Friday, February 22, 2008
Jack French Kemp Jr. (born July 13, 1935), is an American politician and former professional American football player. He was the Republican candidate for the vice presidency in the 1996 presidential election.
Kemp was born, raised and educated in Los Angeles, California. He is a graduate of Occidental College, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
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Kemp represented the Buffalo, New York region in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1989. Kemp, along with Republican congressman David Stockman of Michigan, wrote a memorandum to president-elect Ronald Reagan in 1980 that outlined an economic plan that would become the foundation for Reaganomics. In 1988 he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican Presidential nomination, and subsequently served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1993 under President George H. W. Bush.
As secretary of HUD, Kemp spearheaded the Homeownership and Opportunity for People Everywhere (HOPE) program, an effort to reform socialized housing, by allowing residents of government housing projects to buy their own unit. Likewise, with his Urban Enterprise Zone program, he promoted market-based urban business district reforms by offering tax breaks and reducing the regulatory burdens for businesses in poor neighborhoods. These ideas were fought by welfare proponents, but their immense success compared to public housing and other attempts to control communities through heavy government, they have become the dominant stances of housing and urban development today, giving rise to modern Urban Renewal systems.
Kemp was the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee in 1996, running alongside Senator Bob Dole. Kemp was seen as a means to attract conservative and libertarian-minded voters like those of tough nomination-challengers Steve Forbes and Pat Buchanan. As is usually the case with vice presidential nominees, this did not have as much impact as hoped.
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