hall Convention Center and supported the renovation of the deteriorating Liberty Memorial, the country’s largest World War I memorial. After leaving office, he hosted a radio talk show.

In December 2003, Democratic Rep. Karen McCarthy announced that she would not run for reelection, and Cleaver was widely expected to succeed her. Few expected just how tough Cleaver’s road to Congress would be. In the primary, he faced former National Security Council aide Jamie Metzl, who raised substantial funds. Metzl hammered Cleaver on ethics issues, questioning the propriety of a loan that Cleaver took out to purchase a car wash business and his failure to pay $36,000 in back taxes on the business. Cleaver won the primary by 60%-40%.

In the general election, Cleaver faced Republican businesswoman Jeanne Patterson, who had $3 million of her own money to spend. Like Metzl, she made an issue of Cleaver’s ethics, emphasizing bribery and fraud convictions of Cleaver’s allies, though there was no evidence that he was involved in any crimes. Cleaver said that Patterson was politically inexperienced and was trying to buy the seat. Cleaver won 55%-42%.

In the House, Cleaver’s voting record initially was near the center of the Democrats, but it has moved leftward in recent years, particularly on economic matters. Despite his religious background, he disdains injecting religion into politics; in his first term, he was one of 22 members, all Democrats, who refused to support a Republican House-passed resolution expressing support for Christmas that he dismissed as a sop to social conservatives. He opposed the 2011 deal to raise the federal debt limit, memorably describing it to an audience back home as a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich” that would cost jobs and hurt the poor. He later advocated means-testing of Medicare as part of a deficit reduction deal, calling it far preferable to across-the-board cuts. He has sponsored bills to promote financial literacy and to make it easier for students to vote.

Earlier, Cleaver got a seat on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s now-defunct Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. She designated Cleaver to act as a liaison with mayors and faith communities on those issues. He proposed changing House rules to require members to lease energy efficient vehicles in their districts. “The public would rather see a sermon than hear one,” said Cleaver, whose own taxpayer-leased car runs on used cooking grease. (He drew criticism in 2009 when it was revealed that the car’s $2,900 monthly cost was higher than that of any other House member.) His idea to create a Green Impact Zone in Kansas City became a reality in 2009. Cleaver has also been among those calling for travel and trade sanctions to be lifted on Cuba.

On the Financial Services Committee, Cleaver initially opposed the creation of the Troubled Assets Relief Program to bail out the financial industry, but backed a revised version in the face of constituents’ anger. He also voted in favor of taxing bonuses paid to AIG executives in March 2009, but later acknowledged it was an ill-considered reaction to public outrage.

Cleaver chaired the Black Caucus in the 112th Congress (2011-12) at a time when members often expressed dissatisfaction with President Barack Obama for failing to do more to help low-income minorities. Cleaver, who had backed Hillary Clinton over Obama in the 2008 primary, tried to walk a fine line between joining in the criticism and working to ensure the reelection of the nation’s first black president. “With 14% (black) unemployment, if we had a white president, we’d be marching around the White House … The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white,” he told The Root in September 2012. He led a Black Caucus job creation initiative featuring public events in several cities that caucus members said led to as many as 2,000 people getting work. He also called for the dismissal of ethics charges against two Black Caucus members—Democrats Maxine Waters of California and Charles Rangel of New York—and questioned why blacks were predominately the targets of ethics investigations.

Since then, Cleaver periodically has been in the spotlight on issues involving race. When Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in January 2014 that extending unemployment benefits discouraged people from looking for work, Cleaver told MSNBC that he was writing a song for Paul modeled after James Brown's "Say It Loud, I'm Black and Proud": "Say it loud, I'm stingy and I'm stuck." And when House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., made comments about poverty in March 2014 that some African-American lawmakers said were highly offensive, Cleaver said Ryan ended up in "a mouth trap" because of his lack of experience with inner-city issues. After the August fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., touched off riots there, he defended Obama's decision not to visit the city, even as he told MSNBC that it "resembles Fallujah" because of the militarized law-enforcement presence.

Cleaver has been careful not to come across as an angry partisan. He and West Virginia Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in 2011 resurrected their idea for a “Civility Caucus,” and Cleaver issued regular pronouncements to colleagues stressing the importance of collegiality. “Bees cannot sting and make honey at the same time; they have to make a choice,” he told National Journal. He made an impassioned plea for togetherness in a speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, bringing attendees to their feet and drawing positive reviews. “There is more power in unity than division,” he said.

