Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Some lawmakers will be missed on Hill

Expand Messages
  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061230/ap_on_go_co/who_we_ll_miss Some lawmakers will be missed on Hill By KASIE HUNT, Associated Press Writer Sat Dec 30, 2:31 PM
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2006

      Some lawmakers will be missed on Hill

      By KASIE HUNT, Associated Press Writer Sat Dec 30,
      2:31 PM ET

      WASHINGTON - It's just not going to be the same. When
      the new Congress convenes next month, a few high
      achievers and a few lawmakers known more for being
      characters than for their legislative skills won't be

      Some left by choice, others rejected by voters in what
      President Bush called a Democratic "thumping" of his
      fellow Republicans in November. A few — such as
      Florida's Katherine Harris, former Nebraska football
      coach Tom Osborne — reached for the brass ring of
      higher office and fell short.

      A couple of those most prominent among the missing are
      Democrats, but most are Republicans.

      Whether cherished for their political skills or their
      entertainment value, they leave a vacuum.

      Among them:

      _Sen. Bill Frist, the heart transplant surgeon and
      heir to a hospital fortune who switched to a political
      career in mid-life and — in his typical overachiever
      fashion — became the Senate's majority leader just
      eight years later.

      Courting religious conservatives for a presidential
      bid in 2008, he tripped while dealing with the case of
      severely brain-damaged Terry Schiavo, misdiagnosing
      her condition using a video tape. Last month he
      abandoned the race for the White House, deciding to
      return to Tennessee.

      _Rep. Katherine Harris, the former Florida secretary
      of state who was instrumental in delivering Florida's
      contested electoral votes and the White House to
      President Bush in 2000. She coveted Democrat Bill
      Nelson's seat in the Senate to the consternation of
      state and national Republican leaders, who couldn't
      find anyone to challenge her in the primary. Her
      campaign staffers quit in droves in response to her
      temper tantrums and she took to the airwaves to say
      non-Christian officials would "legislate sin." She
      lost to Nelson, but said we haven't seen the last of
      her — she's promised a tell-all book on her doomed

      _Sen. George Allen of Virginia, who lost to
      Republican-turned Democratic challenger Jim Webb by a
      fraction of a percentage point. The son of a former
      Washington Redskins coach, Allen favored cowboy hats
      and boots and chewing tobacco. He also was on the way
      to a presidential bid in 2008 — until he described a
      Webb staffer of Indian descent as "macaca" — a
      reference to a type of monkey — and the video found
      its way to the press and onto the Internet.

      _Sen. Conrad Burns, a former broadcaster who also
      courted the cowboy image and whose mouth also kept him
      in trouble. Over the years, Burns has apologized for
      remarks offensive to blacks, Arabs and firefighters
      and denied making remarks offensive to women that two
      flight attendants attributed to him. Burns was a big
      victim of the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack
      Abramoff. Even though returned or gave away the
      approximately $150,000 he received from Abramoff, his
      associates and his clients, Burns still lost to
      Democrat Jon Tester by fewer than 3,000 votes.

      _Democratic Rep. Cynthia McKinney, R-Ga., who earlier
      this month introduced a bill on the last day of the
      109th Congress to impeach Bush. A liberal firebrand,
      McKinney relished her reputation as a rebel. She
      questioned whether Bush knew in advance about the
      Sept. 11 terrorist attacks but kept quiet to allow
      defense contractors to profit and accused former Vice
      Al Gore of having a "low Negro tolerance level." Last
      March, McKinney entered a Capitol office building
      unrecognized and refused a police officer's request to
      stop. When he tried to stop her, she struck him. She
      apologized, but lost her seat anyway to a Democratic
      primary challenger.

      _Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, another
      Republican who at one time had his eyes on the White
      House. His opposition to abortion and gay marriage —
      plus his youthful looks and tireless energy — made him
      a poster child for conservatives. He penned a 2005
      book, "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and Common
      Good," to counter Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's "It
      Takes a Village." But his sometimes abrasive style
      alienated voters in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania,
      and they replaced him with an anti-abortion Democrat,
      Bill Casey.

      _Sen. Mark Dayton, a multimillionaire department store
      heir who spent about $12 million of his own money to
      win a Senate seat in 2000 but then decided he didn't
      have enough money to fund a re-election campaign in
      2006. A Democrat, Dayton was widely ridiculed for
      closing his Washington office during the 2004 summer
      congressional recess, saying a secret intelligence
      report made him fear for his staff's safety.

      _Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, the lone Senate
      Republican to vote against the Iraq war resolution.
      Chafee, who spent earlier years shoeing horses for a
      living, essentially inherited the seat from his
      father. A maverick, he bucked the GOP establishment on
      several big issues and many Republicans accused him of
      being a Democrat in actuality. Nonetheless, the party
      helped him fight off a conservative primary challenger
      this year in a failed effort to keep his seat _and
      control of the Senate — in GOP hands.

      _Rep. Tom Osborne, R-Neb., who gave up his House seat
      to run for governor but lost the Republican primary to
      sitting Gov. Dave Heineman. Osborne is still best
      known as the Cornhuskers' head coach, winning three
      national championships during his last four years
      there before finding a second career in politics. His
      supporters — including 1972 Heisman Trophy winner
      Johnny Rodgers — lobbied voters to write his name in
      on the ballot after he lost the primary to Heineman.
      He declined, saying, "You don't change the rules in
      the middle of the game."

      _Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., a cowboy-boot-wearing
      beef rancher who proved the clout of his biggest
      adversary, the environmental community. Pombo first
      ran for Congress in 1991 after becoming disgusted over
      protections for the endangered San Joaquin kit fox
      near his Central California hometown. He gave
      environmentalists fits with his unapologetic advocacy
      for private property rights as chairman of the House
      Resources Committee. They got even in November,
      spending $2 million to help Democratic challengers
      Jerry McNerney, a little known wind energy expert,
      pull off a stunning upset.

      _Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., a master of policy
      intricacies disliked and even feared for his testy
      impatience. Holding one of the most powerful jobs in
      Washington, chairman of the House Ways and Means
      Committee, he never lost the mannerisms of the
      California college professor he once was, lecturing
      fellow lawmakers and reporters — often sarcastically —
      about taxes, Medicare, trade policy and Social
      Security. He once called out the Capitol police to
      break up a meeting of Democrats on his committee, then
      expressed regret in tears.

      _Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., at 82 ending a 32-year House
      career in which he was best known for his tireless
      battles against abortion rights and his leading role
      in the impeachment of President Clinton, is ending a
      32-year House career. He authored legislation
      prohibiting federal funding of abortions. The U.S.
      Supreme Court declared the "Hyde amendment"
      constitutional in 1980.

      _Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., a one-time rodeo cowboy
      whom former Majority Leader Tom DeLay lifted from
      obscurity by having him fired as chairman of the House
      ethics committee after the panel issued reports
      critical of DeLay. Hefley retired rather than seek
      re-election but continued to be an irritant to GOP
      leaders, calling the campaign of his Republican
      successor "sleazy."


      Associated Press Writers Erica Werner, Frederic J.
      Frommer, Andrew Miga, Kimberly Hefling and Ben Evans
      contributed to this report.
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.