Days after he became the first Republican House Member to announce his exit in 2010, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee revealed to HUMAN EVENTS that he had his own choice to be CIA director: Democratic Rep. Jane Harman of California.
Despite obvious differences on issues, Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R.-Mi) told us, “Jane is excellent on intelligence issues and you’ll recall that she was removed from the Intelligence Committee because she refused to dance to Nancy Pelosi’s tune.” Hoekstra added that he made the recommendation of Harman in a telephone call to incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.
Harman (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 28%) has compiled a liberal record after seven terms in the House. But when it comes to national security, she has said “I live and breathe security 24-7.” The Californian supported giving authority to the national intelligence director and unifying intelligence resources. She also has been a consistent supporter of the U.S. action in Iraq.
“Her bipartisanship and pragmatism occasionally rankled other Democrats on the committee,” concluded the Almanac of American Politics, noting Harman’s close collaboration with Hoekstra on security issues and with other Republicans such as fellow Californian Dan Lungren on cargo-container screening. In ’06, with Pelosi calling the shots, Harman was passed over for the Intelligence Committee chairmanship in favor of the more partisan Rep. Sylvestre Reyes (D-Tx).
Hoekstra (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 91%) recently announced he was stepping down from the 2nd District seat he has held since 1992. That year, first time-candidate and small businessman Hoekstra came out of nowhere to unseat the late National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Guy Vander Jagt in the GOP primary.
Hoekstra chaired the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Education and the Workforce Committee in 1995. In that capacity, he led the investigation that resulted in the ouster of the late Teamster Union President Ron Carey and a new election that ended with the election of present Teamsters President James P. Hoffa. (“Pete Hoekstra is owed a tip of the hardhat from every Teamster for what he did,” Hoffa later told me).
But Hoekstra was also criticized for never getting the Justice Department to secure any indictments against anyone connected with the Teamster funds-for-Democratic cash scandal. He said that he backed off from pursuing any legal action against any of the figures involved — particularly Clinton White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes — because “the Justice Department told us to lay off, they were handling it, and we didn’t have to do anything. They never came through. The moral of the story is never trust the Department of Justice.”
Hoekstra also said he is considering a bid for governor of Michigan in 2010.