Cleaver has easily won reelection, but questions about his car wash have continued to hound him. Bank of America sued him and his wife in 2012 over outstanding debt, late fees, and interest costs for a loan used to buy the business. The Small Business Administration guaranteed 75% of the loan, and local newspapers pointed out that if the Cleavers defaulted, taxpayers could be responsible. In February 2014, the Jackson County court clerk issued an order to withhold part of Cleaver’s salary to repay the more than $1.3 million that he and his wife owed the bank.

Show Less
Emanuel Cleaver Election Results
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2012 General
Emanuel Cleaver (D)
Votes: 200,290
Percent: 60.52%
Jacob Turk
Votes: 122,149
Percent: 36.91%
Randall Langkraehr
Votes: 8,497
Percent: 2.57%
2012 Primary
Emanuel Cleaver (D)
Votes: 43,712
Percent: 100.0%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (53%), 2008 (64%), 2006 (64%), 2004 (55%)
Emanuel Cleaver Votes and Bills
Back to top NJ Vote Ratings

National Journal’s rating system is an objective method of analyzing voting. The liberal score means that the lawmaker’s votes were more liberal than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The conservative score means his votes were more conservative than that percentage of his colleagues’ votes. The composite score is an average of a lawmaker’s six issue-based scores. See all NJ Voting

More Liberal
More Conservative
2013 2012 2011
Economic 89 (L) : 11 (C) 82 (L) : 17 (C) 87 (L) : 12 (C)
Social 68 (L) : 32 (C) 85 (L) : - (C) 80 (L) : - (C)
Foreign 69 (L) : 29 (C) 92 (L) : 7 (C) 88 (L) : - (C)
Composite 75.7 (L) : 24.3 (C) 89.2 (L) : 10.8 (C) 90.5 (L) : 9.5 (C)
Interest Group Ratings

The vote ratings by 10 special interest groups provide insight into a lawmaker’s general ideology and the degree to which he or she agrees with the group’s point of view. Two organizations provide just one combined rating for 2011 and 2012, the two sessions of the 112th Congress. They are the ACLU and the ITIC. About the interest groups.

20112012
FRC1016
LCV10083
CFG1418
ITIC-45
NTU1215
20112012
COC19-
ACLU-92
ACU80
ADA9595
AFSCME100-
Key House Votes

The key votes show how a member of Congress voted on the major bills of the year. N indicates a "no" vote; Y a "yes" vote. If a member voted "present" or was absent, the bill caption is not shown. For a complete description of the bills included in key votes, see the Almanac's Guide to Usage.

    • Pass GOP budget
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • End fiscal cliff
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2012
    • Extend payroll tax cut
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Stop student loan hike
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Repeal health care
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2012
    • Raise debt limit
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Pass cut, cap, balance
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Defund Planned Parenthood
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Repeal lightbulb ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2011
    • Add endangered listings
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Speed troop withdrawal
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2011
    • Regulate financial firms
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Pass tax cuts for some
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Stop detainee transfers
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2010
    • Legalize immigrants' kids
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Repeal don't ask, tell
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Limit campaign funds
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2010
    • Overturn Ledbetter
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass $820 billion stimulus
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Let guns in national parks
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass cap-and-trade
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bar federal abortion funds
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2009
    • Pass health care bill
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2009
    • Bail out financial markets
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Repeal D.C. gun law
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2008
    • Overhaul FISA
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2008
    • Increase minimum wage
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Expand SCHIP
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Raise CAFE standards
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Share immigration data
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Foreign aid abortion ban
    • Vote: N
    • Year: 2007
    • Ban gay bias in workplace
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Withdraw troops 8/08
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • No operations in Iran
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
    • Free trade with Peru
    • Vote: Y
    • Year: 2007
Read More
 
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The Almanac is a members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics. Comprehensive online profiles include biographical and political summaries of elected officials, campaign expenditures, voting records, interest-group ratings, and congressional staff look-ups. In-depth overviews of each state and house district are included as well, along with demographic data, analysis of voting trends, and political histories.
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