Doc Hastings

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Doc Hastings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2015
Preceded byJay Inslee
Succeeded byDan Newhouse
Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2015
Preceded byNick Rahall
Succeeded byRob Bishop
Chair of the House Ethics Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded byJoel Hefley
Succeeded byStephanie Tubbs Jones
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 16th district
In office
January 8, 1979 – January 3, 1987
Preceded byCharles Kilbury
Succeeded byBill Grant
Personal details
Richard Norman Hastings

(1941-02-07) February 7, 1941 (age 83)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseClaire Hastings
Alma materColumbia Basin College
Central Washington University
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/serviceUnited States Army Reserve
Years of service1963–1969
Rank Specialist 4

Richard Norman "Doc" Hastings (born February 7, 1941) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who served as the U.S. representative for Washington's 4th congressional district from 1995 until his retirement in 2015. The district includes much of central Washington including the Tri-Cities, Yakima, and Moses Lake. The most conservative Republican in Washington's Congressional delegation,[1][2] he chaired the House Committee on Ethics from 2005 to 2007 and chaired the House Committee on Natural Resources from 2011 to his leaving office.

Hastings retired in 2015 after declining to run for re-election in 2014.[3]

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Richard Norman Hastings was born in Spokane, Washington to Ivan and Florene Hastings; he is of part Norwegian ancestry on the maternal side of his family.[4][5] He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1964 to 1969.[6]

He studied business administration at Columbia Basin College and Central Washington State College, but did not graduate from either. He was named Columbia Basin Alumni of the Year in 2001.[7] He returned to Central Washington as commencement speaker in 2008.[8]

Before being elected to Congress, Hastings ran his family-owned small business, Columbia Basin Paper and Supply. He was an active member of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce, the Pasco/Kennewick Rotary Club, the Pasco Downtown Development Association, and the Pasco Jaycees.

Washington House of Representatives[edit]


In 1978, Hastings ran for Washington's 16th House District (seat 2). He defeated incumbent Democratic State Representative Charles Kilbury 62%–38%.[9] In 1980, he won re-election to a second term, defeating Democrat Dorothy Miller 70%–30%.[10] In 1982, he was re-elected to a third term against Democrat Sandy Dodd by 55%–45%.[11] In 1984, he won re-election to a fourth term, defeating Democrat Bill Grant 52%–48%.[12]


Hastings served in the Washington House of Representatives from 1979 to 1987, where he was selected by his colleagues to be Assistant Majority Leader and Republican Caucus Chairman. In 1983, he challenged the constitutionality of the state's 1.1% sales tax hike.[13] He voluntarily left the Legislature, claiming family reasons.[14]

Committee assignments[edit]

Official 109th Congressional photo

He served on the House Tax Advisory Committee.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]


Incumbent Republican Sid Morrison, of Washington's 4th congressional district, decided to retire in 1992 in order to run for Governor of Washington. Hastings ran, but lost in the general election to Democratic State Representative Jay Inslee, 51%–49%.[15] Although Hastings carried the Tri-Cities, he lost the rest of the district. He won three (Benton, Franklin, and Adams) of the district's ten counties.[15]

Hastings sought a rematch against Inslee in 1994, and defeated him, 53%–47%, winning eight of the district's ten counties.[16] In 1996, he was re-elected to a second term, defeating Democrat Rick Locke 53%–47%.[17] He never faced another contest anywhere near that close, and was reelected eight more times with at least 60% of the vote.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]


Earlier official photo of Hastings
Political positions

"Top priorities must be creating jobs, getting our economy back on track, and stopping reckless spending that has left our nation with the largest deficit in history," wrote Hastings in response to Project Vote Smart.[26] The Seattle Post-Intelligencer considers Hastings to be a "down-the-line supporter of the House Republican leadership".[2]

Hastings has served as Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources since January 2011 and is a proponent of increasing domestic production of oil and gas, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. In November 2010 he said that "Promoting new domestic energy production, including in the Arctic, will be a priority" for the committee.[27]

Interest group ratings

Hastings has a lifetime score of 3% from the League of Conservation Voters.[28]

Hastings during the 112th United States Congress

Hastings is rated as one of the most pro-business representatives in Congress, according to the United States Chamber of Commerce which gives Hastings a score of 94 out of 100 based on his 16-year voting record.[29] The 501(c)4 organization Club for Growth gave Hastings a grade of 94 out of 100.[30]

