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Lincoln Rafael Diaz-Balart (born Lincoln Rafael Diaz-Balart y Caballero on August 13, 1954), an Americanmarker politician, a former member of the Florida House of Representatives, the Florida Senate, and since 1993 has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing ( map). The district includes a small portion of northern Miamimarker, along with several of Miami's northeastern suburbs.

Early life and education

He was born in Havanamarker, Cubamarker. He was educated at American School of Madrid, Madridmarker, Spainmarker; New College of Floridamarker; and Case Western Reserve Universitymarker, from which he earned a law degree.

Family

Diaz-Balart is the son of the late Cubanmarker politician Rafael Diaz-Balart. His aunt, Mirta Diaz-Balart, was the first wife of Fidel Castro. Her son and his cousin, is Fidel Ángel "Fidelito" Castro Díaz-Balart. His uncle is the Cuban-Spanish painter, Waldo Diaz-Balart.

Diaz-Balart is married to Cristina Fernandez, and has two children: Lincoln and Daniel. His brother, Mario Diaz-Balart, is also a congressman, representing the 25th district of Florida. He has two other brothers, Jose Diaz-Balart, a journalist and Rafael Diaz-Balart, a banker.

First run at public office

In 1982, he ran for a Florida House of Representatives seat for District 113 as a Democrat and lost to the Republican, Humberto Cortina. In that campaign he supported new taxes and many of his contributions came from labor and political action committees. In that race Diaz-Balart raised $43,970 against Cortina's $29,130. 53% of the voters were registered Democrats and only 37% were Republican. In that race, Diaz-Balart stated that he is opposed to any legislation to ban abortion.

Switches parties

Diaz-Balart as well as his immediate family were all members of the Democratic Party. Diaz-Balart was the former president of the Dade County Young Democrats and the Florida Young Democrats, as well as a member of the Dade County Democrat Executive Party.On April 24, 1985, Diaz-Balart along with his wife and brother Mario switched their registration to Republican.

Florida State Legislature

Diaz Balart served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1986-1989 and served in the Florida Senate from August 29, 1989 until elected to US Congress in 1992.

Congress

In 1992, Diaz-Balart defeated fellow State Senator Javier Souto in the Republican primary for the newly created 21st District. No other party put up a candidate, assuring Diaz-Balart's election. He was unopposed for reelection in 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2002 and defeated an underfunded Democrat in 1998.

Congressional Legislation

In general, Diaz-Balart's voting record has been moderate by Republican standards. Over the past two years, he has received scores of 60 from the American Conservative Union (ACU). His lifetime rating from the ACU is 73. In 2006, he voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment and in 2007 voted for the Matthew Shepard Act, which expanded the federal hate crime law to include sexual orientaton and disability .

He was a sponsor of the Homeland Security Act. He is a sponsor of The American DREAM Act which seeks to facilitate access for immigrant students to post-secondary education by allowing states to have power to determine requirements for in-state tuition. He is also a steadfast proponent of comprehensive immigration reform. He has been a key figure in south Florida bringing millions of dollars to the community most notably one hundred million dollars to the US Southern Command, which is housed in district 21.

He has achieved passage into law of historic pieces of legislation – such as the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA), and the codification of the U.S. embargo on the Cuban dictatorship (requiring that all political prisoners be freed and multi-party elections scheduled in Cuba before U.S. sanctions can be lifted). Diaz-Balart took to the floor of the House for passage, the legislation that created the Department of Homeland Security, and the extension (for 25 years) of the Voting Rights Act.

Diaz-Balart is a staunch advocate of a federal prohibition of online poker. In 2006, he cosponsored H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.

Cuba

Diaz-Balart plays a prominent role in the Cuban-American lobby, and was active in the attempt by relatives of Elian Gonzalez to gain custody of the six year old from his Cuban father.

During his career Diaz-Balart has advocated a naval blockade and military force to be deployed against Cuba, also calling for the U.S. to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro. Diaz-Balart has defended Velentin Hernández, convicted of murdering Luciano Nieves, a fellow Cuban exile who supported negotiations with the Cuban government, and lobbied extensively for the release and pardon of Cuban exile Orlando Bosch, who has been accused of involvement in the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455marker, helping organize an "Orlando Bosch day" to gain support for his release. The ghost of terror past. Salon.com.
Who is a terrorist? South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Wayne S. Smith. May 31, 2002.
° Congressman Diaz-Balart Says U.S. Should Consider Assassination of Fidel Castro. Wayne Smith. CIP senior fellow. March 31, 2004.

