United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States; the composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The House is composed of Representatives who sit in congressional districts that are allocated to each of the 50 states on a basis of population as measured by the U. S. Census, with each district entitled to one representative. Since its inception in 1789, all Representatives have been directly elected; the total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. As of the 2010 Census, the largest delegation is that of California, with fifty-three representatives. Seven states have only one representative: Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming; the House is charged with the passage of federal legislation, known as bills, after concurrence by the Senate, are sent to the President for consideration.
In addition to this basic power, the House has certain exclusive powers, among them the power to initiate all bills related to revenue. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol; the presiding officer is the Speaker of the House, elected by the members thereof. The Speaker and other floor leaders are chosen by the Democratic Caucus or the Republican Conference, depending on whichever party has more voting members. Under the Articles of Confederation, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body in which each state was represented, in which each state had a veto over most action. After eight years of a more limited confederal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress's sanction to "amend the Articles of Confederation". All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates; the issue of how to structure Congress was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention.
Edmund Randolph's Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be "of the people", elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, a more deliberative upper house, elected by the lower house, that would represent the individual states, would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation; the Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population. The smaller states, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states; the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise or Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress would provide representation proportional to each state's population, whereas the other would provide equal representation amongst the states.
The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time. During the first half of the 19th century, the House was in conflict with the Senate over regionally divisive issues, including slavery; the North was much more populous than the South, therefore dominated the House of Representatives. However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed. Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso, which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican–American War. Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War, which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union; the war culminated in the abolition of slavery. All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war.
The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party, which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery. The Reconstruction period ended in about 1877; the Democratic Party and Republican Party each held majorities in the House at various times. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House; the rise of the Speaker's influence began in the 1890s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. "Czar Reed", as he was nicknamed, attempted to put into effect his view that "The best system is to have one party govern and the other party watch." The leadership structure of the House developed during the same period, with the positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader being created in 1899. While the Minority Leader
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is a federal court located in Richmond, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts: District of Maryland Eastern District of North Carolina Middle District of North Carolina Western District of North Carolina District of South Carolina Eastern District of Virginia Western District of Virginia Northern District of West Virginia Southern District of West VirginiaThe court is based at the Lewis F. Powell Jr. United States Courthouse in Richmond, Virginia. With 15 authorized judgeships, it is mid-sized among the 13 United States Courts of Appeals; as of March 21, 2019, the judges on the court are as follows: Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their circuits, preside over any panel on which they serve unless the circuit justice is on the panel. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the circuit judges.
To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, have not served as chief judge. A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges; the chief judge serves until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position; when the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not remain chief after turning 70 years old; the current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982. The court has fifteen seats for active judges, numbered in the order. Judges who retire into senior status leave their seat vacant; that seat is filled by the next circuit judge appointed by the president. The Fourth is the most efficient circuit, taking an average of just over seven months to resolve each appeal.
From 2000 to 2008, the Court had the highest rate of non-publication on the Federal Circuit. The Chief Justice is always assigned to the Fourth Circuit as the circuit advisory justice, due to Richmond's close proximity to Washington, D. C; the Fourth Circuit is considered an collegial court. By tradition, the Judges of the Fourth Circuit come down from the bench following each oral argument to greet the lawyers. Federal judicial appointment history#Fourth Circuit Same-sex marriage in the Fourth Circuit United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Recent opinions from Findlaw
Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U. S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the southwest, while the Gulf of Mexico is to the southeast. Houston is the most populous city in Texas and the fourth largest in the U. S. while San Antonio is the second-most populous in the state and seventh largest in the U. S. Dallas–Fort Worth and Greater Houston are the fourth and fifth largest metropolitan statistical areas in the country, respectively. Other major cities include Austin, the second-most populous state capital in the U. S. and El Paso. Texas is nicknamed "The Lone Star State" to signify its former status as an independent republic, as a reminder of the state's struggle for independence from Mexico; the "Lone Star" can be found on the Texan state seal.
