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Claude Pepper
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U.S. Congressman
    (September 8, 1900-May 30, 1989)
    Born in Dudleyville, Alabama
    US Senator from Florida (1936-51)
    US Representative from Florida (1963-89)
    Chaired the House Select Committee on Aging (1977-83) and House Rules Committee (1983-89)
    Received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom (1989)
    He was nicknamed 'Red Pepper' for his far-left views and red hair.
    He called Joseph Stalin 'a man Americans could trust.'
    He claimed, 'Probably nowhere in the world are minorities given more freedom, recognition and respect than in the Soviet Union.' (1946)
    He voted against the Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe.
    The 'Saturday Evening Post' called him 'the most dangerous man in the Senate since Huey Long.'
    He ticked off Harry S Truman so much that Truman summoned his opponent, George Smathers, to the White House and declared, 'I want you to beat that son of a bitch Claude Pepper.'
    He wore a toupee (described as resembling 'dried crabgrass') until it blew off during a meeting with Jimmy Carter at Miami Airport (1980).
    In the Senate, he was a leader in the passage of the Lend Lease Act to provide aid to the Allies during WWII.
    Although it made for a good story, Smathers almost certainly did not shock rural voters by revealing that Pepper was a 'shameless extrovert' who 'practiced celibacy before marriage' and had a brother who was 'a known homo sapiens.'
    Smathers and his supporters did, however, attack Pepper for supporting civil rights for blacks.
    Despite losing his Senate seat to Smathers, he managed a politcal comeback to be elected to the House of Representatives.
    In the House, he became known as the nation's leading spokesperson for the elderly.
    He worked with Alan Greenspan in a reform of the Social Security system that maintained its solvency by raising the retirement age.
    He said, 'Ageism is as odious as racism and sexism.'

Credit: C. Fishel

    For 2020, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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    In 2018, Out of 2 Votes: 0% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 9 Votes: 55.56% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 7 Votes: 42.86% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 20 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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    In 2013, Out of 17 Votes: 58.82% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 14 Votes: 78.57% Annoying
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