Arlen Specter: Wikis

  
  

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Arlen Specter


Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1981
Serving with Bob Casey, Jr.
Preceded by Richard Schweiker

In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Dennis DeConcini
Succeeded by Richard Shelby

In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Alan Simpson
Succeeded by Jay Rockefeller
In office
January 20 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Succeeded by Jay Rockefeller
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Succeeded by Larry Craig

In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Orrin Hatch
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy

In office
1966–1974
Preceded by James Crumlish
Succeeded by Emmitt Fitzpatrick

Born February 12, 1930 (1930-02-12) (age 80)
Wichita, Kansas
Political party Democratic
(1951-1965[1], April 28, 2009-present)
Republican
(1966–April 28, 2009)
Spouse(s) Joan Specter
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)
Yale Law School (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Committees Appropriations, Judiciary, Veterans' Affairs, Special Committee on Aging
Religion Judaism
Website United States Senator Arlen Specter
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1951–1953

Arlen Specter (born February 12, 1930) is the senior Democratic Party United States Senator from Pennsylvania. Specter was a member of the Democratic Party until 1965, when he enlisted as a Republican in order to challenge the Democratic district attorney of Philadelphia.[2] Elected to the Senate in 1980, Senator Specter staked out a spot in the political center.[3] He has conservative views on crime, gun control and national security; at the same time, he holds liberal views on abortion rights, immigration, and the environment. In April 2006, he was selected by Time as one of America's Ten best Senators.[4]

On April 28, 2009, Specter announced that, after 44 years as an elected Republican, he was returning to the Democratic Party,[5][6] citing that he was increasingly "at odds with the (current) Republican philosophy[7][8] and indicated that polling showed that it would be difficult for him to win the 2010 Republican senatorial primary against Pat Toomey."[7] Since switching parties, Specter's voting record has become more center-left.[9]

Contents

Early life

Specter was born in Wichita, Kansas, the youngest child of Lillie Shanin (Arlen's son named one of his daughters after her), and Harry Specter, who had emigrated from Russia in 1911.[10] He was raised in the Jewish faith in Russell, Kansas, also the hometown of fellow politician Bob Dole. Specter's father served in the U.S. infantry during World War I, and was badly wounded. During the Great Depression, Specter's father was a fruit peddler, a tailor and junkyard owner.

Specter studied first at the University of Oklahoma. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, majored in International Relations, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1951. During the Korean War, he served stateside in United States Air Force as an officer within the Air Force Office of Special Investigations from 1951 to 1953[11].

Specter graduated from Yale Law School in 1956 and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar. That same year, he married Joan Levy. They reside in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Specter opened a law practice, Specter & Katz, with Marvin Katz, who is now a Federal District Court Judge in Philadelphia. Specter became an assistant district attorney under District Attorney James Crumlish, and was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early political career

At the recommendation of Representative Gerald Ford, he worked for the Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As an assistant counsel for the commission, he authored or co-authored[12] the controversial "single bullet theory," which suggested the non-fatal wounds to Kennedy and wounds to Texas Governor John Connally were caused by the same bullet. This was a crucial assertion for the Warren Commission, since if the two had been wounded by separate bullets, that would have demonstrated the presence of a second assassin and therefore a conspiracy.[13]

Specter reproducing the assumed alignment of the single bullet theory

In 1965, Specter ran for District Attorney, on the Republican ticket as a registered Democrat. He handily beat incumbent Jim Crumlish, and subsequently changed his registration to Republican. Although a supporter of capital punishment, as prosecutor he questioned the fairness of the Pennsylvania death penalty statute in 1972.[14]

In 1967, he was the Republican Party standard bearer together with City Controller candidate, Tom Gola, in the mayoral campaign against the Democratic incumbent James Tate. One of their slogans was, "We need THESE guys to watch THOSE guys."[15] He served two terms as District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia.

In 1976, Specter ran in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate and was defeated by John Heinz. In 1978, he was defeated in the primary for Governor of Pennsylvania by Dick Thornburgh.[16] After several years of private practice with the prestigious Philadelphia law firm Dechert, Price & Rhoads, Specter ran for the Senate in 1980, this time, successfully. He assumed office in January 1981.

Hodgkin's disease

On February 16, 2005, Specter announced that he had been diagnosed with an advanced form of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. Despite this, Specter continued working during chemotherapy. He ended treatment on July 22. Senator John Sununu (R-New Hampshire) shaved his head to show solidarity with Specter when he was undergoing chemotherapy and was temporarily bald. On April 15, 2008, he announced his cancer had returned, at a stage "significantly less advanced than his Hodgkin's disease when it was originally diagnosed in 2005."[17][18] He underwent a second round of chemotherapy, which ended on July 14, 2008.[19]

Senate career

Senator Specter's official portrait

Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980. He is the longest-serving Senator in Pennsylvania's history; no one else from the state has been elected to five terms in that body. According to polls by Quinnipiac University, Specter has a higher approval rating among Democrats in Pennsylvania than Republicans, 62–55 respectively.[20]

His opposition to Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987 is seen as an important factor in the nomination's failure. However, he raised the ire of many Democrats with his aggressive questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, claiming she had committed "flat-out perjury" in her testimony.

In 1998 and 1999, Specter criticized the Republican Party for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Believing that Clinton had not received a fair trial, Specter cited Scots law to render a verdict of "not proven" on Clinton's impeachment. However, his verdict was recorded as "not guilty" in the Senate records.

On October 11, 2002, Arlen Specter voted in favor of H.J.Res.114 authorizing the Iraq War.

In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named the "Toughest to Work For."[21] In 2003, the Pennsylvania Report, a subscription-based political newsletter, described Specter as one of the "vanishing breed of Republican moderates" and described his political stance as "“Pennsylvania first” middle of-the-road politics" even though he was known as an "avid Republican partisan."[22]

Soon after the 2004 election, Specter stepped into the public spotlight as a result of controversial statements about his views of the future of the Supreme Court. At a press conference, he stated that:

When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think [confirmation] is unlikely. The president is well aware of what happened, when a number of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster. ... And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning.

Activist groups interpreted his comments as warnings to President George W. Bush about the implications of nominating Supreme Court justices who are opposed to the Roe v. Wade decision. Specter maintained his comments were a prediction, not a warning. He met with many conservative Republican senators, and based on assurances he gave them, he was recommended for the Judiciary Committee's chairmanship in late 2004. He officially assumed that position when the 109th Congress convened on January 4, 2005.

On March 9, 2006, the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law. It amended the process for interim appointments of U.S. Attorneys, a clause which Specter wrote during his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee.[23] The change allowed the Bush Administration to appoint interim U.S. attorneys without term limits, and without confirmation by the Senate. The Bush administration used the law to place at least eight interim attorneys into office in 2006. Specter claims that the changes were added by staff member Brett Tolman.[24] For more information, see dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy.

Specter while he was being interviewed by Margot Adler for an episode of Justice Talking on Presidential Signing statements

Specter was very critical of Bush's wiretapping of US citizens without warrants. When the story first broke, he called the effort "inappropriate" and "clearly and categorically wrong." He said, he intended to hold hearings into the matter early in 2006, and had Alberto Gonzales appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer for the program (although Specter declined to force Gonzales to testify under oath). On January 15, 2006, Specter mentioned impeachment and criminal prosecution as potential remedies if Bush broke the law, though he downplayed the likelihood of such an outcome.