The origin of Texas's name is from the word taysha. Due to its size and geologic features such as the Balcones Fault, Texas contains diverse landscapes common to both the U. S. Southern and Southwestern regions. Although Texas is popularly associated with the U. S. southwestern deserts, less than 10% of Texas's land area is desert. Most of the population centers are in areas of former prairies, grasslands and the coastline. Traveling from east to west, one can observe terrain that ranges from coastal swamps and piney woods, to rolling plains and rugged hills, the desert and mountains of the Big Bend; the term "six flags over Texas" refers to several nations. Spain was the first European country to claim the area of Texas. France held a short-lived colony. Mexico controlled the territory until 1836 when Texas won its independence, becoming an independent Republic. In 1845, Texas joined the union as the 28th state; the state's annexation set off a chain of events that led to the Mexican–American War in 1846.
A slave state before the American Civil War, Texas declared its secession from the U. S. in early 1861, joined the Confederate States of America on March 2nd of the same year. After the Civil War and the restoration of its representation in the federal government, Texas entered a long period of economic stagnation. Four major industries shaped the Texas economy prior to World War II: cattle and bison, cotton and oil. Before and after the U. S. Civil War the cattle industry, which Texas came to dominate, was a major economic driver for the state, thus creating the traditional image of the Texas cowboy. In the 19th century cotton and lumber grew to be major industries as the cattle industry became less lucrative, it was though, the discovery of major petroleum deposits that initiated an economic boom which became the driving force behind the economy for much of the 20th century. With strong investments in universities, Texas developed a diversified economy and high tech industry in the mid-20th century.
As of 2015, it is second on the list of the most Fortune 500 companies with 54. With a growing base of industry, the state leads in many industries, including agriculture, energy and electronics, biomedical sciences. Texas has led the U. S. in state export revenue since 2002, has the second-highest gross state product. If Texas were a sovereign state, it would be the 10th largest economy in the world; the name Texas, based on the Caddo word táyshaʼ "friend", was applied, in the spelling Tejas or Texas, by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves the Hasinai Confederacy, the final -s representing the Spanish plural. The Mission San Francisco de los Tejas was completed near the Hasinai village of Nabedaches in May 1690, in what is now Houston County, East Texas. During Spanish colonial rule, in the 18th century, the area was known as Nuevo Reino de Filipinas "New Kingdom of the Philippines", or as provincia de los Tejas "province of the Tejas" also provincia de Texas, "province of Texas", it was incorporated as provincia de Texas into the Mexican Empire in 1821, declared a republic in 1836.
The Royal Spanish Academy recognizes both spellings and Texas, as Spanish-language forms of the name of the U. S. State of Texas; the English pronunciation with /ks/ is unetymological, based in the value of the letter x in historical Spanish orthography. Alternative etymologies of the name advanced in the late 19th century connected the Spanish teja "rooftile", the plural tejas being used to designate indigenous Pueblo settlements. A 1760s map by Jacques-Nicolas Bellin shows a village named Teijas on Trinity River, close to the site of modern Crockett. Texas is the second-largest U. S. state, with an area of 268,820 square miles. Though 10% larger than France and twice as large as Germany or Japan, it ranks only 27th worldwide amongst country subdivisions by size. If it were an independent country, Texas would be the 40th largest behind Zambia. Texas is in the south central part of the United States of America. Three of its borders are defined by rivers; the Rio Grande forms a natural border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas to the south.
The Red River forms a natural border with Arkansas to the north. The Sabine River forms a natural border with Louisiana to the east; the Texas Panhandle has an eastern border with Oklahoma at 100° W, a northern border with Oklahoma at 36°30' N and a western
Jack Brooks (American politician)
Jack Bascom Brooks was a Democratic lawmaker from Beaumont, who served in the United States House of Representatives for forty-two years. Defeated in 1994, Brooks was the most senior representative to have lost a general election for the U. S. House. Brooks was born in Crowley in Acadia Parish in southwestern Louisiana, his family moved to Beaumont, when he was five years old. He attended public schools and enrolled in Lamar Junior College in 1939 after receiving a scholarship, he majored in journalism and transferred to the University of Texas at Austin, from which he earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1943. He was a member of the Texas Cowboys service organization. In 1949, while a member of the Texas Legislature, he earned a degree from the University of Texas Law School. Brooks enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps during World War II, he served for about two years on the Pacific islands of Guadalcanal, Okinawa, in North China. By the time he retired from the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1972 he had reached the rank of Colonel.