The National Taxpayers Union gives Hastings a grade of A.[31] Hastings has been given an 'A' grade by Liz Cheney's Keep America Safe PAC[32] He earned a 95.15% lifetime rating, as of 2010, from the American Conservative Union.[33]

Hastings is pro-life, demonstrated by consistent ratings of 100% from the National Right to Life Committee. He has received mixed ratings from some national agricultural groups. For 2009–2010 the American Farm Bureau Federation gave Representative Hastings a 66% rating.[26] His rating from the National Association of Wheat Growers was 25 percent in 2008.[26]

In 2009 and 2010, he received grades of "D" and "F" from the teachers union-affiliated National Education Association, and 0% from the American Association of University Women. In 2009–10, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Hastings a grade of "D".[26]


Hastings was instrumental in 2002 in building the case that led to the expulsion of Congressman James Traficant (I-OH) from the United States Congress. As Chairman of the Investigative Subcommittee of the United States House Committee on Ethics, Hastings was tasked with reviewing the file from Traficant's trial and other material to determine if there had been a violation of House rules. Hastings said on the floor of the House, "After considering all of the evidence, I concluded that Mr. Traficant's offenses were so serious and so purposeful that expulsion from the House is the only appropriate sanction". The measure to remove Traficant from the House passed 420–1.[34]

In 1996, lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his firm had as many as 36 contacts with Hastings' office, resulting in as many as 85.57 billed hours regarding the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.[35] Abramoff bragged to the CNMI of having "excellent" ties to Hastings.[36] Hastings' 2004 campaign had received $1,000 from Abramoff personally and an additional $5,647 from Abramoff's lobbying firm, which was also one of the largest law firms in the State of Washington, Preston Gates. Preston Gates, Microsoft's law and lobbying firm, also contributed to Washington Democrats during that cycle, including to Seattle's Jim McDermott.[37]

Following Hastings' work that led to Traficant's removal from the House, he was named to the Chairmanship of the United States House Committee on Ethics. Soon after being named chairman, two senior staff members for the committee were fired, and Hastings attempted to place his office Chief of Staff, Ed Cassidy, onto the Ethics Committee staff. Democrats cast this a partisan move, while Republicans pointed out that such a change in staff is the norm with the naming of a new committee chairman. Hastings came under fire during his chairmanship of the Ethics Committee, due to claims by Democrats of inaction regarding then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. By rule, the House Ethics Committee's work, votes, and investigative findings are kept strictly confidential.[38]

In 2008, Hastings, by now the ranking member of the Ethics Committee, pushed the investigation of Charlie Rangel.[39] A four-person investigative subcommittee was formed with Hastings as co-chair. The subcommittee's subsequent report led to Rangel's loss of the chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and censure by the House in 2010.

Committee assignments[edit]

Hastings chaired the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, also known as the House Ethics Committee from 2005 to 2007,(109th United States Congress) replacing outgoing chairman Joel Hefley. He switched to ranking member 2007–2009 when the Democrats won the majority for the 110th United States Congress. [citation needed]

Caucus memberships[edit]

  • House Nuclear Clean-Up Caucus (chairman and founder)
  • Northwest Energy Caucus (Co-chair)
  • Rural Health Care Coalition
  • Specialty Crop Caucus
  • Hastings is the senior Republican in Congress from the Pacific Northwest.

Legislation sponsored[edit]

Personal life[edit]

In 1967, Hastings married his wife, Claire, in Sacramento, California; the couple has three children: Kirsten, Petrina, and Colin, and has 8 grandchildren.

Electoral history[edit]

