Patrick T. McHenry

Patrick T. McHenry

wikify = June 2008
refimprove = June 2008

name = Patrick McHenry

date of birth = birth date and age|1975|10|22
place of birth = Gastonia, North Carolina
state = North Carolina
district = 10th
term_start = January 3, 2005
preceded = Cass Ballenger
succeeded = Incumbent
party = Republican
spouse = Single
religion = Roman Catholic
occupation= realtor
residence= Cherryville, North Carolina
alma_mater= Belmont Abbey College

Patrick Timothy McHenry (born October 22, 1975) is a Republican United States Representative from North Carolina, representing the state's 10th Congressional district (see [] ). The district is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes Hickory, Morganton, Lincolnton and part of Gastonia. He previously was a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives for a single term.

Early years

McHenry was born and raised in Gastonia and attended Ashbrook High School. A Catholic, McHenry was the youngest of five children. His parents are now deceased.

While a student at North Carolina State University and Belmont Abbey College, McHenry chaired the North Carolina Federation of College Republicans and served as treasurer for the College Republican National Committee. His first run for public office was for the N.C. House of Representatives in 1998, while still a college student; his Democratic opponent was the father of a high school classmate.

After earning a B.A. in history in 1999, McHenry worked for a media consulting firm DCI/New Media, overseeing Rick Lazio's campaign against Hillary Clinton during her 2000 Senate bid. His main project there was running a Web site,

In the summer and fall of 2000, McHenry worked on George W. Bush's successful 2000 presidential campaign; he was a volunteer coordinator for Bush's inaugural committee. After six months working as a special assistant to the United States Secretary of Labor in Washington, D.C., McHenry returned to North Carolina and ran again for the state legislature, this time successfully.

Political career

A resident of Cherryville, North Carolina, McHenry represented the state's 109th House district, including constituents in Gaston County, for the 2003-2004 session. While in the legislature, he sat on the House Appropriations Committee.

After one term in the North Carolina General Assembly, McHenry successfully ran for Congress in the 10th Congressional District, which had come open when nine-term incumbent Cass Ballenger retired. McHenry faced a heavily contested primary in the 10th and bested his closest opponent, Catawba County Sheriff David Huffman, in a primary runoff by only 85 votes.

In the general election, McHenry earned 64% of the popular vote, defeating Democrat Anne Fischer. However, it was generally thought McHenry's victory in the primary runoff was tantamount to election in November. His district is considered North Carolina's most Republican district, having sent Republicans to represent it since 1963.

In the 2006 election, McHenry defeated Democrat Richard Carsner, gaining almost 62% of the vote on the way to a second term representing the 10th District.

In 2008, McHenry defeated Lance Sigmon in the Republican primary, winning 67% of the vote, and will face Democrat Daniel Johnson in the general election. Johnson is considered the strongest and best-funded Democrat to run in the district in over 20 years. In part because of this, the Cook Political Report moved the race from "Safe Republican" to "Likely Republican." This means that in Charlie Cook's opinion, while McHenry still has a considerable advantage, a victory by Johnson can't be ruled out. Shortly after the Cook Political Report's update, Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report, also a nonpartisan analysis of American politics and elections, addressed the race and indicates his opinion that an upset is unlikely [ [ How Long Are the House Democrats’ Really Long Shots?] ] .

At age 32, McHenry is the youngest member of the 110th United States Congress.

He currently serves on three House Committees: Budget, Financial Services, and Oversight and Government Reform. McHenry occupies two House Republican leadership positions, serving as a Deputy Whip and as Vice Chairman of Finance for the National Republican Congressional Committee's Executive Committee. [ [ Chairman Tom Cole Announces 2007-2008 NRCC Executive Committee] ]

In the 110th Congress, McHenry gained notoriety for his strong opposition to the new Democratic majority and its leadership by proposing a "minority bill of rights," similar to a blocked 2004 plan by the then-Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi [ [ - The anti-Pelosi ] ] . McHenry has received a 100% rating from the American Conservative Union. [ [ 2007 Votes by State Delegation ] ]

Legislative Record

In the 109th Congress, McHenry authored legislation which would increase the penalty for anyone who manufactured methamphetamine in the presence of a child. The legislation, H.R. 1616, was incorporated into legislation which passed the House and Senate. [ [ Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress) ] ] [ [ Congressman McHenry Co-sponsors Methamphetamine Epidemic Elimination Act - Local News - News : Lincoln Tribune : Instant, reliable and credible local news ] ] It was signed into law as part of the Patriot Act reauthorization in March, 2006. [ [ Patrick McHenry ] ] .

