At a Glance
- Career History: attorney (1979-2006), Colorado state Senator (1994-2002)
- Birthday: May 1, 1953
- Hometown: Golden, Colo.
- Alma Mater: B.A. from University of Colorado (1975), J.D. from University of Colorado (1978)
- Spouse: Nancy
- Religion: Protestant
Financial Services Committee
- DC Office: 1221 Longworth House Office Building: 202-225-2645
- District Offices: Lakewood: 303.274.7944
Path to Power
Raised in Jefferson County, Colo., Perlmutter was born into a politically-active family. After graduating from the University of Colorado in 1975, he received a J.D. in 1978 and soon entered private practice at the Berenbaum, Weinshienk & Eason firm; he specialized in bankruptcy law.
In 1994, he ran for a state Senate seat Democrats had not held in decades. The race turned ugly over social issues like abortion and gay rights; Republican candidate Barry Arrington accused Perlmutter of employing "radical, left-wing homosexuals" on his staff. Perlmutter won with 54 percent of the vote and secured reelection in 1998.
Perlmutter has positioned himself as a moderate on economic matters. During the 2006 campaign, he described himself as "kind of a conservative Democrat in some ways. A business-oriented Democrat."
In fall 2008, Perlumtter supported the financial bailout plan. In 2009, he favored Barack Obama's stimulus plan, arguing that tax cuts were not enough to improve the economy and that government had to jump in.
Perlmutter has grown particularly close to Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.), who was also elected in the 2006 blue wave and who became Perlmutter's roommate. Perlmutter has also been helped by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who was a House member at the time of Perlmutter's election; in fact, the general chairman of Perlmutter's 2006 race was Udall's chief of staff.
Part of Perlmutter's legislative network is the New Democratic Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats. He has also teamed up with various congressmen to introduce legislation, working with fellow Financial Services Committee member Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) to give regulators greater say on accounting standards.