John Howard Coble (born March 18, 1931) is the U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 6th congressional district, serving since 1985. He is a member of the Republican Party.
Early life, education, and pre-political career
Coble was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. After high school, he initially attended Appalachian State University, but after a year joined the United States Coast Guard, serving for over 5 years and staying on as a reservist for an additional 18 years. Upon discharging from military service, he attended Guilford College, from which he received a history degree. He is a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
Coble then moved on to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and earned a degree in law.
After graduating from college, Coble first worked as an insurance agent. He then spent nearly 20 years as a practicing attorney, and he was also Secretary of Revenue under North Carolina Governor James Holshouser. In 1979, Coble was elected to the state House of Representatives, serving until his election to Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Coble was first elected to Congress in 1984, narrowly defeating Walter Cockerham in the primary 51%-49%. In the general election, he defeated one-term Democratic incumbent Robin Britt 51%-49%.
Coble was likely the beneficiary of long coattails from Ronald Reagan, who carried the district by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. In 1986, He defeated Britt in a rematch, which was an even closer 50.03%-49.97% and Coble won by only 79 votes (closest margin of victory that year). Since then, he has never won re-election with less than 62% of the vote. In July 2008, Coble won the Republican primary unopposed and became North Carolina's longest-serving Republican U.S. congressman, surpassing former U.S. Congressman Jim Broyhill who was also elected to 12 terms but left the House in July 1986 to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat.
Coble sat on the 105th United States Congress and motioned to suspend the rules and pass NET Act on November 4, 1997, which removed the requirement of financial gain for criminal prosecution of copyright violation. NET Act was passed only after the House suspended the rules.
Coble is a strong supporter of agriculture and has voted in favor of bills to protect agriculture. Coble opposes further regulation of tobacco because he believes it will hurt North Carolina tobacco planters.
Coble takes a hard-line position on illegal drugs, and co-sponsored a resolution to oppose the legalization and use of medical marijuana. He also voted for an amendment to authorize drug testing on federal employees.
However, he authored a resolution to celebrate the passage of Twenty-first Amendment, which repealed the Prohibition of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Coble is also a member of the Tea Party Caucus, joining Sue Myrick and Walter B. Jones as the sole members of the North Carolina Congressional delegation to join the group.
Coble has pledged not to receive any pension from the United States government. He told CBS Up to the Minute, "I figured taxpayers pay my salary - not a bad salary, and I figure that's sufficient. Let me fend for myself after the salary's collected." He also stated to CBS, "I've pledged my assurance I won't take the pension. That's between my constituents and me. As far as convicted felons, I guess that's between their constituents and themselves." He is one of two Congressmen, with Ron Paul, to have pledged to decline his pension.
Coble is a member of the Guilford College Board of Visitors and of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Board of Visitors.
He is also helping to take down the "Downfall Parodies" internet meme off of YouTube alongside Abraham Foxman and Martin Moskowicz through the use of DMCAs. As a result, he becomes a subject of mockery in the parodies. One example showed Hitler's generals and Goebbels confronting Coble himself.
January 9th, 2012