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Michael Huffington
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Robert J. Lagomarsino
Succeeded by Andrea H. Seastrand
Personal details
Born September 3, 1947(1947-09-03) (age 74)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Arianna Huffington 1986–1997

Michael Huffington (born September 3, 1947) is an American politician, LGBT activist,[1] and film producer. He was a member of the Republican Party, and a member of the United States House of Representatives for one term, 1993–1995, from California. Huffington was married to Arianna Huffington, the Greek-born co-founder of The Huffington Post, from 1986 to 1997.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Huffington was born on September 3, 1947 to Celeste Phyllis and Roy Michael Huffington, the founder of the natural gas exploration company, Roy M. Huffington, Inc. (HUFFCO).

Huffington graduated from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, in 1965 where he received the Central States Amateur Rowing Association Medal when he rowed on the light weight crew. After graduation he was elected to the Culver Chapter of the Cum Laude Society. He received a BS degree in engineering and a BA degree in economics concurrently from Stanford University in 1970. Huffington was a member of the varsity crew, student senator, and co-president of his senior class. After Stanford, he received an MBA in finance from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1972.

In 1972, Huffington started work for The First National Bank of Chicago, and in 1974 he co-founded Simmons & Huffington, Inc. From 1976 to 1990, he served as vice chairman of Huffco, the family-owned energy business founded by his father Roy M. Huffington.

Politics[edit | edit source]

Huffington's interest in politics began in 1968, when he was a summer intern for freshman Congressman George H.W. Bush in Washington, D.C.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed Huffington as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy with responsibility for conventional arms control negotiations. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for outstanding public service.

In 1992, Huffington was elected to the House of Representatives from California's 22nd District (Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties). He spent $5.4 million on his campaign.[2] He defeated veteran incumbent Bob Lagomarsino in the Republican primary election, then Santa Barbara County Supervisor Gloria Ochoa in the general election. Huffington donated his entire congressional salary to the Partnership for Children of Santa Barbara County in 1993 and to the Partnership for Children of San Luis Obispo County in 1994.

After one term in the House, Huffington spent $28 million in a bid for a seat in the United States Senate in 1994. In the Republican primary, he defeated William E. Dannemeyer. At the time, Huffington's was the most expensive campaign in a non-presidential election in American history. Huffington lost in the general election by 1.9 percent of the vote to Dianne Feinstein.[3]

During 1998, Huffington was co-chairman (along with actor and director Rob Reiner) of Proposition 10 in California, which increased the state excise tax on cigarettes by 50 cents per pack. The resulting multi-hundred million dollars of tax revenue is being used for prenatal care and for the health care and education of children under six years of age.

In the 2003 California recall election, Huffington endorsed Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger. His ex-wife, Arianna Huffington, was an opposing candidate. She withdrew before the election even though her name remained on the ballot.

In 2013, Huffington was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[4]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

On April 12, 1986 Huffington married Arianna Stassinopoulos, a Greek-born writer and lecturer.[5] They had two daughters[6] and divorced in 1997.[7] In 1998 Huffington disclosed that he is bisexual.[8]

In 1998 Huffington provided the initial grant that launched SOIN (Sexual Orientation Issues in the News)[9] at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communication.

In 2005 Huffington helped to establish a summer fellowship program for LGBT students at Stanford University.[10]

In 2006, Huffington co-chaired the Log Cabin Republicans "The Courage To Lead: An Evening With The Governor" dinner that honored California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on June 29, 2006. Huffington also personally contributed $1 for every $2 contributed to the Log Cabin Republicans (a 501(c)(4) tax designated organization) for that dinner.

In 2006, Huffington became a the director of It's My Party Too.[11] The group was founded by former Governor Christine Todd Whitman. A moderate Republican organization with libertarian leanings, it advocated fiscal conservatism, social progressivism, environmental protection and limited government interference in personal matters. In 2007, It's My Party Too evolved into the Republican Leadership Council.[12]

In December 2006, he became a blogger on the Huffington Post[13] on a variety of subjects.

On October 11, 2009 he spoke at the National Equality March rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.[14]

Film production[edit | edit source]

Huffington found a post-political career as a film producer.[15] From 1991 to 2000, he was co-owner of Crest Films Limited.

Among his other production credits:

  • Huffington was a financial contributor to Out of the Past,[16] a documentary that won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 1998.
  • Huffington executive produced three short films at the University of Southern California: "The Promise" in 1998,[17] "Lost and Found" in 1999, and "Nuclear Family" in 2000.[18]
  • He was an executive producer of the 2000 television series, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne.[19]
  • He was an executive producer of the 2007 AFI film Santa Croce,[20] which was distributed worldwide on through the iTunes Store and Shorts International.
  • He was an executive producer of For the Bible Tells Me So,[21] a documentary that premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
  • He was an executive producer of A Jihad for Love,[22] a documentary that premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival.
  • He was executive producer of We're All Angels,[23] a 2007 documentary about gay Christian pop singers Jason and deMarco which premiered on Showtime on June 12, 2008.[24]
  • He was an executive producer of Bi the Way,[25] a documentary about bisexuality in America which premiered at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival.
  • He was an executive producer of American Primitive [26] which premiered at the 2009 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
  • He is a producer of Father vs. Son,[27] a comedy which premiered at WorldFest 2010 and won The Houston Film Critics Society Award for Best World Premiere - Feature Films.
  • He is a producer of Dissolution[28] which premiered at the 2010 Jerusalem International Film Festival and won the Best Drama Award.
  • He is a producer of Grassroots[29] directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, based on the book Zioncheck for President by Phil Campbell.
  • He is a producer of After The Fire[30] directed by Gudio Verweyen, inspired by the Pulitzer Prize story and New York Times bestseller After The Fire by Robin G. Fisher.

