Henry Crapo

Mike Crapo

Michael Dean "Mike" Crapo (pronounced "Cray-poe") (born May 20, 1951) is the junior United States Senator from Idaho. He is a member of the Republican Party. He will become Idaho's Senior Senator in January 2009, as Larry Craig has decided to not seek reelection.

Education and early career

Crapo was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho to Melba Olsen and George Lavelle Crapo. He is distantly related to Henry Howland Crapo, who served as Governor of Michigan from 1865 to 1869, and William Crapo Durant, Henry's grandson, who founded General Motors. Mike Crapo and Henry Crapo are first cousins, five times removed, as Henry's father, Jesse Crapo, and Mike's great-great-great grandfather, Charles Crapo, were brothers. Crapo earned a B.A. from Brigham Young University in 1973 and J.D. from the Harvard Law School in 1977. He served for one year as clerk to Judge James M. Carter, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit and then returned to Idaho to become a lawyer. While practicing law in Idaho Falls, Idaho in the 1980s, he was active in the Republican Party's campaigns for seats in the state legislature.

The senator married Susan Diane Hasleton in June 1974; the couple has five children: Michelle, Brian, Stephanie, Lara and Paul.

Crapo was elected to the state senate in 1984. He was a member of the state senate from 1985 until 1992, serving as Senate President Pro Tempore from 1988 to 1992, when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives. He was a member of the House from 1993 until 1999, being re-elected in 1994 and 1996.

U.S. Senate

Crapo was elected to the United States Senate in 1998, gaining the seat of Republican Dirk Kempthorne, who ran for governor and was elected to that position. In his Senate bid, as in his House campaigns, his campaign signs had a macron placed over the "a" in his name ("Cray-poe") to hint at the correct pronunciation, and to prevent the undesirable pronunciation of "Crap"-o.

Crapo was re-elected in 2004 with 99% of the vote, with the other 1% going to write-in candidates. He was the only Senate candidate in 2004 to run unopposed on the ballot. Some Republicans want him to be appointed to a high position in the Senate Republican leadership because his seat is considered one of the 'safest' in the entire Senate. Senator Harry Reid, then the Democratic Senate Minority Leader of Nevada, also suggested Crapo be considered for the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court occasioned by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement announcement.

In the 110th Congress, Crapo currently serves on the following Senate Committees: Agriculture; Banking, Housing and Urban Development; Budget; and Finance. He co-chairs the Senate Nuclear Caucus, the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group (IPG); the COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) Caucus, which he also founded; and the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus.

Crapo will become the state's senior senator when the 111th United States Congress convenes in January 2009, succeeding Larry Craig, who is retiring.

Committee Assignments

  • Committee on Finance
    • Subcommittee on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure
    • Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness
    • Subcommittee on Taxation, IRS Oversight, and Long-term Growth
  • Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
    • Subcommittee on Domestic and Foreign Marketing, Inspection, and Plant and Animal Health
    • Subcommittee on Nutrition and Food Assistance, Sustainable and Organic Agriculture, and General Legislation
    • Subcommittee on Rural Revitalization, Conservation, Forestry, and Credit (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions
    • Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development (Ranking Member)
    • Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment
  • Committee on the Budget

Environmental record

Idaho has a high proportion of public lands (approximately 64%), and as such Crapo's environmental record has come under scrutiny. He has introduced S. 700, legislation to update and improve conservation incentives for landowners to protect endangered and threatened species through tax benefits. The legislation is supported by a broad array of prominent environmental advocacy organizations and outdoor recreationists; a listing of those groups is available at http://crapo.senate.gov/issues/cresa/support_letters.cfm. This bipartisan, widely-supported legislation has twice been approved by the Senate Finance Committee.

Two environmental initiatives Crapo has sponsored or promoted continue that collaborative approach. He sponsored a local working group partnership in Owyhee County, Idaho, to protect and preserve sensitive ecological and riverine areas in the county while ensuring the cooperation of landowners and grazers in the area. The Owyhee Initiative working group brings together local tribal members, ranchers, recreators, land managers, environmentalists, and county leaders and the process has been endorsed by editorials in local papers, including the Boise-based Idaho Statesman newspaper. Another collaboration promoted by Crapo is the Elk Cooperative, a loose working group of tribal members, wildlife officials, and recreators to identify plans that preserve stable populations of elk in North-central Idaho.

An effort to assist small communities confronting environmental problems is another project Crapo has undertaken. Project SEARCH (Special Environmental Assistance for the Regulation of Communities and Habitat) has been approved in several Congresses, most recently authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill. It provides grants to small communities, to assist rural communities throughout the country with planning and engineering grants for environmental infrastructure projects necessary to meet the requirements of water and wastewater regulations.

Crapo partnered with the Environmental Protection Agency to provide funding and technical assistance to the Coeur d'Alene Basin Planning Commission, a partnership of state, local, community, and federal officials charged with implementing restoration of formerly-contaminated Superfund areas in the Silver Valley of North Idaho.

However, in 2006, Crapo was given the lowest possible score (0%) by the League of Conservation Voters for his voting record in the Senate. This followed his score of 5% in 2005 to bring his lifetime score down to 4%. The LCV uses selected set of votes to determine the scoring for its yearly rating. Reasons for the low score include his votes for offshore drilling, for arctic refuge drilling, against funding to help "low-income families insulate and weatherize their homes", against funding for the environment and natural resources, against independent review of Army Corps of Engineers projects, and for having the Army Corps of Engineers review themselves.

Personal life

Crapo was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999 and underwent a radical prostectomy in January 2000. While he had a full recovery and was declared cancer-free at that time, prostate cancer recurred in 2005, and he underwent a series of radiation treatments. His experience led him to become active in advocating for early detection tests for cancer and other treatable diseases.

Crapo is an Eagle Scout, awarded in 1966, and was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) in 2000. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Electoral history

: Results 1992–1996
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 81,450 35% Mike Crapo 139,783 61% Steven L. Kauer Independent 4,917 2% David William Mansfield Independent 3,807 2%
1994 47,936 25% Mike Crapo 143,593 75%
1996 67,625 29% Mike Crapo 157,646 69% John Butler Natural Law 3,977 2%

Idaho Senator (Class III) results: 1998–2004
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1998 Bill Mauk 107,375 28% Mike Crapo 262,966 70% George J. Mansfeld Natural Law 7,833 2%
2004 (no candidate) Mike Crapo 499,796 99% Scott F. McClure Write-in 4,136 1%

Footnotes

External links

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