He also attempted to block Jimmy Carter's visit to the island in 2002.Ann Louise Bardach. Cuba confidential. p351. "Ignoring the growls of the Reich team and attempts by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart to block the visit, the Bush administration reluctantly granted approval"
Will Jimmy Carter Become First President to Visit Castro in Cuba? CNN transcripts.


Congressman Diaz-Balart is a member of the Congressional Cuba Democracy Caucus

Haiti

Diaz-Balart has also been an advocate of the improved treatment of Haitian immigrants. He was a strong supporter HRIFA, legislation that provided for the legalization of many Haitian immigrants. More recently, Diaz-Balart has called for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to include Haitian nationals. TPS provides immediate and temporary relief from deportation.

Congressional committee assignments



Party leadership



2004 & 2006 Elections

Both in 2004 and in 2006, Lincoln Diaz-Balart was unsuccessfully challenged by Frank J. Gonzalez [48249], a Libertarian Party candidate in 2004 and Democrat in 2006. In 2004 Diaz-Balart won with 73% of the vote. In 2006, Diaz-Balart won with 59% of the vote.

In 2004, Gonzalez ran for U.S. House as the Libertarian Party candidate and spent around $12,000 and earned 54,736 votes or 27% of the votes.

In 2006, according to FEC reports, Diaz-Balart spent $920,000 while Gonzalez spent $16,000, a 58 to 1 ratio. Gonzalez managed to earn 45,522 votes or 41% according to the Florida Department of State's Division of Elections website.

2008 Election



Diaz-Balart's Democratic opponent in 2008 was former Hialeahmarker mayor Raul L. Martinez. Diaz-Balart won re-election with 57.9% of the vote, with his Democratic opponent receiving 42.1%.

Position on 2008 "Bailout"

On September 29, 2008, Diaz-Balart voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Controversial Remarks

In December 2008, Diaz-Balart attended a Divine Performing Arts show. After the performance, comments about the show's message were recorded by reporters. Of these, some specifically attacked Atheism.

“The fact is, some things are eternal, and no matter what the difficulties in this life the truth will prevail, and mankind cannot be destroyed....I was very moved by the song that talked about the damage that atheism has caused and is causing. It was very moving, but all of the performances were moving, uplifting; they teach us about the eternal nature of mankind and of how we have to be humble....The songs carry the sense that evil will not prevail, and so the message is that the truth ultimately prevails.”

These comments were picked up by several atheist-leaning blogs.

On April 21, 2009, according to the Miami Herald, Diaz- Barlart referred to his native country as 'Castro's Totalitarian Fiefdom' on the floor of the House of Representatives, and criticized the President for calling it 'Cuba.'

References

  1. The Miami Herald; Emotions Racing in Little Havana, October 31, 1982
  2. The Miami Herald, Latin Opponents Take Traditional Party Stands by Elizabeth Morgan, October 10, 1982
  3. The Miami Herald, Latin Opponents Take Traditional Party Stands by Elizabeth Morgan, October 10, 1982
  4. El Nuevo Herald, Diaz-Balart Se Pasa Al Partido Republicano, April 24, 1985
  5. [1]
  6. United States House of Representatives Roll Call Vote on H.R. 1592
  7. Lincoln Diaz-Balart - United States Congressman
  8. Thomas (Library of Congress): HR 4777
  9. Politicization of Elian Gonzalez Often at Cross-Purposes With Law. CNN transcripts.
  10. Ann Louise Bardach. Cuba confidential. p50
  11. Congressman Diaz-Balart Says U.S. Should Consider Assassination of Fidel Castro. Wayne Smith. CIP senior fellow. March 31, 2004.
  12. Our Man's in Miami. Patriot or Terrorist? Washington Post. April 17, 2005.
  13. Lincoln Diaz-Balart - United States Congressman
  14. [2]
  15. [3]


External links






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