Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Biography

Elected: 1992, 11th term.

Born: September 5, 1936, Altamonte Springs

Home: Miramar

Education: Fisk U., B.A. 1958, Howard U., 1958-60, FL A&M, J.D. 1963

Professional Career: Practicing atty., 1964–77; Federal judge, U.S. District Court, 1979–89.

Ethnicity: Black/African American

Religion: Methodist

Family: single , 3 children

Alcee Hastings, a charismatic Democrat first elected in 1992, has shrugged off an assortment of scandals, including his impeachment for bribery and perjury when he was a judge in the 1980s. Today he is an enduringly popular figure with Democratic colleagues in the House and South Florida constituents.

Hastings had a relatively wide-ranging upbringing in the segregated America of the post-World War II decades. He grew up in a black suburb of Orlando and moved as a child to Jersey City and New York, where his parents worked as domestic servants for a rich Jewish family. He attended a Rosenwald school in Altamonte Springs, one of hundreds established for Southern blacks by Sears executive Julius Rosenwald. He graduated from Fisk University in Nashville and from Florida A&M law school in Tallahassee. From those beginnings, he made a rapid ascent, practicing law in Fort Lauderdale and finishing fourth in the five-candidate Democratic primary when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1970, at age 34. He became a state judge in Broward County in 1977 and was appointed a federal judge in 1979.

Then his career took a sharp turn downward. He was charged with conspiring with a friend to take a $150,000 bribe and give two convicted swindlers light sentences. A Miami jury acquitted Hastings in 1983, but the friend was convicted. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals called for impeachment in 1987 and referred the case to Congress. Hastings was impeached by the U.S. House on a vote of 413-3 and convicted by the Senate 69-26. In the House, Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus, made the case for impeachment. As a footnote, during a 1997 investigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation crime lab, the Department of Justice found that an agent falsely testified against Hastings. He and Conyers moved to reopen the case, but nothing came of it.

After his removal from the bench, Hastings in 1990 ran an abortive campaign for governor, and then lost in a primary for secretary of state. When the 23rd District was created in 1992, he ran to represent it and led in the primary 28%-27%. In the October runoff, he faced Palm Beach County legislator Lois Frankel, who blasted Hastings for his record. He responded, “The bitch is a racist.” Hastings was helped by a ruling by federal Judge Stanley Sporkin that his removal from office was invalid since the full Senate did not hear the charges. The Supreme Court later ruled to the contrary in a case of another convicted federal judge in 1993, but by that time Hastings was in Congress. He won the runoff 58%-42%, with voting closely following racial lines. He won the general election 59%-31%. (Twenty years later, when Frankel ran successfully in the 22nd District, Hastings endorsed her and offered praise.) Since then, he has not had a serious primary or general election challenge. A 2012 write-in campaign waged by anti-abortion activist and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry went nowhere.

In the House, Hastings’ voting record has been mostly liberal, and his rhetoric has been proudly so. He blasted a GOP-passed defense authorization bill in December 2011 for going too far in the name of fighting terrorism. “It commits us to seeing a ‘terrorist’ in anyone who ever criticizes the United States in any country, including this one,” he said. Declining to attend a tea party event in September 2010, he wrote to the organizer, “You represent the ‘party of me’ while Democrats and I represent the ‘party of we.’’’ Pro-Israel groups are among his most prominent campaign contributors, and he has been a strong backer of Israel. He told The Palm Beach Post in May 2007: “There is a nexus between Jews and blacks by virtue of the Holocaust and by virtue of slavery which, independent of each other, were horrible events that humankind does not want to happen again.”

In 2004, with the support of then Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert, Hastings was elected president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in the pan-European Parliamentary Assembly and served two one-year terms. In 2007, he became chairman of the counterpart U.S. commission. In 2006, the House passed his resolution condemning Iran for hosting a conference on Holocaust denial. The next year, Hastings pressed for the opening of Holocaust archives in Bad Arolsen, Germany, and three weeks later, the archives were opened. As head of the OSC, he monitored the elections in Georgia in January 2008. However, he drew the attention of ethics investigators in 2010 over whether he exceeded foreign travel stipends. He told The Wall Street Journal that he was generous in giving money to people he encountered and said: “You are all concerned about nickels and dimes, and I’m not. You know, in a taxicab in Kazakhstan, I don’t have time to get a receipt—I don’t speak Kazakh.” The investigation was dropped in 2011.

After the 2006 election, he was seriously considered for chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He had support from the Congressional Black Caucus but was opposed by the Blue Dog Democrats and others who maintained that his controversial past disqualified him. Hastings attacked his critics as “misinformed fools,” but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nevertheless selected Texas Democrat Silvestre Reyes. However, Hastings does have a seat on the Rules Committee, an influential post that gives him a hand in setting the terms for bringing bills to the floor. He irked conservatives in 2010 for his defense of a controversial “deem and pass” strategy for the health care overhaul that was briefly considered. He paraphrased an expression of Thomas Edison’s: “There ain’t no rule around here, we’re trying to accomplish something.”