Electoral history[edit | edit source]

California United States Senate election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Dianne Feinstein (incumbent) 3,979,152 46.7 -7.6
Republican Michael Huffington 3,817,025 44.8 +6.8
Peace and Freedom Elizabeth Cervantes Barron 255,301 3.0 +0.2
Libertarian Richard Benjamin Boddie 179,100 2.1 -0.6
American Independent Paul Meeuwenberg 142,771 1.7 -0.9
Green Barbara Blong 140,567 1.7 +1.7
Total votes 8,513,916
Majority 162,127 1.9 -14.4
Democratic hold Swing -14.4
United States House of Representatives elections, 1992[31]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michael Huffington 131,242 52.5
Democratic Gloria Ochoa 87,328 34.9
Green Mindy Lorenz 23,699 9.5
Libertarian William Howard Dilbeck 7,553 3.0
No party Bialosky (write-in) 104 0.1%
Total votes 249,926 100.0
Voter turnout %
Republican hold

References[edit | edit source]

  1. King, Ryan James. "Michael Huffington: The long-awaited Advocate interview". Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/politics/commentary/2006/05/22/michael-huffington-long-awaited-advocate-interview. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  2. "What Money Can Buy". Time. June 20, 1994. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,980949-2,00.html. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  3. United States Senate election in California, 1994
  4. John Avlon (February 28, 2013). "The Pro-Freedom Republicans Are Coming: 131 Sign Gay-Marriage Brief". The Daily Beast. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/28/the-pro-freedom-republicans-are-coming-131-sign-gay-marriage-brief.html. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  5. "Arianna Stassinopoulos, Author, Wed to R. Michael Huffington, Executive". The New York Times. April 13, 1986. http://www.nytimes.com/1986/04/13/style/arianna-stassinopoulos-author-wed-to-r-michael-huffington-executive.html. Retrieved 2009-10-25. 
  6. "Arianna Huffington Turns 62". Huffingtonpost.com. July 15, 2012 captions to pictures 17 and 18. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/15/arianna-huffington-turns-62_n_1672282.html. Retrieved September 2, 2012. 
  7. Michael Huffington in The Huffington Post: My Road to Damascus Led to the Sundance Film Festival. January 16, 2007
  8. "A politician comes out". CNN. December 21, 1998. http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/time/1998/12/15/coming.out.html. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  9. Sexual Orientation Issues in the News - Gay Issues Media Press Coverage Journalism Education Lesbian Homosexual LGBT Annenberg USC
  10. Stanford Pride
  11. "Advisory Board - Michael Huffington". It's My Party Too. Archived from the original on 2006-11-17. http://web.archive.org/web/20061117155822/http://www.mypartytoo.com/advisory_board/Michael_Huffington/. 
  12. Welcome to the Republican Leadership Council! | Republican Leadership Council
  13. "Michael Huffington". Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-huffington/. 
  14. "Gay Rights Rally Washington DC October 11, 2009 pt.21". YouTube. 2009-10-11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1fMxN9xfc4. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  15. Michael Huffington at the Internet Movie Database
  16. Out of the Past (1998)
  17. The Promise (1998) - Full cast and crew
  18. "Главная страница". Minimovie.com. http://www.minimovie.com/film-128102-Nuclear%20Family. Retrieved 2012-03-29. [dead link]
  19. "Jules Verne: Secret Adventures of Jules Verne - Andrew Nash". Julesverne.ca. http://www.julesverne.ca/jvsecret_adventures.html. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  20. "iTunes - Movies - Santa Croce". Phobos.apple.com. http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMovie?id=269417901&s=143441. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  21. "For the Bible Tells Me So (official website)". http://www.forthebibletellsmeso.org/. 
  22. A JIHAD FOR LOVE:::A FIlm by Parvez Sharma
  23. We're All Angels at the Internet Movie Database
  24. Showtime : Schedules : Daily Schedule
  25. "Bi the Way (official website)". http://www.bithewaymovie.com. 
  26. American Primitive at the Internet Movie Database
  27. Father vs. Son at the Internet Movie Database
  28. "Dissolution - Movie info: cast, reviews, trailer on". Mubi.com. http://mubi.com/films/23972/. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  29. "Grassroots: Official Movie Site". http://www.grassrootsthefilm.com/. 
  30. "After the Fire: Official Movie Site". http://www.afterthefiremovie.com/. 
  31. "Statistics of the Presidential and Congressional Election of November 3, 1992". U.S. Government Printing Office. 1993. http://clerk.house.gov/member_info/electionInfo/1992election.pdf. 

External links[edit | edit source]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Robert J. Lagomarsino
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Andrea H. Seastrand
Party political offices
Preceded by
John F. Seymour
Republican Party nominee for United States Senator from California (Class 1)
Succeeded by
Tom Campbell

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