John Hostettler

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For the author and lawyer, see John Hostettler (author).
John Hostettler
John Hostettler by Gage Skidmore.jpg

Hostettler campaigning in Evansville, Indianain March 2010.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Indiana‘s 8th district
In office
January 3, 1995–January 3, 2007
Preceded by Frank McCloskey
Succeeded by Brad Ellsworth
Personal details
Born June 19, 1961 (age 54)
Evansville, Indiana
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Hostettler
Children Matthew, Amanda, Jaclyn, and Jared
Residence Blairsville, Indiana
Alma mater Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Profession Engineer
Religion General Baptist

John Nathan Hostettler (born June 19, 1961), served in the U.S. House of Representatives from January 3, 1995 to January 3, 2007, representing the 8th District of Indiana (map). He lost his reelection bid for a seventh term to Democratic challenger Brad Ellsworth in the 2006 midterm election, ending a twelve-year Congressional career.

He was a Republican candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in the state of Indiana held by retiring Senator Evan Bayh. On December 3, 2009, Hostettler announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, but lost the primary to former Senator Dan Coats.[1][2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Hostettler (pronounced HOH-stet-luhr) was born in Evansville, as the eighth of ten children. He is of Swiss German descent. He grew up in rural Posey County near the Ohio and Wabash rivers.

After graduating from North Posey High School in 1979, he enrolled in Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science inMechanical Engineering (BSME) in 1983.

Later that year, Hostettler married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Ann Hamman. They live in Blairsville, an unincorporated suburban community near Evansville, and have four children. He is a member of Westwood General Baptist Church in Evansville.

Prior to his service in Congress, Hostettler was a power plant performance engineer with Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (SIGECO, now part of Vectren); he had received his PE license during his tenure.

Congressional service[edit]

Hostettler became part of the 104th Congress, the first Republican majority in the House in 40 years. In subsequent years, Hostettler depended on his base of fellow social and fiscal conservatives to keep him in office. While southern Indiana has been traditionally Democratic, the 8th has always had a strong social conservative tint.

Hostettler’s campaign was distinctive in several respects. One of Hostettler’s assets in his run for Congress was his distinctive “Red Army” or “Army of Red Volunteers.” Parades and similar events would typically feature people of varying backgrounds wearing red T-shirts with white lettering that simply stated “Hostettler for Congress”. Hostettler family members were particularly involved in campaign efforts. Karen Hammonds, Hostettler’s sister, was also his office manager and a campaign coordinator. Being only one of ten children, his brothers and sisters have assisted in campaign efforts. Media has attributed this as an area of success and influence that helped Hostettler achieve six straight victories.[5]

Hostettler signed the Contract with America,[6] but he told an Evansville Courier & Press reporter the day he signed it he did not support two provisions: a balanced budget amendment and term limits.[7] He was one of 40 Republicans in the House to vote in March 1995 against a constitutional amendment to set 12-year term limits for Representatives.[8]

Committee participation[edit]

Hostettler served on the House Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee.

In 1999, Hostettler was appointed vice-chairman of the Armed Services Research and Development Subcommittee for the 106th Congress.

In 2003, Hostettler was appointed the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims. He previously served as chairman of the Congressional Family Caucus, and was a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

Legislative activity[edit]

In late 1995, Hostettler was the sponsor of a bill passed by the House to repeal a District of Columbia law that allowed city workers to register domestic partners for health benefits.[9]

In January 1996, Hostettler was one of 17 Republicans who voted against a legislation supported by House Speaker Newt Gingrich that ended a federal government shutdown. After the vote, Gingrich canceled plans to visit Evansville for a fund-raising event for Hostettler. Gingrich offered to reschedule, but Hostettler turned him down, saying “I cannot allow my fund raising to be tied in any way to specific votes.”[10] That November would be Hostettler’s closest re-election, against future Evansville Mayor Jon Weinzapfel.

In June 2000, Hostettler was one of 10 Republicans voting against a prescription drug bill that passed the House 217–214. (The bill failed in the Senate.)[11]

In June 2001, Hostettler and Congressman Walter B. Jones of North Carolina (another member of the Republican class of 1995) co-authored a bill, H.R. 2357, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permit churches and other houses of worship to engage in political campaigns[12] without losing their tax-exempt status. In October 2002 the bill was defeated in a 178 to 239 vote in the House.[13]

On July 10, 2002, Hostettler introduced House Amendment 523 to House Resolution 4635, which would have removed the 2% cap on the number of pilots who could be deputized as federal flight deck officers and thus permitted to carry firearms to as well as requiring the Transportation Security Administration to train 20% of all pilots who volunteer for the program within six months of enactment and train 80% by the end of the two-year pilot program. There were no cosponsors to his amendment and it failed in aroll call vote.

On October 10, 2002, U.S. Congressman John Hostettler was one of six House Republicans who voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that authorized the invasion of Iraq.[14] In a speech to the U.S. House on October 8, 2002, invoking St. Augustine’s Just War Thesis, the Minutemen, and the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, Rep. Hostettler revealed his conclusion that:

…Iraq indeed poses a threat, but it does not pose an imminent threat that justifies a pre-emptive military strike at this time.[15]

On July 15, 2003, the House voted 226–198 on a Hostettler-sponsored amendment to the State Departments’s “Foreign Relations Authorization Act” reauthorization bill for Fiscal Years 2004 and 2005, requiring tighter regulation of consular cards of foreign nations within the United States, including Mexico’s “matricula consular” cards. The Senate did pass corresponding legislation in the 108th Congress.[16]

Also in 2003, he amended the Commerce, State, and Justice appropriation bill to restrict any funding for a ruling calling by the Court of Appeals 11th Circuit for the removal of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama State Supreme Court House. Chief Justice Roy Moore, who was removed from office later in 2003, had placed a 5-ton granite monument that included the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building on July 31, 2001.[17]

In 2004, the House passed the Hostettler-sponsored Marriage Protection Act (MPA). This kept federal courts from ruling on same-sex marriage licenses, as a result of Massachusetts’ Supreme Court ruling on February 3, 2004 on the Massachusetts ban on same-sex marriage.[18]

In September 2005, Hostettler was one of 11 Representatives who voted against the $51.8 billion aid package for relief and recovery from Hurricane Katrina.[19] Spokesman Matt Faraci said Hostettler voted against the hurricane measure because it included a provision making it easy for supposed do-gooders to pilfer federal funds. Faraci said that Hostettler would like to see federal funds spent helping victims of natural disasters so long as those dollars are not squandered. “He was very supportive of giving assistance to people affected by Rita and Katrina,” Faraci said. “He was concerned that there were provisions in the bill that were open to abuse.”[20]

Hostettler had introduced legislation in five consecutive Congress’ to prevent organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union from collecting attorneys’ fees when they win lawsuits challenging religious symbols on public land or religious groups’ use of government property. Hostletter said in a speech in February 2006 that his bill would “restore legal balance in this country, and it will protect us from being the victims of this assault on our religious liberties”.[21] At least one columnist claimed that this change would allow teachers to force students to pray to their specific deity with no possibility of damages or attorney’s fees. In other words, only those who could afford to hire an attorney to challenge the practice would be able to object in court. Since monetary damages were precluded, the only remedy would be an injunction.[22]

In 2006, Hostettler voted against a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman.[23]

Congressional campaigns[edit]

1994 election[edit]

Prior to the early 1990s, Hostettler had little interest in politics; his only political activity had been primary and general election voting.

However, in January 1994 Hostettler announced that he would run against Democrat Frank McCloskey, a six-term incumbent, in the November election, who Hostettler claimed was among the House’s biggest-spending liberals. Hostettler also claimed McCloskey was too loyal to President Bill Clinton.[24]

Hostettler was also inspired to enter politics after watching a television program by Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, interviewing Rev. Peter Marshall (son of the late Senate Chaplain Rev. Dr. Peter Marshall), whereby Rev. Marshall, historian and author, recounted a Christian Heritage of the United States of America.[25]

Hostettler won 52%–48%, becoming the sixth challenger to oust an incumbent in the 8th since 1966. In part due to its volatile nature, the district is often called “the Bloody Eighth.”

1996 election[edit]

In 1996, Hostettler defeated Democratic challenger Jonathan Weinzapfel 50%–48%. This was the narrowest win of his six Congressional victories. Weinzapfel later became mayor of Evansville.

1998 election[edit]

In 1998, with a total of 92,785 votes, he defeated his Democratic challenger, Evansville City Councilwoman Gail Riecken, with 52% to Riecken’s 46% of the vote.[26]

2000 election[edit]

In 2000, with 116,879 votes, Hostettler defeated Democratic challenger Paul Perry, a surgeon, with 53% of the vote to Perry’s 45%.

Doctors for Hostettler, a group of 82 physicians operating in tandem with the Hostettler campaign, organized against the healthcare issues raised by the Perry campaign, a campaign that was healthcare-oriented almost exclusively.

Some attributed this organization as one of the critical factor in the 2000 election, as the subsequently inactive group’s statements played a role in the 2006 campaign.[27]

2002 election[edit]

Redistricting after the 2000 census theoretically made the 8th friendlier to Hostettler. Heavily Democratic Bloomington was cut out of the district and replaced with more conservative-leaning Terre Haute. However, he defeated Democratic challenger Bryan Hartke by only five points—a narrower margin than 2000. He took 51% to Hartke’s 46% percentage of the vote.

Hartke was the nephew of former Senator Vance Hartke.[28]

2004 election[edit]

In 2004, he defeated Democratic challenger Jon Jennings with 53% of the vote.[29]

2006 election[edit]

In 2006 Hostettler’s Democratic opponent was Vanderburgh County Sheriff Brad Ellsworth. Ellsworth also identified as a social conservative. Some saw very little difference between the two candidates, and speculation arose from others that Democrats had to run a clone of John Hostettler to win the district.[30]

The National Republican Congressional Committee had spent $163,000 in his district as of mid-July 2006. (The DCCC, its counterpart, had spent $166,000 for Ellsworth as of that date.)[31][32] He had never been a strong fundraiser; he never raised more than $800,000 in any campaign. Some attributed Hostettler’s refusal to accept any Political action committee money to his relatively low funding levels during campaigns.[33][34][35][36][37] In part because of this, he was on somewhat less secure footing than conventional wisdom would suggest for a six-term incumbent.

