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Dan Burton
Dan Burton, Official Portrait, 108th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by David W. Evans
Succeeded by Susan Brooks
Constituency 6th district (1983–2003)
5th district (2003–2013)
Chair of the House Oversight Committee
In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by William F. Clinger Jr.
Succeeded by Thomas M. Davis
Member of the Indiana Senate
from the 31st district
In office
December 4, 1980 – November 3, 1982
Preceded by John Mutz
Succeeded by William Vobach
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 44th district
In office
November 3, 1976 – December 5, 1980
Preceded by Stanley Clark Boyer
Succeeded by Lawrence Buell
Member of the Indiana Senate
from the 19th district
In office
November 6, 1968 – November 4, 1970
Preceded by Willie Warren Hill Jr
Succeeded by Willie Warren Hill Jr
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
from the 26th district
In office
November 9, 1966 – November 6, 1968
Preceded by Multi-member district
Succeeded by Multi-member district
Personal details
Danny Lee Burton

(1938-06-21) June 21, 1938 (age 85)
Indianapolis, Indiana, US
Political party Republican
Barbara Logan
(died 2002)
Samia Tawil
(m. 2006)
Children 4
Education Indiana University, Indianapolis
Cincinnati Christian University
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1956–1962

Danny Lee Burton (born June 21, 1938) is an American politician who was the U.S. Representative for IN's 5th congressional district, and previously the 6th district, serving from 1983 until 2013. He is a member of the Republican Party and was part of the Tea Party Caucus.

Early life, education, and early career

Burton was born in Indianapolis, the son of Bonnie L. (née Hardesty) and Charles W. Burton. His father, a former policeman, never held a job for very long. The family moved constantly, living in trailer parks, cabins, and motels. In June 1950, some years after the couple divorced, his mother went to the police and got a restraining order against his father. He responded by kidnapping Burton's mother. Burton and his younger brother and sister were briefly sent to the Marion County Children's Guardian Home. After his mother escaped, Burton's father went to jail for two years. Burton's mother remarried, and Burton and his younger brother and sister had happier teenage years.

Burton worked as a caddy at a local country club in order to make ends meet, where he learned the golf skills that led to his winning a statewide golf championship in high school. He graduated from Shortridge High School in 1957, and attended Indiana University (1958–59) and the Cincinnati Bible Seminary (now known as Cincinnati Christian University) (1959–60). He served in the United States Army from 1956 to 1957, before leaving active duty to return to college but remained in the Army Reserves from 1957 to 1962. After school, Burton became a real estate broker and he founded the Dan Burton Insurance Agency in 1968.

Indiana legislature

Burton was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives from 1967 to 1968 and again from 1977 to 1980 and the Indiana State Senate from 1969 to 1970 and again from 1981 to 1982.

U.S. House of Representatives


Reagan Contact Sheet C40145 (cropped)
Burton with President Ronald Reagan in 1987
Pence and Burton with Ambassador Bremer
Burton and Mike Pence with Paul Bremer during the US invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2004.
Declaration of American Energy Independence 6-26-08
Burton speaking at the Declaration of American Energy Independence event in 2008

Burton first ran for Congress in 1970, losing to Democratic incumbent Andy Jacobs in Indiana's 11th congressional district. Burton ran again in 1972, losing in the Republican primary to William Hudnut.

After the 1980 census, the Republican-controlled state legislature reconfigured the 6th District into a heavily Republican district focused on the suburbs north of Indianapolis. The district's four-term Democratic incumbent, David W. Evans, opted to challenge Jacobs in the Democratic primary (which he lost) rather than face certain defeat. Burton jumped into the Republican primary halfway into his second stint in the state senate, and won a five-way Republican primary with 37% of the vote. He then defeated Democrat George Grabianowski in the general election 65%–35%. He would be reelected 14 times, never dropping below 62% in a general election. His district was renumbered as the 5th District after the 2000 census.


In 2008, Burton faced a reasonably well-funded challenger in the Republican primary for the first time since his initial run for the seat in former Marion County Coroner John McGoff. Burton defeated McGoff 52% to 45% in the closest Republican primary election of his career.


In 2010, he faced six challengers in the Republican primary. He won the primary with a plurality of 30%. He defeated State Representative Luke Messer (28%), McGoff (19%), State Representative Mike Murphy (9%), Brose McVey (8%), Andy Lyons (4%), and Ann Adcock (3%). Burton only carried a majority in one county (55%): Huntington.


