Michael Huffington

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Michael Huffington
Michael Huffington 1993 congressional photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 22nd district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded by Robert J. Lagomarsino
Succeeded by Andrea H. Seastrand
Personal details
Born (1947-09-03) September 3, 1947 (age 71)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Arianna Huffington (m.1986–div.1997)
Children 2
Alma mater Harvard Business School
Stanford University
Religion Greek Orthodox[1]

Michael Huffington (born September 3, 1947) is an American politician, LGBT activist,[2] and film producer. He was a member of the Republican Party, and a congressman 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

Huffington was born in Dallas, Texas to Celeste Phyllis (Gough) and Roy Michael Huffington, the founder of the natural gas exploration company, Roy M. Huffington, Inc. (HUFFCO).

In 1965, Huffington graduated from Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, 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. In 1970, he received a BS degree in engineering and a BA degree in economics concurrently from Stanford University. Huffington was a member of the varsity crew, student senator, and co-president of his senior class. In 1972, he received an MBA in finance from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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.


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.[3] He defeated veteran incumbent Robert J. 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.[4]

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 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 the director of It's My Party Too,[5] a group founded by former New Jersey 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.[6]

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.[7]

Personal life

Huffington married Arianna Huffington, a Greek-born writer and lecturer, on April 12, 1986.[8] They had two daughters[9] and divorced in 1997.[10] In December 2006, he became a blogger for the Huffington Post,[11] which was co-founded by his ex-spouse Arianna Huffington in 2005.[12]

Huffington publicly disclosed that he is bisexual in 1998.[2]

Since that time, Huffington has made a number of contributions to LGBT causes. Later that year, he provided the initial grant that launched SOIN (Sexual Orientation Issues in the News)[13] at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. Then in 2005, Huffington helped to establish a summer fellowship program for LGBT students at Stanford University.[14] He also spoke at the National Equality March rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on October 11, 2009.[15]

According to a 2004 Los Angeles Times interview, Huffington is celibate.[1]

Huffington was raised Presbyterian, became Episcopalian at age 38, and ultimately joined the Greek Orthodox Church in 1996 after a visit to Istanbul, Turkey.[1] Between 2007 and 2012, Huffington gave $5 million to establish the Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, in order to promote dialogue between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.[16][17] Concerning the Institute's mission, Huffington said, "My dream is that someday I’ll get to see members of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church be able to take communion in each other’s churches.”[18]

Film production

Huffington found a post-political career as a film producer.[19] From 1991 to 2000, he was co-owner of Crest Films Limited.

Among his other production credits:

Electoral history

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[37]
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


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  2. 2.0 2.1 King, Ryan James. "Michael Huffington: The long-awaited Advocate interview". Advocate. Retrieved 11 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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  4. United States Senate election in California, 1994
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  6. Welcome to the Republican Leadership Council! | Republican Leadership Council
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  19. Michael Huffington at the Internet Movie Database
  20. Out of the Past (1998)
  21. The Promise (1998) - Full cast and crew
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  26. A JIHAD FOR LOVE:::A FIlm by Parvez Sharma
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External links

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