Amendment proposed by Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democratic lawmaker and a member of the House Rules Committee: ‘The community faces a number of major challenges, including enduring shortfalls in education’
Alcee Hastings, a former federal judge who was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate in 1989 for taking a bribe from a mafioso, is one of the more colorful Congressmen, even by the traditionally demanding standards of the Black Congressional Caucus. From Wikipedia:
Comments about Sarah Palin
… Hastings, speaking in Washington D.C. to a conference sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council, said “If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention. Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through.” …
Sexual harassment allegation
In June 2011, a lawsuit filed by one of his staff members, Winsome Packer, alleged that Hastings made repeated unwanted sexual advances and threatened her job when she refused him.
Hastings was 74 years old at the time.
Least wealthy congressman
In a 2011 survey of U.S. lawmakers, the Center for Responsive Politics named Hastings the “Poorest Member of Congress,” with a 2010 average net worth of −$4,732,002. His congressional financial disclosure form indicated that, as of 2010, Hastings did not have any earned income, he had a bank account with a balance in the $1,000 to $15,000 range, and he owed several million dollars in legal fees to several attorneys stemming from the 1981–1989 charges.
In 2012, Hastings was ranked 1 out of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives for paying salaries and fees to family members, according to the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch. A state by state report on all members of Congress, published by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, reported Hastings paid his girlfriend, Patricia Williams, an attorney who worked as his deputy district director, $622,574 over the four-year period, from 2007-2010.
2014 congressional election
After defeating two Democratic opponents in the primary, taking almost 80% of the vote, Hastings went on to win the general election on November 4, 2014, defeating Republican Jay Bonner, his margin being 81.60% to 18.40%.
Democrats often wonder why the House is so gerrymandered against them, but one reason is because Republicans simply exploit the 1982 Voting Rights Act’s encouragement that some districts be gerrymandered so severely in favor of black Democrats that even a Hastings can win 82-18.