Hastings made his mark on some issues of local importance. His bill to prevent Haitian illegal immigrants from being routinely deported received little support in September 2008, but when hurricanes hit Haiti, he successfully pressed Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to delay deportations for two months. He pressed the issue again in 2010 following the country’s devastating earthquake. Taking an original stand, Hastings in June 2008 called for a commission to consider expanding the size of the House beyond 435 members. That number, he pointed out, was established by statute in 1929 and can be changed by an act of Congress. He said there were too many constituents in each district for lawmakers to serve them adequately.

With Republicans in control of the House, however, Hastings has been limited in what he can accomplish. And he has continued to draw attention for issues apart from legislating. In July 2012, one of his former aides was sentenced to 42 months in prison for conspiracy, money laundering, wire fraud, and mail fraud. A few months earlier, a federal judge dismissed allegations that the congressman had sexually harassed a former employee of a human rights group.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-1313

(202) 225-1171

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2353
Washington, DC 20515-0920

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-1313

(202) 225-1171

RHOB- Rayburn House Office Building Room 2353
Washington, DC 20515-0920

DISTRICT OFFICE

(954) 733-2800

(954) 735-9444

2701 West Oakland Park Boulevard Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311-1363

DISTRICT OFFICE

(954) 733-2800

(954) 735-9444

2701 West Oakland Park Boulevard Suite 200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311-1363

DISTRICT OFFICE

(561) 469-7048

1755 East Tiffany Drive
Mangonia Park, FL 33407

DISTRICT OFFICE

(561) 469-7048

1755 East Tiffany Drive
Mangonia Park, FL 33407

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

2235 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(954) 730-7322

(954) 485-3959

2235 Rayburn Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Abortion

Acquisitions

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Agriculture

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Animal Rights

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Appropriations

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Arts

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Budget

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Campaign

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Communication

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Congress

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Crime

Dan Liftman
Staff Assistant

dal@mail.house.gov
(561) 469-7048

Disaster

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Economics

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Education

Kevin Ashley
Legislative Fellow

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Lewis Goldberg
Congressional Aide

Energy

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Environment

Kevin Ashley
Legislative Fellow

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Finance

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Foreign

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Govt Ops

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Andrew Torres
Congressional Aide

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Grants

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Lewis Goldberg
Congressional Aide

Health

Kevin Ashley
Legislative Fellow

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Homeland Security

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Housing

Kevin Ashley
Legislative Fellow

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Franklin Johnson
Congressional Aide

Maisha Williams
Staff Assistant

Dan Liftman
Staff Assistant

dal@mail.house.gov
(561) 469-7048

Human Rights

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Immigration

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Patricia Williams
District Director

Lewis Goldberg
Congressional Aide

Franklin Johnson
Congressional Aide

Judiciary

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Labor

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Medicare

Dan Liftman
Staff Assistant

dal@mail.house.gov
(561) 469-7048

Military

Andrew Torres
Congressional Aide

Dan Liftman
Staff Assistant

dal@mail.house.gov
(561) 469-7048

Minorities

Andrew Torres
Congressional Aide

Native Americans

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Public Works

Regulation

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Rules

Lale Morrison
Associate Staff

Science

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Small Business

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Social Security

Clarey Walker
Policy Advisor

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Tax

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Patricia Williams
District Director

Technology

Matthew Price
Counsel; Legislative Assistant

Telecommunications

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Trade

Thomas Carnes
Senior Legislative Counsel

tom.carnes@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-1313

Transportation

Veterans

Andrew Torres
Congressional Aide

Dan Liftman
Staff Assistant

dal@mail.house.gov
(561) 469-7048

Women

Election Results

2012 GENERAL
Alcee Hastings
Votes: 214,727
Percent: 87.9%
Randall Terry
Votes: 29,553
Percent: 12.1%
2012 PRIMARY
Alcee Hastings
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Alcee Hastings
Votes: 100,066
Percent: 79.12%
Bernard Sansaricq
Votes: 26,414
Percent: 20.88%
2010 PRIMARY
Alcee Hastings
Unopposed
2008 GENERAL
Alcee Hastings
Votes: 172,835
Percent: 82.18%
Marion Thorpe
Votes: 37,431
Percent: 17.8%
2008 PRIMARY
Alcee Hastings
Votes: 31,182
Percent: 88.04%
Ray Sanchez
Votes: 4,235
Percent: 11.96%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (79%), 2008 (82%), 2006 (100%), 2004 (100%), 2002 (77%), 2000 (76%), 1998 (100%), 1996 (73%), 1994 (100%), 1992 (59%)

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