On April 9, 2006, Specter, speaking on Fox News about the Bush administration's leaking of classified intelligence, said that "The president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people"[25]

However, he voted for the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which placed federal electronic searches almost entirely within the executive branch.[26]

During the 2007–2008 National Football League season, Specter wrote to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concerning the destruction of New England Patriots Spygate tapes, wondering if there was a link between the tapes and their Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. On February 1, 2008, Roger Goodell stated that the tapes were destroyed because "they confirmed what I already knew about the issue." Specter would release a follow up statement:

My strong preference is for the NFL to activate a Mitchell-type investigation, I have been careful not to call for a Congressional hearing because I believe the NFL should step forward and embrace an independent inquiry and Congress is extraordinarily busy on other matters If the NFL continues to leave a vacuum, Congress may be tempted to fill it.[27]

Since 2007 Specter has sponsored legislation[28] to fix a longstanding inequity in American law which shuts out a majority of U.S. Armed Forces service members from equal access to the U.S. Supreme Court.[29] In 2007 Specter cosponsored the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2007 with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).[28] The bill failed in the 110th Congress, and Specter again cosponsored the measure in the 2009 111th Congress.[30]

In December 2008 Specter was involved in a controversy as a result of telling "Polish jokes" at New York's Rainbow Room while speaking at the annual meeting of the Commonwealth Club [1] This had not been his first run in with Americans of Central European descent. In 1998 Specter voted against admitting Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO. [2]

Specter voted in favor of the Senate's version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 10, 2009; he was one of only three Republicans to break ranks with the party and support the bill, which was favored by President Barack Obama and was unanimously supported by the Democratic senators.[31] As a result of his support, many in the Republican mainstream have begun to set up ads calling for his removal from office.[32] Specter was instrumental in ensuring that the act allocated an additional $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health over the next two years.[33] Since becoming a Democrat in the Senate, Specter has been denied seniority on Senate committees.[34]

Specter has called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which he supported in 1996.[35]

Committee assignments

Specter holds the following committee assignments:[36]

Specter was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1995, when the Republicans gained control of the Senate, until 1997, when he became chairman of the Committee on Veterans Affairs. He chaired that committee until 2001 and again from 2003 to 2005, during the times the Republicans controlled the Senate. He also chaired the Judiciary Committee from 2005 to 2007.

Campaigns

Arlen Specter campaigning for re-election

In 1980, Specter became the Republican nominee for Senate when Republican incumbent Richard Schweiker announced his retirement. He faced the former Mayor of Pittsburgh, Peter F. Flaherty. Specter won the election by a 2.5% margin. He was later reelected in 1986, 1992, 1998 and 2004, despite 1992 and 1998 being bad years for Republicans. Specter will run for reelection in 2010, for the first time as a Democrat.[37]

1996 Presidency bid

Specter 96.JPG

On March 31, 1995, Specter announced his candidacy for President of the United States, to challenge the incumbent Bill Clinton. He entered the race claiming his party needed a candidate who did not conform to the stereotypical religious conservative image. He was critical of Patrick J. Buchanan, Pat Robertson and Ralph E. Reed, Jr., saying all three were far too conservative.

Neither this nation nor this party can afford a Republican candidate so captive to the demands of the intolerant right that we end up re-electing a President of the incompetent left.

His campaign focused on balancing the federal budget, strict crime laws, and establishing relations with North Korea. Specter said:

My commitment to America, is to replace a President who has been inattentive, inactive and indecisive when it comes to America's vital foreign policy interests.

His candidacy was not expected to succeed in winning the Republican nomination due to the overwhelmingly large number of social conservatives in the Republican Party. He was, however, able to gain support. Although fellow Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was never overly enthusiastic, he was supportive. Other supportive Republicans were hopeful Specter could trim the party's "far-right fringe." Although his campaign was ultimately unsuccessful at wooing conservatives, it was widely believed he could have had a strong showing among independents. On November 23, 1995, before the start of the primaries, Specter suspended his campaign to endorse Kansas Senator Bob Dole.

2004 campaign

In 2004, Specter faced a challenge in the Republican primary election from conservative Congressman Pat Toomey, whose campaign theme was that Specter was not fiscally conservative enough. The match-up was closely watched nationally, being seen as a symbolic clash between the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party. However, most of the state and national Republican establishment, including the state's other senator at the time, Rick Santorum closed ranks behind Specter. Specter was strongly supported by President George W. Bush. Specter narrowly avoided a major upset with 51 percent of the primary vote. Once Specter defeated the challenge from the right, he was able to enjoy great support from independents and some Democrats in his race against Hoeffel.[38] Hoeffel also trailed Specter in name recognition, campaign funds and poll results.[39] Although the two minor candidates were seen as more conservative than Specter, they were only able to take four percent of the vote and Specter was easily reelected.

2010 campaign

Specter is up for re-election to the Senate in 2010, and he has expressed his plans to run again. On March 18, 2009, Specter said that he was not considering running as an independent. He said, "To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket." [40] Subsequently Specter's 2004 conservative GOP primary challenger, Pat Toomey, announced he will again run for the Republican nomination in the Republican senatorial primary.[41]

However, on April 28, 2009, Specter stated that "As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right, I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party."[7] He said that he is switching party affiliation and will run as a Democrat in the 2010 election.[6][7][42] In the same announcement, Specter also said that he had "surveyed the sentiments of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania and public opinion polls, observed other public opinion polls and have found that the prospects for winning a Republican primary are bleak."[7] A March 2009 Quinnipiac poll indicated that Specter trailed his likely primary challenger, Pat Toomey, by 14 percent (41 percent for Toomey, 27 percent for Specter).[43] Additional polling found that 70 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans disapproved of his recent vote in favor of the Stimulus Bill[44] and that 52 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans disapprove of the job he is doing.[43] Following Specter's switching parties, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele criticized his leaving the Republican Party, claiming that Specter had "flipped the bird" at the GOP.[45]

On Saturday, February 6, 2010 the Pennsylvania Democratic Party overwhelming endorsed US Senator Arlen Specter at the Democratic State Committee's annual endorsement convention which was held in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[46] Specter defeated Sestak by winning over 77% of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee members vote which far exceeds the 2/3rds threshold needed to claim the endorsement.[47]

Political views

Specter states that he is "personally opposed to abortion", but is "a supporter of a woman's right to choose".[48][49] He received a 20 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2005 based on certain votes related to the regulation of abortion; in 2008, he received 100 percent [50][51]

Specter strongly supports the death penalty and opposes most gun control, voting against the Brady Bill, background checks at gun shows, the ban on assault weapons, and trigger locks for handguns.[52] His work has included numerous articles on the deterring effect the death penalty has on future crimes.

He supports affirmative action and voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1991, receiving a 76 percent rating from the NAACP in 2008.[53] He was one of only four Republicans to vote against the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and in recent years has been less enthusiastic about weakening consumer protection laws than many members of his party. In 1995 he was the only Republican to vote to limit tax cuts to individuals with incomes of less than one million dollars. He voted against CAFTA. Specter also supports an increase in the federal minimum wage. He is a leading supporter of the U.S. Public Service Academy.

On immigration, Specter supports a "pathway to citizenship" and a "guest worker program" which opponents call amnesty. He introduced Senate bill S. 2611 (the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006) on 6 April 2006, which was passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006 before reaching a stalemate in the House.[54]

On health care reform, Specter is a cosponsor of the Healthy Americans Act, a proposal he supported during both the 110th and 111th Congresses. Specter voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act, the healthcare bill passed through the Senate by every Democratic senator, and he held various town hall meetings to discuss the issue, and all issues surrounding health care reform, with his constituents.[55]. Specter believes single payer healthcare should not be "taken off the table"; in an interview he had with John King on CNN, Specter showed support for a public option.[56]

Specter has received a 61 percent rating from AFL-CIO.[57] He voted for cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007. The vote failed to reach the 60-vote threshold that would have ended debate on the bill and allow it to pass. In 2009, Specter announced that he would not be voting for cloture on the Act in the 111th Congress.[58]

Specter supports LGBT rights. He voted to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and was a co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.[59] Specter is opposed to same-sex marriage, but is also opposed to a federal ban and supports civil unions.[60]

The Jewish daily The Forward reported in the wake of the July 2009 organ trafficking scandal in the U.S. involving Rabbi Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn that an Organ Trafficking Prohibition Act of 2009, sponsored by Senator Specter, has yet to be officially introduced in the U.S., the preliminary reports cites Israel as a model of a country that has enacted a law providing benefits for organ donors.[61]

Senator Specter criticized the federal government's policy on cancer, stating the day after Jack Kemp—the 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee and former congressman—died of cancer, that Kemp would still be alive if the federal government had done a better job funding cancer research.[62]

