|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from California's 30th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Anthony Beilenson (24th)|
Adam Schiff (27th)
Henry Waxman (30th)
|Succeeded by||Elton Gallegly (24th)|
Judy Chu (27th)
|Constituency||24th district (1997–2003)|
27th district (2003–13)
30th district (2013–)
|Member of the California Board of Equalization|
from the 4th district
|Preceded by||Conway Collis|
|Succeeded by||John Chiang|
Bradley James Sherman
October 24, 1954
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Lisa Kaplan (m. 2006)
|Education||University of California, Los Angeles (BA)|
Harvard University (JD)
Bradley James Sherman (born October 24, 1954) is an American politician serving as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives since 1997. He currently represents California's 30th congressional district within the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles County and the eastern Simi Hills in Ventura County. He previously represented the state's 24th and 27th congressional districts, located in Los Angeles County. He currently resides in Sherman Oaks.
Sherman was born in Los Angeles, the son of Lane and Maurice Hyman Sherman. His parents were both of Russian Jewish descent. He attended Mark Keppel High School and Corona del Mar High School. He received a B.A. in political science from University of California, Los Angeles in 1974 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. in 1979. He is also a tax law specialist and Certified Public Accountant. Before joining Congress, Sherman was on staff at one of the nations’ big-four CPA firms. While at the firm, he audited large businesses and governmental entities, provided tax law counsel on multimillion-dollar transactions, advised entrepreneurs and small businesses on tax and investment issues, and helped represent the Government of the Philippines under President Aquino in a successful effort to seize assets of deposed President Marcos. Sherman was also an instructor at Harvard Law School’s International Tax Program.
It was reported that the campaign for the Board of Equalization involved numerous attacks. Claude Parrish, Sherman's opponent, said that an attorney general candidate declined to endorse Sherman due to a post on the state's elected tax appeals board. Sherman replied, calling it "one of the most outrageous hit pieces in contemporary California political history."
In 1994, incumbent Democratic U.S. Congressman Anthony C. Beilenson of California's 24th congressional district barely survived the Republican Revolution, winning re-election by just a two-point margin, by far the worst election performance of his career. In 1996, Beilenson decided to retire.
Sherman decided to run and won the 7-candidate Democratic primary with 54% of the vote. In the general election, he defeated Republican nominee Rich Sybert (also 1994 nominee) 49%–44%. However, he has never faced another contest nearly that close.
Redistricting following the 2010 census drew the homes of Sherman and fellow Democrat Howard Berman, who had previously represented the 28th District, into the 30th District. The redrawn 30th was more Sherman's district than Berman's; Sherman retained approximately 60% of his former territory, while Berman retained 20% of his former voters. On June 5, 2012, Sherman faced Berman in the primary for California’s new 30th Congressional district. Sherman finished first, leading 42% to 32%. However, due to the new election system in California, which put the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary against each other regardless of party, the two congressmen again faced each other in the general election. Neither candidate received an official endorsement from the state Democratic Party.
Berman was the establishment candidate. He was endorsed by over 20 congressmen, including party leaders Steny Hoyer and Xavier Becerra. In addition, he was endorsed by sitting Governor Jerry Brown, sitting Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and the state's two U.S. Senators: Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein. He was also endorsed by ten Republican congressmen from California: David Dreier, Wally Herger, Dan Lungren, Elton Gallegly, Buck McKeon, Ed Royce, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, Mary Bono Mack, and Darrell Issa. In addition, he was endorsed by two Republican U.S. Senators: John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), and by Independent U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman.
In the general election, Sherman defeated Berman, 60%–40%.
First elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1996, Sherman is serving his tenth term in Congress. He is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and serves as the top Democrat on the Subcommitee on Asia. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the Subcommittee on International Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade. He is also a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.
Sherman has held over 160 Town Hall meetings since being elected to Congress. In the Washingtonian's 2012 anonymous survey of congressional staff, Sherman was named the second meanest member of the House, finishing only behind Sheila Jackson Lee.
Serving on the House Budget Committee in 1997, Sherman authored the Sherman Amendment to the Budget Resolution, providing an additional $700 million for the acquisition of environmentally important lands in FY ‘98.
Sherman’s voting record has most often earned him a 100% rating from the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
Sherman introduced legislation, in 2008 and 2010, to eliminate so-called state "Right to Work" laws nationwide., and he supports a single national standard that protects labor rights. Sherman has also opposed Free Trade deals with South Korea, Colombia, and other countries, because he believes they are bad for American workers.
