Biography

"I've spent my lifetime defending America and the values that make us strong. We need leaders with the courage to stand on principle and fight for our values. That is my mission in Congressional District 8."- Paul Cook

With America's economy in turmoil and thousands of veterans returning from wars abroad, we deserve a Congressman with the experience to get the job done in Washington. Retired Marine Corps Colonel Paul Cook's service and sacrifice to America make him uniquely qualified to serve as our next Congressman.

An infantry officer who served with distinction in the United States Marine Corps and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Paul's military career spanned twenty-six years. His actions in combat earned him a number of honors, including two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device. Paul retired from the Marine Corps as a colonel.

Retired from active military duty, Paul continued his service by seeking and winning a seat on the Yucca Valley Town Council, ultimately serving as Mayor. Paul became known for his commitment to conservative fiscal policies that protected working families from higher taxes.

In 2006, Paul's neighbors elected him to represent them in the California State Assembly. Since then, Paul has distinguished himself by tackling some of the most important issues of the day, like fighting government corruption, reducing taxes, and increasing penalties on sex offenders who prey on children. As Chair of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee, he has been a tireless advocate for veterans and military families.

Holding a lifelong commitment to education, Paul has taught history and political science at Copper Mountain College, California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB), and University of California, Riverside (UCR). Paul holds a master's in political science from UCR and a master's in public administration from CSUSB.

Paul has held leadership posts with his local United Way and Red Cross chapters and served as past Executive Director of the Yucca Valley Chamber of Commerce. Paul is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion. Paul and his wife Jeanne reside in Yucca Valley.

Accomplishments

Awards and Recognition

Mickey Conroy Legislator of the Year, 2011, California State Commanders Veterans Council. This award is given in recognition for leadership and contributions to California's active-duty military, National Guard, reserves, and veterans.

Freedom Fighter Award, 2011, California Disabled Veterans Business Alliance

Legislator of the Year in 2011, American Veterans (AMVETS), Department of California

Legislator of the Year in 2010, Fathers and Families

Legislator of the Year in 2009, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), California State Council

Legislator of the Year in 2009, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California

Outstanding Legislator in 2008, California State Sheriff's Association

Child Predator Notification Award in 2007, by the Riverside County Family Preservation Court

Legislator of the Year in 2007, for the Associated Builders and Contractors of California

Outstanding Assemblymember in 2007, by the California Association of Recreation & Park Districts (CARPD).

Taxes and Economy

Received perfect 100% scores from the California Taxpayers Association
2012: 15 of 15 SCORE 100%
2011: 14 of 14 SCORE 100%
2010: 12 of 12 SCORE: 100%
2009: No Cal-Tax Scores were issued in 2009
2008: 21 of 21 SCORE: 100%
2007: 14 of 14 SCORE: 100%

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ratings
2011: 93.7 A
2010: 86.1% B
2009: 94.0% A
2008: 81.4% B
2007: 92.0% A

Earned 100% Ratings from the California Chamber of Commerce
2011: 100%
2010: 100%
2009: 100%
2008: 100%
2007: 100%

"A" rating from California Manufacturers & Technology Association
2009-10: 91% (10-1)
2007-08: 97% (32-1)
OVERALL: 95% (42-2)

Successful Legislation

AB 265 - This bill requires a statewide official to forfeit his or her office if convicted of falsely claiming receipt of a military decoration or medal under the federal Stolen Valor Act.

AB 307 - This bill requires registered sex offenders to disclose their registration status to prospective employers when applying for a job where they would be working in a position directly and in an unaccompanied setting, that provides goods or services to minors.

AB 717 - This bill establishes an annual "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" on March 30th of every year, to recognize and herald the contribution of Vietnam Veterans.

AB 830 - This bill ensures California law remains consistent with federal policy concerning the use of "off-label" prescription drugs for cancer patients, by ensuring Medi-Cal reimbursement. Without AB 830, cancer patients might not have access to the newest and best off-label prescription drugs.

AB 1325 - This bill creates an alternative "customary adoption" process for Native American children, which will account for the needs of the child and the needs of the child within his or her tribe. Conventional adoption most often ignores a child’s tribal connection and mandates termination of rights for the birth parents, thus severing any legal tie between the child and the tribe. AB 1325’s customary adoption will allow this legal connection to persist, so that children may retain ties with their tribe and cultural traditions.

AB 2171 - Purple Heart Memorial - This bill will create a Purple Heart Memorial on the Capitol Park grounds in Sacramento to honor California residents who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal.

AB 2426 - Restaurant Business Expansion - The bill will expand the economic opportunities for restaurant businesses to open new locations in California. This will provide new economic opportunities and jobs for California.

