|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Missouri's 5th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2005
|Preceded by||Karen McCarthy|
|51st Mayor of Kansas City|
|Preceded by||Richard Berkley|
|Succeeded by||Kay Barnes|
Emanuel Cleaver II
October 26, 1944
Waxahachie, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Prairie View A&M University (BS)|
Saint Paul School of Theology (MDiv)
Emanuel Cleaver II (born October 26, 1944) is a United Methodist pastor and American politician who has represented Missouri's 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2005. The district includes the southern three-fourths of Kansas City, including all of the city south of the Missouri River, as well as the more rural counties of Lafayette, Ray, and Saline east of Jackson. Cleaver is a member of the Democratic Party, and chaired the Congressional Black Caucus from January 2011 to 2013.
Cleaver served on the Kansas City Council from 1979 to 1991, until he was elected mayor, serving from 1991 to 1999.
Early life, education, and career
Cleaver was born in Waxahachie, Texas, the son of Marie (née McKnight) and Lucky G. Cleaver. He grew up in public housing in Wichita Falls, Texas. He graduated from Prairie View A&M University, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Cleaver then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, where he founded a branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and received a Master of Divinity degree from St. Paul School of Theology.
Kansas City councilman and mayor
David Helling, an opinion columnist for the Kansas City Star, wrote of Cleaver's tenure as mayor: "Kansas City's first African-American mayor defined the modern concept of the job: a professional staff, high visibility and a clear agenda. He was also a moral leader. His speech at a local rally after the Rodney King verdict averted a riot and was his finest moment. Yet Cleaver's actual record as mayor is spotty. Tax and spending initiatives floundered at the polls, and City Hall scandal was common. The crime rate was far too high."
Cleaver is a cousin of exiled Kansas City Black Panther leader Pete O'Neal. In 1997, Cleaver unsuccessfully attempted to obtain a pardon for O'Neal from President Bill Clinton. Cleaver is also a cousin of the late Eldridge Cleaver, another prominent figure in the Black Panther Party.
U.S. House of Representatives
- Committee on Financial Services
- Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress
During his tenure, Cleaver has voted with the Democratic Party 95.8% of the time. He has been recognized as "not shy about earmarks" and has brought many federal tax dollars back to Kansas City.
On September 11, 2014, around 2:50 a.m., what appeared to be a Molotov cocktail was thrown through the window of Cleaver's Kansas City office. He was in Washington D.C. at the time and no staff members were present during the attack.
In late 2003, Karen McCarthy, who had represented the 5th congressional district since 1995, announced her retirement. Though he served in city government for 20 years, including eight as mayor, Cleaver initially posted weak numbers in the Democratic primary and general elections, but defeated former Clinton Administration official Jamie Metzl in the Democratic primary, 60%-40%. In the general election, Republican Jeanne Patterson made the race far more competitive than conventional wisdom would suggest for the district, which has long been reckoned as Missouri's second-most Democratic district, behind the St. Louis-based 1st. The Democrats have held this seat for all but eight years since 1909, and without interruption since 1949. McCarthy won 65% of the vote in 2002.
2008 Democratic presidential primary election
During the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Cleaver endorsed Hillary Clinton. He claimed that African American superdelegates who supported Clinton were subjected to harassment, threatened with primary opponents and called "Uncle Tom." He said they were told, "'You’re not black if you’re not supporting Barack Obama' … It's ugly." On March 30, 2008, Cleaver said he realized he was on the losing team: "Even though I don't expect the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the Indianapolis Colts, I cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs." According to BlackMissouri.com., U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois asked Cleaver, "If it comes down to the last day and you're the only superdelegate? … Do you want to go down in history as the one to prevent a black from winning the White House?" Cleaver said, "I told him I'd think about it." Cleaver said during the primary he'd be shocked if Obama wasn't the next president but made clear he still supported Clinton until she suspended her bid.
|Democratic||Emanuel Cleaver (incumbent)||207,180||58.8|
Emanuel Cleaver and his wife, Dianne, have four children. They reside in Kansas City.
In 2012, Bank of America sued Emanuel and Dianne Cleaver and Cleaver Company LLC, alleging that the company had defaulted on a $1.46 million commercial real estate loan obtained a decade earlier for a Grandview car wash. In 2013, the lawsuit was settled. Cleaver's congressional wages were garnished to repay the money owed.
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- "Congressional Record Extensions of Remarks Articles". www.congress.gov. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
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- "History » St. James UMC". www.stjamesumc.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
- "Black History Month: Emanuel Cleaver II". KSHB. February 2, 2017. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
- David Helling, KC's best and worst mayors: Where does Sly James rank?, Kansas City Star (June 12, 2018).
- McKinley Jr., James C. "A Black Panther's Mellow Exile: Farming in Africa". Retrieved August 23, 2018.
- "Office Space: Emanuel Cleaver's BBQ House". Roll Call. November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2020.
- Kim, Seung Min (August 1, 2011). "House liberals roar". Politico. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
- "Membership". Congressional Black Caucus. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- "Voting Statistics for Emanuel Cleaver". The Political Guide. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II". Jackson County Democratic Committee. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Kraske, Steve (June 15, 2012). "Cleaver wants ethics charges against Waters, Rangel dropped". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Panetta, Grace (December 18, 2019). "WHIP COUNT: Here's which members of the House voted for and against impeaching Trump". Business Insider. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "FBI Probes Vandalism as Congressman's Office". ABC News. September 11, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II Endorses Clinton Archived August 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine hillaryclinton.com, August 21, 2007
- Cleaver: Black superdelegates backing Clinton are being "threatened" Kansas City Star, Keith Chrostowski, February 28, 2008
- What Not To Say on Canadian Radio, Christopher Beam, Slate, April 1, 2008
- Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri Endorses Hillary blackmissouri.com, February 15, 2008
- "Full Biography". U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- City of Kansas City [MO] (June 15, 2000). Ordinance #000771, Council of Kansas City. kcmo.org, passed June 15, 2000, effective June 25, 2000. Retrieved from http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/LiveWeb/Documents/Document.aspx?q=Kuh8rXvHZqk3AMAQH1LHksLCIicTHNYXojLZy1x/0AsdOxTi42VHlGoLabg22X7B.
- "BOA sues Cleaver, company for $1.5 million". BusinessWeek. Associated Press. April 6, 2012. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
- Helling, Dave; Kraske, Steve (April 6, 2012). "Taxpayers could have to cover Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's bad loan". The Kansas City Star. Archived from the original on April 8, 2012.
- Bank, U.S. Rep. Cleaver settle lawsuit over car wash, Kansas City Star (April 17, 2013).
- Dave Helling, Court issues order to garnish Emanuel Cleaver’s congressional wages in car wash case, Kansas City Star (February 18, 2014).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Emanuel Cleaver.|
- Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II official U.S. House website
- Emanuel Cleaver for Congress
- Emanuel Cleaver at Curlie