As of early September, the Rothenberg Political Report called Hostettler one of the three most endangered House incumbents in the country; Chris Cillizza, political analyst forThe Washington Post, ranked Hostettler as the most vulnerable House incumbent in the nation; and Robert D. Novak, a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report, also rated Hostettler’s seat a likely win for Ellsworth.[38]

In mid-October, an opinion poll commissioned by the Evansville Courier & Press showed Ellsworth leading Hostettler, 55% to 32%.[39]

Hostettler debated Ellsworth on October 23, 2006. The debate was at public television station WVUT at Vincennes University, and involved the League of Women Voters.[40]

In the November election, Hostettler was soundly defeated, taking 39 percent of the vote to Ellsworth’s 61 percent. His defeat was the first announced that night.[citation needed] The 22-point margin was the largest margin of defeat for an incumbent in the 2006 cycle, and the second-biggest margin of a defeat in a Republican-held district. Hostettler was the only incumbent in either party who did not receive 40% of the vote, although a few Senators such as Rick Santorum and Mike DeWine came close. The 8th district vote tally for Ellsworth was only 1% shy of the same district’s tally for President Bush in 2004.[41]

Post-congressional career[edit]


In 2007, Hostettler decided to begin a book publishing company called Publius House Publius House. Nothing for the Nation – Who Got What Out of Iraq examines the true motives of American political leaders behind the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.[42]

Hostettler said of the book that it “…reveals why political leaders and their subordinates sought to remove Saddam Hussein from power” and that there was an underlying and unapparent “motivation of those who sold America on the idea of ousting the Butcher of Baghdad.”[43]

Presidential election[edit]

Hostettler endorsed Chuck Baldwin, nominee of the Constitution Party in the 2008 presidential election. He spoke at the Constitution Party’s national committee meeting inOrlando, Florida, on December 12–13, 2008.[44] Prior to his announcement on December 3, 2009, Hostettler was highly mentioned as a possible candidate to run against Evan Bayh.

2010 U.S. Senate election[edit]

Hostettler officially announced in a video posted by the campaign on December 3, 2009, that he would seek the office held by retiring United States Senator Evan Bayh in the 2010 election, following much speculation.[45]

Hostettler had been widely reported to be the leading Republican in the race even after former Senator and Lobbyist Dan Coats announced in February that he would relocate to Indiana and attempt to challenge Hostettler for the open seat, but ultimately placed third in the primary.[2]

Political positions[edit]

Hostettler was one of the “true believers” in the Republican freshman class of 1995. He believed the U.S. Constitution should be strictly interpreted[46] and was very critical of government actions—especially those of judges—that he felt overstepped their constitutional limits. Even those who disagreed with Hostettler felt that they knew where he stood and would likely give him the benefit of the doubt that he regularly voted in principle and not for political ends.[47]

He identifies as strongly pro-life and opposes gun control. He favors the dissolution of the Department of Education, and voted against the No Child Left Behind Act because he felt education was a state matter.[48] He also voted against most federal health care bills with the view that health care is a private or state matter. He maintains that many federal environmental laws and regulations infringed on individuals’ property rights.

Hostettler was very active on issues of religious freedom and expression. For example, during his last term, he was the chief sponsor of the Veterans’ Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals, and Other Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act of 2006, which would have prevented attorneys who successfully challenge violations of the Establishment Clause from collecting attorneys’ fees.

On economic issues, he supported repeal of the estate tax, the capital gains tax and the “marriage tax penalty.”

Hostettler was a hawk by inclination (he strongly supported the Strategic Defense Initiative). However, he was one of the leading Republican opponents of the Iraq War. He felt that preemptive military strikes were improper, and also felt that the military should not go into action unless there was an “imminent threat” to national security.

Hostettler was a hardliner on immigration issues:[49]

…the Constitution … is very clear. These are violations of our immigration law, and those that violate our immigration law should be dealt with, and should be punished, and should be ultimately deported.[50]

He supported building a fence at the Mexican border and opposed benefits of any sort to illegal immigrants. During his last two terms in Congress, he was Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee‘s Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims. He has been called a “leader of the patriotic immigration reform movement”.[51]

Awards and commendations[edit]

  • The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) bestowed upon Hostettler the Guardian of Small Business Award in 2000 because of attaining a 94% favorable rating with their organization, markedly above the 70% requirement for the award.[52]
  • In 2001, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) presented to Hostettler the Taxpayers‘ Friend Award which he shared with 41 other Congressional Members that year.[53]
  • The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) gave, for second consecutive year, the Taxpayers’ Friend Award to John Hostettler along with 35 other lawmakers in 2002.[54]
  • In 2004, Hostettler received the Distinguished Christian Statesman Award from the Center for Christian Statesmanship, an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries and Dr. D. James Kennedy.[55]
  • He received a perfect 100% rating from the American Conservative Union in 2005.[56]
  • In 2006, 9/11 Families for a Secure America gave Hostettler the Homeland Defender Award[57]


Breast cancer[edit]

On April 30, 2002, Hostettler met in Washington with eleven breast cancer survivors from Indiana who were seeking support for more research funding. In a subsequent campaign letter, Hostettler said Diane Gregory, who set up the meeting, “had expressed interest in reading more about [studies on the link between abortion and breast cancer] and had asked Congressman Hostettler to send her a copy of the reports.” Gregory denied that, saying “The materials on abortion (two brochures) came to me totally unsolicited. I must admit I was disturbed and surprised to receive the brochures.”

According to the women, at the meeting Hostettler “brought up the topic of abortion as the cause of breast cancer” and “made many (of the women) feel he was insinuating that they had had an abortion.” Hostettler’s campaign letter described the women as being on a smear campaign and said their accusations “never happened.”[58]

In early 2003, the National Cancer Institute concluded that it was well established from all available scientific evidence that “induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk.”[59]

Airport firearm possession[edit]

On April 20, 2004, Hostettler was briefly detained at the Louisville International Airport when he attempted to board a flight for Washington, D.C., with a loaded 9 mm Glock pistol in his briefcase[60] The congressman explained he “completely forgot” the gun was there, and called it a rather stupid mistake. His spokesman said Hostettler never brought the gun, registered to the Congressman, to Washington, where handguns are illegal. Hostettler did not have a house or apartment in D.C., but slept in his office.[61]

In August, Hostettler pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed weapon. He agreed to a plea-bargained sentence of 60 days in jail, with the jail time to be conditionally discharged rather than served if he had no more legal problems in the next two years.[62] On October 4, 2004, a Kentucky judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest after Hostettler failed to pay court costs, but it was recalled the same day after his attorney paid the $122.50.[63]

Hostettler received strong support over the gun incident from an aviation security expert, Joseph Gutheinz, a retired NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) Senior Special Agent and a former Special Agent with both U.S. Department of Transportation OIG and FAA Civil Aviation Security. In his Op/Ed appearing in the Courier Journal, Gutheinz said that rather than charging Hostettler for an obvious mistake, law enforcement “could have…and should have exercised discretion…by not charging him for bringing his weapon through security at Louisville International Airport.” Gutheinz is a well known critic of letting pilots fly armed.[64][65]

Christian Democrats[edit]

In June 2005, Democratic Representative David Obey introduced a measure to declare Congressional opposition to “coercive proselytizing” at the United States Air Force Academy after cadets complained that some of their evangelical Christian superior officers had pressured them about their religious beliefs. During debate on the measure on the House floor on June 20, 2005, Hostettler said: “Like a moth to a flame the Democrats can’t help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians.” Democrats objected and threatened to censure Hostettler for his comment. Debate did not resume until Hostettler withdrew his statement 20 minutes later.[66]

Islamic extremism in Canada[edit]

In the aftermath of the June 2006 arrests of 17 alleged terrorist bomb-plotters in and around Toronto, Canada, Hostettler said that “South Toronto, like those parts of London that are host to the radical imams who influenced the 9/11 terrorists and the shoe bomber, has people who adhere to a militant understanding of Islam”.[67] Asked later by reporters to describe “South Toronto” in greater detail, Congressman Hostettler characterized the area as “a location which I understand is the type of enclave that allows for this radical type of discussion to go on.” Hostettler’s remarks garnered controversy in Canada as he opposes Canadian requests to delay the impending requirement for the use of passports by both Canadian and American citizens at the Canada-U.S. border.[68]

Roseanne Barr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Roseann” redirects here. For the community in the United States, see Roseann, Virginia.
Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Hard Rock Cafe.jpg

Barr in Maui at the Hard Rock Cafe in January 2010
Born Roseanne Cherrie Barr
November 3, 1952 (age 62)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Residence Big Island, Hawaii, U.S.
Occupation Actress, comedian, writer, producer, director, politician
Years active 1985–present
Political party Green Party (2011–2012)
Peace and Freedom Party(2012–present)
Spouse(s) Bill Pentland (m. 1974–90)
Tom Arnold (m. 1990–94)
Ben Thomas (m. 1995–2002)
Partner(s) Johnny Argent (2003–present)
Children 5

Roseanne Cherrie Barr (born November 3, 1952) is an American actress, comedian, writer, television producer, director, and 2012presidential nominee of the California-based Peace and Freedom Party. Barr began her career in stand-up comedy at clubs before gaining fame for her role in the sitcom Roseanne. The show was a hit and lasted nine seasons, from 1988 to 1997. She won both anEmmy and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her work on the show. Barr had crafted a “fierce working-class domestic goddess” persona in the eight years preceding her sitcom and wanted to do a realistic show about a strong mother who was not a victim of patriarchal consumerism.[1]

The granddaughter of immigrants from Europe and Russia, Barr was the oldest of four children in a working-class Jewish Salt Lake City family; she was also active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). In 1974, she married Bill Pentland, with whom she had three children, before divorcing in 1990 and marrying comedian Tom Arnold for four years. Controversy arose when she sang “The Star-Spangled Banneroff-key at a 1990 nationally aired baseball game, followed by grabbing her crotch and spitting.

After her sitcom ended, she launched her own talk show, The Roseanne Show, which aired from 1998 to 2000. In 2005, she returned to stand-up comedy with a world tour. In 2011, she starred in an unscripted TV show, Roseanne’s Nuts, that lasted from July to September of that year, about her life on a Hawaiian farm.

In early 2012, Barr announced her candidacy for the Presidential nomination of the Green Party.[2] Barr lost the nomination to Jill Stein.[3] She then sought the presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party, which she won on August 4, 2012.[4] Barr received 61,971 votes in the general election, placing sixth overall.[5]

Early life

Barr was born in Salt Lake City, to a working-class Jewish family. She is the oldest of four children born to Helen (née Davis), a bookkeeper and cashier, and Jerome Hershel “Jerry” Barr, who[6] worked as a salesman.[7] Her father’s family were Jewish immigrants from Russia, and her maternal grandparents were Jewish immigrants from Austria-Hungary and Lithuania, respectively.[6] Her paternal grandfather changed his surname from “Borisofsky” to “Barr” upon entering the United States.[7]

Her Jewish upbringing was influenced by her devoutly Orthodox Jewish maternal grandmother.[7] Barr’s parents kept their Jewish heritage secret from their neighbors and were partially involved in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[7] Barr has stated, “Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning I was a Jew; Sunday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon we were Mormons”.[8] When Barr was three years old, she got Bell’s palsy on the left side of her face. Barr said, “[so] my mother called in a rabbi to pray for me, but nothing happened. Then my mother got a Mormon preacher, he prayed, and I was miraculously cured”. Years later Barr learned that Bell’s palsy was usually temporary and that the Mormon preacher came “exactly at the right time”.[7] At six years old, Barr discovered her first public stage by lecturing LDS churches around Utah and even was elected president of a Mormon youth group.[7]

At 16, Barr was hit by a car that left her with a traumatic brain injury.[7] Her behavior changed so radically that she was institutionalized for eight months at Utah State Hospital.[9]In 1970, when Barr was 18 years old, she moved out by informing her parents she was going to visit a friend in Colorado for two weeks, but never returned.[9]


Stand-up comedian success: 1980–1986

While in Colorado, Barr did stand-up gigs in clubs in Denver and other Colorado towns. She later tried out at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles and went on to appear on The Tonight Show in 1985.[9] In 1986, she performed on Late Night with David Letterman and the following year had her own HBO special called The Roseanne Barr Show, which earned her an American Comedy Award for the funniest female performer in a television special.[10] Barr was offered the role of Peg Bundy in Married… with Children but turned it down.[11] In her routine she popularized the phrase, “domestic goddess,” to refer to a homemaker or housewife. The success of her act led to her own series on ABC, calledRoseanne.

Roseanne sitcom, film, books, and talk show: 1987–2004

Main article: Roseanne

In 1987, The Cosby Show executive producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner wanted to bring a “no-perks family comedy” to television. They hired Cosby writer Matt Williams to write a script about factory workers and signed Barr to play Roseanne Conner.[12] The show premiered on October 18, 1988 and was watched by 21.4 million households, making it the highest-rated debut of that season.[13]

Barr became outraged when she watched the first episode of Roseanne and noticed that in the credits, Williams was listed as creator.[13] She told Tanner Stransky ofEntertainment Weekly, “We built the show around my actual life and my kids. The ‘domestic goddess’, the whole thing”.[13] In the same interview, Werner said, “I don’t think Roseanne, to this day, understands that this is something legislated by the Writers Guild, and it’s part of what every show has to deal with. They’re the final arbiters.”[13] During the first season, Barr sought more creative control over the show, opposing Williams’ authority. Barr refused to say certain lines and eventually walked off set. She threatened to quit the show if Williams did not leave. ABC let Williams go after the thirteenth episode.[13]

Roseanne ran for nine seasons from 1988 to 1997. Barr won an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Kids Choice Award, and three American Comedy Awards for her part in the show. For the final two seasons, Barr earned $40 million, making her the second-highest-paid woman in show business at the time, after Oprah Winfrey.[14]

Barr attending the 1992 Emmy Awards

Barbara Ehrenreich called Barr a working-class spokesperson representing “the hopeless underclass of the female sex: polyester-clad, overweight occupants of the slow track; fast-food waitresses, factory workers, housewives, members of the invisible pink-collar army; the despised, the jilted, the underpaid,”[15] but a master of “the kind of class-militant populism that the Democrats, most of them anyway, never seem to get right.”[16] Barr refuses to use the term “blue collar” because it masks the issue of class.[17]

During Roseanne’s final season, Barr was in negotiations between Carsey-Werner Productions and ABC executives to continue playingRoseanne Conner in a spin-off.[18] However, after failed discussions with ABC, and later CBS and Fox, Carsey-Werner and Barr agreed not to go on with the negotiations.[19]

Barr gave Amy Sherman-Palladino[20] and Joss Whedon[1] their first writing jobs on Roseanne. She released her autobiography in 1989, titled Roseanne—My Life As a Woman.[21] That same year, she made her film debut in She-Devil, playing Ruth. Film critic Roger Ebertgave her a positive review saying, “Barr could have made an easy, predictable and dumb comedy at any point in the last couple of years. Instead, she took her chances with an ambitious project – a real movie. It pays off, in that Barr demonstrates that there is a core of reality inside her TV persona, a core of identifiable human feelings like jealousy and pride, and they provide a sound foundation for her comic acting”.[22]

In 1991, she voiced the baby, Julie, in Look Who’s Talking Too. She was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.[23] She appeared three times on Saturday Night Live from 1991 to 1994, co-hosting with then-husband Tom Arnold in 1992. In 1994, she released a second book, My Lives.[21] That same year, Barr became the first female comedian to host the MTV Video Music Awards on her own. She remained the only to have done so until comedian Chelsea Handler hosted in 2010.[24] In 1997, she made guest appearances on 3rd Rock from the Sun and The Nanny.

