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Mary Bono Mack (born October 24, 1961) is an Americanmarker politician, and since 1998 has been a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing . The district, numbered as the 44th District for her first three terms, is based in Palm Springsmarker and includes most of central and eastern Riverside Countymarker.

Personal life

She was born Mary Whitaker in Cleveland, Ohiomarker but moved to South Pasadena, Californiamarker in 1963. She worked her way through the University of Southern Californiamarker, graduating in 1984 with a Bachelor's Degree in Art History. Two years later, she married singer and actor Sonny Bono and moved to Palm Springs. In his biography, The Beat Goes On, Sonny said "When I wrote songs I always knew if I was on to something that was great. I could just tell. I felt that way about being with Mary. I knew it was great." Soon after, Sonny Bono became interested in politics, serving as mayor of Palm Springs from 1988 to 1992 and being elected to Congress in 1994. When reflecting about his marriage and family, Sonny said, "I've never been happier. For the first time I feel free to really love someone and to be a great father." She is a former Scientologist.

Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident on January 5, 1998. She then began using the name Bono and won the Republican nomination for the special election to succeed him. She then won in the special election April 7, 1998. She won a full term in November and has been re-elected since. As of 2007, Bono was one of five representatives to be elected to their seats following the deaths of their husbands, along with Lindy Boggs (D-LAmarker), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MOmarker), Lois Capps (D-CAmarker), and Doris Matsui (D-CA).

Bono married Wyoming businessman Glenn Baxley in 2001 about 18 months after the two met in Mexico. They filed for divorce in 2005. On December 15, 2007, Mary married Congressman Connie Mack IV from Floridamarker in Asheville, North Carolinamarker.

Bono has a son, Chesare Elan Bono (born 1988), and a daughter, Chianna Maria Bono (born 1991) from her marriage to Sonny Bono. She has four stepchildren, Christy, Chaz, Addison and Connie. In addition to spending time with her family, Mary enjoys a wide range of interests including music and outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. In the April edition of "Golf for Women" magazine, she was listed as "one of the 50 most powerful women who play [golf].

While enjoying her love of the outdoors, the Congresswoman attended a lecture by the noted mountaineer-turned-humanitarian, Greg Mortenson. Bono Mack worked with Mortenson to open doors in Washington DC in order to aid his efforts to build schools for girls in the mountainous regions of Pakistan. Bono Mack is quoted in Mortenson's book "Three Cups of Tea" as saying "I've learned more from Greg Mortenson about the causes of terrorism than during all our briefings on Capitol Hill"

Bono Mack is known for her dedication to physical fitness; she was an accomplished gymnast in her youth.
Earlier photo of Mary Bono, c.

Congressional career

Unlike Sonny Bono, who was a loyal supporter of Newt Gingrich, Bono Mack has a voting record of a social moderate and economic conservative. The 45th had long been a Republican stronghold, but has become much more Democratic in recent years; it currently has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of R+3. While Moreno Valleymarker and Palm Springs have a slight Democratic tilt, Palm Desertmarker is strongly conservative. Her district includes the highest percentage of gays and lesbians of any district represented by a Republican. . She is a member of The Republican Main Street Partnership, The Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Choice, The Wish List, and Christine Todd Whitman's It's My Party, Too. Overall, she has a mixed record on the issue of abortion rights.

Bono Mack follows the Republican Party line 89% of the time, and voted with former President George W. Bush 79% of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly. In 2004 she earned an 84% approval rating from the Christian Coalition, but this fell to 33% in 2008. In 1999, she voted in favor of the Largent amendment, to ban adoption by same-sex couples in Washington, DCmarker. Bono has, however, voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment twice.

Some of the congresswoman's legislation history includes a bill that calls for country-of-origin labeling for fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as several energy-saving bills to reward companies for utilizing clean burning fuel technologies and increase the energy-efficiency of federal buildings. In 2000, Bono Mack succeeded in passing legislation that established the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monumentmarker in the Palm Springsmarker region. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed Bono Mack’s Protect Yourself Against Cyber Trespass Act (SPY Act), which would protect an individual’s personal information on the Web. Also, Bono Mack has sponsored legislation that provides funding for obesity studies and improved nutrition programs nationwide, autism research, and Federal funding under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Act.

Bono Mack was a leading proponent of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, the so-called "Mickey Mouse Law", which extended the terms of copyright. Giving a speech on the floor of Congress in favor of the bill, Bono said:
Actually, Sonny wanted the term of copyright protection to last forever.
I am informed by staff that such a change would violate the Constitution.
As you know, there is also [Motion Picture Association of America president] Jack Valenti's proposal for the term to last forever less one day.
Perhaps the Committee may look at that next Congress.

In the 2008 election year, she was reelected to her sixth term with 58% of the vote. In 2006, Bono Mack was reelected with 60.7%.

Bono Mack has received numerous awards from major organizations such as: Americans for Tax Reform (In addition to her high ratings, she is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge), National Federation of Independent Businesses, the National Association of Manufacturers, and also from Sunline Transit Agency for her support of alternative fuel technologies.

Committee assignments

Media coverage

Bono Mack has been the subject of numerous profiles for a wide array of publications and television shows, including: CNN's Larry King Live, NBC's The Today Show, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, USA Today, PEOPLE, Capital Style, ELLE Magazine, Entertainment Tonight, Esquire, GEORGE,, Good Housekeeping, HELLO Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, and PBS. In 1998 Bono Mack was named one of the Most Fascinating Women of 1998 by Ladies' Home Journal magazine in conjunction with CBS Television. She was also selected by the former GEORGE magazine as one of the 20 most fascinating women in politics.


  1. Sonny Bono: And the beat goes on
  3. Fox News, GOP House Members Mary Bono and Connie Mack Marry in North Carolina
  4. Golf for Women, April 2008
  5. "Mortenson, Greg: Three Cups of Tea
  6. Same-sex Couples and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Population: New Estimates from the American Community Survey]|2.07 MiB}}. The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law October, 2006. Retrieved February 15, 2007
  7. Mary Bono on the Issues
  11. Human Rights Campaign
  12. [1]Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack: Biography
  13. 144 Congressional Record H9952.
  14. Riverside County Registrar of Voters
  15. Bono Election Day Schedule
  16. CA Secretary of State - Statement of Vote - 2006 General Election
  17. Current Taxpayer Protection Pledge Signers

External links

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