(CNN) – Former Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak did not seek reelection after reluctantly supporting President Barack Obama's health care legislation, but the pro-life Democrat isn't leaving Washington.
Stupak has been named a Partner at Venable LLP in the law and lobbying firm's Legislative and Government Affairs Group. Pursuant to congressional ethics rules, Stupak is prevented from directly lobbying his former colleagues for one year.
Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
MI-01: Rep. Bart Stupak is retiring
Primary: August 3, 2010
Location: Michigan's Upper Peninsula, northern part of the Southern Peninsula
Days until the election: 24
Two political newcomers are battling it out for the Michigan seat long held by nine-term Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak.
Washington (CNN) – Rep. Bart Stupak, a leading Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said BP CEO Tony Hayward looked "absurd and ridiculous" giving non-responsive testimony at Thursday's Gulf oil spill hearing.
"It was frustrating, not just to me but to the American people," Stupak said in an interview on CNN's "John King, USA." The Michigan congressman pointed out that the committee had sent Hayward a letter outlining the lines of questioning they intended to pursue and yet he still did not answer their questions.
"There comes a point in time when you almost become absurd and ridiculous. Unfortunately, I think that's how Tony Hayward looked to the American people," Stupak said.
Separately, Stupak defended the White House for including Attorney General Eric Holder in a Roosevelt Room meeting with BP executives on Wednesday. Holder's Justice Department has an active investigation into the oil giant following the disaster.
"I think it was worthwhile having the attorney general [in the meeting]. He helped put some parameters there," Stupak said.
"Members are angry. Members are frustrated," Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, told CNN's Dana Bash. "They're going to take his hide off, as they should."
Stupak, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, outlined evidence his committee has put together from thousands of pages of internal BP documents.
In Thursday's hearing, Stupak intends to focus on what the lawmaker sees as a pattern of behavior on BP's part that risked safety in order to contain costs and make up for the drilling project's being behind schedule.
Washington (CNN) - Angry over Rep. Bart Stupak's decisive vote for health care reform, a man threatened to "... paint the Mackinaw Bridge with the blood of you and your family members ...," in an anonymous letter to the congressman last month, according to the U.S. Attorney in Michigan.
Russell Hesch, 73, of West Branch, Michigan, and his son, David Hesch, 50, of Loveland, Colorado, were charged with threatening to assault, kidnap or murder Stupak, a United States Official, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Attorney.
Both men have been arrested and will appear in federal court in Bay City, Michigan and Denver, Colorado.
The complaint filed in the Eastern District of Michigan states that Russell Hesch, after initially denying involvement, confessed to writing the letter and then sending it to his son to forward to the congressman to avoid being identified. However, Russell Hesch had previously sent at least 55 emails and letters to the congressman between February 25, 2003 and May 4, 2010. And he was known by Stupak as one of his most vocal and critical constituents, according to the complaint.
The FBI determined the communications held similarities. A search warrant was executed on June 2, 2010, a week after the threatening letter was received by the Michigan Democrat's office.
The letter was signed "Sincerely, The Devil Within Us." According to the U.S. Attorney's office, Hesch stated in the letter that "[a]ctions and decisions carry consequences. Are you and your family prepared for consequences? Is your wife, Laurie Ann, prepared for those consequences? Is your son Ken and his family prepared for those consequences?"
Read the threatening letter and criminal complaint, after the jump:
Stupak sits on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and is the chair of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. Stupak's subcommittee issued a report Tuesday that detailed a number of warning signs missed by rig operators prior to its explosion on the night of April 20.
"Two hours out [from the explosion], the fundamental flaw was made," the Michigan Democrat said on CNN's John King, USA. At that point, when gas and fluid began to spurt out of the well in an indication that pressure was building, "you should have started shutting things down," said Stupak. "They didn't. They moved forward."
Asked about apparent similarities between the lack of federal regulatory oversight in this case and in recent mining tragedies, Stupak told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that federal agencies do not have the resources they need to engage in adequate regulation.
"These regulatory agencies – and I'm not being partisan here, but - in the last administration were devastated. People were laid off. People were let go. They were down to skeleton crews. They cut corners. The didn't have experts who knew – whether it was NHTSA or the Minerals Management Service."
Stupak, who is staunchly anti-abortion rights, led a group of like-minded House Democrats in negotiating a deal with the White House on the issue of federal funding for abortion which allowed congressional Democrats to secure sufficient votes to pass the legislation. His prominent role in the health care debate coupled with his ultimate decision to support a bill which many Republicans and conservatives read as potentially allowing federal funding of abortion made Stupak a top target of the Tea Party movement - so much so that a Tea Party group was rallying in his congressional district earlier this week.
But, in his first one-on-one interview after announcing his decision to retire, Stupak told CNN that he is confident he would have won re-election later this year. And he suggested that many of the Tea Party activists who oppose him are strangers to his congressional district
"This district is independent," Stupak told CNN Senior Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash. "It's one-third independents, one-third Democrats, one-third Republicans. You have groups come and ago."
He added, "I got along with these folks. And even if they were from my district, they're my friends. And, there's no doubt in my mind, I'd win re-election if I chose to run again. I've chose not to."
Marquette, Michigan (CNN) - U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat criticized for his role in backing President Obama's health care plan, said Friday he won't seek re-election.
The anti-abortion congressman has faced opposition from both the right and the left for his eleventh-hour deal with the White House to support the administration's health care legislation.
Stupak has said he struck the deal because he was convinced that the measure bans federal funding for abortion.
Marquette, Michigan (CNN) - Nine-term Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, will reveal Friday he is retiring from Congress, several Democratic sources close to Stupak tell CNN.
The anti-abortion Democrat has been facing opposition from both the right and the left for his 11th hour deal with the White House that he says bans federal funding for abortion. The deal ultimately led to his decisive vote in favor of the health care bill.
Stupak first informed Democratic leaders last week that he was considering retiring. He has received calls from President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others urging him to run again.