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  Harkin, Tom
CANDIDATE DETAILS
AffiliationDemocratic  
<-  2008-01-01  
 
NameTom Harkin
Address
Cumming, Iowa 50061, United States
EmailNone
Website [Link]
 Facebooktomharkin
Born November 19, 1939 (79 years)
ContributorWishful Thinking
Last ModifedRBH
Oct 09, 2018 10:12pm
Tags Caucasian - Liberal - Anti Alaska/Offshore Oil Drilling - Anti Marijuana Legalization - Anti School Vouchers - Anti-Death Penalty - Anti-Social Security Privatization - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Jobs/Industrial Growth - Pro Embryonic Stem Cell Research - Pro Environment - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Choice - Pro-Gay Marriage - Pro-Gun control - Pro-Labor - Married - U.S. Navy - Catholic - Straight -
InfoThomas Richard "Tom" Harkin

Tom Harkin is a product of small town Iowa who has not forgotten his origins.

He was born November 19, 1939 to a coal miner father and a Slovenian immigrant mother who passed away when Tom was ten years old. Tom, his three brothers and two sisters and their parents shared a two-bedroom home in Cumming, Iowa (population 150). Tom is a fourth generation Iowan, a father of two, a Navy veteran, and a graduate of Iowa State University.

Growing up, the Harkin children learned well the importance of family, community, responsibility, and hard work. Tom puts those lessons to work for Iowa. He has earned a reputation for giving a voice to those too often overlooked in Washington: working families, women, people with disabilities, children, students, seniors, family farmers, and small business owners. In Congress, Tom is a recognized leader in areas including education, health care and agriculture.

Tom worked various jobs through his youth, on farms, as a paper boy, on construction sites, and at a Des Moines bottling plant. After graduation from Dowling High School in Des Moines, he attended Iowa State University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. He earned his degree at ISU in Government and Economics.

Following graduation from ISU, Tom joined the Navy where he served as a jet pilot on active duty from 1962 to 1967 and afterwards continued to fly in the Naval Reserves. He is an active member of American Legion Post 562 in Cumming.

In 1968, Tom married Ruth Raduenz, the daughter of a farmer and a school teacher from Minnesota. Tom and Ruth have two daughters: Amy, born in 1976, and Jenny, born in 1981. Ruth currently works in the private sector and is a member of the Iowa Board of Regents.

Tom first came to Washington, D.C. in 1969 to join the staff of Iowa Congressman Neal Smith. As a staff member accompanying a congressional delegation to South Vietnam, he revealed to the world the infamous "tiger cages" inside a South Vietnamese prison camp at Con Son Island. Withstanding tremendous pressure to withhold the sensitive information, Tom's photographs and detailed account of the tiger cages were published in Life Magazine, exposing a cover-up and unearthing the shocking, inhuman conditions political prisoners were forced to endure. As a result, hundreds of tortured political prisoners were released.

In 1972, Tom and Ruth graduated from Catholic University of America Law School in Washington, D.C. and then returned to Iowa, settling in Ames. Tom worked as an attorney with the Polk County Legal Aid, assisting Iowans who could not otherwise afford legal help. Ruth won election as Story County Attorney.

Tom's commitment to finding fair and responsible solutions and promoting common sense reform has earned him broad-based support across Iowa. He first won election to the U.S. Congress from Iowa's Fifth Congressional District in 1974, defeating an incumbent in a long-standing Republican district.

Tom served in the House of Representatives for ten years and, in 1984, he again challenged an incumbent, winning election to the U.S. Senate. Iowans returned him to the U.S. Senate in 1990, 1996 and again in 2002, making him the first Iowa Democrat ever to earn a fourth Senate term.

Tom pioneered the use of "Work Days" in Iowa, days spent on the job working alongside fellow Iowans to gain both practical experience and a hands-on understanding of Iowa's needs. He has worked as a cop on the beat, school teacher, farmer, bricklayer, nurse's aide, and construction worker. And Tom was the first Member of the U.S. Congress to have a Mobile Office, the familiar Harkin van which brings the services of the U.S. Congress to all of Iowa's 99 counties.

As ranking Democrat of the Senate education funding subcommittee, Tom has led efforts to improve education. He has worked to reduce class size, to give students better computer and Internet access, expand school counseling and other school safety programs, and improve teacher training. Tom has taken the lead in pushing to modernize America's crumbling schools. He secured funding for the "Harkin Grants" for the modernization and repair of Iowa's public schools. Tom is now promoting legislation that builds on the Iowa program to provide all children in our nation safe, modern school facilities conducive to world-class learning.

Tom is also a long-time leader in the fight to improve health care. As co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, he's successfully pushed legislation to bring health professionals to small towns and rural areas. As ranking Democrat on the Senate panel that funds most health programs, he's guided efforts to focus more on prevention and early intervention as a means of reducing costs and improving quality. Along with Republican Senator Arlen Specter, Tom has led the effort to double medical research funding to speed up cures for killers like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. He's put particular emphasis on women's health, doubling funding for breast cancer research and launching a national breast and cervical cancer early detection program.

Iowa leads the nation in the percentage of its population aged 85 and older and Tom has long been a stalwart supporter of senior citizens. He has fought to preserve and protect Social Security and Medicare and is now working to dedicate much of the budget surplus to shoring up these two vital programs. Tom has also led an effort to root out waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and is now working to give seniors help with the rising costs of prescription drugs.

Tom's brother, Frank, was deaf since childhood, so Tom knows firsthand the challenges facing Americans with disabilities. He authored the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark legislation that protects the civil rights of more than 54 million Americans with physical and mental disabilities. He's also led efforts to improve educational opportunities for children with disabilities.

A lifelong advocate for America's family farms and rural communities, Tom Harkin has risen to be ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee. He has promoted new uses and markets for our agricultural products, like ethanol, and fought to restore security to family farmers through improved farm income protection, increased support for conservation and better demand and prices for farm commodities. Tom has introduced legislation to improve food safety. He has also devoted attention and resources to revitalize the economies of Iowa's rural communities and small towns.

[Link]

JOB APPROVAL POLLS
DateFirmApproveDisapproveDon't Know
09/25/2014-09/28/2014 Public Policy Polling 47.00% ( 2.0) 37.00% ( 0.0) 16.00% ( 2.0)
05/15/2014-05/19/2014 Public Policy Polling 45.00% ( 4.0) 37.00% ( 3.0) 18.00% ( 0.0)
07/15/2013-07/17/2013 Quinnipiac University 50.00% ( 0.0) 35.00% ( 0.0) 15.00% ( 0.0)
10/31/2012-11/03/2012 Public Policy Polling 41.00% ( 4.0) 40.00% ( 1.0) 18.00% ( 2.0)
05/03/2012-05/06/2012 Public Policy Polling 45.00% ( 1.0) 39.00% ( 2.0) 16.00% ( 2.0)
10/07/2011-10/10/2011 Public Policy Polling 44.00% ( 2.0) 41.00% ( 1.0) 14.00% ( 1.0)
08/19/2011-08/21/2011 Public Policy Polling 46.00% ( 1.0) 40.00% ( 2.0) 13.00% ( 2.0)
04/15/2011-04/17/2011 Public Policy Polling 47.00% ( 1.0) 38.00% ( 0.0) 15.00% ( 1.0)
01/07/2011-01/09/2011 Public Policy Polling 48.00% ( 8.0) 38.00% ( 6.0) 14.00% ( 2.0)
09/19/2010-09/22/2010 Selzer & Co. 48.00% ( 7.0) 35.00% ( 2.0) 17.00% ( 5.0)

BOOKS
Title Purchase Contributor
Five Minutes to Midnight: Why the Nuclear Threat Is Growing Faster Than Ever  Purchase Barack O-blame-a 

EVENTS
Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

NEWS
Date Category Headline Article Contributor
Sep 27, 2013 08:00am News Senator Says Politics Have Reached Civil War Levels  Article Scott³ 
Jan 26, 2013 02:00pm Announcement Tom Harkin of Iowa Won’t Seek Re-election to Senate  Article Homegrown Democrat 
Mar 29, 2012 12:20pm Proposed Legislation Senator Harkin Unveils Major Economic Legislation Aimed at Middle Class  Article Craverguy 
Dec 02, 2011 05:00pm General Harkin signals intent to seek another term  Article COSDem 
Jun 10, 2011 08:25am Statement Key Dem Senator: Obama ‘snookered’ by GOP into talking deficit over jobs  Article Craverguy 
Jun 07, 2009 12:00pm Statement Harkin pushes single-payer as health care solution  Article Craverguy 

