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Jane Harman expected to resign from Congress

By ALEX DOBUZINSKIS
February 8, 2011

Rep. Jane Harman

Rep. Jane Harman, a leading congressional voice on national security and ranking Democrat on a key House intelligence panel, told constituents on Monday she would resign her seat if named to head a Washington think tank.

Harman, serving her ninth term representing California’s 36th district, including an area of west Los Angeles, said she was in discussions to succeed former Congressman Lee Hamilton as president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Harman, 65, said in an email to constituents that she has filed paperwork informing the U.S. House of Representatives and a “decision is imminent.”

“This is an excruciating decision because the distinction of representing the smartest constituents on Earth will never be surpassed — nor will my relationships with my exceptional staff and colleagues in Congress,” Harman said in her email.

The think tank’s board of trustees meets Tuesday to formally decide on the new president to replace Hamilton, a former Indiana Democrat who chaired the House Committee on International Relations and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, who stepped down at the end of November.

Word of Harman’s possible exit comes after U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, and independent U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, who often votes with Democrats, announced they would not seek reelection in 2012.

Harman’s district, whose voters have in recent history voted overwhelmingly for Democrats, is considered a safe seat for her party despite the Republicans’ 2010 election sweep that gave them control of the House.

Harman is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of Democrats with moderate to conservative views, and she has often taken a more hawkish position on national security matters than the mainstream of her party.

Her husband, businessman Sidney Harman, bought debt-laden Newsweek magazine for $1 last year, and she was ranked by the Center for Responsive Politics as the second-richest member of Congress with personal wealth estimated at $293 million.

Harman, first elected to Congress in 1993, is the ranking Democrat of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence. She also was the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for four years.

If her seat were vacated, California Governor Jerry Brown would have 14 calendar days to call a special election, a spokeswoman for the California secretary of state’s said.

The election would be the first major test of new open primary rules approved by California voters last year, in which the top two vote-getters of a single primary race advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.

Two California politicians, both Democrats, quickly showed their interest in Harman’s seat. Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she would run for the seat, and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen said via Twitter that she was giving “very serious thought” to running.

In her e-mail to constituents, Harman said that she would remain in Congress for “some weeks and do everything possible to ensure an orderly transition” to a successor.

Copyright © 2011 Reuters

6 Responses to Jane Harman expected to resign from Congress

  1. David Boyajian

    February 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    The Wilson Center is already mired in numerous scandal, and the very controversial Jane Harman is going to be its director?

    Two exposes:

    “The Selling of the Woodrow Wilson Center” (October 2010)

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/10/02/the-selling-of-the-woodrow-wilson-center/all/1

    “The Woodrow Wilson Center Desecrates its Namesake’s Legacy and Violates its Congressional Mandate” (May 2010):

    http://www.countercurrents.org/boyajian060510.htm

    A scathing letter written by Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) to his former colleague, Lee Hamilton, due to the WWC’s giving an undeserved award to the Turkish Foreign Minister in June:

    http://ackerman.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=186§iontree=4,186&itemid=1029

    A Wilson family descendant, Donald Wilson Bush, blasts the Wilson Center – (“Pawn for the Wrong President”):

    http://keghart.com/DWBush_Pawn

    Claudia Rosett takes the Wilson Center to task (“What Kind of Washington Fools Would Honor Turkey’s Foreign Minister?”):

    http://pajamasmedia.com/claudiarosett/what-kind-of-washington-fools-would-honor-turkeys-foreign-minister/


    • Carl Nemo

      February 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      I meant to thank you David Boyajian for the superb links concerning the Wilson Center. Everyone’s heard the expression “a gathering of eagles” no doubt; well this one seems to indicate the Center represents a “gathering of rats” that would sell us all out for a few dollars, euro’s or shekels more.

      Representative Harman will fit right in with her quarter billion dollar fortune along with her unquestioning pro-Zionist support of AIPAC. / : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  2. eve

    February 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Much has been written about this individual.

    She (and those like her) need to go. The US will become a better nation seconds after their departure.

    Harsh? Hardly.

    Those who are unfamiliar with her should Google Philip Giraldi’s and Justin Raimondo’s articles concerning her behavior as a “representative” of the American people.

    One wonders how she escaped incarceration or at the very least expulsion from office.

    Please do read these author’s writings, backed up by links of detailed information.

    They are eye opening.

    I’ll say the same for her as I did Joe Lieberman, “Good riddance to bad rubbish.”
    Hiss.

  3. Carl Nemo

    February 8, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    It’s interesting that Rep. Jane Harman is hoping to succeed former Congressman Lee Hamilton as president and CEO of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. ‘Scholars’ eh…?

    If I recall Wilson was the presidential mattoid that brought us the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Income Tax in 1913. So Jane is gravitating towards a ‘think tank’ that will in some way influence government policies. She’s already done enough damage to our nation to date with her involvement in AIPAC intrigues and rubber-stamping whatever schemes that make “Homeland Security’ more intrusive, obnoxious and dangerous to our freedom as ever.

    *****

    “A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men … We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men”.

    From the same work…

    “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” …both extracts from Woodrow Wilson’s The New Freedom: A Call for the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People (New York and Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1913). …Courtesy of Wikiquotes

    *****

    This President’s admission that he sacrificed our nation on the altar of Mammon with his name honored in our times through a so-called ‘think tank’ that’s soon to be chaired by the likes of Jane Harman is scary indeed. What AIPAC friendly, nation destroying schemes will she be hatching there…? / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. eve

    February 8, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    “Jane Harman is scary indeed. What AIPAC friendly, nation destroying schemes will she be hatching there…? ”
    -Carl Nemo

    One can only imagine Carl Nemo, one can only imagine.

    The rabbit hole goes deep.

    On a positive note, the three provisions of the (rushed through Congress) patriot act (lower case intended) were up for vote this evening and (thanks to some truly sensible representatives) were voted down.

    Let’s hope they keep voting them down every time they come up for renewal.

  5. WayneKDolik

    February 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Another Neo-Democrat wants out the front door. She probably knows she might loose the next primary. The rats are jumping the ship of state. lol