Jim Bates (politician)
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Jim Bates Politician
Jim Bates
Jim Bates.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 44th district

January 3, 1983 - January 3, 1991
District created
Duke Cunningham
Personal details
Born (1941-07-21) July 21, 1941 (age 78)
Denver, Colorado
Political partyDemocratic

Jim Bates (born July 21, 1941) is a former Democratic politician from San Diego, California. He served four terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 1991. He was the first congressman to be disciplined for sexual harassment.[1]


Bates was born in Denver, Colorado, and graduated from East High School (Denver) in 1959. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 1959, and served in the Corps until 1963. Relocating to San Diego, Bates became a banker and was employed in the aerospace industry.

Bates was elected to the San Diego city council in 1971 and served until 1974. He was elected chairman of the San Diego County board of supervisors in 1974, and held the position until 1982. At the time he was the youngest chairman of the Board. While serving (1975) he obtained his bachelor's degree from San Diego State University.[2]

Bates resigned from the board to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing California's newly created 44th Congressional District. His district was created after the 1980 census round of redistricting as the most Democratic district in the San Diego area; it included much of the territory represented for 18 years by Lionel Van Deerlin before his defeat by Duncan Hunter. Bates was easily re-elected in 1984, 1986, and 1988.

In 1988 stories surfaced of Bates having groped and touched women who worked from him and others; Dorena Bertussi, a legislative assistant for Bates, testified that "he put my leg in between his and started to do a bump and grind on it, like a dog".[1] The controversy was a main focus during the following year, when he was running for reelection.[3] Bertussi had sued him for sexual harassment, but dropped the case after Bates was defeated in 1990; he was reprimanded by the House with their lightest possible censure, a "letter of reproval",[4] issued the year before.[5] He was the first congressman to be sanctioned by the House for sexual harassment;[3] his case is now explicitly cited in the House ethics manual as an example of impermissible sexual harassment.[1]

Bates was narrowly defeated in 1990 by Randy "Duke" Cunningham, who won by 50,377 votes to 48,712 votes; his win meant that the San Diego area was represented entirely by Republicans for only the second time since the city was split into two districts after the 1960 census. Bates was later implicated in the House banking scandal; he had written four bad checks to his congressional campaign.[6] Bates ran in the Democratic primary in June 1992 for the newly created 50th District, which included much of his former territory. However, he lost the nomination to his former aide, Bob Filner, who used the sexual harassment case against him.[3]

In 2017 Bates founded the United States-Bangladesh Friendship Group, of which he is currently Executive Director. That group helps promotes clean water supplies and recently facilitated delivery of $3.7 million in medical equipment and supplies, donated by the non-profit Helping Hand.[]

See also


  1. ^ a b c O'Neill, Lee Ann (July 27, 2013). "Filner's old boss had his own scandal". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ "Bates, Jim (1941-)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "The Case of Rep. Jim Bates". San Diego Union Tribune. July 26, 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 2013.
  4. ^ Williams, Marjorie (October 9, 1991). "From Women, An Outpouring of Anger". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "Ethics Panel Reproves Congressman". Chicago Tribune. October 19, 1989. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Bernstein, Leonard (March 21, 1992). "Bates Used Overdrafts as Campaign Loans : House bank: Former San Diego congressman concedes that $30,300 in bad checks gave him an unfair edge in 1990 primary". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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