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John Abney Culberson (born August 24, 1956), Americanmarker politician, is a Republican congressman from Texasmarker, representing that state's 7th congressional district ( map) in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2001. The district takes in large portions of western Houstonmarker and surrounding Harris Countymarker.

Biography and career

Born in Houston, Culberson attended West University Elementary School, Lanier Middle School, and Lamar High School. He graduated from Southern Methodist Universitymarker (SMU) in 1981 with a degree in history. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from South Texas College of Law in 1989. He is a distant relative of former Governor of Texas Charles Allen Culberson.

During his time in law school, Culberson was elected to the Texas House of Representatives, serving his first term in 1987. He was a member of the Republican Whip team, becoming Minority Whip in 1999 during his last term. Culberson began working for the law firm of Lorance and Thompson as a civil defense attorney after he graduated from South Texas. Culberson led the effort to regain state control of the Texas prison system. He also worked for expansion of urban freeway systems and for increased development of medical technology.

Culberson won the Republican nomination for the 7th District in 2000 after 15-term incumbent Bill Archer announced his retirement. He finished first in the Republican primary — traditionally the real contest what has historically been a heavily Republican district — and defeated Peter Wareing in the runoff. He won easily in November, taking about 75% of the vote. He has since been reelected four times, the last against his 2008 opponent Michael Skelly.

Like Archer, Culberson is an ardent fiscal and social conservative; his Website includes his slogan "Letting Texans run Texas," which Culberson sees as a way to personify historical Jeffersonian values. Culberson is a member of the Appropriations Committee.

On Hardball with Chris Matthews, Culberson defended Texasmarker Governor Rick Perry's secession comments saying "don't make too much of what Gov. Perry said, again, he was just revved up and I think in the heat of the moment said something that he certainly didn't mean in his heart. [Texans are] patriotic Americans. No one wants Texas to secede" .

In 2004 he lived in the Copperfield area of unincorporated western Harris County, Texasmarker.

On June 12, 2009, Culberson signed on as a co-sponsor of H.R. 1503, the bill introduced as a reaction to conspiracy theories which claimed that U.S. President Barack Obama is not a natural born U.S. citizen. This bill would amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 "to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee's statement of organization a copy of the candidate's birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution," beginning with the 2012 United States Presidential Election. Proponents argue that the passage of this bill would prevent future "birther" conspiracies.

Culberson voted in favor of H.Res.593, which recognizes Hawaii, on the 50th anniversary of its statehood, as the birthplace of President Barack Obama.

Voting record and public image

John Culberson typically votes along partisan, Republican lines. Sometimes this happens with hypocritical results; for instance, on October 21, 2009, he was spotted in public clinic line for the swine flue vaccine intended for his daughter, though he previously voted against the funding used to bring the vaccine there.
  • Civil Rights
    • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)
    • Voted YES on Constitutionally defining marriage as one-man-one-woman. (Jul 2006)
    • Voted YES on making the PATRIOT Act permanent. (Dec 2005)
    • Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
    • Rated 7% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
    • Rated 0% by the HRC, indicating an anti-gay-rights stance. (Dec 2006)
    • Rated 19% by the NAACP, indicating an anti-affirmative-action stance. (Dec 2006)

  • Drugs
    • Rated -20 by NORML, indicating a "hard-on-drugs" stance. (Dec 2006)

  • Education
    • Rated 33% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes. (Dec 2003)

  • Energy
    • Rated 5% by the LCV, indicating anti-environment votes. (Dec 2003)

  • Defense
    • Voted NO on restricting no-bid defense contracts. (Mar 2007)
    • Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006)
    • Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)
    • Voted YES on federalizing rules for driver licenses to hinder terrorists. (Feb 2005)
    • Voted YES on continuing military recruitment on college campuses. (Feb 2005)
    • Voted YES on emergency $78B for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
    • Federal duty to provide missile defense . (Dec 2000)
    • Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003)

  • Religion
    • Rated 0% by the AU, indicating opposition to church-state separation. (Dec 2006)

More information is available here -

Congressional committee assignments

2008 election campaign

In 2008, Culberson faced his stiffest challenge to date in businessman Michael Skelly in the November 2008 election. Skelly, a former executive of Horizon Wind Energy, also served in the Peace Corps and earned an MBA from Harvard Universitymarker. Skelly currently serves on Mayor Bill White's Green Building Advisory Committee. Culberson led with 56 percent of the vote with about two-thirds of precincts counted. Skelly had 43 percent of the vote. This was the closest a Democrat had come to winning the district since it was created in 1967. Historically, Republicans at all levels garner well over 60 percent of the vote in this district.

As of June 30, 2008, Culberson had raised $983,204 with $550,228 cash on hand. As of the same date, Skelly had raised $1,465,519 with $1,050,314 cash on hand—more than any of Culberson's four previous challengers. In the previous four election cycles, Culberson had raised $1,092,972 (2000), $508,138 (2002), $628,783 (2004), and $718,882 (2006). In 2006, Jim Henley raised $122,145.

Online activity

John Culberson is active online with Twitterand Qik. He has used these online information dispersion services from House Committee meetings and from the Oval Office. On August 1, 2008, to protest the House going into summer recess without discussing a pending energy bill, Culberson and other House Republicans stayed to make speeches about the energy bill in question. The Democratic leadership in the House, which controls services in the chamber, responded by cutting the microphones and cameras. Culberson used the Twitter and Qik services to provide a live account of the proceedings. Culberson later compared this episode to the Iranian government's brutal crackdown against Twitter-coordinated protesters in June 2009.


  1. " Biography," U.S. Congressman John Culberson, 7th District of Texas
  2. " Distinguished HISD Alumni," Houston Independent School District
  3. "[1]
  4. " John Abney Culberson (R)." The Washington Post. 2004. Retrieved on July 29, 2009.
  6. "[2]," Library of Congress: Text H.R.1503; 111th Congress
  7. "[3]," Library of Congress: Text of H.Res.593; 111th Congress
  10. Skelly for Congress
  11. Race: Texas District 07 Open Secrets, total raised and spent by year

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