Howard Berman

Howard Berman

name =Howard Berman

date of birth= birth date and age|1941|04|15
place of birth= Los Angeles, California
death_date =
death_place =
state = California
district = 28th
term_start = January 3 1983
preceded = John H. Rousselot
succeeded = Incumbent
party = Democrat
religion = Jewish
spouse = Janis Berman
children = Brinley Berman
Lindsey Berman
occupation= attorney
alma_mater= UCLA
residence = Los Angeles, California

Howard Lawrence Berman (born April 15 1941) has been a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1983, representing the 28th District of California ( [] ). He was born in Los Angeles, California, was educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, and was a lawyer and a member of the California State Assembly from 1973 to 1982 before entering the House.

Political views

A self-described liberal, Berman aligns with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.Fact|date=June 2007 Howard Berman has championed protecting American film industry jobs from outsourcing ("runaway production"). He has also voted against amending the constitution to require a balanced budget, banning the desecration of the American flag, the Defense of Marriage Act, restrictions on abortion, the death penalty, lawsuit reform, banning soft money donations to national political parties, tax cuts supported by the Republican Party, drilling in ANWR, and welfare reform.Fact|date=June 2007

However, Berman is to the right on a number of issues -- particularly foreign affairs and trade. Berman voted in support of the invasion of Iraq in both 1991 and 2003, as well as for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, [cite web
title=FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 145: Agree to the Senate Amendment with an Amendment
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
publisher=U.S. House of Representatives
quote=To amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 to establish a procedure for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence, and for other purpoes (sic)
] positions that have hurt his standing among many liberals in his district. [cite news
first=Linda |last=Sutton |authorlink= |author= |coauthors=
format= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
work=Truth Now Sunday
publisher=Los Angeles Independent Media Center
location= |id= |pages= |page=
quote=About 40 peace activists from multiple groups in the San Fernando Valley gathered in front of Congressman Howard Berman's home in Valley Village on Sat, May 26, 2007. Berman did NOT VOTE on the supplemental Iraq appropriations bill HR2206 that funds the war without timelines for withdrawal. Groups represented included Neighborhood Peace and Justice, Progressive Democrats of America, Progressive Caucus CDP, So. Cal. Grassroots, Valley Democrats United.
] Fact|date=June 2007 While he generally supports free trade -- for instance voting in favor of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and various trade agreements with specific countries -- he voted against the more recent Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). He opposes withdrawing U.S. support for the World Trade Organization. In that same year, he also voted to phase out many farm subsidy programs put into place by the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the New Deal.

Berman is known for his staunch protection of copyright interests and his alliances with the entertainment industry; he is sometimes referred to as the "representative from Hollywood."cite news
authorlink= |author= |coauthors=
title=New Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Draws Praise From All Sides
format= |work=The Forward
publisher= |location= |id= |pages= |page=
language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
] The major industry contributing to his election campaigns has been the entertainment industry. cite web |url=|title=Howard L. Berman: Campaign Finance/Money summary|date= 2|publisher= "Open Secrets"] He proposed legislation under which copyright holders would be able to employ technological tools such as file blocking, redirection, spoofs, and decoys -- among others -- to curb piracy (Peer to Peer Piracy Prevention Act). Recently, he has been named as one of the primary politicians involved in the creation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). cite web |url=|title=Proposed US ACTA multi-lateral intellectual property trade agreement (2007)|date= 2008-05-22|publisher= "WikiLeaks"] In addition to Hollywood, his district also covers roughly the eastern half of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley districts and the city of San Fernando.

Berman is also a strong supporter of Israel, telling the Jewish newspaper, "The Forward" after being appointed Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs, "Even before I was a Democrat, I was a Zionist."

Earlier life and political career


Berman is among "the most aggressive and creative members of the House, and one of the most clear-sighted operators in American politics." He is the son of the former Eleanor Schapiro and Joseph Berman, and grew up in modest circumstances. He graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School (Los Angeles) in 1959, and earned his B.A. (1962, International Relations) and LL.B. (1965) at University of California, Los Angeles. He was a VISTA volunteer (1966-1967) in Baltimore and San Francisco, and was an associate at a Los Angeles law firm (1967-72) specializing in labor relations. He married Janis Gail Schwarz in 1979; they have two daughters, Brinley and Lindsey."Howard L Berman." Carroll's Federal Directory. Carroll Publishing, 2008.Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Number: K2415002198. Fee.] cite book |last=Barone |first=Michael |authorlink=Michael Barone |coauthors=Grant Ujifusa
editor= |others= |title=The Almanac of American Politics
origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth=
series= |date= |year=1997
publisher=National Journal, Inc.
pages=pp. 206-208
month= |language= |oclc= |doi= |id= |chapter= |chapterurl=
location=Washington, D.C.
] cite book |last=Barone |first=Michael |authorlink=Michael Barone |coauthors=Grant Ujifusa, Douglas Matthews
title=The Almanac of American Politics
editor= |others= |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth=
series= |date= |year=2003?
publisher=National Journal, Inc.
location=Washington, D.C.
pages=pp. 236-239
month= |language= |oclc= |doi= |id= |chapter= |chapterurl=
] cite book |last=Barone |first=Michael |authorlink=Michael Barone |coauthors=Richard E. Cohen
title=The Almanac of American Politics
editor= |others= |origdate= |origyear= |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth=
series= |date= |year=2007?
publisher=National Journal, Inc.
location=Washington, D.C.
pages=pp. 233-237
month= |language= |oclc= |doi= |id= |chapter= |chapterurl=
] "Howard Lawrence Berman." Marquis Who's Who TM. Marquis Who's Who, 2008.Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2008. Number: K2017593147. Fee.] cite web
title=Politics, Breaking News, US and World News - Howard Berman
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=
format= |work=Washington Times
publisher= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=