In the 110th Congress, in the Committee on Financial Services, McHenry worked with Rep. Al Green (D-TX) on legislation requiring mortgage lenders to simplify their mortgage disclosure forms for home buyers. [ [ REALTOR Magazine-Daily News-Bill Brings Clarity to Complex Mortgage Disclosures ] ] Their Mortgage Disclosure Simplification Act was integrated into H.R. 3915, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007, comprehensive housing reform legislation passed by the House. [ [ Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress) ] ] It awaits action by the Senate.

In 2008, McHenry opposed H.R. 5767, the Payment Systems Protection Act (a bill that sought to place a moratorium on enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act while the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve defined "unlawful Internet gambling").

McHenry was honored by the North Carolina Chapters of the American Legion and Marine Corps League after assisting in bringing a Veteran's Community Based Outpatient Clinic to Hickory, a project his predecessor Cass Ballenger had begun before his retirement. [ [ Veterans Groups Recognize Congressman McHenry For Work On Behalf Of Veterans - Local News - News : Lincoln Tribune : Instant, reliable and credible local news ] ]

After the passing of Senator Jesse Helms, Congressman McHenry sponsored a resolution (H.Res. 608) honoring the life and service of Senator Helms. Every member of the North Carolina delegation co-sponsored his resolution, and it was passed by the House of Representatives by unanimous consent. [ [|/bss/d110query.html|] ]

McHenry authored the Independence Prize Act, which would authorize a prize of up to $1 billion to an American company or individual who invented a transformative source of energy to replace fossil fuels. [ [ Search Results - THOMAS (Library of Congress) ] ] McHenry also co-sponsored numerous pieces of legislation designed to open drilling for oil in the outer continental shelf and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge as well as increased use of nuclear, clean coal, solar, wind, and hydrogen energy alternatives. [ [|/bss/d110query.html|] [] .]

Political Controversy

In August 2007, McHenry raised a minor amount of attention when he mocked a $20 per month tax credit proposed in a Democratic energy bill [H.R. 2776] for persons who commute via bicycle:

"A major component of the Democrats' energy legislation and the Democrats' answer to our energy crisis is, hold on, wait one minute, wait one minute, it is promoting the use of the bicycle.

Oh, I cannot make this stuff up. Yes, the American people have heard this. Their answer to our fuel crisis, the crisis at the pumps, is: Ride a bike.

Democrats believe that using taxpayer funds in this bill to the tune of $1 million a year should be devoted to the principle of: "Save energy, ride a bike." Some might argue that depending on bicycles to solve our energy crisis is naive, perhaps ridiculous. Some might even say Congress should use this energy legislation to create new energy, bring new nuclear power plants on line, use clean coal technology, energy exploration, but no, no. They want to tell the American people, stop driving, ride a bike. This is absolutely amazing." []

McHenry stirred further controversy with his remarks on April 1, 2008 regarding a recent trip to Iraq. During his remarks to 150 Republicans attending the Lincoln County GOP Dinner, he called a contractor -- reported first by liberal blogs as a "U.S. soldier" [ [ Think Progress » Rep. McHenry calls U.S. soldier in Iraq a ‘two-bit security guard.’ ] ] -- performing security duties in Iraq as "a two-bit security guard" because the contractor denied McHenry access to a gym.

"We spent the night in the Green Zone, in the poolhouse of one of Saddam’s palaces. A little weird, I got to be honest with you. But I felt safe. And so in the morning, I got up early — not that I make this a great habit — but I went to the gym because I just couldn’t sleep and everything else. Well, sure enough, the guard wouldn’t let me in. Said I didn’t have the correct credentials.

It’s 5:00 in the morning. I haven’t had sleep. I was not very happy with this two-bit security guard. So you know, I said, “I want to see your supervisor.” Thirty minutes later, the supervisor wasn’t happy with me, they escort me back to my room. It happens. I guess I didn’t need to work out anyway." [ [ McHenry Refers to Soldier as "Two Bit Security Guard"] , Carolina Politics Online, April 3, 2008] [ [ Video of Patrick McHenry's "two-bit soldier" remark] on YouTube]

He later apologized, saying " [i] t was a poor choice of words to describe a foreign contractor." [ [ Lawmaker apologizes for comment on Iraq guard - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times ] ]

McHenry was also the subject of discussion regarding a video posted on his Congressional Campaign website that featured the Congressman in the Green Zone in Baghdad, pointing out landmarks and destruction after the missile attack(s) mentioned above. Veteran's affairs blog VetVoice posted a scathing attack [ [ VetVoice:: Congressman McHenry Violates OPSEC; Endangers Troops ] ] , claiming that Patrick McHenry's video violated OPSEC, Operational Security. McHenry later removed the video after discussing the information with the Pentagon, whom requested McHenry not place the video back online [ [ Iraq visit hurts congressman : : Greensboro, North Carolina ] ] . Lance Sigmon, McHenry's opponent, later went on to call a press conference to demand an investigation regarding the full nature of the video's effect on Green Zone Troops [] . Sigmon attacked McHenry in a campaign ad regarding this controversy, which prompted McHenry to threaten legal action, claiming that the ad was false. [ [ News-Topic, Lenoir, NC, 28645 - news, sports, editorials, obituaries ] ]

