The Green Papers: News

Al Gore selects Joseph Lieberman as Running Mate
Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Vice Presidents Al Gore's Remarks:

Biography of Joseph Lieberman

Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut on February 24, 1942 and attended public schools there. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967.

Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1970 and served there for 10 years, including the last 6 as Majority Leader. He also spent time in the private practice of law, and as an Assistant Dean of the School of Art and Architecture at Yale.

He is the author of five books. The most recent, "In Praise of Public Life" (2000), is a spirited defense of public life that draws on his personal experience.

From 1982 to 1988, Joe Lieberman served as Connecticut's 21st Attorney General, and used the post to fight for consumers in Connecticut. He won a multi-million dollar case against supermarket chains, and even took on a powerful insurance company from his home state. He took on the oil industry and brought legal actions to promote women's rights. Lieberman also was an aggressive enforcer of the state's environmental protection laws.

In 1988, Lieberman won the biggest upset victory in the country, by beating incumbent Lowell Weicker to win election to the U.S. Senate by just 10,000 votes. Six years later, he made history by winning the biggest landslide victory ever in a Connecticut race for a Senate seat, with a margin of more than 67% of the vote.

Now in his second term in the U. S. Senate, Joe Lieberman has earned a national reputation as a thoughtful, effective legislator. He is a Democrat who speaks his conscience, forms bipartisan coalitions with Republicans, and fight for working families. He has fought for consumers, for a better environment for present and future generations, and for a strong national defense in his service in the Senate, and on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, Governmental Affairs, and Small Business Committees.

In endorsing his reelection in 1994, The New York Times wrote, "Congress would be a better place if more of his veteran colleagues were as good. In only one term he has influenced the course of Federal legislation for the benefit of Connecticut and the nation." Countless commentators have recognized Lieberman as a voice of conscience, integrity, ethics, and moderation in the Senate.

Lieberman, who is Jewish, lives in New Haven with his wife Hadassah. They are the parents of four children: Matthew, Rebecca, Ethan and Hana. He also has two granddaughters, Tennessee and Willie.

In his twelve years in the Senate, Lieberman has fought for working families. He has been a leader in winning passage of landmark environmental protection, welfare reform, and government reform laws.

  • Defense And Foreign Affairs: As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Lieberman has worked to ensure a strong national defense and promote freedom throughout the world in places like Bosnia, China, Cuba and Eastern Europe. He was a co-author of, and supporter of, the Resolution authorizing the use of force in the Persian Gulf War.
  • Education: Lieberman has been a leader in backing expanded loans for college students and other programs to make college and life-long learning affordable for older adults. He has worked to expand the tax deduction for college tuition, cosponsored legislation to help states hire 100,000 new teachers nationwide, and has been a leading proponent of charter schools - helping to write legislation to significantly expand the federal charter school program and provide incentives to start more of these innovative and independent schools.
  • Environment: Lieberman has worked to strengthen Clean Air standards, and played a key role in winning passage of the landmark Clean Air Act Amendments in 1990. He also wrote legislation to hold oil and shipping companies liable for the damage they cause; he helped co-author the Pollution Prosecution Act of 1990 that quadrupled the number of EPA investigators; he was an early supporter of brownfields legislation. Closer to home, Lieberman worked to create Connecticut's first national park at Weir Farm, promoted a national wildlife refuge along the Connecticut River, and passed legislation to establish an EPA office in Connecticut dedicated to cleaning up the Long Island Sound.
  • Government Reform: Lieberman has been a leader for campaign finance reform. He has used his position on the Government Affairs Committee to expose government waste, such as the federal contracts that paid $69 an hour for security guards, and the highway noise barrier projects that were built along stretches of road where nobody lived to hear the noise. Lieberman played a key role in winning passage of the Congressional Accountability Act, which makes Congress live by the same laws it applies to the nation.
  • Protecting our Children: Lieberman pushed the video game industry to create a rating system so parents can protect their children from violent games. Lieberman was also the Congressional sponsor of the so-called V-Chip law - in support of an idea promoted by Al Gore - which offers parents guidance and control of television viewing by their young children. He helped write legislation calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the marketing practices of the entertainment industry to determine to what extent they are selling violence to our children.
  • Health Care: Lieberman has worked with members of both parties to improve access and quality in our health care system. He cosponsored the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill to allow people to change jobs without risking the loss of their health insurance. He is now fighting to provide patients with reliable report cards so they can make more informed judgments about doctors and hospitals and get the best care available. And Lieberman has worked hard to reach consensus on a real Patients Bill of Rights to return decision-making authority back to doctors and patients.
  • Social Issues: Lieberman worked to strengthen the Crime Bill in 1994, and was a cosponsor of the Brady Bill that has helped keep 500,000 felons, fugitives and stalkers from buying guns since it was enacted. He helped fight for the federal Enterprise Zone program - a program that Al Gore has chaired as Vice President.
  • Welfare Reform: Lieberman also has been a leader on welfare reform; in addition to supporting the 1996 Welfare Reform Act, Lieberman wrote provisions of the law that assist teenage mothers, discourage out-of-wedlock pregnancies, and help states that move welfare recipients into self-supporting jobs.

This information was obtained on August 8, 2000 from ©2000

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