Sherman has worked to reduce airport noise in the San Fernando Valley. Sherman joined several colleagues in introducing legislation, the Valley-Wide Noise Relief Act, to allow the operator of Bob Hope Airport to implement a mandatory nighttime curfew.
Sherman secured federal funds to initiate several improvements at the 101/405 interchange.
Congressman Sherman "led the House revolt" against the original $700 billion bailout plan, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Sherman introduced the "Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act", with regard to large financial entities.
During the debate over the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, (commonly referred to as "the bailout of the U.S. financial system"), Sherman was an early and outspoken critic of the proposal, leading the House revolt against the bailout bill, a move which made him "spectacularly unpopular with both the Republican and Democratic leaderships, not to mention K Street". Sherman argued that Bush and his advisors had created a panic atmosphere in an effort to get lawmakers to rubber-stamp the bill.
Sherman has said he is "opposed to creating a voucher system for Medicare". He wants to avoid "turn[ing] Social Security into a welfare program", instead keeping it "for people who contribute to it".
For his voting record and efforts in Congress, Sherman has consistently earned a 100% rating from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, and from the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). Sherman supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Sherman helped secure funds to develop a new women and children's patient wing at El Proyecto del Barrio’s Family Health Care Clinic in Winnetka.
Sherman's legislative record received a 100% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in 2011, a 100% from the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 2007–2008, a 100% from the Human Rights Campaign in 2009–2010, and a 98% rating from the NAACP in 2009–2010.
Sherman co-sponsored the Due Process Guarantee Act, which amends the Non-Detention Act of 1971 to provide that a Congressional authorization for the use of military force does not authorize the indefinite detention – without charge or trial – of U.S. citizens.
In 2011, Sherman voted against the re-authorization of the Patriot Act because of concerns that it would infringe on certain civil liberties, including the "library provision" that allows the FBI to acquire records about what books a person checks out from the library.
In August 2010, Sherman introduced legislation aimed at rescinding China's Most Favored Nation status as long as there was not "a more level playing field between our two nations". He said that "the U.S.-China trade relationship is horrendously lopsided".
Sherman has introduced or co-sponsored more than 20 bills in the 111th and 112th Congresses that he says, "enact tougher sanctions to isolate Iran economically and diplomatically". His efforts have included legislation designed to close loopholes for U.S. companies with subsidiaries operating in Iran, and to curtail U.S. funding of international organizations providing loans to Iran.
Sherman has been a strong supporter and advocate of the U.S-Israel relationship, consistently supporting aid to Israel. In 2004, Brad Sherman first introduced the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Act. It provides grant money to joint ventures between American and Israeli academics and private sector companies that conduct research and develop energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies.
On July 9, 2014, Sherman appeared as a guest commentator on the Al Jazeera America’s network. During his appearance, Sherman went after the Qatar-based owners of Al Jazeera, criticizing the owners for funding Hamas. Sherman said, "Every one of those rockets [fired by Hamas into Israeli cities] is a war crime, almost every one. Of course it's a war crime committed by Hamas. And of course the owners of this TV network help fund Hamas." Sherman emphasized that Hamas often aims attacks at civilian targets. The owners of Al Jazeera that Sherman mentioned is the government of Qatar.
In December 2014, Sherman and Congressman Pete Roskam (R-IL) requested new sanctions on Qatar in a letter to Secretary of Treasury Jack Lew. They also asked for a detailed accounting of public and private financing from within Qatar for Hamas, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the al-Nusra Front.
Sherman and other pro-Israel members of Congress have introduced legislation to allow Israel to be part of the visa waiver program. The legislation failed because the Israeli government was unwilling to grant reciprocal visa-free travel for all U.S. citizens.
As a senior member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Sherman has focused on Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as well as increasing funding to Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.
In his role as a congressman, Sherman has appeared at events sponsored by virtually every religious denomination practiced in America – including Orthodox Jewish, Reform Jewish, Conservative Jewish, Reconstructionist Jewish, Traditional Persian Jewish, Sephardic Jewish, the Church of Scientology, Muslim, Catholic, Roman Catholic, Coptic Christian, The Assyrian Church, Greek Orthodox, the Armenian Church, Sikh, Buddhism, Hindu, Russian Orthodox, the Hungarian reformed Orthodox Church, Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, the Church of Christ, non-denominational Christian, and evangelical Christian.