On his office desk, Brooks kept a silver paperweight with the inscription "Fighting Marine". A lifelong Democrat, Brooks was elected in 1946 to represent Jefferson County in the Texas House of Representatives. After his election he sponsored a bill; the bill failed, but passed the following year. He won re-election to the state legislature in 1948 without opposition. In 1952, Brooks was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives for Texas's 2nd congressional district. In 1966, the 2nd was redistricted as the 9th district. Brooks was chairman of the U. S. House Committee on Government Operations from 1975 through 1988, of the U. S. House Committee on the Judiciary from 1989 until 1995, he served on the Select Committee on Congressional Operations, the Joint Committee on Congressional Operations, the Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security. In 1979, he became the senior member of the Texas congressional delegation, a position which he maintained for fifteen years. Brooks was conservative on some issues like the death penalty and gun control, but more liberal on issues like domestic spending and civil rights.
In 1956, he refused to sign the Southern Manifesto. Brooks was one of the few Southern congressmen to support civil rights legislation. One of Brooks' signature bills required competitive bidding for federal computing contracts; the Brooks Act of 1965 is cited as being a catalyst for technological advances. In 1967, Brooks opposed the move of the US Patent Office to attempt to introduce guidelines for software patentability; as the leader of the Government Operations Committee, Brooks oversaw legislation affecting budget and accounting matters, the establishment of departments and agencies. He helped pass the Inspector General Act of 1978, the General Accounting Office Act of 1980, the Paper Reduction Act of 1980, the Single Audit Act of 1984. In 1988, Brooks' influence was made prominent by his unusual involvement in trade policy, he introduced a spending bill amendment that banned Japanese companies from U. S. public works projects for one year. He said that he was motivated by continuing signs that the Japanese government "intended to blatantly discriminate against U.
S. firms in awarding public works contracts." House Majority Leader Tom Foley of Washington, who opposed the amendment, said Brooks "is one of the most powerful and effective chairmen in Congress."While chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Brooks sponsored the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1991, the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Brooks' sponsorship of the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, incorporated with an amendment to ban semi-automatic firearms contributed to his electoral defeat by Republican Steve Stockman, despite Brooks' life membership in the National Rifle Association and his personal opposition to the ban. A protégé of former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, Brooks described himself: "I'm just like old man Rayburn. Just a Democrat. No prefix or suffix." On November 22, 1963, Brooks was in the motorcade carrying U. S. President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy through downtown Dallas, when Kennedy was assassinated.
Brooks was a contemporary of Lyndon B. Johnson, a U. S. Senator before becoming Vice-President to Kennedy, he was present on Air Force One at Dallas Love Field when Johnson was sworn in as President after Kennedy's death. He was a leader in the investigation that uncovered millions of dollars in public funds expended at the vacation homes of President Richard Nixon. Following the Watergate scandal in 1974, Brooks drafted the articles of impeachment adopted by the House Judiciary Committee. For this reason, Nixon called Brooks his "executioner." In 1960, Brooks married Charlotte Collins. They had three children: Jeb and Kimberly. Brooks died at Baptist Hospital in Beaumont on December 4, 2012 - two weeks before his 90th birthday, he died surrounded by family after a sudden illness. At the time of his death, Brooks was survived by his wife and two grandchildren. In 1978, a U. S. court house and post office in Beaumont, were renamed the Jack Brooks Federal Building. A Galveston County park in Hitchcock is named Jack Brooks Park.