On April 16, 2008, Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call revealed that Patrick McHenry used funds from his PAC, "More Conservatives", in order to fund the defense of former aide Michael Aaron Lay's voter fraud charges incurred during McHenry's 2004 race [ [ Necessary Overhead? - Roll Call ] ] . Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) gave Michael Aaron Lay a total of $20,000 to pay legal bills on voter fraud charges brought while the former campaign aide worked for the now-Member. According to recent Federal Election Commission filings, McHenry gave Lay $5,000 out of his political action committee, More Conservatives PAC, in two payments during February and March, in addition to a lump sum of $10,000 given in July 2007. [ [ Necessary Overhead? - Roll Call] ] .

These expenses were labeled as “Legal Expense Donation [s] “, according to FEC reports. Lay agreed to a deferred prosecution deal, which stipulated he complete 100 hours of community service and pay $240.50 in court fees and $250.00 in community service fees to have the charges dismissed.

Lay, an employee of the 2004 campaign, lived in McHenry's home in Cherryville which also served as the campaign headquarters during the 2004 election, was indicted for voter fraud in McHenry's election, allegedly voted illegally in two separate instances. [ [ Congressman McHenry's Campaign Aide Indicted - Primary Source ] ] . McHenry, in response, claimed the case was part of a "three year smear campaign" by District Attorney Locke Bell [ [ Breaking News: McHenry campaign aide indicted for voter fraud from 2004 election, mchenry, lay, news : The Star Online : The Newspaper of Cleveland County ] ] , despite Locke Bell fund raising for McHenry in previous elections [] . This contoversy led McHenry to be called the "World's Worst Person in the World" by Keith Olbermann, parodying McHenry's allegations [ [ YouTube - Worst Person in the World: Rep Patrick McHenry ] ] .

McHenry is also notable for having spoken out against Presidential Candidate John McCain during the primary cycle, reportedly asking fellow Republicans why they "shouldn't be physically ill at the prospects of a President McCain." [ [ Despite GOP's Push for McCain, Huckabee Won't Pull Out of Race ] ] .

McHenry has also been called out by the Center for Responsive Politics' Capital Eye, who found evidence that McHenry had been taking money from Countrywide, a company now involved in the Subprime Mortgage Crisis [ [ OpenSecrets | Countrywide's Campaign Contributions Weren't Loans, But They Were Investments - Capital Eye ] ] . McHenry took $5,500 from Countrywide's PAC, and served in an investigation into CEO payout fraud, of which one of the target companies was Countrywide itself.

McHenry has additionally been the subject of controversy after making allegations that his challenger, Daniel Johnson, was "Nancy Pelosi's Chosen Recruit" with "pockets stuffed from cash from Washington liberals". North Carolina Republican Party leaders spoke out about these comments [ [ McClatchy Washington Bureau | 06/12/2008 | Will crying 'liberal' help GOP this year? Some think not ] ] after North Carolina Democratic Party leaders lashed back, calling it an "undue personal attack" [ [ Republican Patrick McHenry Begins Smear Campaign | North Carolina Democratic Party ] ] . McHenry changed the text on his press release after this backlash- the original version being saved on blogs [ [ McHenry Declares Victory - Attacks Democratic Opponent | The Catawba Valley Independent ] ] whereas the original version now does not feature the "Nancy Pelosi" comment [ [ McHenry for Congress ] ] .

Patrick McHenry was also the subject of a Democratically funded radio advertising lampooning both McHenry and Rep. Robin Hayes for their support of "big oil" [ Radio ad targets GOP, McHenry - Hickory Daily Record] . The ad features a George W. Bush impersonator calling each respective Congressman's voice mail, thanking them for their support of "big oil", claiming:

“Sure gasoline is over 4 bucks a gallon and the oil companies are making record profits,” the Bush mimic says, “but what's good for big oil is good for America, right? I guess that's why they call us the Grand Oil Party." [ Radio ads hit Hayes, McHenry on gas - Charlotte Observer]

ee also

*United States House of Representatives elections in North Carolina, 2008#District 10


External links

* [ Congressman Patrick McHenry] official U.S. House site
* [ Patrick McHenry for Congress] official campaign site
* [ Profile] at SourceWatch Congresspedia
* []

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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