Electoral history

See also

References

  1. ^ "Upset in Philadelphia" (PDF). The New York Times. 1965-11-02. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/flash/politics/20090414_SPECTER/1965Elected.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  2. ^ "Senator Specter bolts GOP". boston.com. April 29, 2009. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/04/29/senator_specter_bolts_gop/?page=2. 
  3. ^ Krawczeniuk, Borys (April 28, 2009). "Specter is a marked 'moderate'". The Daily Review. http://www.thedailyreview.com/articles/2009/02/09/news/tw_review.20090209.a.pg3.tw09specter_s1.2290943_loc.txt. 
  4. ^ "Arlen Specter: The Contrarian". TIME magazine. April 14, 2006. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1183946,00.html. 
  5. ^ "Statement by Senator Arlen Specter". Specter 2010 Election website. Citizens for Arlen Specter. April 28, 2009. http://www.specter2010.com/news6.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Cillizza, Chris (April 28, 2009). "Specter to switch parties". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/04/28/specter_to_switch_parties.html?wprss=44. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat". CNN. April 28, 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/28/specter.party.switch/index.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  8. ^ "Glenn Beck: The guy who got Specter out". glennbeck.com. April 30, 2009. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/24751/. 
  9. ^ http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news;_ylt=A0WTTkl8JBJL.mcBjhLQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTBhNjRqazhxBHNlYwNzZWFyY2g-?p=a
  10. ^ "Specter genealogy". Ancestry.com. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/senators/specter.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  11. ^ http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutArlenSpecter.Timeline
  12. ^ Bugliosi, pp. 301-6. "Warren Commission staff lawyer Norman Redlich was asked by author Vincent Bugliosi in 2005 whether Specter was the sole author of the single bullet theory and he said, 'No, we all came to this conclusion simultaneously.' When asked who he meant by 'we,' he said, 'Arlen, myself, Howard Willens, David Belin, and Mel Eisenberg.' Specter did not respond to Bugliosi's request for a clarification on the issue."
  13. ^ Bugliosi, p.456.
  14. ^ "Death Rattles". TIME magazine. November 20, 1972. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,712208,00.html. 
  15. ^ Dionne, E.J. (May 24, 2005). ""Watch Those Guys"". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/23/AR2005052301337_pf.html. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  16. ^ Samuel, Terence (September 4, 2005). "Irritating Them All". US News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050912/12specter_2.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  17. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named NYT-AP-Hodgkin.27s-2008-04-16; see Help:Cite error.
  18. ^ "Arlen Specter's Hodgkin's disease returns". CNN. April 15, 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/15/arlen.specter/index.html. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  19. ^ "Specter finishes chemotherapy". Pennlive.com. The Associated Press. July 14, 2008. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2008/07/specter_finishes_chemotherapy.html. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  20. ^ Coomes, Jessica (February 11, 2009). "Poll: Voters don't want to give Arlen Specter another term". lehighvalleylive.com. The Express-Times. http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/jessica-coomes/index.ssf/2009/02/poll_voters_dont_want_to_give.html. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  21. ^ "Keystone State Yearbook Committee". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on 2002-08-31. http://web.archive.org/web/20020803170058/www.politicspa.com/yearbookcommittee.htm. 
  22. ^ "The PA Report “Power 75” List" (PDF). Pennsylvania Report. Capital Growth, Inc.. January 31, 2003. Archived from the original on 2006-09-02. http://web.archive.org/web/20060920200116/www.pa-report.com/uploaded_pdf/PAReportPower75_.pdf. 
  23. ^ Lithwick, Dahlia (March 5, 2007). "Specter Detector". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2161260/. Retrieved 2008-01-07. 
  24. ^ Kiel, Paul (February 6, 2007). "Specter: ‘I Do Not Slip Things In’". TPMmuckraker. TPM Media LLC. http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002487.php. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  25. ^ Jackson, David (April 10, 2006). "Specter urges Bush, Cheney to explain CIA leak". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-09-specter-cia_x.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  26. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes: Bill H.R. 6304". United States Senate website. July 9, 2008. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00168. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  27. ^ Maske, Mark (June 6, 2008). "Specter Repeats Call for NFL to Hire Outside Investigator". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nflinsider/2008/06/specter_repeats_call_for_nfl_t.html. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  28. ^ a b Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2007, S.2052 introduced in 110th Congress-Senate (September 17, 2007)
  29. ^ American Bar Association (August 7–8, 2006). "Resolution 116" (PDF). http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/policy/am06116.pdf. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  30. ^ "S. 357: Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2009". Thomas website. Library of Congress. January 30, 2009. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.357:. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  31. ^ Schatz, Joseph J. (February 10, 2009). "Senate Passes Stimulus, Setting Up Tough Conference With House". CQPolitics. Congressional Quarterly. http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003028597. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  32. ^ Smith, Ben (February 14th, 2009). "Ads target 3 Republicans, Lincoln". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0209/Ads_target_3_Republicans_Lincoln.html. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  33. ^ Harris, Gardiner (February 13, 2009). "Specter, a Fulcrum of the Stimulus Bill, Pulls Off a Coup for Health Money". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/14/health/policy/14specter.html. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  34. ^ Kane, Paul (May 5, 2009). "Senate Democrats Deny Specter Committee Seniority". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/05/senate_democrats_deny_specter.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  35. ^ "Specter calls for repeal of marriage act". The Caucus Blogs of the New York Times. 2009-10-27. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/specter-calls-for-repeal-of-marriage-act/. Retrieved 2009-10-31. 
  36. ^ 2009 Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Page S5168
  37. ^ Sherman, Jerome L. (March 20, 2007). "Specter says he'll run in 2010 at age of 80". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07079/770871-178.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  38. ^ Sabato, Larry J. (October 22, 2004). "Republican Specter defends his seat against Joe Hoeffel". Crystal Ball. University of Virginia. http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/article.php?id=SPA2004102201. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  39. ^ Samad, Farouk (September 27, 2004). "Hoeffel trails Specter by large margin in Senate race". The Daily Pennsylvanian. http://media.www.dailypennsylvanian.com/media/storage/paper882/news/2004/09/27/News/Hoeffel.Trails.Specter.By.Large.Margin.In.Senate.Race-2150770.shtml. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  40. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas (March 19, 2009). "Specter staying on Republican ticket". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20090319_Specter_staying_on_Republican_ticket.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  41. ^ Turner, Trish (April 15, 2009). "Specter faces conservative challenge from familiar foe". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/04/15/specter-faces-conservative-challenge-familiar-foe/. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  42. ^ Hulse, Carl (April 28, 2009). "Specter switches parties". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/specter-will-run-as-a-democrat-in-2010/. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  43. ^ a b "Little-Known GOP Challenger Tops Specter In Primary, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Support For Obama Plan Helps Among Democrats". Quinnipiac University. March 25, 2009. http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1284.xml?ReleaseID=1280&What=&strArea=5;10;&strTime=3. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  44. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas (March 26, 2009). "Two polls show challenges for Specter". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20090326_Two_polls_show_challenges_for_Specter.html. Retrieved 2009-04-29. 
  45. ^ http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/04/29/1913755.aspx
  46. ^ http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/02/arlen_specter_endorsed_by_penn.html
  47. ^ http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/02/specter_endorse.php
  48. ^ "Senator Arlen Specter: Key Issues". U.S. Senate website. http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=IssueStatements.View&Issue_id=bd531be8-7e9c-9af9-74ef-d3a53537ede0. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  49. ^ "Specter: I'm pro-choice... But I don't make the decisions". November 9, 2004. http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/08/judy.specter/index.html. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  50. ^ "Arlen Specter". NARAL Pro-Choice America. http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/us-gov/congressional-record-on-choice/arlenspecter.html. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  51. ^ "Pennsylvania Senators 2008". NARAL Pro-Choice America. http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/us-gov/congressional-record-on-choice/pennsylvania.html. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  52. ^ Delano, Jon. "Specter Says No To Automatic Weapons Ban". KDKA-TV website (CBS). http://kdka.com/local/Specter.gun.control.2.987870.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  53. ^ "CIVIL RIGHTS FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE REPORT CARD". NAACP. http://www.naacp.org/programs/bureau-dc/report_card/110th_Congress.FINAL.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  54. ^ "S.2611, A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes". Thomas. Library of Congress. May 25, 2006. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN02611:@@@L&summ2=m&. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  55. ^ "Specter faces hostile audience at health care forum". CNN. August 11, 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/11/specter.town.hall/index.html. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  56. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcfK_-4Tc3I
  57. ^ "Sen Arlen Specter". AFL-CIO website. http://www.aflcio.org/cgi-bin/member.pl?state=PA&pg=2&id=76&year=07&congress=s. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  58. ^ Schor, Elana (March 24, 2009). "Specter: I'll Vote No on Employee Free Choice Act". Talking -Points Memo. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/specter-ill-vote-no-on-employee-free-choice-act.php. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  59. ^ http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query
  60. ^ "Arlen Specter on the Issues". On the Issues. http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Arlen_Specter.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 
  61. ^ Guttman, Nathan (2009-08-05). "Kidney Donation Scandal Sparks New Debate Over Specter’s Organ Legislation". The Forward. http://forward.com/articles/111473/. 
  62. ^ Fox News (2009-05-04). “Specter Claims Kemp Would Be Alive if Congress Better Funded Medical Research” Retrieved 2009-10-25.

