90 Facts About Beto O'Rourke

1.

Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke is an American politician who served as the U S representative for from 2013 to 2019.

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2.

Beto O'Rourke was born into a local political family in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School and Columbia University.

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3.

Beto O'Rourke later endorsed Joe Biden, following endorsements by Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg.

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4.

Beto O'Rourke is the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, challenging incumbent governor Greg Abbott.

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5.

Pat Beto O'Rourke served in public office in El Paso as County Commissioner and County Judge; he was an associate of Texas Governor Mark White, served as the state chairman of Jesse Jackson's 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns, switched parties in the early 1990s, and made several failed attempts to win election to public office as a Republican.

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6.

In eighth grade, Beto O'Rourke was introduced to punk rock through the Clash's London Calling, an album he later called "a revelation".

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7.

Beto O'Rourke soon discovered Dischord Records, a Washington, D C -based independent label with a catalog of punk music, and began reading punk zines like Maximumrocknroll and Flipside.

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8.

Beto O'Rourke felt alienated from the City of El Paso as an adolescent in the 1980s.

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9.

Beto O'Rourke has admitted that he stole long-distance phone service during his teen years in order to use his dial-up modem.

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10.

Beto O'Rourke wrote numerous poems and other texts for Cult of the Dead Cow under the pseudonym "Psychedelic Warlord", a name taken from a 1974 rock song by the band Hawkwind.

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11.

Beto O'Rourke began his education at Escuela Montessori Del Valle preschool and continued to Rivera and Mesita Elementary Schools.

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12.

Beto O'Rourke attended Columbia University, where in his junior year he co-captained Columbia's heavyweight rowing crew.

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13.

Beto O'Rourke graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature.

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14.

Beto O'Rourke was held in jail overnight and posted bail the following day.

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15.

Beto O'Rourke was initially charged with attempted burglary, but prosecutors dropped the case against O'Rourke and his friends in February 1996 when UTEP declined to pursue the charges.

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16.

Beto O'Rourke had a brief career in music during his college years.

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17.

Beto O'Rourke joined his first band, called Swipe, after he left El Paso to attend Columbia University in New York.

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18.

Beto O'Rourke played drums in the band Swedes, who released an album called Summer in 1995.

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19.

DIY ethos Beto O'Rourke had first encountered in the punk scene informed some of his later political decisions, such as his Senate campaign's pledge not to accept financial contributions from PACs .

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20.

Beto O'Rourke said he wanted to address "brain-drain", or the exodus of youth caused by lack of opportunity.

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21.

Beto O'Rourke made a co-marketing agreement with local TV station, KTSM-TV, allowing StantonStreet.

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22.

Beto O'Rourke was a member of the boards of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Institute for Policy and Economic Development at UTEP.

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23.

Beto O'Rourke cites his work on his magazine, not boyhood exposure to politics, as the reason behind his initial political ideas and ambitions.

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24.

Beto O'Rourke was inspired by the successful 2001 mayoral run of Ray Caballero, whose platform promoted the idea that El Paso was great.

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25.

In mid-2005, Beto O'Rourke ran for the El Paso City Council on a platform of downtown development and border reform.

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26.

Beto O'Rourke responded with an on-foot campaign to residents of the neighborhood and was met with support as well as some cynicism.

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27.

In January 2009, Beto O'Rourke sponsored a resolution calling for "comprehensive examination" of the War on Drugs and "the repeal of ineffective marijuana laws".

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28.

Beto O'Rourke told reporters the reason he spoke up about the War on Drugs was the thousands of people who had been killed in the nearby city of Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

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29.

In 2012, Beto O'Rourke filed for the Democratic primary against the eight-term Silvestre Reyes to represent Texas's 16th congressional district.

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30.

Beto O'Rourke was contrasted with Reyes in his support for LGBT rights and drug liberalization.

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31.

Beto O'Rourke defeated his Republican opponent, Barbara Carrasco, in the general election with 65 percent of the vote.

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32.

Beto O'Rourke co-sponsored the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which was enacted in 2014.

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33.

Beto O'Rourke was one of six members of Congress who took a six-day trip to Israel that included meetings with Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators, political leaders and residents.

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34.

In June 2016, Beto O'Rourke endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, being one of the last Democratic congressmen to support her during the primary.

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35.

Beto O'Rourke won the Democratic primary and defeated his Green and Libertarian opponents in the general election.

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36.

Beto O'Rourke said that he believed in term limits, and therefore that it was time for new leadership.

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37.

Beto O'Rourke had given himself a term limit in the House, and promised not to serve any more than 12 years in the Senate if elected.

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38.

Beto O'Rourke gave up his congressional seat to run for Senate in 2018.

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39.

Beto O'Rourke said he planned to run a positive campaign, not focused on Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.

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40.

Beto O'Rourke's campaign received significant national attention for its ability to draw large crowds and extensive use of social media.

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41.

Beto O'Rourke ran his campaign without professional pollsters or consultants, and relied on volunteers with no experience running a political campaign.

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42.

Beto O'Rourke often highlighted his days as a rock musician with Foss in interviews.

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43.

Beto O'Rourke posted to social media daily, including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and livestreamed his activities traveling the state, such as skateboarding in a Whataburger parking lot, washing clothes at a laundromat, and "blockwalking" in his constituents' neighborhoods.

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44.

Beto O'Rourke encouraged supporters to post selfies they had taken with him to social media.

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45.

Beto O'Rourke pledged not to accept PAC contributions for his Senate campaign.

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46.

Beto O'Rourke raised $2 million within the first three months, mostly from small donations.