In 1998, she portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West in a production of The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden.[25] That same year, Barr hosted her own talk show, The Roseanne Show, which ran for two years before it was canceled in 2000. In the summer of 2003, she took on the dual role of hosting a cooking show called Domestic Goddessand starring in a reality show called The Real Roseanne Show about hosting a cooking show. Although 13 episodes were in production, a hysterectomy brought a premature end to both projects.[26] In 2004, she voiced Maggie, one of the main characters in the animated film Home on the Range.

Return to stand-up, television guest appearances, and radio: 2005–2010

In 2005, she returned to stand-up comedy with a world tour.[27] In February 2006, Barr performed her first-ever live dates in Europe as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival inLeicester, England. The shows took place at De Montfort Hall.[28] She released her first children’s DVD, Rockin’ with Roseanne: Calling All Kids, that month. Roseanne’s return to the stage culminated in an HBO Comedy Special Roseanne Barr: Blonde N Bitchin’, which aired November 4, 2006, on HBO. Two nights earlier, Roseanne had returned to primetime network TV with a guest spot on NBC‘s My Name Is Earl, playing a crazy trailer park manager. In April 2007, Barr hosted season three of The Search for the Funniest Mom in America on Nick at Nite.[29]

Barr giving an interview in the 2010 documentary, I Am Comic

In March 2008, she headlined an act at the Sahara Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.[28] From 2009 to 2010, she hosted a politically themed radio show on KPFK.[30] Since 2008, she and partner Johnny Argent have hosted a weekly radio show on Sundays, onKCAA in the Los Angeles area, called “The Roseanne and Johnny Show”.[31] On March 23, 2009 it was announced that Barr would be returning to primetime with a new sitcom, wherein she would once again play the matriarch. Jim Vallely of Arrested Development had been tapped to pen the series.[32] She later stated on her website that the project had been canceled.

On April 15, 2009, Barr made an appearance on Bravo‘s 2nd Annual A-List Awards in the opening scenes. She played Kathy Griffin‘s fairy godmother, granting her wish to be on the A-List for one night only. Barr headlined the inaugural Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival in February 2010, a project of the Traverse City Film Festival, founded by filmmaker Michael Moore.[33] Moore developed the comedy fest with comedian Jeff Garlin.[33] In 2010, Barr appeared in Jordan Brady‘s documentary about stand-up comedy, I Am Comic.

Reality television, third book, sitcom pilot, politics and Comedy Central Roast: 2011–present

Barr released her third book, Roseannearchy: Dispatches from the Nut Farm, in January 2011.[34] She appeared in 2011 on a Super Bowl XLV commercial for Snickers along with comedian Richard Lewis. It was the most popular ad based on the number of TiVo users rewinding and watching it over.[35] Roseanne’s Nuts, a reality show featuring Barr, boyfriend Johnny Argent, and son Jake as they run a macadamia nut and livestock farm in Big Island, Hawaii was broadcast by Lifetime Television in July 2011, and cancelled in September of that year.[36][37][38]

In August 2011, it was reported that Barr was working on a new sitcom with 20th Century Fox Television tentatively titled Downwardly Mobile. Steven Greener, who also executive produced her reality show Roseanne’s Nuts, will also executive produce the sitcom.[39] Eric Gilliland is attached as co-creator, writer and executive producer; Gilliland was also a writer on Barr’s previous sitcom Roseanne. The show will be set in a mobile home community and use a multiple-camera setup. In October 2011, NBC picked up the show.[40] A pilot was filmed but initially ended up being shelved by the network.[41] Barr blames her “Progressive politics” as being the sole reason behind the pilot’s rejection. Barr states that she was notified that the show would not be picked up due to its being labeled “too polarizing” by network executives. In an interview with Politicker, Barr revealed that the show had been axed only to announce three hours later that she had just received a phone call saying that NBC had not given up on the project completely. The show could end up as an NBC midseason replacement. Barr hopes she’s given the opportunity to retool the show.[42]

Barr was “roasted” by Comedy Central in August 2012.[43][44] Barr’s former spouse, Tom Arnold, had claimed that he would not be appearing, but he ended up doing so.[45]

In the summer of 2014 Roseanne joined Keenen Ivory Wayans and Russell Peters as a judge on Last Comic Standing on NBC.

On November 28, 2014, Barr’s series, Momsters: When Moms Go Bad debuted on the Investigation Discovery cable network, a network that she says she’s a ‘little obsessed with.’ Barr hosts the show as herself.


