Jane Harman

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Jane Harman

Jane Lakes Harman was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 36th district of California. She is married to Sidney Harman.


Jane Harman resigned from Congress February 28, 2011 to join the Woodrow Wilson Center as its first female Director, President, and CEO.

Representing the aerospace center of California during nine terms in Congress, she served on all the major security committees: six years on Armed Services, eight years on Intelligence, and eight on Homeland Security. During her long public career, Harman has been recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues, and has received numerous awards for distinguished service.

She is a member of the Defense Policy Board, the State Department Foreign Policy Board, and the Homeland Security Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission and the Advisory Board of the Munich Security Conference.

Harman is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and the University of Southern California. She is also a member of the Presidential Debates Commission.

A product of Los Angeles public schools, Harman is a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and Harvard Law School. Prior to serving in Congress, she was Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, Deputy Cabinet Secretary to President Jimmy Carter, Special Counsel to the Department of Defense, and in private law practice. [1]

Kennan Institute

Jane Harman, Director and CEO of the Kennan Institute.

EMILY's List

Harman has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

Socialist/union backing

In early 2000, labor led a coalition of immigrants’ rights organizations in an amnesty campaign that filled the L.A. Sports Arena with sixteen thousand supporters inside and over four thousand more cheering outside. Miguel Contreras, along with Maria Elena Durazo and SEIU international vice president Eliseo Medina, set about to harness this power politically. They set up the Organization of Los Angeles Workers (OLAW) to develop a cadre of skilled union members who would be paid their regular salary to work with the union on political campaigns (these are known as lost-timers). In addition to HERE Local 11, SEIU Local 1877 (Justice for Janitors), and UNITE members, full-time walkers came initially from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, Clinica Romero (a Salvadoran immigrant solidarity organization), and a number of Mexican and Guatemalan hometown associations.

OLAW's first outing in 2000 focused sixty fulltime walkers on two Republican-occupied congressional districts. In a parallel effort the UFW took on a third congressional race in L.A. Operating outside traditionally acknowledged Latino communities, OLAW targeted fortythousand Latinos in these previously Republican districts for turnout, using candidate comparisons, a pledge card, and a “stand up and be counted” message to move these voters to the polls. Two of these three Republican seats became Democratic with the election of Adam Schiff and Jane Harman in the November election.[2]

Lawmakers back longshore workers

California lawmakers lambasted the Bush administration for its threatened intervention in West Coast longshore negotiations, at a public hearing held at Banning Landing at the Port of Los Angeles on Aug. 16 2002.

The hearing was called in response to revelations that a secret federal task force established by President Bush threatened the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) with using the Taft-Hartley Act, military troops and National Railway Labor Act-type laws to take over the ports in the event of a strike or slowdown.

Calling the collective bargaining process “the right of American workers,” State Senator Richard Alarcon (D-San Fernando Valley), chair of the hearing and chair of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations committee, said, “It is not our practice to engage in contract negotiations, but when President Bush threatened to intervene, we felt it was absolutely necessary to hold this hearing.”

Legislators on the hearing panel included state Sen. Betty Karnette (D-Long Beach), Assemblymembers Paul Koretz (D-West LA), who chairs the Assembly Labor Committee, Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park) and Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.). The hearing was called by the State Senate and Assembly Labor and Industrial Relations committees.

Assemblyman Lowenthal told the hearing that a resolution, calling on Bush not to intervene on behalf of California, was headed for the state legislature’s approval.

In closing the hearing, Senator Alarcon pledged that the legislature would continue to watch and monitor this situation including other hearings if necessary. [3]

Woolsey/Sheinbaum fund raiser

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, the first Member of Congress to call on the President to bring our troops home, was be in Los Angeles on Saturday February 4th 2006, for a 'very exciting but critical fundraiser against the most well-known, well-financed challenger she's ever faced". woolsey was facing a primary challenge from a termed-out Assemblyman Joe Nation, a moderate Democrat who has been critical of her stand on the war and on bringing home our troops. He is raising money from people who have given money to Tom DeLay and Bush-Cheney and his legislative district covers 60+% of Congresswoman Woolsey's district. Congresswoman Woolsey is a "champion of equal rights, civil liberties, protecting the environment and fighting for single payer healthcare. Congresswoman Woolsey must be re-elected by the same victory margin she has had in the past to send a message to progressives everywhere that's it IS OK to be courageous, and to not back down on issues that matter."