Sherman expressed condolences to the Sikh community following the deadly shootings at a Sikh temple in August 2012. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, Sherman joined with colleagues in introducing a resolution to condemn bigotry and violence against Sikh-Americans. Sherman has advocated on behalf of religious minorities outside the United States, including Hindus of Pakistan and Christians and Jews in the Arab world. Sherman introduced the Religious Minorities in the Arab World Resolution, which calls for the protection of the rights and freedoms of ethno-religious minorities, particularly in Egypt and Iraq.
On March 14, 2018, Sherman made highly critical remarks about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and Initial Coin Offerings. He started his prepared remarks by saying "Cryptocurrencies are a crock". He further said, on Congressional record, that all Bitcoin does is allow "a few dozen men in my district to sit in their pyjamas on their couch all day, and tell their wives they are going to be millionaires". He further suggested that Bitcoin doesn't provide any value to the real economy, asking "when you buy a Bitcoin, are you helping build a new factory?" On 18 July 2018, Sheman called for a ban on the dealing in or mining of cryptocurrencies by U.S. Persons; and states use of crypto currencies as a medium of exchange is useful only to individuals facilitating narcotics trafficking, terrorism, and tax evasion.
Sherman was an original co-sponsor of Congressman Jared Polis's Student Non-Discrimination Act. Sherman is also a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. In 2009, Sherman voted for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which imposes additional federal penalties for crimes motivated by hatred on the basis of race, religion, or actual or perceived sexual orientation.
Sherman has worked to expand the definition of armor-piercing ammunition in US law. He was a sponsor of the Protect Law Enforcement Armor (PLEA) Act. Sherman has received a 100% rating from The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Sherman has opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), arguing that the agreements cost American jobs, fail to protect foreign workers, harm the environment, and cost U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. Sherman has also opposed a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, arguing that a proposed U.S. trade agreement could undermine U.S. security and economic interests by benefiting China and North Korea.
In December 2017, eight former aides to Sherman said that his offices in Washington, D.C. and California had a toxic environment characterized by frequent "verbal abuse from the congressman and senior staff that made them feel bullied and demoralized." A focus of the criticism was Matt Dababneh, Sherman's district director and a close advisor, who began working for Sherman in 2005, and became district director to Sherman in 2009. Dababneh was elected to the California State Assembly in 2013, and resigning from that body after allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct were made against him. Former employees in Sherman's office told the Los Angeles Times that Dababneh frequently made inappropriate sexual remarks, including degrading and sexist comments, and bragged about his sexual exploits. No one suggested that Sherman knew of Dababneh's conduct, but several staffers said that the office environment did not encourage reporting and said that Sherman would not have been receptive to complaints about a trusted advisor.
Sherman has acknowledged being "a demanding boss" but "denied that his management style contributed to the silence about Dababneh's behavior." Surveys of Capitol Hill staff rated Sherman as one of the more difficult members to work for, with high staff turnover rates.
In January 2018, Sherman held a town hall meeting in Reseda, where a questioner who supported a Democratic primary challenger to Sherman accused the congressman of having an inadequate sexual harassment policy. Sherman replied that "We have five different ways to report sexual harassment in my office. One among those is to talk to me personally. And I talk to each staff member several times a year about the office policy." The exchange was cut from a video of the event that Sherman's office posted to YouTube; the office said that it excluded from the highlight reel "all questions asked by a questioner working with an opponent’s campaign if the questioner failed to disclose that fact in their question."
On July 12, 2017, Sherman introduced an Article of Impeachment (H. Res. 438) against President Donald J. Trump for High Crimes and Misdemeanors.on the grounds that Trump attempted to obstruct justice by firing James Comey from the F.B.I. Sherman had only one co-sponsor, Al Green (D-TX), who first called for Trump’s impeachment in May 2017.
The 30th congressional district boundaries currently include the communities of:
On December 3, 2006, Sherman married Lisa Nicola Kaplan, a foreign affairs officer for the U.S. State Department. The couple’s first child, Molly Hannah Sherman, was born on January 14, 2009. Their second child, Naomi Claire Sherman, was born on February 6, 2010. Their third child, Lucy Rayna Sherman, was born on August 8, 2011.
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| Member of the California Board of Equalization
from the 4th district
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 24th congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 37th congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 30th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority