Maurice Hinchey

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Maurice Hinchey

Maurice Dunlea Hinchey was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 22nd district of New York, until 2013..

He represented New York's 22nd Congressional District, which spans eight counties from the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes region.[1]


Maurice Hinchey was born in 1938. to a working class family in New York City's Lower West Side

Upon graduating from high school, Maurice enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Pacific on the destroyer U.S.S. Marshall. After receiving an honorable discharge, he worked for two years as a laborer in a Hudson Valley cement plant. He then enrolled in the State University of New York at New Paltz and put himself through college working as a night-shift toll collector on the New York State Thruway. He went on to earn a master's degree at SUNY New Paltz and did advanced graduate work in public administration and economics at the State University of New York at Albany.

Political career

Hinchey began his 18-year tenure in the New York State Assembly in 1975. He was the first Democrat elected to the state legislature from Ulster County since 1912, and only the second since the Civil War. He became Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee in 1979. Under his leadership, the committee conducted a successful investigation into the causes of "Love Canal," the nation's first major toxic dumpsite, and developed landmark environmental legislation including the nation's first law to control acid rain. Between 1982 and 1992, Hinchey led an investigation into organized crime's control of the waste-hauling industry that led to the conviction of more than 20 criminal figures, including one for murder. He successfully led the fight --first in Albany and later in Washington-- to force the cleanup of PCBs from the Hudson River. During his tenure in Albany, he was responsible for the development of the statewide system of Urban Cultural Parks (now called Heritage Areas), including those in Kingston and Binghamton. Hinchey is the author of the act that created the Hudson River Valley Greenway. He also served on the Ways and Means, Rules, Banks, Health, Higher Education, Labor, Energy and Agriculture committees.[2]

Institute for Policy Studies connections

New York State Assemblyman Maurice Hinchey was listed<among those participating in the Institute for Policy Studies affiliated Conference on Alternative State and Local Policies (CASLP) Bryn Mawr August 3-5 1979.ref>Information Digest August 24 1979</ref>

Progressive Caucus SOTU Address

On Thursday, January 27 2000, from 3:30pm to 5:00pm in 2253 of RHOB, the Congressional Progressive Caucus held its 3rd Annual Congressional Progressive Caucus' State of the Union Address. This event was also sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge coalition whose Fairness Agenda for America is endorsed by 200 public interest groups nationally.

Caucus Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio(D-OR) stated "The Progressive Caucus Alternative State of the Union will provide a much needed reality check to politicians who would rather ignore the priorities of Americans left out of the economic boom -- priorities like access to quality health care and education, repairing crumbling schools, addressing the growing gap between the rich and poor, and creating a sustainable global economy that works for everyone, not just the corporate architects."

Anticipated speakers included: Peter DeFazio (D-OR), House Minority Whip David Bonior (D-MI), Earl Hilliard (D-AL);Dennis Kucinich (D-OH); Cynthia McKinney (D-GA);. Major Owens (D-NY)Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Tammy Baldwin (D-WI);. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY);Barbara Lee (D-CA); Jerrold Nadler (D-NY); and Lynn Woolsey(D-CA). John Cavanagh, director of the Institute for Policy Studies also made some remarks regarding public interest groups support of a progressive agenda.[3]

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, Chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), consists of over a quarter of the House Democrats, one Independent and Senator Paul Wellstone. The Caucus will be releasing position papers on Health Care and Income Inequality, with reports on the Alternative Federal Budget, Social Security, Minimum Wage, Education and the Global Economy.

Dinges Book Party

On March 23, 2004, at Mott House, 122 Maryland Ave Washington, DC a Book Party for Institute for Policy Studies affiliate John Dinges, new book "The Condor Years: How Pinochet and his Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents" (The New Press 2004) was hosted by Senator Tom Harkin and Rep. Maurice Hinchey (NY), in conjunction with The Fund for Constitutional Government, the Institute for Policy Studies, and the National Security Archive.[4]

"Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"


In 1995, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, David Bonior, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Cynthia McKinney, Maurice Hinchey, Major Owens, Nydia Velasquez, John Conyers, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Lane Evans, Edolphus Towns, Jim McDermott, supported Democratic Socialists of America member rep. Ron Dellums' "Living Wage, Jobs for all Act"

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Maurice Hinchey in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for New York.[5]

DSA support in 1996

Democratic Left, Nov. 1996, page 11

In 1996 Democratic Socialists of America sent six staff members into the field for the final weeks of the campaign. These staff and DSA volunteers "contributed to the re-election of Senator Paul Wellstone, Congressperson Maurice Hinchey (D-upstate NY) and aided in the narrow victory of pro-labor John Tierney (D-MA) over "moderate" Republican Pete Torkildsen in Massachusetts.[6]

According to DSA member Kevin Pranis;[7]

Thursday, October 24
My (late) arrival in Binghamton marks the beginning of my first Youth Section organizing tour and my first electoral campaign. Rich, my SUNY Binghamton chapter contact, informed me that last week's polls showed our man (Maurice Hinchey) with a 48-37 lead over his challenger (Sue Wittig). Hinchey supporters are unhappy about the poll because they're afraid it will give Democrats a false sense of security. Rich and his brother Chuck took me to a local diner by way of a downtown in ghostly decline, pointing out the holdings of Binghamton's elite families. At The Spot, we discussed plans to pull together campus essive organizations the Graduate Student Emees Union, Students for Choice, the Queer Union, Women's Center, etc. for last-minute literature drops (a strategy rejected as "too controversial" by the College Democrats).
Friday, October 25

Rich and I spent the morning making phone calls and decided to pay a visit to the offices of the Coordinated Campaign. The Campaign organizers are very worried about turnout on a campus that provides reliable votes for Democrats. Leaving the responsibility- for turning out progressives to Rich and Chuck, I , head off for Ithaca. After arriving at the home of Theresa Alt-NPC member and coordinator of DSA' s electoral efforts here-I called around in search of a few more hands for tomorrow's literature drop. Since this lit drop was designed especially for finicky DSA members with their aversion to Clinton, Theresa and I are crossing our fingers and hoping for a good turnout...
Tuesday, November 5
I was pleased to see DSA members out in force, urging students to Vote Nader, Vote Hinchey.

DSA endorsement


In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed Maurice Hinchey, New York 26, in that year's Congressional elections.[8]

21st Century Democrats support

21st Century Democrats is a Political Action Committee that has stood for Progressive causes for over 20 years. Founded in 1986 by Institute for Policy Studies affiliate, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, Democratic Socialists of America affiliates, former Texas Agriculture Secretary Jim Hightower, and former Illinois Congressman Lane Evans. Its three main goals are to help elect progressive candidates, train young people about grassroots organizing, and lastly, to continue to support our elected officials after Election Day "through our comprehensive progressive network".

Long time Board chair was Democratic Socialists of America member Jim Scheibel, a former Mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to build a "farm team" of progressive populists who will be the future leaders of the Democratic Party.

In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well as in some of the most challenging – those in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We back candidates in primaries as well as general election races, and we focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.[9]

Hinchey was endorsed by 21st Century Democrats in the 1998 election cycle.[10]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 Maurice Hinchey Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[11]

As of February 20 2009 Maurice Hinchey was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[12]

"Jobs and Investment Bill"

On October 7, 1994, Congressional Progressive Caucus members Bernie Sanders, Maurice Hinchey, Nydia Velasquez and Major Owens, introduced the "Jobs and Investment Bill" into Congress, which would appropriate $42 billion over several years for "make work" construction and infrastructure projects.[13]

H.R. 950, the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 was introduced in the 105th Congress on March 5, 1997 by Congressman Matthew Martinez of California. It had 33 original co-sponsors, including Maurice Hinchey. The primary purpose of this emergency federal jobs legislation was to provide much needed jobs at union wages to crisis ridden cities by putting the unemployed to work rebuilding our nation's infrastructure (schools, housing, hospitals, libraries, public transportation, highways, parks, environmental improvements, etc. $250 billion is authorized for emergency public works jobs over a five year period.

