Steny Hamilton Hoyer (born June 14, 1939) is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Maryland's 5th congressional district since 1981. On November 16, 2006, Hoyer was elected as House Majority Leader over John Murtha of Pennsylvania. He is the first Marylander to become Majority Leader.
Hoyer has three daughters: Susan, Stefany, and Anne from his marriage to his wife, Judy Pickett Hoyer - who died in 1997. Hoyer also has two granddaughters, one grandson and a great-granddaughter (born on November 2, 2006). His wife was an advocate of early childhood education, and child development learning centers in Maryland have been named in her honor ("Judy Centers"). She also suffered from epilepsy, and the Epilepsy Foundation of America sponsors an annual public lecture in her name. Hoyer, too, has been an advocate for research in this area, and the Epilepsy Foundation presented him in 2002 with their Congressional Leadership Award.
Hoyer also serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Mary's College of Maryland.
Hoyer has served as chair of the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking position among House of Representatives Democrats, from 1989 to 1994; the former co-chair (and a current member) of the Democratic Steering Committee; and as the chief candidate recruiter for House Democrats from 1995 to 2000. He also served as Deputy Majority Whip from 1987 to 1989. On November 14, 2002, Hoyer was unanimously elected by his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus to serve as the House Democratic Minority Whip, the second-highest-ranking position among House Democrats. Now as the Democratic Majority Leader he is the highest-ranking member of Congress in Maryland history, and the longest-serving House member from Southern Maryland in history.
Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House in January 2007. Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House, was elected by his colleagues to be House Majority Leader for the 110th Congress. He was successful in his bid for the leadership position against fellow Democrat John Murtha of Pennsylvania by a margin of 149-86 within the caucus.
In March 2007, the Center for Public Integrity reported that Hoyer's political action committee "raised nearly $1 million for congressional candidates [in the 2006 election cycle] by exploiting what experts call a legal loophole." The Center reported:
Campaign finance disclosure records show that the Maryland Democrat used his leadership political action committee — AmeriPAC — as a conduit to collect bundles of checks from individuals, and from business and union interests. He then passed more than $960,000 along to 53 House candidates and another quarter of a million to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, data compiled from the Center for Responsive Politics Web site show.
Federal law generally prohibits political action committees, including leadership PACs, which are run by politicians, from receiving more than $5,000 each year from a single donor or giving more than $10,000 to a single candidate ($5,000 each for the primary and the general election). But Hoyer collected as much as $136,000 from one labor union committee and distributed more than $86,000 to a single Congressional race.
The only media to cover the report, the Capital News Service (Maryland), quickly pointed out how common and legal the practice is:
"That's like saying somebody who deducts mortgage interest on their taxes is exploiting a tax loophole," said Nathaniel Persily, a campaign finance expert and University of Pennsylvania Law School professor. "What exactly is the problem?"
"Bundling is very common," said Steve Weisman, of the George Washington University's Campaign Finance Institute.
What Hoyer, a lawyer, did was perfectly legal, the Federal Election Commission said, too. In fact, his insistence on detailed reporting made tracking the funds easier.
|1981||Congress, 5th district||Special||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||N/A||55||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|1982||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||83,937||79.58||William Guthrie||Republican||21,533||20.42|
|1984||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||116,310||72.18||John Ritchie||Republican||44,839||27.82|
|1986||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||82,098||81.93||John Sellner||Republican||18,102||18.07|
|1988||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||128,437||78.63||John Sellner||Republican||34,909||21.37|
|1990||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||84,747||80.66||Lee Breuer||Republican||20,314||19.34|
|1992||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||118,312||94.39||Other (no major opposition)||7,032||5.6|
|1994||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||98,821||58.81||Donald Devine||Republican||69,211||41.19|
|1996||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||121,288||56.92||John S. Morgan||Republican||91,806||43.08|
|1998||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||126,792||65.37||Robert Ostrom||Republican||67,176||34.36|
|2000||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||166,231||65.09||Thomas Hutchins||Republican||89,019||34.86|
|2002||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||137,903||69.27||Joseph Crawford||Republican||60,758||30.52|
|2004||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||204,867||68.67||Brad Jewitt||Republican||87,189||29.93||Bob Auerbach||Green||4,224||1.42|
|2006||Congress, 5th district||General||Steny Hoyer||Democratic||168,114||82.69||Steve Warner||Green||33,464||16.46||Write Ins: P.Kuhnert and Other Write-Ins||635||1,110||0.86|