Washington's 4th congressional district: Results 1992–2010[44]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd party Party Votes Pct
1992 Jay Inslee 106,556 51% Richard Hastings 103,028 49%
1994 Jay Inslee 81,198 47% Richard Hastings 92,828 53%
1996 Rick Locke 96,502 47% Richard Hastings 108,647 53%
1998 Gordon Allen Pross 43,043 24% Richard Hastings 121,684 69% Peggy S. McKerlie Reform 11,363 6%
2000 Jim Davis 87,585 37% Richard Hastings 143,259 61% Fred D. Krauss Libertarian 4,260 2%
2002 Craig Mason 53,572 33% Richard Hastings 108,257 67%
2004 Sandy Matheson 92,486 37% Richard Hastings 154,627 63%
2006 Richard Wright 77,054 40% Richard Hastings 115,246 60%
2008 George Fearing 99,430 37% Richard Hastings 169,940 63%
2010 Jay Clough 69,512 32% Richard Hastings 145,317 68%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What's Up Doc?: Washington's Most Conservative Congressman Bids Farewell". Seattle Weekly. February 13, 2014. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Rep. Doc Hastings, state's most conservative congressman, to retire". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. February 13, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  3. ^ "Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) to retire". The Washington Post. February 13, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  4. ^ Deaths of Ivan and Florene Hastings Archived March 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ [user-generated source]
  6. ^ "Veterans in the US House of Representatives 109th Congress". Navy League. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-29. Retrieved 2006-12-09.
  7. ^ Facts & Impacts (PDF). Columbia Basin College. 2001. p. 23. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-23.
  8. ^ McIntyre, Jerilyn S. (June 2008). "2008 CWU EASTSIDE/WESTSIDE COMMENCEMENTS". CWU University Bulletin. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA State House District 16 Seat 2 Race - Nov 07, 1978".
  10. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA State House District 16 Seat 2 Race - Nov 04, 1980".
  11. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA State House District 16 Seat 2 Race - Nov 02, 1982".
  12. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA State House District 16 Seat 2 Race - Nov 06, 1984".
  13. ^ 1983 challenge by Hastings to the constitutionality of Washington's 1.1% sales tax hike
  14. ^ "About Richard". Hastings Backgrounder. Friends of Richard Hastings. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 03, 1992".
  16. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 08, 1994".
  17. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 05, 1996".
  18. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 03, 1998".
  19. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 07, 2000".
  20. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 05, 2002".
  21. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 02, 2004".
  22. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 07, 2006".
  23. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 04, 2008".
  24. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 02, 2010".
  25. ^ "Our Campaigns - WA District 4 Race - Nov 06, 2012".
  26. ^ a b c d Project Vote Smart
  27. ^ "Effort aims to block oil drilling in refuge; Environmentalists fear a possible GOP bid to open a sensitive Alaska wildlife zone", Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2010.
  28. ^ "National Environmental Scorecard". League of Conservation Voters. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  29. ^ "U.S. Chamber of Commerce Ranks Hastings". Chamber of Commerce web site. U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2011-05-25.
  30. ^ "Hastings Rated High". Scorecard. Club for Growth. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  31. ^ "Hastings Scores High with Taxpayers". Taxpayers Union Scorecard. National Taxpayers Union. Retrieved June 28, 2011.
  32. ^ "Keep America Safe Scorecard". Hastings Receives the A Grade. Keep America Safe. Archived from the original on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  33. ^ "American Conservative Union Ranks Hastings". American Conservative Union Rankings. American Conservative Union. Archived from the original on February 13, 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
  34. ^ Pope, Charles (July 26, 2002). "Potomac Watch". Richard Hastings took the lead in Traficant's expulsion. Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
  35. ^ 1996 CNMI Preston Gates Ellis Invoices
  36. ^ Alicia Mundy, "Pasco Congressman in Rare Spotlight", The Seattle Times, June 10, 2005.
  37. ^ "Candidate Summary Report". Richard Hastings. Federal Elections Commission. Archived from the original on July 17, 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  38. ^ Alicia Mundy, "Hastings says ethics panel won't investigate DeLay", The Seattle Times, October 6, 2005; "House Ethics Chair Fires Lawyers", Associated Press, February 16, 2005, which can viewed here; Mike Allen "House Ethics Panel in Gridlock; Democrats Refuse to Participate Under New GOP Rules," Washington Post, March 11, 2005, Page A02; Alicia Mundy, "Ethics claims target Doc Hastings," Seattle Times, June 25, 2005; Gail Russell Chaddock, "House ethics panel lapses at an awkward time", Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2005.
  39. ^ Lee and Pershing, Christopher and Ben (September 9, 2008). "Official Rangel Probe Appears Likely". Washington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2011.
  40. ^ a b "H.R. 1526 – Summary". United States Congress. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  41. ^ "CBO – H.R. 4899" (PDF). Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  42. ^ a b Marcos, Cristina (June 26, 2014). "House passes bill to increase offshore energy projects". The Hill. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  43. ^ Graeber, Daniel J. (June 27, 2014). "House measure on gas aimed at lower prices". UPI. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  44. ^ "Election Statistics". Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Archived from the original on 2007-12-26. Retrieved 2008-01-10.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the House Ethics Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative