Election Facts for 2014:
• Party – Democrat
• State – California
• Location – California 12
• First Elected – 1987
• Candidates in 2014:
Nancy Pelosi – D
David Peterson – D
Nancy Patricia D’Alesandro Pelosi is a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 12th District of California. She was a leading member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, until she withdrew when she became Speaker of the House in 2009.
Nancy Pelosi was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the youngest of six children of Anunciata M. (“Nancy”) and Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr., who was a Democratic Party U.S. Congressman from Maryland and a Mayor of Baltimore.
Pelosi graduated from the Institute of Notre Dame, in Baltimore. She then went on to graduate from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. in 1962. As a student at Trinity, she majored in political science and was active in the Political Affairs Club and the International Relations Club.
Nancy Pelosi’s husband is millionaire Paul Pelosi. They were married in 1963 and have five children.
Pelosi has represented the San Francisco area in Congress since 1987 and has lived there since 1969.
The Pelosi family of San Francisco is politically well-connected. Her brother-in-law, Ron Pelosi, was a long-time member of the city’s Board of Supervisors and a well-known personality on KQED, the city’s educational television station.
The Pelosi family has a net worth of over $25 million, mainly in investments of husband Paul Pelosi. Besides a San Francisco Bay area large portfolio of jointly owned real estate, he also has millions of dollars worth of shares in publicly traded companies such as Microsoft, Amazon.com and AT&T. The couple also owns a vineyard in St. Helena, California. Pelosi’s husband also owns stock, including $1 million in Apple Inc. and is the owner of the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League. Nancy Pelosi is among the richest members of Congress.
Pelosi, is House Minority Leader and in the 111th Congress, was Speaker of the House. As Speaker, Pelosi was second in the line of presidential succession, following Vice President Joe Biden, which made her the highest-ranking female politician in American history.
As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for 10 years (the longest continuous period of service in the committee’s history), including two years as the Ranking Democrat, Pelosi worked to “ensure that policymakers and military commanders were provided with intelligence.”
Pelosi has also served on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics) and the Banking and Financial Services Committee. She has chaired the Congressional Working Group on China and has served on the Executive Committee of the Democratic Study Group.
According to “progressive” San Francisco author Randy Shaw, writing in March of 2010:
When the history of the health care reform effort of 2009-10 is written, Speaker Nancy Pelosi deserves chief credit for making it happen. In fact, had Pelosi been given complete control of the health campaign from the start, a public option would have been included in the final bill (as was originally passed by the House).
President Obama did a tremendous selling job in recent weeks, and helped win the votes of wavering Democrats. But Obama spent several months talking about health care without a clear legislative strategy, placing passage in great peril. It took San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi — channeling the spirit of the late, great arm twister Phillip Burton (whose seat she now holds), to bring the health care bill across the finish line…
It is clear that top credit for the health care victory goes to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who may have finally won over some in her district who have long argued that she was insufficiently progressive. It was Pelosi who stared down Rahm Emanuel when he argued for a scaled down health bill, and who even got in the President’s face over his lack of legislative strategy…
I’ve talked to progressives both locally and across the nation working on a broad range of issues. They overwhelmingly believe that Nancy Pelosi has become the chief political agent for progressive change nationally.
This perspective is backed by political facts. Since 2009, the House has passed the most wide-ranging series of progressive measures since the 1930’s, and this is not because Steny Hoyer is Democratic House Majority Leader.
Many of us mistakenly thought Barack Obama would be another Lyndon Johnson, in enacting a progressive domestic agenda. But it is now clear that Nancy Pelosi has the necessary Johnson-type skills, as her upbringing as part of Baltimore’s powerful D’Alesandro family (her father and brother served as the city’s Mayor), and her long friendship with Phil and John Burton, imparted her with the skills in legislative infighting that the President is only beginning to grasp.
The Burton Connection
After moving to San Francisco, Pelosi worked her way up in Democratic politics. She became a friend of one of the leaders of the California Democratic Party, 5th District Congressman Phillip Burton.
Phillip Burton died in 1983 and was succeeded by his wife, Sala Burton. In late 1986, Sala became ill with cancer and decided not to run for reelection in 1988. She picked Pelosi as her designated successor, guaranteeing her the support of the Burtons’ contacts.
Pelosi won the special election to succeed her, narrowly defeating San Francisco Supervisor and DSA member, Harry Britt on April 7, 1987; then easily defeating Republican candidate Harriet Ross on June 2.
Pelosi was also close to Phillip’s brother and sometime fellow Congressman, John Burton. Cesar Chavez historian Randy Shaw tells how in the midst of a legislative battle with the real estate industry in 1999, he told then-State Senator and now California Democratic Party head John Burton, how impressed he was by his tenacity in fighting for their cause. Burton replied, “You think I’m tenacious? I’m a pussycat compared to Nancy.” Shaw says he “knew how proud Burton was of his protÃ©gÃ©, Nancy Pelosi.”
Both Burton brothers were closely allied to the communist movement. Phillip Burton was closely involved with the Soviet controlled World Peace Council and the far left Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).
John Burton, now Chair of the California Democratic Party, was also involved with the World Peace Council and was sponsoring Bay Area Communist Party USA events well into the 1990s.
Relationship to Hallinan Family
Nancy Pelosi has enjoyed a long and close relationship with San Francisco’s famous Hallinan family – especially their late matriarch, Vivian Hallinan. The Hallinans were once under scrutiny by the California Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities for their pro-Soviet propaganda efforts and extensive CPUSA affiliations.
Pelosi described Vivian Hallinan, who openly held “socialist” views, as a “pioneer” in “a wide range of progressive causes.”
These causes included support for Communists in Central America during the 1980s, when Soviet and Cuban-backed forces were subverting Central America through violence and terrorism and fighting for control of the region.
When Vivian Hallinan died in March of 1999, Nancy Pelosi placed a tribute to her in the Congressional Record:
I am very saddened to know that the leader of one of San Francisco’s great Irish families, Vivian Hallinan, passed away last night.
Vivian and her family have deep roots in San Francisco and she has contributed immensely to the fiber of our community during her 88-year lifetime. Throughout her life, Vivian was devoted intellectually and passionately to many causes, well before they became popularly embraced. Her opposition to the war in Vietnam was an example of the courage she displayed in taking an early and fearless stand for her conscience and convictions.
Vivian was a pioneer, a mentor and a leader…
In an article from the San Francisco Examiner, also placed in the Congressional Record, Pelosi described Vivian Hallinan as “a role model for many of us…”
Conn Hallinan, one of Vivian Hallinan’s six sons, has said: “My mother and Nancy were pretty close…”
The San Francisco Examiner article described Vivian Hallinan as ‘a very committed radical socialist,’ and detailed how in the 1980s she had “opposed U.S. policy in Central America” and befriended Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s Sandinista leader. She also met with Fidel Castro.
From the Canadian Free Press:
The names of the Hallinans, including some of their sons, are included in the annual volumes of the California State Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities. The subcommittee was a well-regarded investigative body which examined not only communist activities in California but right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society and the Minutemen.
In the case of the Hallinans, there was a lot to examine. Vincent Hallinan, a lawyer who died in 1992, was a founding member of the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, officially designated a front of the Communist Party USA, and defended secret Communist Party USA member and labor leader Harry Bridges.
Vincent Hallinan also ran for President on the ticket of the Progressive Party, “a creature of the Communist apparatus and completely dominated by the Communist Party USA from start to finish,” the subcommittee said:
A 1961 subcommittee report says that Vincent Hallinan traveled to the Soviet Union with his wife to vouch for the legitimacy of the communist show trial of Francis Gary Powers, the American U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union. Powers’ mission had been to document the Soviet missile build-up. It adds, “[Vincent] Hallinan’s glowing accounts of the Soviet Union and favorable comments concerning the fairness accorded Powers at his trial were sold in great quantity by the Communist Book Stores both in San Francisco and in Los Angeles.”
A 1953 edition of the report states that Vincent Hallinan was a participant in a meeting of the Committee to Secure Justice in the Rosenberg Case, a “Communist front organization.” The Rosenbergs were Communists executed for committing atomic espionage against the United States on behalf of the Soviet Union.
Nancy Pelosi Embracing Terence Hallinan
A wealthy woman, Vivian Hallinan had contributed financially to one of Pelosi’s campaigns. Her only other political contributions on the federal level, as recorded by the Federal Election Commission, went to Senator Barbara Boxer and Reps. Barbara Lee and Ron Dellums.
Vivian Hallinan was also an open supporter of the California District Communist Party – Northern Region in her later years.
Of her six sons, Patrick Hallinan was legal counsel to the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America – the youth wing of the CPUSA, while his brother Terence Hallinan was Club National Secretary. Matthew Hallinan was a Communist Party affiliate, turned Democratic Socialists of America member and Conn Hallinan was a decades-long CPUSA member.
Tribute to Carlton Goodlett
On February 11, 1997, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi addressed Congress, paying a tribute to Lenin Peace Prize winner, World Peace Council activist and life-long CPUSA member, Carlton Goodlett.
Sponsored Martinez “Jobs Bill”
In October 1997, Nancy Pelosi became the 54th sponsor of the CPUSA instigated Martinez Jobs Bill (HR-950).
Praising Communist Harry Bridges
In 2001, Nancy Pelosi took to the pages of the Congressional Record to effuse her sentiments on the hundredth anniversary of CPUSA leader Harry Bridges’ birth.
Pelosi stated: “Harry Bridges [was] arguably the most significant labor leader of the twentieth century,” who was “beloved by the workers of this Nation, and recognized as one of the most important labor leaders in the world.” She added: “The (communist controlled) International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union [was] the most progressive union of the time.”
Pelosi delivered this speech nine years after Bridges’ membership in the Communist Party USA Central Committee had been publicly revealed.
(March 17, circa 1990) Los Angeles Democratic Socialists of America Poster, Advertising Ganz Meeting
Fred Ross Jr./Marshall Ganz – The Cesar Chavez Connection
Fred Ross, Jr. and other United Farm Workers (UFW) alumni, including Marshall Ganz, helped elect Nancy Pelosi to Congress in 1987. Ross used “house meetings,” a strategy that Fred Ross, Sr. taught to Cesar Chavez, a long-time ally of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), who then used it to build the UFW. Pelosi attended 120 house meetings in only 60 days and after taking office, joined another Fred Ross, Jr. success, New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, in leading the fight against military aid to El Salvador’s anti-communist government and to Nicaragua’s anti-communist contra rebels. Ross, Jr. later became Pelosi’s District Chief of Staff.
Fred Ross, Jr. and Marshall Ganz were considered in the 1980s to be among the country’s premier political organizers. Ross’ father mentored Cesar Chavez and was in many ways the real “power behind the throne.” Ross, Jr. and Ganz worked within Pelosi’s Congressional team collecting tons of votes by mail and by herding enough volunteers together to cover every precinct. Both men are still working in “progressive”/Democratic politics. Until recently, Ross was working for SEIU and in the summer of 2007, Ganz was a counselor for L.A.’s Camp Obama. He taught key state organizers to share personal narratives and create compelling politics around human experience and emotion, rather than around issues. Ganz can claim a major part of the credit for Obama’s success in 2008.
Ganz has been a long-time DSA affiliate.
Fred Ross, Sr.
On the occasion of his 80th birthday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Fred Ross, Sr. left a legacy of good works that have given many the courage of their convictions, the powers of their ideals, and the strength to do heroic deeds on behalf of the common person.”
(January/February 1996) p. 16
Democratic Socialists of America Connection
On November 11, 1995, more than 300 Bay Area residents turned out for a public hearing on jobs and economic insecurity in San Francisco. Co-sponsored by San Francisco Democratic Socialists of America and the Full Employment Coalition, the event featured Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Ron Dellums (a DSA member), as Keynote speakers. Testifiers included Bertram Gross, co-author of HR 1050, “A Living Wage, Jobs for All Act,” as well as representatives from the San Francisco Labor Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, the San Francisco Private Industry Council, the Coalition for Economic Equity and the American Friends Service Committee.
In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Nancy Pelosi in that year’s Congressional elections.
Honoring Cesar Chavez
There was a major march through the streets of San Francisco on March 24, 2002, to mark the 75th birthday of United Farm Workers founder Cesar Chavez. Parade Grand Marshalls included two UFW founders: Dolores Huerta (DSA member) and Cesar’s brother, Richard Chavez, as well as Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Besides Pelosi, speakers included Communist Party USA (CPUSA) affiliated, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, California Labor Federation Executive Secretary/Treasurer emeritus, John F. Henning (a DSA member), Communist Party affiliates San Francisco Labor Council Secretary/Treasurer Walter Johnson, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Tom Ammiano, and Evelina Alarcon, Cesar Chavez’s Holiday Campaign Leader and CPUSA member.
Take Back America Conferences
Nancy Pelosi was on the list of 114 speakers at the 2004 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies and Democratic Socialists of America-dominated Campaign for America’s Future.
She was back in 2006.
America’s Future Now! 2010
Nancy Pelosi was one of the 148 speakers who addressed the 2010 America’s Future Now! conference. The conference was hosted by the Campaign for America’s Future and held from June 7-9, 2010 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D.C.
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