Politics

Jerry Lewis, Master of the Congressional Earmark, Dies at 86

“Exactly what will a politician have to do for the Department of Justice to sit up and take notice?” Melanie Sloan, then the group’s government director, mentioned in an interview with The Associated Press.

Looking again on the investigation in 2012, shortly earlier than he retired from the House, Mr. Lewis told the Southern California public radio station KPCC, “It’ll always be there, and the reality is that we have attempted to be a positive impact in public service.”

Charles Jeremy Lewis was born on Oct. 21, 1934, in Seattle and moved along with his household to San Bernardino, Calif., as a baby. His father, Edward, was a civil engineer who labored on the development of New Deal initiatives. His mom, Ruth, was a homemaker.



After finding out veterinary science at the University of California, Berkeley, he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, the place he obtained a bachelor’s diploma in political science.

After working in the insurance coverage business, Mr. Lewis served on the San Bernardino Board of Education after which was elected to the California State Assembly. He served there for a decade. During his tenure, he pushed for voter approval to make a reporter defend legislation — to guard the confidentiality of sources — an modification to the state structure and wrote laws that established an air pollution control agency in Southern California.

Once elected to the House, he was named to the Appropriations Committee in his second time period and have become chairman of the subcommittee that funds the Department of Veterans Affairs, NASA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Four years later he took over the protection subcommittee. His two years as Appropriations Committee chairman resulted in 2007, after Democrats received the House majority.

In addition to his son (*86*), Mr. Lewis is survived by his spouse, Arlene (Willis) Lewis; a daughter, Jenifer Engler; two different sons, Jerry Jr., and Jeff; a stepdaughter, Julie Willis Leon; two stepsons, Jimmy and Marty Willis; six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Ray and John. His marriage to Sally Lord resulted in divorce.

Having the similar identify as a well-known comic was one thing that trailed Mr. Lewis all through his career.

“He had a good sense of humor” about it, (*86*) Lewis mentioned. He recalled his father campaigning at a parade in Apple Valley, Calif., the place folks have been desperate to see the funnyman, not the lawmaker. The crowd might need been dissatisfied, he mentioned, however the congressman “wasn’t annoyed.”


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