Young Democrats

Berman was active in the Young Democrats at UCLA. He began his friendship with Henry Waxman there in 1960, when both were still undergraduates. Waxman was head of the YD liberal caucus, and through it ran the YDs. Both of them supported Adlai E. Stevenson's pursuit of the presidential nomination up to the eve of the 1960 convention.Berman was President of the California Young Democrats 1967-1969. [cite news
first=Mark Z.
authorlink= |author= |coauthors=
title=Rep. Henry Waxman Takes to His New Role as Gadfly. The Los Angeles congressman says he´s simply keeping tabs on the White House
format= |work=Los Angeles Times
publisher= |location= |id= |pages= |page=
language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
] cite news
authorlink= |author= |coauthors=
title=The Liberal Lion in Winter. The Democrats' Legislative Genius, Los Angeles Congressman Henry A. Waxman is Back on Defense
work=Los Angeles Times Magazine
publisher= |location= |id= |pages= |page=
language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate=

National Convention

Berman was a convention delegate to the 1968 (Chicago), 1976, and 1984 Democratic National Conventions.

California assemblyman

Berman won election to the Assembly in 1972 from a district in the Hollywood Hills, unseating the incumbent Republican Speaker pro-tempore.His brother Michael, campaign manager in Henry Waxman's 1968 Assembly race, again ran a targeted mail operation.In 1974 Berman and Waxman both opposed Willie Brown's unsuccessful revolt against Speaker of the California State Assembly Leo McCarthy, who rewarded Berman's loyalty by appointing him the youngest majority leader in the Assembly's history. McCarthy fired Berman when he tried to replace him in 1980.Although McCarthy failed to retain the Speakership, Berman failed to win it; and Brown became Speaker. Other members remarked on what a tough politician he was; the Bermans helped arrange a primary defeat for at least one colleague (Jack R. Fenton) who had opposed his bid. [cite web
authorlink= |author=
coauthors=Shane Meyers
title=11-07-1992 Election
work=Join California
publisher=One Voter Project
location= |id= |pages= |page= |date=
language= |quote= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
] cite web
title=Oral History Interview with TOM BANE
last=Isoardi |first=Steven L.
authorlink= |coauthors=
date=1994, 1995
year= |month=
work=State Government Oral History Program
publisher=California State Archives
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
quote=On top of that, Michael Berman was after votes. He figured if he'd knock off Jack Fenton, another vote for Howard. ...He did it to Jack Fenton, he'd do it to them.
] He also served as Chairman of the Assembly Democratic Caucus and on the Policy Research Management Committee of the Assembly.

In 1982, he ran for U.S. Congress instead.

Congressional career

Committee assignments

*United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs (Chairman)
*United States House Committee on the Judiciary
**Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property (Chairman)
**Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims

False claims act

Berman was the House sponsor of the 1986 False Claims Act that authorized civil litigation by whistleblowers. It led to recoveries for the United States Government exceeding one billion dollars.


The Center for Responsive Politics complained that 151 members of Congress had investments (as of year end 2006) in companies that do business with the United States Department of Defense, suggesting that such holdings conflict with their responsibility for U.S. security policy. The most important such companies, ranked by estimated total value of members' holdings, were Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Pepsi, ExxonMobil, Berkshire Hathaway, IBM, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, H. J. Heinz Company, and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. It identified the top ten members of Congress asThe report named no other members among the 151, save Sen. Joseph Lieberman and Rep. Berman. [cite web
title=FINANCE: U.S. Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars
authorlink= |coauthors= |date=2--8-04-07
year= |month= |format= |work=
publisher=Inter Press Service International Association (Rome, Italy)
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
quote=Other panel chiefs who invested in defence firms include Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Independent who presides over the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Rep. Howard Berman, the California Democrat who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In all, 151 current members of Congress -- more than one-fourth of the total -- have invested between 78.7 million dollars and 195.5 million dollars in companies that received defence contracts of at least 5.0 million dollars, according to CRP.
] [cite web
title=Strategic Assets
author= |authorlink= |coauthors= |pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
last=Mayer |first=Lindsay Renick
work=Capital Eye
publisher=Center for Responsive Politics
quote=...lawmakers are personally invested in companies reaping billions of dollars from defense contracts.