In 1989, a statue of Brooks was placed in the quadrangle at Lamar University in Beaumont. In 2001, NASA presented its Distinguished Service Medal to Brooks at a ceremony in the John Gray Center of Lamar University. NASA Admin. Daniel Goldin cited
Bribery is the act of giving or receiving something of value in exchange for some kind of influence or action in return, that the recipient would otherwise not offer. Bribery is defined by Black's Law Dictionary as the offering, receiving, or soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in charge of a public or legal duty. Bribery is offering to do something for someone for the expressed purpose of receiving something in exchange. Gifts of money or other items of value which are otherwise available to everyone on an equivalent basis, not for dishonest purposes, is not bribery. Offering a discount or a refund to all purchasers is not bribery. For example, it is legal for an employee of a Public Utilities Commission involved in electric rate regulation to accept a rebate on electric service that reduces their cost for electricity, when the rebate is available to other residential electric customers. Giving the rebate to influence them to look favorably on the electric utility's rate increase applications, would be considered bribery.
A bribe is the gift bestowed to influence the recipient's conduct. It may be money, rights in action, preferment, emolument, objects of value, advantage, or a promise to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in an official or public capacity. Many types of payments or favors can constitute bribes: tip, sop, skim, discount, waived fee/ticket, free food, free ad, free trip, free tickets, sweetheart deal, kickback/payback, inflated sale of an object or property, lucrative contract, campaign contribution, sponsorship/backing, higher paying job, stock options, secret commission, or promotion. One must be careful of differing cultural norms when examining bribery. Expectations of when a monetary transaction is appropriate can differ from place to place. Political campaign contributions in the form of cash, for example, are considered criminal acts of bribery in some countries, while in the United States, provided they adhere to election law, are legal. Tipping, for example, is considered bribery in some societies, while in others the two concepts may not be interchangeable.
In some Spanish-speaking countries, bribes are referred to as "mordida". In Arab countries, bribes may be called baksheesh or "shay". French-speaking countries use the expressions "dessous-de-table", "pot-de-vin", or "commission occulte". While the last two expressions contain inherently a negative connotation, the expression "dessous-de-table" can be understood as a accepted business practice. In German, the common term is Schmiergeld; the offence may be divided into two great classes: the one, where a person invested with power is induced by payment to use it unjustly. The briber might hold a powerful role and control the transaction; the forms that bribery take are numerous. For example, a motorist might bribe a police officer not to issue a ticket for speeding, a citizen seeking paperwork or utility line connections might bribe a functionary for faster service. Bribery may take the form of a secret commission, a profit made by an agent, in the course of his employment, without the knowledge of his principal.
Euphemisms abound for this Bribers and recipients of bribery are numerous although bribers have one common denominator and, the financial ability to bribe. According to BBC news U. K, "bribery around the world is estimated at about $1 trillion"; as indicated on the pages devoted to political corruption, efforts have been made in recent years by the international community to encourage countries to dissociate and incriminate as separate offences and passive bribery. From a legal point of view, active bribery can be defined for instance as the promising, offering or giving by any person, directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage, for himself or herself or for anyone else, for him or her to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions.. Passive bribery can be defined as the request or receipt, directly or indirectly, of any undue advantage, for himself or herself or for anyone else, or the acceptance of an offer or a promise of such an advantage, to act or refrain from acting in the exercise of his or her functions.
The reason for this dissociation is to make the early steps of a corrupt deal an offence and, thus, to give a clear signal that bribery is not acceptable. Besides, such a dissociation makes the prosecution of bribery offences easier since it can be difficult to prove that two parties have formally agreed upon a corrupt deal. Besides, there is no such formal deal but only a mutual understanding, for instance when it is common knowledge in a municipality that to obtain a building permit one has to pay a "fee" to the decision maker to obtain a favourable decision. A grey area may exist. United States law is strict in li
Charlie Wilson (Texas politician)
Charles Nesbitt Wilson was a United States naval officer and former 12-term Democratic United States Representative from Texas's 2nd congressional district. Wilson is best known for leading Congress into supporting Operation Cyclone, the largest-ever Central Intelligence Agency covert operation, under the Carter and Reagan administration, supplied military equipment including weapons such as obsolete FIM-43 Redeye MANPADS surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and paramilitary officers from their Special Activities Division to the Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War, his behind-the-scenes campaign was the subject of the non-fiction book Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History by George Crile III and the subsequent film Charlie Wilson's War, starring Tom Hanks as Wilson. Wilson was born in the small town of Trinity, Texas, to Charles Edwin Wilson, an accountant for a local timber company, Wilmuth, a local florist, on June 1, 1933. Wilson had one younger sister, Sharon Wilson Allison, former chair of Planned Parenthood and president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, who resides in Waco, Texas.