External links

Articles

Critics The term "doing a Spector" has now become a shorthand, in language among conservative Republicans, to describe untrustworthy Republicans.

Legislation sponsored or cosponsored

The following table links to the Congressional Record hosted by the Library of Congress. All the specifics and actions taken for each individual piece of legislation that Senator Specter either sponsored or cosponsored can be viewed in detail there. "Original bills" and "'Original amendments" indicate instances where Sen. Specter pledged to support the legislation at the time it was initially introduced and entered into the Senate record, rather than later in the legislative process.

Legal offices
Preceded by
James Crumlish
District Attorney of Philadelphia
1966–1974
Succeeded by
Emmitt Fitzpatrick
United States Senate
Preceded by
Richard Schweiker
United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
1981 – present
Served alongside: John Heinz, Harris Wofford,
Rick Santorum, Bob Casey, Jr.
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Dennis DeConcini
Arizona
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
1995–1997
Succeeded by
Richard Shelby
Alabama
Preceded by
Alan Simpson
Wyoming
Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Jay Rockefeller
West Virginia
Preceded by
Jay Rockefeller
West Virginia
Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Larry Craig
Idaho
Preceded by
Orrin Hatch
Utah
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
Vermont
Party political offices
Preceded by
Richard Schweiker
Republican nominee for United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004
Succeeded by
TBD
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Chuck Grassley
(R-Iowa)
United States Senators by seniority
11th
Succeeded by
Jeff Bingaman
(D-New Mexico)

Arlen Specter
File:Arlen Specter, official Senate photo

Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1981
Serving with Bob Casey, Jr.
Preceded by Richard Schweiker

In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
Preceded by Dennis DeConcini
Succeeded by Richard Shelby

In office
January 3, 1997 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Alan Simpson
Succeeded by Jay Rockefeller
In office
January 20 – June 6, 2001
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Succeeded by Jay Rockefeller
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Jay Rockefeller
Succeeded by Larry Craig

In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Orrin Hatch
Succeeded by Patrick Leahy

In office
1966–1974
Preceded by James Crumlish
Succeeded by Emmitt Fitzpatrick

Born February 12, 1930 (1930-02-12) (age 80)
Wichita, Kansas
Political party Democratic
(1951–1965,[1] April 28, 2009–present)
Republican
(1966 – April 28, 2009)
Spouse(s) Joan Specter
Residence Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)
Yale University (J.D.)
Occupation Attorney
Committees Appropriations, Judiciary, Veterans' Affairs, Special Committee on Aging
Religion Judaism
Signature File:Arlen Specter
Website United States Senator Arlen Specter
Military service
Service/branch United States Air Force
Years of service 1951–1953

Arlen Specter (born February 12, 1930) is the senior United States senator from Pennsylvania. Specter is a Democrat, but was a Republican from 1965 until switching to the Democratic Party in 2009. Elected to the Senate in 1980, Specter staked out a spot in the political center.[2] In April 2006, he was selected by Time as one of America's Ten Best Senators.[3]

On April 28, 2009, Specter announced that, after 44 years as an elected Republican, he was switching to the Democratic Party,[4][5] citing that his "change in party would enable [him] to be reelected."[6] On May 18, 2010, Specter was defeated in the Democratic primary by Joe Sestak.[7]

Contents

Early life

Specter was born in Wichita, Kansas, the youngest child of Lillie Shanin (Arlen's son Shanin Specter is named after her), and Harry Specter, who had emigrated from Russia in 1911.[8] The family lived at 940 South Emporia Street in Wichita before moving to Russell, Kansas. He was raised in the Jewish faith in Russell, also the hometown of fellow politician Bob Dole. Specter's father served in the U.S. infantry during World War I, and was badly wounded. During the Great Depression, Specter's father was a fruit peddler, a tailor, and a junkyard owner.

Specter studied first at the University of Oklahoma. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, majored in International Relations, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1951. During the Korean War, he served stateside in the United States Air Force as an officer within the Air Force Office of Special Investigations from 1951 to 1953.[9]

Specter graduated from Yale Law School in 1956 and was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar. That year, he married Joan Levy. They reside in the East Falls section of Philadelphia. They have two sons and four grandchildren: Silvi, Perri, Lilli, and Hatti.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Specter opened a law practice, Specter & Katz, with Marvin Katz, who is now a Federal District Court Judge in Philadelphia. Specter became an assistant district attorney under District Attorney James Crumlish, and was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early political career

At the recommendation of Representative Gerald Ford, he worked for the Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of John F. Kennedy. As an assistant counsel for the commission, he authored or co-authored[10] the "single bullet theory," which suggested the non-fatal wounds to Kennedy and wounds to Texas Governor John Connally were caused by the same bullet. This was a crucial assertion for the Warren Commission, since if the two had been wounded by separate bullets, that would have demonstrated the presence of a second assassin and therefore a conspiracy.[11]

File:WC Vol18 CE903 SBT
Specter reproducing the assumed alignment of the single bullet theory

In 1965, Specter ran for District Attorney, on the Republican ticket as a registered Democrat. He handily beat incumbent Jim Crumlish, and subsequently changed his registration to Republican. Although a supporter of capital punishment, as prosecutor he questioned the fairness of the Pennsylvania death penalty statute in 1972.[12]

In 1967, he was the Republican Party standard bearer together with City Controller candidate, Tom Gola, in the mayoral campaign against the Democratic incumbent James Tate. One of their slogans was, "We need THESE guys to watch THOSE guys."[13] He served two terms as District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia, but was defeated in his bid for a third term in 1973.[14]

In 1976, Specter ran in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate and was defeated by John Heinz. In 1978, he was defeated in the primary for Governor of Pennsylvania by Dick Thornburgh.[15] After several years of private practice with the prestigious Philadelphia law firm Dechert, Price & Rhoads, Specter ran for the Senate in 1980, this time, successfully. He assumed office in January 1981.

Hodgkin's disease

On February 16, 2005, Specter announced that he had been diagnosed with an advanced form of Hodgkin's lymphoma, a type of cancer. Despite this, Specter continued working during chemotherapy. He ended treatment on July 22. Senator John Sununu (R-New Hampshire) shaved his head to show solidarity with Specter when he was undergoing chemotherapy and was temporarily bald. On April 15, 2008, he announced his cancer had returned, at a stage "significantly less advanced than his Hodgkin's disease when it was originally diagnosed in 2005."[16][17] He underwent a second round of chemotherapy, which ended on July 14, 2008.[18]

Senate career

File:Arlen Specter official
An earlier portrait of Specter
Specter was first elected to the Senate in 1980. He is the longest-serving Senator in Pennsylvania's history; no one else from the state has been elected to five terms in that body. According to polls by Quinnipiac University, Specter has a higher approval rating among Democrats in Pennsylvania than Republicans, 62–55 respectively.[19]

His opposition to Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork in 1987 is seen as an important factor in the nomination's failure. However, he raised the ire of many Democrats with his aggressive questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991, claiming she had committed "flat-out perjury" in her testimony.

