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Gary Gene Miller (born October 16, 1948), Americanmarker politician, has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since 1999, representing California's 42nd congressional district ( map). He was born in Huntsville, Arkansasmarker, attended Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Californiamarker, and served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1968.

He is a businessman who founded several companies bearing his name, including G. Miller Development, G. Miller Masonry, and G. Miller Framing. At the age of 20, he began his first company, which built single-family and custom homes. His business expanded to the development of planned communities. Miller remains active in real estate through his development company.

Miller and his wife, Cathy, have three sons and one daughter.

Political career

Miller was appointed to the Diamond Bar, Californiamarker, Municipal Advisory Council in 1988. In 1989, he was elected to the city's first council that helped incorporate the city. He served as mayor in 1992. He ran and lost for state Senate in 1990 and 1994.

In 1995, Miller won a special election for a seat in the California State Assembly. He was elected to the U.S. House in 1998, defeating incumbent Republican and fellow Diamond Bar resident Jay Kim in the primary and then Democrat Eileen Ansari in the general election with 53 percent. He won again in 2000 with 59 percent of the vote and was re-elected in 2002 with 68 percent of the vote. In 2004, he defeated Democrat Lewis Myers with 71.5% of the vote per OCvote.com, the official county elections office website. Similarly, he won in 2008 with 63.8% of the vote, defeating Democrat Ed Chau.

Political positions

In 2005, Miller co-wrote The Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437) with representative Jim Sensenbrenner. In 2006, after widespread demonstrations by immigrants, Miller wrote: "Too bad their protest didn't include giving up government-paid social services — because a day without illegal aliens would be a boon to U.S. taxpayers."

Miller has backed the development of a rail link between Ontario, Californiamarker and Anaheimmarker, part of a proposed line between Orange Countymarker and Las Vegasmarker. "Once completed, there would be no need for an airport in south Orange County, and the Inland Empire will reap the economic benefits as a true transportation hub," Miller said.

Miller, a history buff, has become involved in the preservation of Civil War battlefields, after he played a bit part in the 2003 movie "Gods and Generals."

Miller has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Committee assignments



Caucus membership

  • Chairman of the Building a Better America Caucus


Controversies

In September 2006, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its second annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress, titled "Beyond DeLay: The 20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress (and five to watch)". Miller was one of the 20. The organization said "His ethics issues stem from his relationship with Lewis Operating Company and the sale of property." CREW has filed a complaint with the IRS concerning what it says is Miller's "failure to report or pay capital gains taxes."

Sheltering profits of real estate sales

2002

Miller sold to the city of Monroviamarker in 2002, making profit of more than $10 million. Normally, he would have had to pay state and federal taxes of up to 31% on that profit.

Instead, Miller told the Internal Revenue Service and the state of California that Monrovia had forced him to sell the property under threat of eminent domain. That allowed him to shelter the profits from capital gains taxes for more than two years before he had to reinvest the money.

But Monrovia officials say that Miller sold the land willingly and that they didn't threaten to force him to sell. A videotape of a February 2000 City Council meeting shows Miller asking city officials four times to buy his land. Although early drafts of Monrovia's sales contract with Miller included the phrase "friendly condemnation," it was stricken when the final deal was made. Miller and his wife signed an amendment to the escrow instructions on August 1, 2002, saying, "condemnation deleted."

2005 and 2006

Miller took an exemption again in 2005 when he sold the 10 lots to the city of Fontanamarker and again in 2006 when he sold a building to Fontana, claiming both were compulsory sales. The lots and building had been purchased in late 2004 with proceeds from the Monrovia sale. Such exemptions give him another two years after each sale to reinvest the funds without paying capital gains taxes.

In each of those cases, those involved in the purchases say eminent domain was neither used nor threatened. On January 31, 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that Miller's transactions are being investigated by the FBImarker.

Response

Miller declined to comment on the sales.

2005 profits from dealings with business partner and federal transportation bill

As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Miller pushed for a provision in the 2005 transportation bill that allowed the city of Rialtomarker to close its airport, the first time an act of Congress has ever shuttered an airport. It is a power the Federal Aviation Administration traditionally has had sole authority to exercise. The closing of the airport paved the way for Lewis Operating, a business partner and campaign contributor, to win a multimillion dollar contract from the city to develop the airport land and build a planned community consisting of 2,500 homes, parks and of retail space on the former airport and adjacent land.

Miller also helped secure $1.28 million in that bill for street improvements in front of a planned housing and retail center, including a Target store that he co-owned with Lewis Operating.

Miller took out nearly $7.5 million in promissory notes in 2004 from Lewis Operating, which he used to purchase land from the company. In 2005, he sold some of that land to a part of the company, making a profit of between $1.1 million and $6 million, according to his financial disclosure report (which requires reporting a dollar range, not an exact dollar figure). The majority of the parcels that Miller bought are about two miles (3 km) from the airport.

House Rules explicitly state that before entering into loans from an entity other than a financial institution, members of Congress and staff must submit the terms of the loans for review and a determination from the ethics committee on whether the loan is acceptable under the gift rule. It is not clear if Miller complied with this requirement.

December 2006 allegations

In December 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that Miller had used "congressional muscle" for "personal business matters." This included having congressional staff do Miller's personal errands, collecting nearly $25,000 a year in rent from his campaign committee, using the offices of his real estate development firm as his campaign office, and ordering an aide to find a way to get a city business-friendly councilmember on the National Park Board who was involved in a city purchase of Miller's property. The Times noted that when the campaign office was visited just prior to the November 2006 election, there was no evidence of campaign activity.

Notes

  1. Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers


External links




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