Clarence Ellsworth Miller, Jr. was a Republican Congressman from Ohio, serving January 3, 1967 to January 3, 1993 died from pneumonia he was , 93..
He was born in Lancaster, Ohio,
one of six children of an electrician father. After graduating from
high school, he enrolled in correspondence school and became a certified
electrical engineer. He worked for Columbia Gas and held patents
related to the pumping of gas.
Miller was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1966 to
represent a section of southeastern Ohio where, in Lancaster, he had
served as mayor. During the Persian Gulf War, he was reportedly the only
member of Congress who had a grandson (Drew Miller, of Lancaster, Ohio)
fighting in that conflict.
By training, he was an engineer, and the Almanac of American Politics
wrote that Mr. Miller approached politics with the “precise and orderly
manner” that one might expect from someone of his profession.
(November 1, 1917 – August 2, 2011)
U.S. Patent 3,088,655,
Filed August 1, 1960, Patented May 7, 1963 “Remote Control and Alarm
System For A Compressor Station and Compressor Engines Thereof”
U.S. Patent 3,210,582, Filed July 26. 1960, Patented Oct. 5, 1965 “Magneto Having Auxiliary Pole Piece”
In 1966, the Tenth Congressional District elected Miller to the Ninetieth Congress, defeating incumbent Democrat Walter H. Moeller, and he was re-elected to twelve succeeding Congresses.
Miller was a 13-term Ohio Republican nicknamed “Five Percent
Clarence” for his persistent efforts to cut spending bills by that
amount. He did not cultivate publicity, preferring instead to focus on
legislation more than on the Washington talk-show circuit. He was known
for his near-perfect attendance on votes no matter how minute. In 1990,
the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call named Mr. Miller the “most
obscure” member of Congress. It was intended as a compliment,
considering that grandstanders never would have received such an honor. A
fiscal conservative, he served on the House Appropriations Committee.
The numerous bills he introduced, often unsuccessfully, aimed to cut
spending measures—if not by the 5 percent figure in his nickname, then
at least by 2 percent. In 1977, he succeeded in persuading House
colleagues to cut foreign aid by 5 percent.
He lost his bid for reelection in the 1992 primary after redistricting. 
Elections by landslide
Twelve of the thirteen elections won by Mr. Miller were by a margin of victory of greater than 25%.
Heated 1992 primary
Ohio lost two seats in the 1990 reapportionment. The Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly
struck a deal to eliminate one Democratic and one Republican district,
as one congressman from each party was expected to retire. The
Republican expected to retire was Miller, but he announced he would run
again. The Democrats in the Statehouse would not reconsider the deal and
so Miller’s Tenth District was obliterated. (The new Tenth was in Cuyahoga County.)
The new district map was not agreed upon by the General Assembly
until March 26, 1992, one week before the filing deadline for the
primary originally scheduled for May 5. (Governor George Voinovich
signed the new map into law on March 27, and the General Assembly moved
the primary to June 2 on April 1.) Miller’s own hometown was placed in
freshman David Hobson‘s Seventh District, but Miller chose to run in the Sixth District against Bob McEwen;
only one of the twelve counties in Miller’s old Tenth District was in
the new Seventh but the largest piece of his old district, five
counties, was placed in the new Sixth. Miller also had a strong distaste
for McEwen, a Hillsboro Republican in his sixth term who had been elected to Congress at age thirty.
Despite being hurt in a fall in his bathtub after slipping on a bar
of soap, an injury that led Republicans to expect his withdrawal, Miller
stayed in the race. A deal was hoped for as late as May 15, the day
Miller was scheduled to hold a press conference Ohio political observers
thought he would use to announce his withdrawal, but Miller stayed in
the race and the two incumbents faced each other in the Republican
primary on June 2, 1992.
McEwen, who Congressional Quarterly’s Politics in America pronounced “invincible”, was caught up in the House banking scandal, which had been seized upon by Newt Gingrich, a like-minded conservative House Republican, as an example of the corruption of Congress. Martin Gottlieb of the Dayton Daily News
said “McEwen was collateral damage” to Gingrich’s crusade. McEwen
initially denied bouncing any checks. Later, he admitted he had bounced a
few. Then when the full totals were released by Ethics Committee
investigators, the number was revealed to have been 166 over
thirty-nine months. McEwen said that he always had funds available to
cover the alleged overdrafts, pointing to the policy of the House
sergeant at arms, who ran the House bank, paying checks on an overdrawn
account if it would not exceed the sum of the Representative’s next
paycheck. In 1991, McEwen had also been criticized for his use of the franking privilege
and his frequent trips overseas at taxpayer expense, but McEwen
defended the trips as part of his work on the Intelligence Committee and
in building relationships with legislatures overseas.
The primary race was bitter. Miller called McEwen “Pinocchio”
and McEwen said of Miller “his misrepresentations and falsehoods are
gargantuan. I tried to be his best friend in the delegation. I am deeply
disappointed at the meanness of his effort.” Tom Deimer of Cleveland’s Plain Dealer
wrote that the two candidates were largely identical on the issues:
“both are textbook Republican conservatives, opposed to abortion, gun
control, high taxes, and costly government programs — unless located in
their districts.” Miller noted he had no overdrafts, saying, “the score
is 166 to nothing” referring to the number of checks McEwen bounced in
the House banking scandal.
The 1992 primary was so close it forced a recount and a lawsuit. When Ohio Secretary of State Bob Taft dismissed Miller’s charges of voting irregularities in Highland, Hocking, and Warren Counties, Miller filed suit in the Ohio Supreme Court.
Only in August did Miller drop his court challenge and then only
because his campaign was out of money. In the final count, McEwen won
33,219 votes to Miller’s 32,922, a plurality of only 297 votes.
Ominously for November, each had won the counties they had formerly
represented, McEwen making little headway in the new eastern counties in
the district. After the final result, Miller refused to endorse McEwen
and carried an unsuccessful legal challenge to the redistricting to the United States Supreme Court,
insisting district lines should be drawn on a politically neutral
basis. After the primary, McEwen introduced H. R. 5727 in the House to
name the locks on the Ohio near Gallipolis after Miller, but the bill did not pass. McEwen subsequently lost the general election that year to Ted Strickland.
His wife of 51 years, the former Helen Brown, died in 1987. The
couple had two children, Ronald K. Miller of Lancaster and Jacqueline M.
Williams of Cincinnati; five grandchildren; and nine
Clarence Miller returned to Lancaster, where he resided at the time of his death on August 2, 2011, aged 93.
To see more of who died in 2011 click here