TWITTER
 
DISCUSSION
Importance? 8.33330 Average

FAMILY
Wife Ruth Harkin 00, 0000-

INFORMATION LINKS
RACES
  01/03/2013 Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairperson Won 54.55% (+9.09%)
  11/06/2012 Appropriations Committee Seat 2 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/06/2012 Agriculture Committee Seat 2 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  01/03/2011 Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairperson Won 54.55% (+9.09%)
  01/03/2009 Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chairperson Won 56.52% (+13.04%)
  11/04/2008 IA US Senate Won 62.66% (+25.39%)
  06/03/2008 IA US Senate - D Primary Won 98.83% (+97.66%)
  01/03/2007 Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/05/2002 IA US Senate Won 54.18% (+10.40%)
  06/04/2002 IA US Senate - D Primary Won 99.34% (+98.68%)
  06/06/2001 Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Chairman Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/05/1996 IA US Senate Won 51.81% (+5.09%)
  06/04/1996 IA US Senate- D Primary Won 99.19% (+98.37%)
  07/01/1992 US President - D Primaries Lost 1.39% (-50.59%)
  11/06/1990 IA US Senate Won 54.47% (+9.06%)
  06/05/1990 IA US Senate-D Primary Won 99.47% (+98.94%)
  11/06/1984 IA US Senate Won 55.46% (+11.80%)
  11/02/1982 IA District 5 Won 58.86% (+17.74%)
  11/04/1980 IA District 5 Won 60.22% (+20.45%)
  11/07/1978 IA District 5 Won 58.93% (+17.86%)
  11/02/1976 IA District 5 Won 64.86% (+30.72%)
  11/05/1974 IA District 5 Won 51.09% (+2.18%)
  11/07/1972 IA District 5 Lost 44.74% (-10.51%)
SPECULATIVE, DID NOT RUN
  06/03/2014 IA US Senate - D Primary Lost 0.00% (-99.14%)
ENDORSEMENTS
C.I.A. Director - Mar 07, 2013 N John O. Brennan
MN District 08 - DFL Primary - Aug 14, 2012 D Rick Nolan
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Aug 05, 2010 D Elena Kagan
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board - Jan 28, 2010 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Aug 06, 2009 I Sonia Sotomayor
US Secretary of Health and Human Services - Apr 28, 2009 D Howard Dean
US Attorney General - Feb 02, 2009 D Eric Holder
US Secretary of the Treasury - Jan 26, 2009 NPA Reject
Commander-in-Chief of Central Command - Jul 10, 2008 NPA Reject
IA District 03 - D Primary - Jun 03, 2008 D Leonard L. Boswell
US President - D Primaries - Jun 03, 2008 D Tom Vilsack
US President - D Primaries - Jun 03, 2008 D Barack Obama
OMB Director - Sep 04, 2007 R Jim Nussle
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Jan 31, 2006 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Chief Justice - Sep 29, 2005 NPA Reject
Director of National Intelligence, "Intelligence Czar" - Apr 21, 2005 NPA Reject
DNC Party Chair - Feb 12, 2005 D Tom Vilsack
IA US President - D Caucuses - Jan 19, 2004 D Howard Dean
US President - D Primaries - Jun 09, 2004 D Howard Dean
US Secretary of the Interior - Jan 30, 2001 NPA Reject
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board - Feb 03, 2000 NPA Reject
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 2000 D Al Gore
IA US President - D Caucuses - Jan 24, 2000 D Al Gore
Second Circuit Court Judge - Oct 02, 1998 I Sonia Sotomayor
IA Governor - D Primary - Jun 02, 1998 D Tom Vilsack
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board - Jun 20, 1996 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Jul 29, 1994 D Stephen G. Breyer
U.S. Surgeon General - Sep 07, 1993 D M. Joycelyn Elders
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Aug 03, 1993 D Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Oct 15, 1991 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Oct 02, 1990 R David Souter
US Ambassador to Bahamas - Jul 08, 1989 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Feb 03, 1988 R Anthony M. Kennedy
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Oct 23, 1987 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Chief Justice - Sep 17, 1986 NPA Reject
Supreme Court - Associate Justice - Sep 17, 1986 R Antonin Scalia
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1984 DFL Walter F. "Fritz" Mondale
IA US President - D Caucuses - Jan 24, 1984 DFL Walter F. "Fritz" Mondale
US President - D Primaries - Jul 01, 1976 D Jimmy Carter
IA US President - D Caucuses - Jan 19, 1976 D Jimmy Carter