In 1998 and 1999, Specter criticized the Republican Party for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Believing that Clinton had not received a fair trial, Specter cited Scots law to render a verdict of "not proven" on Clinton's impeachment. However, his verdict was recorded as "not guilty" in the Senate records.

On October 11, 2002, Arlen Specter voted in favor of H.J.Res.114 authorizing the Iraq War.

In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named the "Toughest to Work For."[20] In 2003, the Pennsylvania Report, a subscription-based political newsletter, described Specter as one of the "vanishing breed of Republican moderates" and described his political stance as "'Pennsylvania first' middle of-the-road politics" even though he was known as an "avid Republican partisan."[21]

Soon after the 2004 election, Specter stepped into the public spotlight as a result of controversial statements about his views of the future of the Supreme Court. At a press conference, he stated that:

When you talk about judges who would change the right of a woman to choose, overturn Roe v. Wade, I think [confirmation] is unlikely. The president is well aware of what happened, when a number of his nominees were sent up, with the filibuster. ... And I would expect the president to be mindful of the considerations which I am mentioning.
Activist groups interpreted his comments as warnings to President George W. Bush about the implications of nominating Supreme Court justices who are opposed to the Roe v. Wade decision. Specter maintained his comments were a prediction, not a warning. He met with many conservative Republican senators, and based on assurances he gave them, he was recommended for the Judiciary Committee's chairmanship in late 2004. He officially assumed that position when the 109th Congress convened on January 4, 2005.

On March 9, 2006, the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law. It amended the process for interim appointments of U.S. Attorneys, a clause which Specter wrote during his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee.[22] The change allowed the Bush Administration to appoint interim U.S. attorneys without term limits, and without confirmation by the Senate. The Bush administration used the law to place at least eight interim attorneys into office in 2006. Specter claims that the changes were added by staff member Brett Tolman.[23] For more information, see dismissal of U.S. Attorneys controversy.

File:Arlen
Specter while he was being interviewed by Margot Adler for an episode of Justice Talking on Presidential Signing statements

Specter was very critical of Bush's wiretapping of US citizens without warrants. When the story first broke, he called the effort "inappropriate" and "clearly and categorically wrong." He said, he intended to hold hearings into the matter early in 2006, and had Alberto Gonzales appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to answer for the program (although Specter declined to force Gonzales to testify under oath). On January 15, 2006, Specter mentioned impeachment and criminal prosecution as potential remedies if Bush broke the law, though he downplayed the likelihood of such an outcome.

On April 9, 2006, Specter, speaking on Fox News about the Bush administration's leaking of classified intelligence, said that "The president of the United States owes a specific explanation to the American people".[24]

However, he voted for the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which placed federal electronic searches almost entirely within the executive branch.[25]

During the 2007–2008 National Football League season, Specter wrote to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell concerning the destruction of New England Patriots Spygate tapes, wondering if there was a link between the tapes and their Super Bowl victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. On February 1, 2008, Roger Goodell stated that the tapes were destroyed because "they confirmed what I already knew about the issue." Specter would release a follow up statement:

My strong preference is for the NFL to activate a Mitchell-type investigation, I have been careful not to call for a Congressional hearing because I believe the NFL should step forward and embrace an independent inquiry and Congress is extraordinarily busy on other matters If the NFL continues to leave a vacuum, Congress may be tempted to fill it.[26]

Since 2007, Specter has sponsored legislation[27] to fix a longstanding inequity in American law which shuts out a majority of U.S. Armed Forces service members from equal access to the U.S. Supreme Court.[28] In 2007, Specter cosponsored the Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2007 with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.).[27] The bill failed in the 110th Congress, and Specter again cosponsored the measure in the 2009 111th Congress.[29]

In December 2008, Specter was involved in a controversy as a result of telling "Polish jokes" at New York's Rainbow Room while speaking at the annual meeting of the Commonwealth Club.[30] This had not been his first run in with Americans of Central European descent. In 1998, Specter voted against admitting Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into NATO.[31]

Specter voted in favor of the Senate's version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on February 10, 2009; he was one of only three Republicans to break ranks with the party and support the bill, which was favored by President Barack Obama and was unanimously supported by the Democratic senators.[32] As a result of his support, many in the Republican mainstream have begun to set up ads calling for his removal from office.[33] Specter was instrumental in ensuring that the act allocated an additional $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health over the next two years.[34] Since becoming a Democrat in the Senate, Specter has been denied seniority on Senate committees.[35] His senate career will end at the end of his current term, because he lost the Democratic primary election.

Specter has called for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which he supported in 1996.[36]

On May 18, 2010, Specter was defeated by Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania's Democratic Primary election 54% to 46% (Sestak 564,444 votes to Specter's 481,566). His senate career is scheduled to end on January 3, 2011.

Committee assignments

Specter holds the following committee assignments:[37]

Specter was chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 1995, when the Republicans gained control of the Senate, until 1997, when he became chairman of the Committee on Veterans Affairs. He chaired that committee until 2001 and again from 2003 to 2005, during the times the Republicans controlled the Senate. He also chaired the Judiciary Committee from 2005 to 2007.

Campaigns

File:Specter
Arlen Specter campaigning for re-election

In 1980, Specter became the Republican nominee for Senate when Republican incumbent Richard Schweiker announced his retirement. He faced the former Mayor of Pittsburgh, Peter F. Flaherty. Specter won the election by a 2.5% margin. He was later reelected in 1986, 1992, 1998 and 2004, despite 1992 and 1998 being bad years for Republicans. Specter ran for reelection in 2010, for the first time as a Democrat, but was defeated in the Primary.[38]

1996 presidential bid

On March 31, 1995, Specter announced his candidacy for President of the United States, to challenge the incumbent Bill Clinton. He entered the race claiming his party needed a candidate who did not conform to the stereotypical religious conservative image. He was critical of Patrick J. Buchanan, Pat Robertson and Ralph E. Reed, Jr., saying all three were far too conservative.[39]

His campaign focused on balancing the federal budget, strict crime laws, and establishing relations with North Korea.[40] His candidacy was not expected to succeed in winning the Republican nomination due to the overwhelmingly large number of social conservatives in the Republican Party. He was, however, able to gain support. Although fellow Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was never overly enthusiastic, he was supportive. Other supportive Republicans were hopeful Specter could trim the party's "far-right fringe." Although his campaign was ultimately unsuccessful at wooing conservatives, it was widely believed he could have had a strong showing among independents. On November 23, 1995, before the start of the primaries, Specter suspended his campaign to endorse Kansas Senator Bob Dole.

2004 campaign

In 2004, Specter faced a challenge in the Republican primary election from conservative Congressman Pat Toomey, whose campaign theme was that Specter was not fiscally conservative enough. The match-up was closely watched nationally, being seen as a symbolic clash between the conservative and moderate wings of the Republican Party. However, most of the state and national Republican establishment, including the state's other senator at the time, Rick Santorum closed ranks behind Specter. Specter was strongly supported by President George W. Bush. Specter narrowly avoided a major upset with 51 percent of the primary vote. Once Specter defeated the challenge from the right, he was able to enjoy great support from independents and some Democrats in his race against Hoeffel.[41] Hoeffel also trailed Specter in name recognition, campaign funds and poll results.[42] Although the two minor candidates were seen as more conservative than Specter, they were only able to take four percent of the vote and Specter was easily reelected.