National Anthem

On July 25, 1990, Barr performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds at Jack Murphy Stadium. As she later claimed, she was initially having trouble hearing herself over the public-address system, so she was singing as loudly as possible, and her rendition of the song sounded “screechy”. Following her rendition, she mimicked the often-seen actions of players by spitting and grabbing her crotch as if adjusting a protective cup. Barr claimed she had been encouraged by baseball officials to “bring humor to the song”. The song and the closing routine received heavy media attention and offended many, including President George H. W. Bush, who called her rendition “disgraceful.”[46] Barr would revisit this incident during her Comedy Central Roast in 2012, wherein she once again belted out the last few bars of the national anthem, without screeching.[47]

Zimmerman tweet

In 2014, the parents of George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch coordinator who is known for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin but was later acquitted of murder, filed a lawsuit against Barr for tweeting their home address and phone number on March 29, 2012. Barr allegedly tweeted “At first I thought it was good to let ppl know that no one can hide anymore … If Zimmerman isn’t arrested I’ll rt his address again- maybe go 2 his house myself.”[48] Zimmerman’s parents allege that Barr sought to “cause a lynch mob to descend” on their home. The Seminole County Circuit Court complaint sought more than $15,000 for emotional distress and invasion of privacy.[49][50] As of June 2015, the case is ongoing.[51]

2012 Presidential campaign

On August 5, 2011, Barr appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and announced her candidacy for president in the 2012 presidential election, running on the “Green Tea Party” ticket.[52][53] Her candidacy mixes attention to economics, personal health and meditation.[54] She also said that she is running for Prime Minister of Israel. In an interview with The Jewish Daily Forward she invoked tikkun olam in her support of bringing women into politics and religion.[54] On September 19, 2011, she appeared at the Occupy Wall Street protests and spoke in support of the protestors.[55] She further stated that any “guilty” Wall Street bankers should be forced to give up any income over $100 million, be sent to re-education camps, or be executed by beheading if they resisted.[56]

Barr filed with the Federal Election Commission as a Green Party presidential candidate in January 2012. She formally announced her candidacy for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination on February 2, 2012.[57][58][59][60]

On July 14, 2012, Barr came in second,[3] losing the nomination to Jill Stein.[3] Stein chose Cheri Honkala as her running-mate[61] despite suggestions that she could choose Barr.[62] Barr was given a prime speaking role at the Green Party National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, but decided to instead send a surrogate (Farheen Hakeem) to speak on her behalf. Barr’s surrogate reportedly chided the Party for not respecting Barr’s candidacy. A shouting match in a hallway reportedly ensued.[63]

Shortly after losing the Green Party nomination, Barr announced she would run on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket with activist Cindy Sheehan as a running mate.[64] On August 4, 2012, Barr won the 2012 presidential nomination of the Peace and Freedom Party.[4][65]

Barr has repeatedly criticized Jill Stein since losing the Green Party nomination,[66][67][68] and caused controversy by using alleged transphobic words in statements about Stein onTwitter.[69]

Barr finished her campaign with nearly 50,000 votes nationwide, placing sixth overall with considerably less than 0.1% of the popular vote; Stein placed far ahead of her in fourth place with roughly 0.3% of the popular vote.[5]


Personal life

In 1970, when she was 17, Barr had a child whom she placed for adoption; they were later reunited.[7][71] On February 4, 1974, Barr married Bill Pentland, a motel clerk she met while in Colorado. They had three children: Jessica, Jennifer, and Jake.[71] Pentland and Barr divorced on January 16, 1990.[72] Four days later, on January 20, 1990, Barr married fellow comedian Tom Arnold and became known as Roseanne Arnold during the marriage. Barr had met Arnold in 1983 in Minneapolis, where he opened for her stand-up comedy act. In 1988, Barr brought Arnold onto her sitcom, Roseanne, as a writer.[73]

Barr has a lesbian sister, Geraldine Barr,[74][75] and a gay brother, Ben Barr,[74][75] both of whom inspired her to introduce gay characters into her sitcom.[76] Barr has stated that she supports gay marriage.[74] Geraldine was also Barr’s manager while performing in comedy clubs and at the start of her sitcom. Geraldine claimed that Arnold tried to dominate Barr “for his own reasons”.[77] After being fired by Roseanne, Geraldine filed a $70.3 million breach of contract lawsuit in Superior Court of Los Angeles County on December 18, 1991. She said Barr promised her half the earnings from the Roseanne show for helping invent the “domestic goddess” character in 1981, serving as “writer, organizer, accountant, bookkeeper and confidante”.[78] Since it was six months past the statute of limitations, the suit was thrown out.[77]

In a 1991 interview with People, Barr described herself as an “incest survivor”, accusing both of her parents of physical and sexual abuse,[79] claims which they and Geraldine publicly denied.[80] Melvin Belli, her parents’ lawyer, said that they had passed a lie detector test “with flying colors“.[80] Barr was even part of an incest recovery group, something she said her parents knew about but for which they were “in denial”.[80] On February 14, 2011, Barr and Geraldine appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show where Barr admitted that the word “incest” could have been the wrong word to use and should have waited until her therapy was over before revealing the “darkest time” in her life.[81] She told Oprah, “I was in a very unhappy relationship and I was prescribed numerous psychiatric drugs… to deal with the fact that I had some mental illness… I totally lost touch with reality… (and) I didn’t know what the truth was… I just wanted to drop a bomb on my family”.[81] She added that not everything was “made up”, saying, “Nobody accuses their parents of abusing them without justification”.[81] Geraldine said they did not speak for 12 years, but had recently reconciled.[81]

