Byron Dorgan: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Byron Dorgan


Incumbent
Assumed office 
December 15, 1992
Serving with Kent Conrad
Preceded by Kent Conrad

In office
January 3, 1981 – December 15, 1992
Preceded by Mark Andrews
Succeeded by Earl Pomeroy

Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 4, 2007
Preceded by John McCain

In office
1969 – 1980
Governor William L. Guy
Arthur A. Link
Preceded by Edwin O. Sjaasstad
Succeeded by Kent Conrad

Born May 14, 1942 (1942-05-14) (age 67)
Dickinson, North Dakota
Political party Democratic-NPL
Spouse(s) Kim Dorgan
Residence Bismarck, North Dakota
Alma mater University of North Dakota
Occupation Politician, Author, Aerospace Manager
Religion Lutheran

Byron Leslie Dorgan (born May 14, 1942) is the junior United States Senator from North Dakota. He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, the North Dakota affiliate of the Democratic Party. In the Senate, he is Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee and Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs. Dorgan announced on January 5, 2010 that he would not seek re-election in the 2010 North Dakota senate election.[1]

Contents

Early life and career

Dorgan was born in Dickinson, North Dakota, the son of Dorothy (née Bach) and Emmett Patrick Dorgan, and was raised in Regent, North Dakota.[2] He graduated from Regent High School and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Dakota in 1964 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver in 1966.

Dorgan worked in management for a Denver aerospace firm, eventually earning a position training others for high ranking company positions.

Dorgan's public service career began at age 26, when he was appointed North Dakota State Tax Commissioner. He was the youngest constitutional officer in North Dakota's history. He was re-elected to that office by large margins in 1972 and 1976, and was chosen one of "Ten Outstanding State Officials" in the United States by the Washington Monthly magazine. Dorgan served as tax commissioner of North Dakota from 1969 until 1980. His future Senate colleague Kent Conrad worked in the same office before succeeding Dorgan at this post. Dorgan ran unsuccessfully for a seat in Congress in 1974. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in his second bid in 1980. He was a member from 1981 until 1992 (being re-elected every two years).

United States Senate

In 1992, the Democratic incumbent, Kent Conrad opted not to run for re-election because of a campaign promise. Dorgan won the election for the seat. However, that September the state's other senator, Quentin Burdick, died and Conrad ran for the seat in the special election. Conrad took the new seat in 1992 and Dorgan assumed Conrad's old seat a few weeks early. Dorgan was re-elected in 1998 and 2004. Conrad later was elected for a full term from North Dakota's other Senate seat.

As chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, Dorgan is one of the most powerful Democrats in the Senate. In recent years he has been increasingly sought by the national media for comment on political issues. He is a strong opponent of U.S. policy toward Cuba. He has introduced, with varying levels of success, several amendments to end the U.S. prohibition on travel to Cuba, and to terminate funds for anti-Castro broadcasting. Dorgan has also opposed most bills "liberalizing" trade policies between the USA and other countries. He has a mixed record on tort reform issues, voting against the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and the Class Action Fairness Act, but voting in favor of the vetoed Common Sense Product Liability and Legal Reform Act and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

In 2007 he was a major supporter of Net Neutrality legislation in the Senate. He sees this as essential to keeping the Internet open and democratic.[3]

In 2007, he was a major opponent of the McCain-Kennedy Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1639) saying that the legislation would continue the downward push of illegal aliens on the wages of American workers.[4]

In 2009, he voted against the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. He joined all 39 voting Republican senators and 11 Senate Democrats.[5]

Dorgan has three times[6] introduced a bill forming a Truman committee to oversee Government waste, fraud, and corruption in the giving of governmental contracts.[7]

In 2009, Dorgan voted to approve the 838 billion dollar stimulus package. This vote passed 67-31 in the United States Senate.[8]

In 2009, Dorgan sided with fellow Democrats to make funds available to modify or build facilities to allow Guantanamo detainees to be brought to the United States. This was a reversal from a previous vote to not allow federal funds to be used to transfer or incarcerate Guantanamo inmates.[9]

On January 5, 2010, Senator Dorgan issued a statement in which he announced he would not run for re-election. In it, he insisted that the "...decision [was] not a reflection of any dissatisfaction with my work in the Senate, nor [was] it connected to a potential election contest [in the fall of 2010] (frankly, I believe if I were to run for another term I would be reelected)."

Advertisements

Committee assignments

News and notes

He is briefly featured in Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, in which he discusses the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He was not being interviewed by Moore.

His book Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America, about the impact of outsourcing on the economy of the United States, was published in 2006. On October 4, 2006, he appeared on The Colbert Report on Comedy Central to discuss his book, and his views on American labor. On February 27, 2008 he announced he would be endorsing Barack Obama for President of the United States, becoming the 10th senator to officially endorse the Illinois senator's bid for the Democratic nomination.

On September 26, 2008, against a backdrop of growing economic turmoil caused by the Credit Crunch, an article written by David Leonhardt of The New York Times singled out a quotation made by Dorgan in 1999[10] during the US Senate's repeal of the Glass-Steagall act. "I think we will look back in 10 years’ time and say we should not have done this, but we did because we forgot the lessons of the past, and that that which is true in the 1930s is true in 2010". Dorgan was one of only 8 senators who voted "No" on the deregulation bill in 1999[10]

Dorgan is married to the former Kimberly Olson, an Executive Vice President and lobbyist for The American Council of Life Insurers.[11]. Together they have two children, Brendon and Haley, and from his first marriage Dorgan has a son Scott and a daughter Shelly, who is deceased.

Controversy

In November 2005, Dorgan was accused of receiving campaign contributions from people who worked for companies connected to lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Because Dorgan is the top Democrat on the committee investigating Abramoff, questions were raised about a possible conflict of interest.

In a statement released on November 28, 2005,[12] Dorgan responded by asserting that he has never personally met Jack Abramoff, nor has he ever received money from Abramoff. Dorgan did acknowledge receiving money from Abramoff's clients, but the donations began prior to their involvement with Abramoff. Dorgan's statement went on to say that he has supported the programs that benefited Abramoff's clients years prior to the contribution.

Dorgan's statement pointed out other errors in the news reports, such as correcting who made a call to the Department of the Interior and for what purpose. The news reports claimed that one of Dorgan's staff members made the call in order to express support for the program that benefited Abramoff's clients, whereas in reality it was a staff member for the Chairman of the Interior Subcommittee who made the call, and the call was made in opposition to the program.

On December 13, 2005 Dorgan announced that he was returning all donations from Abramoff's clients as a precaution that the contributions may have been directed or requested by Abramoff.[13]

Writings

  • Dorgan, Byron Reckless!: How Debt, Deregulation, and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America (And How We Can Fix It!) Thomas Dunne Books (2009) ISBN 0-312-38303-7
  • Dorgan, Byron Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America Thomas Dunne Books (July 25, 2006) ISBN 0-312-35522-X
  • Dorgan, Byron (editor) Electric Transmission Infrastructure and Investment Needs: Hearing Before the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Senate Diane Pub Co (January 2003) ISBN 0-7567-2997-1

Electoral history

North Dakota Senator (Class III) results: 1992–2004[14]
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1992 Byron L.
Dorgan
179,347 59% Steve Sydness 118,162 39% Tom Asbridge Independent 6,448 2%
1998 134,747 63% Donna Nalewaja 75,013 35% Harley McLain Reform 3,598 2%
2004 212,143 68% Mike Liffrig 98,553 32%

See also

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Edwin O. Sjaasstad
Tax Commissioner of North Dakota
1969 – 1980
Succeeded by
Kent Conrad
Preceded by
John McCain
Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee
2007 – present
Incumbent
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mark Andrews
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's At-large congressional district

1981 – 1992
Succeeded by
Earl Pomeroy
United States Senate
Preceded by
Kent Conrad
United States Senator (Class 3) from North Dakota
December 14, 1992 – present
Served alongside: Kent Conrad
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Harry Reid
Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee
1999 – present
Incumbent
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
Dianne Feinstein
D-California
United States Senators by seniority
27th
Succeeded by
Barbara Boxer
D-California

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message