2010 campaign

Specter was up for re-election to the Senate in 2010, and expressed his plans to run again. On March 18, 2009, Specter said that he was not considering running as an independent. He said, "To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket." [43] Subsequently Specter's 2004 conservative GOP primary challenger, Pat Toomey, announced he will again run for the Republican nomination in the Republican senatorial primary.[44]

However, on April 28, 2009, Specter stated that "As the Republican Party has moved farther and farther to the right, I have found myself increasingly at odds with the Republican philosophy and more in line with the philosophy of the Democratic Party."[6] He said that he was switching party affiliation and would run as a Democrat in the 2010 election.[5][6][45] In the same announcement, Specter also said that he had "surveyed the sentiments of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania and public opinion polls, observed other public opinion polls and have found that the prospects for winning a Republican primary are bleak."[6] A March 2009 Quinnipiac poll indicated that Specter trailed his likely primary challenger, Pat Toomey, by 14 percent (41 percent for Toomey, 27 percent for Specter).[46] Additional polling found that 70 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans disapproved of his recent vote in favor of the Stimulus Bill[47] and that 52 percent of Pennsylvania Republicans disapprove of the job he is doing.[46] Following Specter's switching parties, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele criticized his leaving the Republican Party, claiming that Specter had "flipped the bird" at the GOP.[48]

On February 6, 2010, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party overwhelmingly endorsed US Senator Arlen Specter at the Democratic State Committee's annual endorsement convention which was held in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.[49] Specter defeated Joe Sestak by winning over 77% of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee members vote which far exceeds the 2/3rds threshold needed to claim the endorsement.[50] Sestak, however, went on to win the Democratic primary nomination on May 18.[51]

Personal reputation

Over Specter's long and notable legislative career, numerous sources from within the US Senate reported that they found it difficult to work with him. For example, when Specter was still a Republican, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott needed him to sign off on an appropriations bill. However, Specter refused to sign the document unless Lott flew out to Pennsylvania to attend two fund raisers for him. Lott agreed, but this incident only contributed to reputation which earned Specter the nickname "Snarlin' Arlen.".[52] Similarly, Specter gained a reputation among US Embassy staff for condescending treatment and unreasonable demands such as organizing squash tournaments on his behalf.[53]

Political views

According to the National Journal, Specter voted with Democrats 90% of the time since he switched parties, while as a Republican Specter split his votes between both parties.[54] According to fivethirtyeight.com, between January–March 2009 Specter voted with the Democrats 58% of the time. Following the support of the stimulus package and the entrance of Pat Toomey in the Republican primary, Specter began to vote 16% with Democrats. When switching to become a Democrat, he voted 69% with his new party initially, until Joe Sestak entered the Democratic primary and Specter started to vote 97% of the time.[55]

Abortion

Specter states that he is "personally opposed to abortion", but is "a supporter of a woman's right to choose".[56][57] He received a 20 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America in 2005 based on certain votes related to the regulation of abortion; in 2008, he received 100 percent [58][59]

Gay rights

Specter supports LGBT rights. He voted to prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and was a co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.[60] Specter is opposed to same-sex marriage, but is also opposed to a federal ban and supports civil unions.[61]

Gun control

Specter strongly opposes most gun control, voting against the Brady Bill, background checks at gun shows, the ban on assault weapons, and trigger locks for handguns.[62] His work has included numerous articles on the deterring effect the death penalty has on future crimes.

Affirmative action

He supports affirmative action and voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1991, receiving a 76 percent rating from the NAACP in 2008.[63] He was one of only four Republicans to vote against the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and in recent years has been less enthusiastic about weakening consumer protection laws than many members of his party. In 1995 he was the only Republican to vote to limit tax cuts to individuals with incomes of less than one million dollars. He voted against CAFTA. Specter also supports an increase in the federal minimum wage. He is a leading supporter of the U.S. Public Service Academy.

Illegal immigration

On immigration, Specter supports a "pathway to citizenship" and a "guest worker program" which opponents call amnesty. He introduced Senate bill S. 2611 (the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006) on April 6, 2006, which was passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006 before reaching a stalemate in the House.[64]

Health care reform

Public option

On May 3, 2009 Specter went on Meet the Press and was asked "Would you support health care reform that puts up a government run public plan to compete with a private plan issued by a private insurance company?" Specter said no.[65][66] Two months later, he changed his position and he now supports it.[67]

Single payer

Specter believes single payer healthcare should not be "taken off the table," according to an interview he had with John King on CNN.

Votes

On health care reform, Specter was a cosponsor of the Healthy Americans Act, a proposal he supported during both the 110th and 111th Congresses. Specter voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the healthcare bill passed through the Senate by every Democratic senator, on a party-line vote.[68]

Card check

Specter has received a 61 percent rating from AFL-CIO.[69] He voted for cloture on the Employee Free Choice Act in 2007. In early 2009, Specter announced that he would not be voting for cloture on the same act in the 111th Congress.[70] After Specter switched parties, he changed his position on the issue again and wrote a letter to the unions that he supported card check legislation.

Privacy; Computers

Spurred by the 2010 case of Robbins v. Lower Merion School District, in which two high schools admitted to secretly taking 66,000 webcam photos and screenshots of students in their homes on school-issued laptops, Specter held a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs on March 29, 2010.[71] He said: "The issue is one of surreptitious eavesdropping. Unbeknownst to people, their movements and activities were under surveillance."[71] Specter said he believes existing wiretap and video-voyeurism statutes do not adequately address concerns in today's era of widespread use of cell-phone, laptop, and surveillance cameras.[72] He said that Lower Merion's use of laptop cameras for surveillance convinced him that new federal legislation was needed to regulate electronic privacy.[73][74]

Specter then introduced legislation in April 2010 to amend the federal Wiretap Act to clarify that it is illegal to capture silent visual images inside another person's home. He said: "This is going to become law. You have a very significant invasion of privacy with these webcams, as more information is coming to light."[75] Speaking on the floor of the Senate, he said:
Many of us expect to be subject to ... video surveillance when we leave our homes and go out each day—at the ATM, at traffic lights, or in stores, for example. What we do not expect is to be under visual surveillance in our homes, in our bedrooms, and, most especially, we do not expect it for our children in our homes.[76]

Other

The Jewish daily newspaper The Forward reported in the wake of the July 2009 organ trafficking scandal in the US involving Rabbi Levy Izhak Rosenbaum of Brooklyn that an Organ Trafficking Prohibition Act of 2009, sponsored by Specter, had yet to be officially introduced in the US. The preliminary reports cites Israel as a model of a nation that has enacted a law providing benefits for organ donors.[77]

Specter criticized the federal government's policy on cancer, stating the day after Jack Kemp — the 1996 Republican vice presidential nominee and former congressman — died of cancer, that Kemp would still be alive if the federal government had done a better job funding cancer research.[78]

Electoral history

See also

References

  1. ^ "Upset in Philadelphia" (PDF). The New York Times. November 2, 1965. http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/flash/politics/20090414_SPECTER/1965Elected.pdf. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  2. ^ Krawczeniuk, Borys (April 28, 2009). "Specter is a marked 'moderate'". The Daily Review. http://www.thedailyreview.com/articles/2009/02/09/news/tw_review.20090209.a.pg3.tw09specter_s1.2290943_loc.txt. 
  3. ^ "Arlen Specter: The Contrarian". TIME magazine. April 14, 2006. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1183946,00.html. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Statement by Senator Arlen Specter". Specter 2010 Election website. Citizens for Arlen Specter. April 28, 2009. http://www.specter2010.com/news6.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  5. ^ a b Cillizza, Chris (April 28, 2009). "Specter to switch parties". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/04/28/specter_to_switch_parties.html?wprss=44. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Longtime GOP Sen. Arlen Specter becomes Democrat". CNN. April 28, 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/28/specter.party.switch/index.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  7. ^ The projected outcome was ascertained by the Associated Press and reported by Fox News on 2010 May 18 at 10:14 PM EDT.
  8. ^ "Specter genealogy". Ancestry.com. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~battle/senators/specter.htm. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  9. ^ "United States Senator Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania : About Arlen Specter". Specter.senate.gov. http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=AboutArlenSpecter.Timeline. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  10. ^ Bugliosi, pp. 301–6. "Warren Commission staff lawyer Norman Redlich was asked by author Vincent Bugliosi in 2005 whether Specter was the sole author of the single bullet theory and he said, 'No, we all came to this conclusion simultaneously.' When asked who he meant by 'we,' he said, 'Arlen, myself, Howard Willens, David Belin, and Mel Eisenberg.' Specter did not respond to Bugliosi's request for a clarification on the issue."
  11. ^ Bugliosi, p.456.
  12. ^ "Death Rattles". TIME magazine. November 20, 1972. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,712208,00.html. 
  13. ^ Dionne, E.J. (May 24, 2005). "Watch Those Guys". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/05/23/AR2005052301337_pf.html. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Media Specter | The New Republic". Tnr.com. http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/media-specter. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  15. ^ Samuel, Terence (September 4, 2005). "Irritating Them All". US News and World Report. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/050912/12specter_2.htm. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Specter Announces Cancer Recurrence". The New York Times. Associated Press. April 16, 2008. http://www.alhazan.com/images/. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  17. ^ "Arlen Specter's Hodgkin's disease returns". CNN. April 15, 2008. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/15/arlen.specter/index.html. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  18. ^ "Specter finishes chemotherapy". Pennlive.com. The Associated Press. July 14, 2008. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2008/07/specter_finishes_chemotherapy.html. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  19. ^ Coomes, Jessica (February 11, 2009). "Poll: Voters don't want to give Arlen Specter another term". lehighvalleylive.com. The Express-Times. http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/jessica-coomes/index.ssf/2009/02/poll_voters_dont_want_to_give.html. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Keystone State Yearbook Committee". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on August 31, 2002. http://web.archive.org/web/20020803170058/www.politicspa.com/yearbookcommittee.htm. 
  21. ^ "The PA Report “Power 75” List" (PDF). Pennsylvania Report. Capital Growth, Inc.. January 31, 2003. Archived from the original on September 2, 2006. http://web.archive.org/web/20060920200116/www.pa-report.com/uploaded_pdf/PAReportPower75_.pdf. 
  22. ^ Lithwick, Dahlia (March 5, 2007). "Specter Detector". Slate. http://www.slate.com/id/2161260/. Retrieved January 7, 2008. 
  23. ^ Kiel, Paul (February 6, 2007). "Specter: ‘I Do Not Slip Things In’". TPMmuckraker. TPM Media LLC. http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/002487.php. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  24. ^ Jackson, David (April 10, 2006). "Specter urges Bush, Cheney to explain CIA leak". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-04-09-specter-cia_x.htm. Retrieved July 16, 2007. 
  25. ^ "U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes: Bill H.R. 6304". United States Senate website. July 9, 2008. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=2&vote=00168. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  26. ^ Maske, Mark (June 6, 2008). "Specter Repeats Call for NFL to Hire Outside Investigator". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/nflinsider/2008/06/specter_repeats_call_for_nfl_t.html. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  27. ^ a b Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2007, S.2052 introduced in 110th Congress-Senate (September 17, 2007)
  28. ^ American Bar Association (August 7–8, 2006). "Resolution 116" (PDF). http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/policy/am06116.pdf. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  29. ^ "S. 357: Equal Justice for United States Military Personnel Act of 2009". Thomas website. Library of Congress. January 30, 2009. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.357:. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  30. ^ "huffingtonpost.com". huffingtonpost.com. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/14/specter-polish-jokes-at-l_n_150855.html. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  31. ^ "armscontrol.org". armscontrol.org. http://www.armscontrol.org/act/1998_04/voteap98. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  32. ^ Schatz, Joseph J. (February 10, 2009). "Senate Passes Stimulus, Setting Up Tough Conference With House". CQPolitics. Congressional Quarterly. http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news-000003028597. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  33. ^ Smith, Ben (February 14, 2009). "Ads target 3 Republicans, Lincoln". Politico.com. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0209/Ads_target_3_Republicans_Lincoln.html. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  34. ^ Harris, Gardiner (February 13, 2009). "Specter, a Fulcrum of the Stimulus Bill, Pulls Off a Coup for Health Money". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/14/health/policy/14specter.html. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  35. ^ Kane, Paul (May 5, 2009). "Senate Democrats Deny Specter Committee Seniority". The Washington Post. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol-briefing/2009/05/senate_democrats_deny_specter.html?hpid=topnews. Retrieved May 8, 2009. 
  36. ^ Phillips, Kate (October 27, 2009). "Specter calls for repeal of marriage act". The Caucus Blogs of the New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/27/specter-calls-for-repeal-of-marriage-act/. Retrieved October 31, 2009. 
  37. ^ 2009 Congressional Record, Vol. 155, Page S5168
  38. ^ Sherman, Jerome L. (March 20, 2007). "Specter says he'll run in 2010 at age of 80". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07079/770871-178.stm. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  39. ^ "Arlen Specter 1996 Presidential Announcement Speech". 4president.org. March 30, 1995. http://www.4president.org/speeches/1996/arlenspecter1996announcement.htm. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  40. ^ Berke, Richard L. (March 31, 1995). "Joining Race, Specter Attacks the Right". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/31/us/joining-race-specter-attacks-the-right.html?pagewanted=1. 
  41. ^ Sabato, Larry J. (October 22, 2004). "Republican Specter defends his seat against Joe Hoeffel". Crystal Ball. University of Virginia. Archived from the original on February 13, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080213062620/http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/article.php?id=SPA2004102201. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  42. ^ Samad, Farouk (September 27, 2004). "Hoeffel trails Specter by large margin in Senate race". The Daily Pennsylvanian. http://media.www.dailypennsylvanian.com/media/storage/paper882/news/2004/09/27/News/Hoeffel.Trails.Specter.By.Large.Margin.In.Senate.Race-2150770.shtml. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  43. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas (March 19, 2009). "Specter staying on Republican ticket". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/20090319_Specter_staying_on_Republican_ticket.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. [dead link]
  44. ^ Turner, Trish (April 15, 2009). "Specter faces conservative challenge from familiar foe". Fox News. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/04/15/specter-faces-conservative-challenge-familiar-foe/. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  45. ^ Hulse, Carl (April 28, 2009). "Specter switches parties". The New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/specter-will-run-as-a-democrat-in-2010/. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  46. ^ a b "Little-Known GOP Challenger Tops Specter In Primary, Quinnipiac University Pennsylvania Poll Finds; Support For Obama Plan Helps Among Democrats". Quinnipiac University. March 25, 2009. http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1284.xml?ReleaseID=1280&What=&strArea=5;10;&strTime=3. Retrieved April 29, 2009. 
  47. ^ Fitzgerald, Thomas (March 26, 2009). "Two polls show challenges for Specter". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20090326_Two_polls_show_challenges_for_Specter.html. Retrieved April 29, 2009. [dead link]
  48. ^ 12:09pm, EDT (April 29, 2009). "First Read – Specter bolts the GOP". Firstread.msnbc.msn.com. http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/04/29/1913755.aspx. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  49. ^ AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, file. "Arlen Specter endorsed by Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee". PennLive.com. http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2010/02/arlen_specter_endorsed_by_penn.html. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  50. ^ Wilson, Reid. "Specter Endorsed By PA Dems – Hotline On Call". Hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com. http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2010/02/specter_endorse.php. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  51. ^ Associated Press projection reported by Fox News on 2010 May 18 at 10:14 PM EDT. See United States Senate election in Pennsylvania, 2010.
  52. ^ "John J. Miller on Arlen Specter on National Review Online". Old.nationalreview.com. http://old.nationalreview.com/flashback/miller200403260926.asp. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  53. ^ Monday, April 26, 2004 12:01 A.M. EDT (April 26, 2004). "John Fund on the Trail - WSJ.com". Opinionjournal.com. http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110005003. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  54. ^ "Pennsylvania's Specter runs again like he's the underdog | McClatchy". Mcclatchydc.com. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/04/22/v-print/92706/pennsylvanias-specter-runs-again.html. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  55. ^ "Arlen Specter's Hypocrisy". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZRQKn2hBzE&feature=channel. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Senator Arlen Specter: Key Issues". U.S. Senate website. http://specter.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=IssueStatements.View&Issue_id=bd531be8-7e9c-9af9-74ef-d3a53537ede0. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  57. ^ "Specter: I'm pro-choice... But I don't make the decisions". CNN. November 9, 2004. http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/11/08/judy.specter/index.html. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  58. ^ "Arlen Specter". NARAL Pro-Choice America. http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/us-gov/congressional-record-on-choice/arlenspecter.html. Retrieved April 30, 2009. [dead link]
  59. ^ "Pennsylvania Senators 2008". NARAL Pro-Choice America. http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/us-gov/congressional-record-on-choice/pennsylvania.html. Retrieved April 30, 2009. [dead link]
  60. ^ "Bill Summary & Status – 111th Congress (2009–2010) – S.909 – Cosponsors – THOMAS (Library of Congress)". Library of Congress. July 6, 2009. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:SN00909:@@@P. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  61. ^ "Arlen Specter on the Issues". On the Issues. http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Arlen_Specter.htm. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  62. ^ Delano, Jon. "Specter Says No To Automatic Weapons Ban". KDKA-TV website (CBS). http://kdka.com/local/Specter.gun.control.2.987870.html. Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  63. ^ "CIVIL RIGHTS FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE REPORT CARD". NAACP. http://www.naacp.org/programs/bureau-dc/report_card/110th_Congress.FINAL.pdf. Retrieved July 7, 2009. 
  64. ^ "S.2611, A bill to provide for comprehensive immigration reform and for other purposes". Thomas. Library of Congress. May 25, 2006. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN02611:@@@L&summ2=m&. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  65. ^ "Meet the Press – May 3, 2009 Transcript and Video Link". Scribd.com. http://www.scribd.com/doc/14884085/Meet-the-Press-May-3-2009-Transcript-and-Video-Link. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  66. ^ Sunday, May 3, 2009 (May 3, 2009). "Specter Disappoints Democrats Now". Outsidethebeltway.com. http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/specter_disappoints_democrats_now/. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  67. ^ "Hypocrisy Alert: Where Does Arlen Specter Stand?". YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XEQ01HXj2M. Retrieved June 13, 2010. 
  68. ^ "Specter faces hostile audience at health care forum". CNN. August 11, 2009. http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/08/11/specter.town.hall/index.html. Retrieved August 11, 2009. 
  69. ^ "Sen Arlen Specter". AFL-CIO website. http://www.aflcio.org/cgi-bin/member.pl?state=PA&pg=2&id=76&year=07&congress=s. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  70. ^ Schor, Elana (March 24, 2009). "Specter: I'll Vote No on Employee Free Choice Act". Talking -Points Memo. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/03/specter-ill-vote-no-on-employee-free-choice-act.php. Retrieved April 30, 2009. 
  71. ^ a b "Pa. school spy case sparks fight over money". Network World. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/031910-pa-school-spy-case-sparks.html. Retrieved August 12, 2010. 
  72. ^ Dale, Maryclaire (March 29, 2010). "Specter pushes for stronger federal privacy laws". BusinessWeek. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9EOHVVG0.htm. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  73. ^ Maryclaire Dale (March 29, 2010). "Specter pushes in Pa. for electronic privacy laws". SignOnSanDiego.com. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/mar/29/specter-pushes-in-pa-for-electronic-privacy-laws/. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  74. ^ Rao, Maya (March 29, 2010). "Specter wants to extend U.S. privacy curbs to Web-cam use". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/breaking/news_breaking/20100329_Specter_wants_to_extend_U_S__privacy_curbs_to_Web-cam_use.html?posted=n. Retrieved August 13, 2010. [dead link]
  75. ^ Editorial (April 22, 2010). "No need for Candid Cameras". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20100422_Editorial__No_need_for_candid_cameras.html?c=0.5505521897909238&posted=n. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  76. ^ Martin, John P. (April 16, 2010). "1,000s of Web cam images, suit says". The Philadelphia Inquirer. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20100416_1_000s_of_Web_cam_images__suit_says.html. Retrieved August 13, 2010. 
  77. ^ Guttman, Nathan (August 5, 2009). "Kidney Donation Scandal Sparks New Debate Over Specter’s Organ Legislation". The Forward. http://forward.com/articles/111473/. 
  78. ^ Fox News (2009-05-04). “Specter Claims Kemp Would Be Alive if Congress Better Funded Medical Research” Retrieved 2009-10-25.