The Host Committee for this fundraiser includes:

Ben Affleck; Ed Asner; Warren Beatty; Jodie Evans; James Cromwell; Matt Damon; Tom Hayden; Wendy Herzog; Mimi Kennedy; Norman Lear; Stephen Rohde; Susie Shannon; Stanley Sheinbaum & Betty Sheinbaum; Lorraine Sheinberg; Kathy Spillar; Gloria A. Totten; Peg Yorkin; Senator Barbara Boxer; Congressman Joe Baca; Congressman Xavier Becerra; Congresswoman Lois Capps; Congresswoman Jane Harman; Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald; Congresswoman Grace Napolitano; Congresswoman; Lucille Roybal-Allard; Congresswoman Linda Sanchez; Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez; Congressman Adam Schiff; Congresswoman Hilda Solis; Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Congresswoman Diane Watson; Senator Sheila Kuehl and Assemblywoman Karen Bass.

The fundraiser was at the Stanley & Betty Sheinbaum residence in Brentwood. Both Sheinbaums have been members of Democratic Socialists of America.[4]

Cuba Trip

Congressional Delegation meet with Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque

From Dec. 15 - Dec. 18, 2006, a Congressional Delegation of ten congressmen and women from the U.S. House of Representatives visited Havana, Cuba. Leading the delegation were Jeff Flake and Bill Delahunt. The other participants were Hilda Solis, Jo Ann Emerson, Jerry Moran, Michael Conaway, Jane Harman, Lincoln Davis, Gregory Meeks and Jim McGovern. The delegation met with Cuban Foreign Minister, Felipe Perez Roque and other communist officials. The delegation asked to meet with Raul Castro during their weekend visit to Cuba, but there was no word on whether such a meeting would take place.[5]

Staffer's trip to Cuba

Rep Harman sent Harry Jay Hulings to Cuba for 9 days in June/July 2008. The trip was courtesy of a $$1,668.00 grant from the Institute for Policy Studies connected Center for Democracy in the Americas... "To attend educational meetings and events focused on better understanding Cuba and U.S. policy toward Cuba" .[6]

Second Cuba trip

Donna Brazile, Karen Bass, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, Jane Harman
Cuban Foreign Ministry, June 6, 2011

Rep. Karen Bass traveled to Havana, Cuba on June 5, 2011, accompanied by Donna Brazile, former Congresswoman Jane Harman, and Sara Stephens of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, and others, with a "Women's Leadership Delegation" . The trip was paid for ($2915 for Bass) by the Center for Democracy in the Americas.

The delegates participating in the Cuba fact-finding trip, attended meetings with Cuban academics, policymakers, journalists and NGO representatives, and toured various sites.[7]

CDA connection

Harman accepts award on behalf of the late Smith Bagley, June 20, 2011

Rep. Jane Harman accepted the award on behalf of the late Smith Bagley, at the Center for Democracy in the Americas, 5th Anniversary celebrations in June 2011.[8]

"Progressive Record"

On January 14, 2010, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey wrote a letter to Progressive Democrats of America defending Jane Harman's "progressive record";[9]

Dear Tim, Mimi, Donna and Norman,
Thank you for the thoughtful letter and the opportunity to respond.

I will be attending the fundraiser on Saturday.
Jane Harman has been a strong ally on an issue important to progressives—health care reform.
From the early days of the debate, Jane has been an unwavering advocate of the robust public option, and on the Energy and Commerce Committee voted against the Blue Dog amendment that weakened the public option. She also urged that the Kucinich amendment that would have given states the option of adopting single-payer health care plans be included in the final House bill. I appreciate Jane’s support for “real” health care reform.
Since her election in 1992, Jane has compiled a solid progressive record on a number of issues. Her first vote in Congress was for the Family and Medical Leave Act, and she has consistently opposed all efforts to roll back a woman’s right to choose. NARAL has given her a 100% pro-choice rating.

She was an original co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and she was one of only 67 votes against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. The Human Rights Campaign gave her a 100% rating for the 111th Congress, and she has a lifetime rating of 80% from the ACLU.

Jane supports the rights of workers to organize and was an original co-sponsor of the Employee Free Choice Act.
She refuses to cross picket lines, has marched with local janitors, health care workers, and others, and has opposed unfair trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA. The AFL-CIO, SEIU, and AFSCME have all given her a 100% rating for the 110th and 111th Congresses.
Jane has a strong environmental record, having opposed all efforts to roll back clean air and water standards and drill off-shore California or in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The League of Conservation Voters has given her a 100% rating for the 110th Congress.

Jane opposes eliminating the estate tax and voted against the Bush tax cuts.On Iraq, Jane has publicly stated that the intelligence on WMDs was wrong and she was wrong to believe the Bush Administration’s claims. Since then, she has joined me in opposing the surges in Iraq and Afghanistan.

With posts on the important Homeland Security Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee, Jane has proven herself to be a leader on Capitol Hill, and I join other Congressional progressives like John Conyers, Jim McGovern and Henry Waxman in endorsing her candidacy.
Lynn Woolsey

Relationship to Sid Harman

External links