In 2012, Burton was due to face a number of challengers in the Republican primary including McGoff, former U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks, former U.S. Congressman David McIntosh, and attorney Jack Lugar. On the Democratic side, State Representative Scott Reske and labor activist Tony Long entered the race. While the reconfigured 5th is still a Republican stronghold, it is said to be slightly more Democratic than its predecessor. In January 2012, Burton abruptly announced his retirement, saying, "I don't want to get into it, it's about personal problems with family health." Brooks won the election.


Helms–Burton bill

In 1995, Burton authored legislation targeting foreign companies that did business with Cuba. The bill allowed foreign companies to be sued in American courts if, in dealings with the government of Fidel Castro, they acquired assets formerly owned by Americans. In February 1996, Cuba shot down two small Brothers to the Rescue planes piloted by anti-Castro Cuban-Americans. As part of the White House response to crack down on Cuba, President Clinton signed the Helms–Burton Act into law.

Conservative voting record

Burton was a consistently conservative vote in the US House. In the 109th Congress, he had a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He also has an A rating with the Gun Owners of America.

Burton has received a number of awards from conservative groups, including a Friend of the Farm Bureau Award in 2004 from the American Farm Bureau Federation, a True Blue Award in 2006 the Family Research Council, eight Guardian of Small Business Awards from the National Federation of Independent Business and twenty-two Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Government Performance and Results Act

Burton was the primary sponsor for a 1998 effort, opposed by the Clinton administration, to require federal government agencies to do more strategic planning, establish more accountability measurements, and do more reporting on their performance. H.R. 2883, the "Government Performance and Results Act Amendments", was not enacted into law.

Exposing the Winter Hill Gang/FBI Corruption

In his role as chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, Burton helped expose FBI corruption that led to the wrongful conviction of Joseph Salvati, Peter Limone, Henry Tameleo and Louis Greco for the murder of Edward "Teddy" Deegan. The three-year investigation that Burton spearheaded helped exonerate the four, who were eventually awarded $102 million by Judge Nancy Gertner of the District of Massachusetts.

Republican Study Committee

Burton served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative House Republicans, during the 101st Congress. After Newt Gingrich yanked funding for the group in 1995, Burton joined fellow congressmen John Doolittle of California, Ernest Istook of Oklahoma and Sam Johnson of Texas in refounding it as the Conservative Action Team. The three men shared the chairmanship from 1994 to 1999. In 2001, the CAT regained its original name, the RSC.

Pro-Pakistan and Anti-India

Congressman Burton is a founding member and co-chair of Pakistan Caucus in House of Congress. His consistent support for Pakistan and his voting record has prompted the Indian media to describe him as "anti-India" in the past.

Burton has received at least $10,000 in campaign donations from Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, who runs the Kashmir Center, a pro-Pakistan advocacy group. Burton was the chief supporter in Congress of the Kashmiri American Council, until it was revealed to be a front of Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate engaging in illegal lobbying activities on US soil.

Support for Bahrain's monarchy

Burton has been noted for his vocal support of Bahrain's monarchy and criticism of protesters during the Bahraini uprising. In April 2012, Burton and his wife took a paid trip to Bahrain to meet with the country's rulers. The $20,966 trip was paid for by the pro-monarchy Bahrain American Council, a non-profit group established by and closely linked to Policy Impact Communications, a lobbying firm founded by William Nixon.

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Foreign Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
    • Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia (Chairman)
  • Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
    • Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives
    • Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations

Post-Congressional career

On February 13, 2013, the Azerbaijan America Alliance announced his appointment as Chairman of the group. Burton is listed as chairman on the organization's web site as well.

In October 2015, it was reported that Burton registered as a lobbyist on behalf of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), an organization established by the Church of Scientology. CCHR advocates against psychiatry and psychiatric medicine, and is critical of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It has been described by critics as a Scientology front group. While not a member of the Church, Burton attended the opening of the Church's national office in 2012 and has praised CCHR's work in the past.

Personal life

Burton's first wife, Barbara (Logan) Burton, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 at the age of 56. She died in 2002 from breast and colon cancer. They had three children together: Kelly, Danielle and Danny. In August 2006, Burton married Dr. Samia Tawil in Park City, Utah. She was the internist who cared for Burton's wife during her cancer treatment. Tawil and her first husband had divorced in 2005.

Burton's brother, Woody Burton, is a former Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives, representing District 58.

Burton is a member of the board of advisors of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy. Burton is a 33° Scottish Rite Freemason, and a member of Evergreen-Oriental Lodge No. 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

See also

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