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47.

Beto O'Rourke received his first major organizational endorsement from End Citizens United in June 2017, which found that he had raised triple the funds of Cruz without accepting corporate special interest money.

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48.

Beto O'Rourke raised more than $38 million in the third quarter, three times Cruz's totals for the same period.

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49.

Beto O'Rourke said he regretted calling Ted Cruz "Lyin' Ted", a nickname given by Donald Trump.

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50.

Beto O'Rourke confirmed that he would vote to impeach and indict Trump.

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51.

Beto O'Rourke defended his Spanish nickname against accusations of cultural appropriation.

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52.

Beto O'Rourke received over four million votes, compared to Hillary Clinton, who received only 3.

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53.

Beto O'Rourke set a record for most votes ever cast for a Democrat in Texas history.

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54.

In late 2018, speculation began that Beto O'Rourke might run in the United States presidential election in 2020.

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55.

Beto O'Rourke confirmed speculation the following day by announcing that he was entering the presidential race.

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56.

In December 2019, Beto O'Rourke founded the political action committee "Powered by People".

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57.

Beto O'Rourke has sponsored bipartisan bills as well as broken with his party on issues like trade.

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58.

In 2011, O'Rourke co-authored a book, Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U S and Mexico, which in part argues for an end to the prohibition of marijuana to reduce drug-related violence and undermine the finances of the Mexican drug cartels.

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59.

Beto O'Rourke has called for the arrest records of individuals sentenced for possession of small amounts of cannabis to be expunged.

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60.

Beto O'Rourke favors increasing federal aid to public schools in low-income communities.

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61.

Beto O'Rourke believes that teachers and local education officials should have more autonomy in setting classroom standards while reducing the current emphasis on "arbitrary, high-stakes tests".

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62.

Additionally, during his 2022 gubernatorial campaign in Texas, Beto O'Rourke supported increasing teacher's salaries and funding to public schools.

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63.

Beto O'Rourke opposed school vouchers, claiming that voucher systems lead to money flowing to private schools instead of public schools.

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64.

Beto O'Rourke has advocated putting a price on carbon emissions and wants to substantially increase the use of renewable energy.

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65.

Beto O'Rourke has been a vocal critic of the Trump Administration's elimination of greenhouse gas regulations and the shrinking of the budget for environmental projects.

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66.

In 2012, Beto O'Rourke stated that "in tackling climate change and the greatest environmental threat we have ever faced, we need to take unprecedented action in building a foundation for a clean energy economy".

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67.

Beto O'Rourke has introduced legislation to establish a national monument at Castner Range, near El Paso, and successfully included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act to protect the area, which includes a historic military training facility.

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68.

Beto O'Rourke's holds a lifetime voting record of 95 percent and a 2017 score of 100 percent with the League of Conservation Voters' national environmental ranking.

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69.

Beto O'Rourke criticized Israel's actions during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict and voted against funding Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

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70.

Beto O'Rourke denounced the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem as "provocative".

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71.

Beto O'Rourke criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu following his comments about annexing the settlements in the occupied West Bank after the 2019 Israeli election, calling him a "racist".

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72.

Beto O'Rourke criticized Saudi Arabia's human rights abuses and the intervention it leads in support of the government of Yemen against the Houthis.

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73.

In 2016, Beto O'Rourke voted against the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which allows relatives of victims of the September 11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for its government's alleged role in the attacks.

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74.

Beto O'Rourke supported the Iran nuclear deal regarding Iran's development of weapons of mass destruction.

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75.

In July 2018, Beto O'Rourke said that Trump's performance while attending the 2018 Russia–United States summit in Helsinki warranted impeachment.

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76.

Beto O'Rourke opposed Trump's decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which granted temporary stay to some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors.

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77.

Beto O'Rourke said it is a "top priority" to protect DREAMers.

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78.

Beto O'Rourke called this practice "Un-American" and the responsibility of all Americans.

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79.

Subsequently, in an interview in February 2019, Beto O'Rourke indicated he would tear down the wall between El Paso and the southern US border, since he feels that the fencing has forced migrants to the most inhospitable areas of the southern border, "ensuring their suffering and death".

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80.

In October 2019, during his presidential campaign, Beto O'Rourke proposed to remove the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage.

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81.

At CNN's Equality Town Hall, Beto O'Rourke asserted that "'there can be no reward, no benefit, no tax break for anyone or any institution, any organization in America that denies the full human rights and the full civil rights of every single one of us'".

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82.

Beto O'Rourke voted against the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

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83.

Beto O'Rourke told the Dallas Voice that "he called marriage equality a core civil rights issue" during his House primary campaign.

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84.

Whilst previously having supported Medicare for All during the 2018 US Senate race, Beto O'Rourke backtracked during the 2020 presidential primary, instead supporting a proposal he called "Medicare for America".

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85.

Beto O'Rourke supports the expansion of Medicaid and is a co-sponsor of the Medicare-X Choice Act of 2017.

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86.

Beto O'Rourke held monthly veterans town hall meetings throughout his term in Congress.

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87.

Beto O'Rourke serves on both the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees military installations such as Fort Bliss, headquartered in El Paso.

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88.

Beto O'Rourke developed this idea from feedback from veterans at town hall meetings.

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89.

Beto O'Rourke delivered the eulogy during the funeral service at St Patrick's Cathedral in El Paso.

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90.

Beto O'Rourke is a lifelong Roman Catholic but has publicly expressed disagreement with Church doctrine, including its refusal to solemnize same-sex marriages.

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