Congressman Martinez had previously introduced this bill in the last Congress (as HR 1591) at the the request of over 50 prominent Labor leaders who formed the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs, which is why it is often referred to as the "Martinez Public Works Jobs Bill."[14]

This is the most significant jobs legislation introduced in Congress since Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal established the Works Progress Administration (WPA). This bill is the WPA-type program for today. It has strong provisions which will put hundreds of thousands of unemployed building trades workers to work as well as provide jobs for victims of plant closures, welfare recipients who are parents, youth, and the long term unemployed. The public works projects which will be established under this bill will be built in communities with the highest levels of unemployment and with the greatest needs.
The goal of the New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs is to build the movement to pass the Martinez Jobs bill as part of the National Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs. You can help by asking your union, community organization, or local government body to to join those who have already passed resolutions to endorse the bill. Such a resolution has been introduced in the New York City Council. Calling on additional Congressional Representatives to co-sponsor the bill is very important. We will be organizing petition campaigns, visits to elected officials, and demonstrations and other actions for a public works jobs program.

The leaders of the Los Angeles Labor Coalition for Public Works Jobs and its only affiliate New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs, were all known supporters or members of the Communist Party USA.

Los Angeles , National Labor Coalition For Public Works Jobs

A New York affiliate, New York Coalition for Public Works Jobs, c/o Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2.

Meeting socialists on MAI


Left on foreign policy

In 1999 Hinchey wrote an amendment to intelligence reauthorization legislation that forced the declassification of documents that revealed the active role the Nixon Administration --especially Henry Kissinger-- played in the illegal overthrow of Salvador Allende, the Marxist president of Chile, in 1973. He was one of the first and most outspoken opponents of the 2003 war in Iraq. He has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Asia, Northern Africa and Europe.[15]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[16]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

2003 trip to Cuba

In Jan. 2003, Congressman Maurice Hinchey spent five days in Havana and Antonio de Los Banos, Cuba, for the purpose of "fact finding on the effects of the Cuban embargo". The trip cost $1,832.78 and was paid for by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation.[17]

"Maurice goes to Cuba"

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In the summer of 2007, Hinchey hosted a "Maurice Goes to Cuba Event" to raise money for his Congressional race.

The invitation features Hinchey's friendship and efforts on behalf of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.[18]

Anti Iraq War

Ithaca Democratic Socialists of America presents rerun #294 of a video "Tompkins County Rallies for Peace" in which Ithaca DSA leader Marty Luster and Congressman Maurice Hinchey tell a crowd of hundreds of Tompkins County peace marchers in the snow on March 17, 2007 about what needs to be done to get to peace in Iraq and keep out of war in Iran. Impeachment may be part of the solution.[19]

J Sreet endorsement

In 2008 Hinchey was endorsed by JStreet PAC.[20]

Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban

On Dec. 22, 2009, thirty-three U.S. Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to request that the Israeli Government end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank. Maurice Hinchey was one of the signatories of the letter.[21] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. Maurice Hinchey was one of the signatories of the letter. [22] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.


The following are past and present staff:[23]

External links


  1. Official Congressional bio, accessed July 28, 2011
  2. Official Congressional bio, accessed July 28, 2011
  3. Common Dreams, Progressive Groups And Congressional Caucus To Present Their Third Annual Alternative State Of The Union Address, JANUARY 26, 2000
  4. John Dinges, Speaking Engagements, Events and Media Appearances 2004
  5. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  6. [Dem. Left, Nov./Dec. 1996]
  7. [Dem. Left, Nov./Dec. 1996, page 23/24]
  8. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  9. 21st Century Democrats website, About us]
  10. 21st Century Democrats 2006 bio
  11. DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
  12. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  13. PWW October 8, 1994, page 1
  14. [1] The Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act of 1997 (H.R. 950)From the New York State Communist Party 16 March 1997, email list, accessed June 14, 2010
  15. Official Congressional bio, accessed July 28, 2011
  16. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  17. American Radio Works website: Trips sponsored by the Christopher Reynolds Foundation
  18. Capitol hill Cubans blog, Congressman Uses Fidel for Fundraiser at 10:07 AM Monday, September 13, 2010
  19. Ithaca DSA blog, Monday, December 22, 2008 Ithaca DSA Presents: Tompkins County Rallies for Peace
  20. J Street 2008 Annual Report
  21. John Dingell's House website: Letter to Hillary Clinton, Dec. 22, 2009
  22. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  23. Accessed 12/14/2011