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|Chair of the House Ethics Committee|
January 3, 1995 - January 3, 1997
|James V. Hansen|
|Member of the |
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 1983 - January 3, 2007
|Constituency||6th district (1983-2003)|
5th district (2003-2007)
Nancy Elizabeth Lee
January 5, 1935
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
University of London
Nancy Elizabeth Lee Johnson (born January 5, 1935) is an American lobbyist and politician from the state of Connecticut. Johnson was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 2007, representing the 6th district and later the 5th District after reapportionment.
In September 2007, Johnson began lobbying for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC in Washington, D.C.
Nancy Johnson was born in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School (high school) in 1953, and from Radcliffe College of Harvard University in 1957. She attended the University of London's Courtauld Institute of Art in 1957 and 1958. She later moved to New Britain, Connecticut, where she lives today.
She was an active volunteer in the schools and social service agencies of her community, before serving in the Connecticut Senate from 1977 to 1983.
Johnson was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 with 52 percent of the vote, defeating Democratic state senator William E. Curry Jr. She replaced Democrat Anthony "Toby" Moffett, who made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate that year.
She won narrowly in her re-election bid in 1996, defeating Democrat Charlotte Koskoff 50%-49%, her only close race for re-election. She attributed her decreased percentage to the time she had spent on the House ethics panel, dealing with ethics allegations against Speaker Newt Gingrich, which prevented her from getting around in her district. She won in 1998, again against Koskoff, with 59% of the vote, and got 63% of the vote in 2000 against Paul Valenti.
Had Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election, Johnson was widely considered to be the front runner to win the appointment of Governor John G. Rowland to serve in the United States Senate, filling the seat of Gore's running mate Joe Lieberman. Lieberman had been reelected to the Senate at the same time as the presidential election.
In 2002, Johnson's New Britain-based district was merged with the Waterbury-based 5th District of Democratic Congressman James H. Maloney. While the new district retained Maloney's district number, its geography and demographics slightly favored Johnson. Johnson won the general election with 54% of the vote. In 2004, she defeated Democrat Theresa Gerratana, getting 60% of the vote.
Johnson is a moderate Republican. She called herself "an independent voice in Washington", although she frequently supported the mainstream Republican agenda. Some nonpartisan observers such as National Journal rated her near the ideological midpoint in the House, although others, like the American Conservative Union (ACU) rated her as a moderate conservative. The ACU gave Johnson's 2005 voting record 40 points out of 100; the liberal Americans for Democratic Action gave her 35 points. In general, she was moderate-to-liberal on social issues and conservative on economic ones.
Johnson is a member of several socially moderate Republican groups including The Wish List, The Republican Main Street Partnership, Republicans for Choice, the Republican Majority for Choice, and Republicans for Environmental Protection, now known as ConservAmerica, although she has supported many elements of President George W. Bush's agenda and the agenda of conservative House leaders.
In 2003, Johnson voted with the House Democrats to oppose Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The bill was passed by a large majority 281-142 on October 2, 2003.
In 2006, Johnson attracted considerable controversy after voting against a Republican budget reconciliation bill that passed the House by two votes. She was one of 14 moderate Republicans that crossed party lines to side with Democrats against it.
Johnson is a strong supporter of Republican policy on health care and the Iraq War, but opposed the Bush energy agenda, including oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) refuge. She has received favorable marks and awards from such groups as the National Education Association and the Sierra Club.
In 2005, Johnson supported the White House plan to partially privatize Social Security, and voted for a measure sponsored by then-Majority Leader Tom DeLay that would have weakened House Ethics rules.
One of Johnson's central issues is health care. She was one of the authors of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit program, which took effect in 2006. On May 15, 2006, Johnson announced she would submit legislation to waive penalties for those who miss deadlines to enroll in Medicare Part D, reacting to widespread criticism of the Johnson-authored program. Her bill was unsuccessful but was supported by the AARP.
She also authored the legislation that allowed welfare recipients to remain eligible for Medicaid, adding a more moderate influence to the welfare reform law.
With the retirement of Ways and Means Committee chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) at the end of the 109th Congress in 2006, Johnson was a possible candidate to replace him as chairman if Republicans were to retain the House and Johnson retained her seat in the November elections. Neither happened.
In 1983, Johnson was one of the original congressional members of the United States House Select Committee on Children, Youth, and Families.
Connecticut is a center of the pharmaceutical industry with Pfizer and Bayer operating major facilities in the state. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Johnson had been one of the leading Congressional recipients of contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, receiving $534,830 in related contributions since 2000.
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In April 2006, Johnson became the target of a negative ad campaign run by a political action committee, MoveOn.org, which alleged ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX). Johnson responded with her own advertising campaign dismissing the charges and strongly attacking Murphy, accusing him of not disavowing the MoveOn attack ads.
Johnson had a large cash advantage over her challenger. In April 2006, Johnson reported that she had raised $436,000 in the first quarter of the year, with 60% of that coming from PACs, and 56% from contributors from outside Connecticut. In the second quarter of 2006 she raised almost $800,000, and had cash on hand, as of June 30, 2006, of $2.6 million.
In late October, Chris Murphy had a slight lead, and heading into the election, polls showed him ahead by four points. Johnson ultimately lost the race in November to Chris Murphy by 12 points; the only House incumbent to suffer a worse defeat was John Hostettler (IN-08).
Articles in the Hartford Courant speculated that Johnson's negative TV ads, which accused Murphy of coddling sex offenders and drug dealers, may have proven counterproductive. Johnson won only six of the district's 41 towns, losing many areas that had reliably supported her in the past. For instance, she lost badly in New Britain, an area she had represented for 30 years at both the federal and state level. She had failed to carry New Britain in her last two elections.
Following her career in Congress, in 2007 Johnson became a resident fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. She also served as co-chair of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a public policy think tank.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 6th congressional district
| Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 5th congressional district
| Chair of the House Ethics Committee