Campaign consulting

Berman paid his brother Michael Berman's consulting firm Berman & D'Agostino $195,000 from campaign funds from 2001 to 2006.cite web |url=|title= Related recipients|date= 2007-06-18|publisher= "USA Today"] This included $70,000 in consulting fees for the 2006 election.cite web |url=|title= Family Affair|date= 2007-06-19|publisher= "Citizens for Ethics"] In 2005, $50,000 in consulting fees were paid to the company, and Michael Berman himself was paid a further $80,500 in campaign management and consulting fees. In the 2002 campaign, Berman & D'Agostino was paid $75,000 in political consulting fees.

Redistricting 2000

The 2000 census allocated California one new House seat, 53 in all. Howard Berman, "dad of the delegation" on redistricting, made a deal with Republicans Tom Davis and David Dreier keeping 34 safe seats for Democrats, and adding one new Republican district while protecting 19 incumbent Republicans. Every California Democrat in the House and California State Senate hired Michael Berman as a redistricting consultant, for a fee of $20,000 each. When the August 2001 plan was unveiled, Brad Sherman complained that it undermined the safety of his seat with too many Hispanic voters. "Howard Berman stabbed me in the back." Berman agreed to redraw the boundary between their districts, giving himself 55.6% and Sherman 36.5% Latino population. The redistricting plan survived (June, 2002) MALDEF's court challenge, arguing it diluted Hispanic representation. The Republican suffered some slippage; they have only 19 members in the delegation to the 110th Congress.

Ethics committee

Alan Mollohan, ranking member of the House Ethics Committee, resigned from the committee after he himself became the subject of an ethics complaint. Berman had been its senior Democrat 1997-2003, and on 2006-10-05 Minority leader Nancy Pelosi reappointed him to replace Mollohan. Berman served on the subcommittee investigating the House's page program in the wake of the Mark Foley scandal. [cite news
authorlink=Chris Cillizza
author= |coauthors= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
title=House: Mollohan Steps Down From Ethics Post
format= |work=The Fix |publisher=Washington Post
location= |id= |pages= |page=
quote=Congressman Howard Berman, who previously served as the senior member of the Ethics Committee, has agreed to accept my appointment to return temporarily as ranking member.
] [] Dead link|date=September 2008"This is an honor I could have done without."

Center for Public Integrity reported in 2006 that members of the House Ethics Committee and their staffs had taken many privately sponsored trips, about 400 trips from 2000 to mid 2005, at a total expense nearly $1 million. Of these, Democrats took about 80% of the trips at about 70% of the cost. Berman and his staff were at the top of the chart, with trips costing more than $245,000. Berman himself had taken 14 trips at the Aspen Institute's expense, including two to China with Mrs. Berman. Aspen replied that its events for members were like graduate seminars, and did not push any policy agenda. "Gene Smith, Berman's chief of staff, said that the bulk of the congressman's foreign travel can be attributed to his being a senior member on the House Committee on International Relations." Five private groups (Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21 [, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG) jointly sent a letter to the e] thics committee urging it ban or restrict such travel. [cite web
title=Ethics Committee Members, Staff Among the Well-Traveled. House legislators mulling rules and their aides took about $1 million in trips
accessdate= |accessmonthday= |accessdaymonth= |accessyear=
authorlink= |coauthors=
year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Center for Public Integrity
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=
] [cite web
title=Sponsor Profile - Aspen Institute
author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors=
format= |work= |publisher=Center for Public Integrity
pages= |language= |doi= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote=


He is an endorser of the Genocide Intervention Network, pressing for more U.S. action on the genocide in Darfur.Fact|date=June 2007

Memberships and awards

*First Annual Farmworker Justice Award, 2000 [cite news
first= |last= |authorlink= |author= |coauthors=
work=Farmworker Justice News, Summer 2000
publisher=Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc.
location= |id= |pages=
language= |archiveurl= |archivedate=
quote=The Board of Directors of the Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc. presented the 2000 Farmworker Justice Award to Rep. Howard Berman of California. The presentation was made by Dolores Huerta, Secretary-Treasurer of the United Farm Workers, a long time friend of Howard Berman. The award reception was held at the Mott House in Washington, D.C. during the evening of May 24, 2000.
] [] Dead link|date=September 2008
*President, California Federation of Young Democrats, 1967-1969
*Jewish Funds for Justice, member of the advisory boardFact|date=September 2008
*President's award, National Music Publishers Association, 2007
*NATO Parliamentary Assembly
*Mexico Parliamentary Group

External links

*U. S. Government
** [ U.S. Congressman Howard L. Berman] official House site
** [ Federal Election Commission — Howard L. Berman] campaign finance reports and data (Federal Election Commission)
*Center for Responsive Politics
** [ — Howard Berman] campaign contributions
** [ OpenSecrets | Howard L. Berman (D-Calif) - 2006] personal finance
* [ On the Issues — Howard Berman] issue positions and quotes (On the Issues)
* [ Project Vote Smart — Representative Howard L. Berman (CA)] profile (Project Vote Smart)
* [ SourceWatch Congresspedia — Howard Berman] profile (SourceWatch)
* [ Washington Post — Congress Votes Database: Howard Berman] voting record (Washington Post)



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