John S. Tanner

John S. Tanner

name = John Tanner

date of birth = birth date and age|1944|09|22
place of birth = Halls, Tennessee
state = Tennessee
district = 8th
term_start = January 3, 1989
preceded = Ed Jones
succeeded = Incumbent
party = Democrat
spouse = Betty Ann Tanner
religion = Disciples of Christ
residence= Union City, Tennessee
alma_mater= University of Tennessee
occupation= attorney

John S. Tanner (born September 22, 1944) is an American politician from the state of Tennessee. He represents the state's Eighth Congressional District in the House of Representatives ( [] ), based in northwest Tennessee.

Tanner was born in Halls, Tennessee, and grew up in Union City, Tennessee. Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, he served in the United States Navy from 1968 to 1972. He was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives as a Democrat in 1976, replacing Larry Bates, who mounted an unsuccessful primary challenge against Congressman Ed Jones. When Jones retired in 1988, Tanner won the Democratic nomination for the seat and handily defeated Republican nominee Ed Bryant, who went on to represent the neighboring 7th District from 1995 to 2003.

Tanner was reelected in 1990 with no major-party opposition, a feat he repeated in 1992. In 1998, he was completely unopposed. He handily defeated Republican opponents in 1994 (the only time besides his initial election that he faced a serious or well-funded challenger), 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. His 2004 opponent, James L. Hart, was an avowed eugenicist and, although running as a Republican, was disavowed by the state Republican Party.

As a Congressman, Tanner has sponsored a bill to repeal the inheritance tax (which was vetoed by President Clinton) and he is in favor of a balanced budget. It is reported that Tanner could have been appointed to the United States Senate by governor of Tennessee Ned McWherter in 1992 to replace Al Gore but he declined the offer, and Harlan Mathews was appointed as a caretaker instead. Tanner became nationally known briefly when it was alleged that President Clinton was on the telephone with him in 1995 during one of Clinton's sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky. Tanner was a founder of the Blue Dog Democrats and has denied rumors that he might switch parties, and has an earned reputation as a moderate.

Tanner is strongly in favor of balancing the budget and paying down the national debt, and has been a strong opponent of the fiscal policies of President George W. Bush, voting against virtually all tax cuts passed since his taking office. Tanner was one of the few Democrats in the House to vote in favor of CAFTA and has long distanced himself from the majority of his party on issues such as bankruptcy law and lawsuit reform. He voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment, the ban on "partial-birth" abortions, limiting death penalty appeals, and has voted against most gun control measures. On other issues he is more liberal: he often votes with his party on separation of church and states issues, and has consistently voted against the Flag Desecration Amendment. Tanner voted with the majority of his party to expand stem cell research and against renewing the controversial portions of the Patriot Act. He also supports affirmative action and public education. Tanner was firmly opposed to Bush's attempt to reform Social Security.

Tanner received much of his knowledge of politics as a youth from his father E.B. "Buzz" Tanner who was successful in the finiancial and insurance business. He became a member of a highly political and infuential law firm out of law school in his home town community and soon ran for office as a state legislator in the House of Representatives. He was also a relative of then House Speaker Ned McWherter, who later was elected governor twice and was an extremely powerful political force in the state, having friends on both sides of the political isle.

In 2004, Congressman Tanner made a brief but unintended cameo appearance alongside Michael Moore in "Fahrenheit 9/11", where Moore was trying to get Congressmen to have their children enlist in the Military to go to Iraq.

He recently drafted a bill that would require special bipartisan commissions rather than state legislatures to redraw congressional districts when necessary due to U.S. Census count changes. It is generally believed that this bill is a response to Republican-inspired mid-decade redistricting in Texas and recent similar efforts in Colorado and Georgia.

After both his district and state chose the former first lady, [cite web |first=David |last=Welna |title=Hundreds of Superdelegates Remain Undecided |url= |work=NPR |date=April 25, 2008] Congressman Tanner endorsed Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign in April 2008. [cite web |first=David |last=Espo |title= Clinton’s donations surge after Pennsylvania victory |url= |work=Worcester Telegram |date=April 24, 2008]


External links

* [ Representative John Tanner] official U.S. House site
* [ Profile] at SourceWatch Congresspedia

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