Barr filed for divorce from Tom Arnold on April 18, 1994 in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, citing irreconcilable differences.[73] Their efforts to have children were unsuccessful.[82] On February 14, 1995, Barr married Ben Thomas, her one-time personal security guard, at Caesars Tahoe with a reception at Planet Hollywood. In November 1994, she become pregnant through in-vitro fertilization[82] and they have a son named Buck.[83] The couple stayed together until 2002.[84]

In the mid-1990s, Barr had multiple cosmetic surgeries performed, such as a breast reduction, tummy tuck, and a nose job.[85] During the late 1990s she had gastric bypass surgery.[27]

In 2002, Barr met Johnny Argent online after running a writing competition on her blog and began dating him in 2003, after a year of phone conversations.[84][85] They live on a 46-acre macadamia nut farm located on the Big Island of Hawaii. Barr purchased the property in 2007 for $1.78 million.[86] Barr has studied Kabbalah at the Kabbalah Centre and frequently comments on the discipline.[87]

In 2015, Barr revealed she has been diagnosed with both macular degeneration and glaucoma, and thus is gradually losing her eyesight and expects to eventually go blind; she is consuming medical marijuana to fight the raised intraocular pressure that is a feature of these diseases.[88]


Year Title Role Notes
1989 She-Devil Ruth Patchett
1990 Look Who’s Talking Too Julie Voice
Nominated—Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress
1991 Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare Childless Woman Credited as “Mrs. Tom Arnold”
1993 Even Cowgirls Get the Blues Madame Zoe
1995 Blue in the Face Dot
2001 Joe Dirt Joe Dirt’s mother Scenes deleted, replaced by Caroline Aaron in the final film
2004 Home on the Range Maggie Voice
2004 A Dairy Tale Maggie Voice
Year Title Role Notes
Roseanne Roseanne Harris-Conner 221 episodes
Producer 1990–1991
Co-executive producer 1991–1992
Executive producer 1992–1997
Directed two episodes in 1995 and 1996
1991 Backfield in Motion Nancy Seavers TV film
Also executive producer
Saturday Night Live Herself (as host)
Various characters
Host: February 16, 1991, with musical guest Deee-Lite
Co-host: February 22, 1992, with Tom Arnold and musical guest Red Hot Chili Peppers
Host: December 3, 1994, with musical guest Green Day
1992 The Rosey & Buddy Show Rosey Television film
1992 A Different World Looting Wife Episode: “Honeymoon in L.A.: Part 2(uncredited)
1992 The Jackie Thomas Show Regina Episode: “Jack & the Bean Stalker”
Also executive producer
1993 The Woman Who Loved Elvis Joyce Jackson Television film
Also executive producer
The Larry Sanders Show Herself 3 episodes
1994 General Hospital Jennifer Smith #2 Unknown episodes
1997 3rd Rock from the Sun Janet Episode: “Fun with Dick and Janet: Part 1
Episode: “Fun with Dick and Janet: Part 2
1997 The Nanny Cousin Sheila Episode: “The Morning After
The Roseanne Show Herself (as host) Talk show
Also executive producer
2003 The Real Roseanne Show Herself Reality show
Also executive producer
2004 Futurama Hologram of herself Episode: “Three Hundred Big Boys
2006 My Name Is Earl Millie Banks Episode: “Made a Lady Think I Was God
2006 Roseanne Barr: Blonde N Bitchin’ Herself
2011 Roseanne’s Nuts Herself Reality show
Also executive producer
2012 Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne Herself – Roastee Television special
2013 Portlandia Temporary mayor Episode: “Off the Grid”
Episode: “The Temp”
2013 The Office Carla Fern Episode: “Stairmageddon
Episode: “Paper Airplane
2014 The Millers Darla Dascal Episode: “Walk-N-Wave”
2014 Last Comic Standing Herself Judge
2014 Momsters: When Moms Go Bad Herself Host
2015 Cristela Veronica Culpepper Episode: “Veronica”
Episode: “Marriage, Counselor”


Roseanne Barr has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the north side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Blvd.[89]

Year Award Category Work Result
1988 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Special On Location: The Roseanne Barr Show Won
1988 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Roseanne Nominated
1989 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Roseanne Won
1989 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Female Performer in a New TV Program Roseanne Won
1990 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Roseanne Nominated
1990 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Female TV Performer Roseanne Won
1990 People’s Choice Awards Favorite All-Around Female Entertainer Roseanne Won
1990 Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Look Who’s Talking Too Nominated
1991 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Roseanne Nominated
1992 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Roseanne Nominated
1992 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Roseanne Nominated
1992 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Roseanne Nominated
1993 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Roseanne Won
1993 GLAAD Media Awards Vanguard Award (shared with Tom Arnold) Won
1993 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Roseanne Won
1993 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Roseanne Won
1994 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Roseanne Nominated
1994 Golden Globe Award Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy Roseanne Nominated
1994 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Female TV Performer Roseanne Won
1994 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Roseanne Nominated
1995 Emmy Award Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Roseanne Nominated
1995 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Female TV Performer Roseanne Won
1996 American Comedy Award Funniest Female Performer in a TV Series Roseanne Nominated
1999 Emmy Award Outstanding Talk Show Host The Roseanne Show Nominated
2008 TV Land Award Innovator Award Roseanne (shared with cast) Won