Growing up, Wilson attended Trinity public schools and, upon graduation from Trinity High School in 1951, he attended one semester at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, before being appointed to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. While at Annapolis, Wilson earned the second most demerits in the history of the academy. Wilson graduated eighth from the bottom of his class in 1956 with a B. S. degree in Engineering, specializing in electronics. Between 1956 and 1960, Wilson served in the United States Navy, attaining the rank of lieutenant and serving as the Gunnery Officer on the USS John W. Weeks, he was assigned to the Pentagon as part of an intelligence unit that evaluated the Soviet Union's nuclear forces. From a young age, Wilson took an interest in foreign matters. Growing up during World War II encouraged Wilson to avidly read military history, including numerous articles and other literature on the war; this led Wilson to have a lifelong admiration for Winston Churchill.
Wilson took the opportunity as a child to "keep watch" over Trinity for Japanese aerial attacks from his post in the back yard. Wilson's early sense of patriotism and his strong interest in international affairs encouraged him to become politically active in life. According to Wilson himself, he first entered politics as a teenager by running a campaign against his next-door neighbor, city council incumbent Charles Hazard; when thirteen years old, Wilson's fourteen-year-old dog entered Hazard's yard. Hazard retaliated by mixing crushed glass into the dog's food. Following this incident, Wilson obtained a driver's permit and drove ninety-six voters to the polls in his family's two-door Chevrolet; as patrons left the car, Wilson told each of them that he didn't want to influence their vote, but that the incumbent Hazard had purposely killed his dog. After Hazard was defeated by a margin of 16 votes, Wilson went to his house to tell him that his black constituents voted to defeat him and he "shouldn't poison any more dogs."
Wilson cited this as "the day fell in love with America."While Wilson worked at the Pentagon, he volunteered to help in John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign. While volunteering in Kennedy's campaign, Wilson took a 30-day leave from the U. S. Navy and entered his name into the race for Texas state representative of his home district on the Democratic ticket; this action violated Navy regulations, as active-duty service members are prohibited from holding public office. When Wilson returned to duty, his family and friends went door to door campaigning. In 1961, at age 27, he was sworn into office in Texas. Temple-Inland, Inc. an East Texas forest products producer owned by Arthur Temple, Jr. and Temple's son, Buddy Temple, employed Wilson during his incumbency in the Texas legislature, but business interests were suspicious of Wilson's policies. While serving as a Texas state representative for twelve years, Wilson battled for the regulation of utilities, fought for Medicaid, tax exemptions for the elderly, the Equal Rights Amendment, attempted to raise the state's minimum wage.
He was one of the few prominent Texas politicians to be pro-choice. All of these policies earned Wilson the reputation of being the "liberal from Lufkin." In 1972, Wilson was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 2nd congressional district, taking office the following January. Re-elected eleven times, Wilson enjoyed his job and always sought to "take care of the home folks" until his resignation on October 8, 1996. Although hawkish on foreign issues, he was liberal on other issues such as women's rights, social security and abortion; as a freshman representative, Wilson achieved the designation of the Big Thicket in Southeast Texas as a National Preserve in 1974. This early achievement made his colleagues respect his political power and Wilson earned an appointment on the United States House Committee on Appropriations. During his incumbency, Wilson's colleagues regarded him as the "best horse trader in Washington" because of his ability to negotiate and trade votes with other congressmen to ensure passage of his favored bills.
Despite not having many Jewish constituents, Wilson developed a strong relationship with Israel during his entire congressional career. This bond began during Wilson's first year in Washington. From a young age, Wilson had always supported the "underdog", Wilson went to