External links

Articles
Legislation sponsored or cosponsored

The following table links to the Congressional Record hosted by the Library of Congress. All the specifics and actions taken for each individual piece of legislation that Specter either sponsored or cosponsored can be viewed in detail there. "Original bills" and "'Original amendments" indicate instances where Sen. Specter pledged to support the legislation at the time it was initially introduced and entered into the Senate record, rather than later in the legislative process.

Legal offices
Preceded by
James Crumlish
District Attorney of Philadelphia
1966–1974
Succeeded by
Emmitt Fitzpatrick
United States Senate
Preceded by
Richard Schweiker
United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
1981 – present
Served alongside: John Heinz, Harris Wofford,
Rick Santorum, Bob Casey, Jr.
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Dennis DeConcini
Arizona
Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee
1995–1997
Succeeded by
Richard Shelby
Alabama
Preceded by
Alan Simpson
Wyoming
Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee
1997–2001
Succeeded by
Jay Rockefeller
West Virginia
Preceded by
Jay Rockefeller
West Virginia
Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee
2003–2005
Succeeded by
Larry Craig
Idaho
Preceded by
Orrin Hatch
Utah
Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Patrick Leahy
Vermont
Party political offices
Preceded by
Richard Schweiker
Republican nominee for United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004
Succeeded by
Pat Toomey
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Chuck Grassley
(R-Iowa)
United States Senators by seniority
10th
Succeeded by
Jeff Bingaman
(D-New Mexico)


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Arlen J. Specter (born February 12, 1930) is a United States Senator from Pennsylvania. He was a member of the Republican Party, but is now a Democrat.

Sourced

  • There is just no sensible, logical reason why we would not make use of stem cell research.
    • Promoting a proposed new bill (July 17, 2006) [1]
  • We will submit legislation to the United States Senate which will...authorize the Congress to undertake judicial review of those signing statements with the view to having the president’s acts declared unconstitutional.
    • Preparing a bill to allow Congress to sue the president in federal court (July 24, 2006) [2]
  • There ought to be a million-person march on the Mall... that can be heard in the living quarters of the White House.
    • On President Bush's potential veto of a new bill on stem-cell research. (January 9, 2007) [3]
  • We're all looking for a plan that will work. The current plan is not working, and 21,500 additional troops -- it's a snowball in July. It's not going to work.
    • In a hearing on Congress's War Powers (January 30, 2007) [4]
  • I would suggest respectfully to the president that he is not the sole decider. The decider is a shared and joint responsibility.
    • In a hearing on Congress's War Powers (January 30, 2007)
  • Resolutions are flying like snowflakes around here.
    • In a hearing on Congress's War Powers (January 30, 2007)
  • I didn't want to get into a political debate with him, but my patience was running thin...My shorts were getting a little tight.
    • About disagreeing with President Bush on Iraq (January 30, 2007) [5]

About Arlen Specter

  • I had a special project to do a campaign for a Philadelphia politician named Arlen Spector [sic]. “When do I get to see Arlen Spector?” I asked. “You don’t.” Spector was a district attorney in Philadelphia, running for mayor. He wanted New York advertising but he had placed through a Philadelphia agency. I complained about not being able to see Arlen Spector. “Are you crazy?” his people said. “Nobody gets to meet Arlen Spector. We can’t even see him.” “All right,” I said, “what’s Arlen Spector for?” “Arlen Spector is for getting elected.” “All right,” I said, “what’s Arlen Spector against?” “Arlen Spector is against losing.” I did the campaign, but Arlen Spector lost.
    • Jerry Della Femina, From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970), chap. 13.

External links

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