(VETOED) AB 3084 - Filipino-American WWII Vets - This was a bi-partisan bill by Assemblyman Cook and Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) that would have encouraged instruction in social sciences to include an accurate history of the contributions of the Filipino American veterans who fought courageously in the US Army for freedom and democracy in World War II, under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur. Unfortunately, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.

AB 282 - Stolen Valor Act 2007 - This bill creates an infraction for individuals who to misrepresent themselves as honorees of a military medal or decoration.

Endorsements

Campaign Co-Chairs

Mary Bono Mack, Congresswoman, California 45th District
"We need leaders like Colonel Cook in Congress fighting to create jobs, stopping wasteful spending, and saying no to taxes."

Gary Penrod, Retired San Bernardino County Sheriff
"There's no better friend of law enforcement than Colonel Paul Cook. His proven record at the local and state level has earned him my respect, and I'm proud to stand with Paul as he seeks to become our Congressman."

Bill Leonard, Former BOE Member, Former State Senator, Former State Assemblyman
"Colonel Cook's a proven tax fighter. Paul's support for conservative economic policies that create jobs in our community and his fight to reduce taxes has earned him my trust and my support."

Bill Emmerson, State Senator
"No one has done more to help veterans and veteran families than Paul. Veterans deserve a leader like Colonel Cook standing up for them in Congress."

Dennis Hansberger, Former San Bernardino County Supervisor
"At the local level, Paul restored integrity to public service. We can be proud of him as a Congressman."

Big Bear Lake

Mayor Bill Jahn
Mayor Pro Tem Jay Obernolte
Liz Harris
Rick Herrick
David Caretto

Highland

Mayor Larry McCallon
Mayor Pro-tem Penny Lilburn
Council Member Sam Racadio
Council Member John Timmer

Twentynine Palms

Mayor John Cole
Mayor Pro-tem Joel Klink
Council Member Jim Harris (former Mayor 2011)
Council Member Jay Corbin
Council Member Dan Mintz

Yucca Valley

Mayor Dawn Rowe
Mayor Pro-tem Isaac Hagerman
Council Member Merl Abel
Council Member George Huntington
Council Member Robert Lombardo

Law Enforcement

Retired San Bernardino County Sheriff Gary Penrod (Co-Chair)
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos
San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops
Retired Mono County Sheriff Dan Paranick
Retired Mono County District Attorney George Booth
Inyo County Sheriff Bill Lutze
Mono County Sheriff Rick Scholl
California Statewide Law Enforcement Association
San Bernardino Police Officers Association
Latino Peace Officers Association
California Association of Highway Patrolmen
California Police Chiefs Association
Riverside County Sheriff Stan Sniff
Riverside County District Attorney Paul Zellerbach
Keith Buschey, retired Deputy Chief, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Donnie Miller
Barbara Ferguson

Lawmakers

Mary Bono Mack, Congresswoman, California 45th District (Co-Chair)
Jerry Lewis, Congressman, California 41st District
Buck McKeon, Congressman, California 25th District
Darrell Issa, Congressman, California 49th District
Ken Calvert, Congressman, California 44th District
Jeff Denham, Congressman, California 19th District
Ed Royce, Congressman, California 40th District
Bill Emmerson, State Senator (Co-Chair)
Assembly Republican Leader Connie Conway
Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff
Assemblyman Steve Knight
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian
Assemblyman Bill Berryhill
Assemblyman Martin Garrick
Assemblyman Jeff Gorell
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey
Assemblyman Curt Hagman
Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries
Assemblyman Mike Morrell
Assemblyman Brian Nestande
Assemblyman Jim Nielsen
Assemblyman Don Wagner
Senator Tom Berryhill
Senator Anthony Cannella
Senator Bob Dutton
Senator Sharon Runner
Michelle Steel, BOE Member

Organizations

United States Chamber of Commerce
San Bernardino County Farm Bureau
Crime Victims United of California

Military and Veterans

Major General James Livingston, USMC (ret.)
Lieutenant General Emil “Buck” Bedard, USMC (ret.)
Major General Bruce Casella, US Army (ret.)
Sergeant Major Alex Pacheco, USMC (ret.)
Jose Ramos, founder of Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day organization.
Combat Veterans for Congress
National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition

Others

Governor Pete Wilson
San Bernardino Sun newspaper
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspaper
Apple Valley Mayor Barb Stanton
Yucaipa Mayor Dick Riddell
Former Victorville Mayor Bob Hunter
Barstow Councilman Tim Saenz
Inland Valley Young Republicans
Lincoln Club of the Morongo Basin
Koreans for Liberty
Jeff Newsome, Board Member and immediate past President of the Big Bear City Community Services District
Kim Carpenter, Offroading Leader