Marc Racicot

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Marc Racicot
60th Chairperson of the Republican National Committee
In office
December 5, 2001 – July 25, 2003
Preceded by Jim Gilmore
Succeeded by Ed Gillespie
21st Governor of Montana
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 1, 2001
Lieutenant Denny Rehberg
Judy Martz
Preceded by Stan Stephens
Succeeded by Judy Martz
20th Attorney General of Montana
In office
January 5, 1989 – January 5, 1993
Governor Stan Stephens
Preceded by Mike Greely
Succeeded by Joseph Mazurek
Personal details
Born (1948-07-24) July 24, 1948 (age 66)
Thompson Falls, Montana, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Theresa Racicot
Alma mater Carroll College
University of Montana, Missoula
Religion Roman Catholicism

Marc Racicot (/ˈrɑːsk/; born July 24, 1948) is a lobbyist, politician and member of the Republican Party. He served as the Governor of Montana from 1993 until 2001.[1] After leaving office, Racicot worked as a lobbyist for the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani. His notable clients included Enron, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, and the Recording Industry Association of America.[2][3] He also served as chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2002 until 2003, when he was appointed as the chairman of the Bush re-election campaign. In 2000 as well as 2004 he was rumored to be Bush's choice for Attorney General. During the 2000 election some saw him as a possible running mate for Bush.[4] The Washington Post described him as "one of Bush's closest friends and advisers".[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Racicot was born in Thompson Falls, Montana. He was raised in Miles City and Libby. His parents owned a foster home. His father was also a teacher, high school basketball coach, and track coach. He graduated from Libby High School. Racicot received a bachelor's degree in English from Carroll College in 1970. He was a starting basketball player in high school as well as Carroll College. He earned a law degree in 1973 from the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.

Early political career[edit]

As an Army ROTC graduate, Marc was immediately assigned as a prosecutor in the Army JAG Corps from 1973 to 1976. He was stationed in West Germany where he served as chief prosecutor for the largest U.S. military jurisdiction in Europe. While there, he also taught business and criminal law for the University of Maryland. After three years, he was discharged from the Army as a captain and returned to Montana in 1976.

He became the deputy county attorney for Missoula County from 1976 to 1977. After that, he became a special prosecutor for Montana statewide in 1977, and served that position until 1988. During this time, he had a conviction rate of 95%. He lost only two cases in twelve years. He convicted Don and Dan Nichols, both of whom abducted Kari Swenson, an Olympic athlete, and murdered a would-be rescuer. In May 1985, Dan Nichols was sentenced to 20 years for kidnapping and assault. In September 1985, Don Nichols was sentenced to 85 years for kidnapping, murder, and aggravated assault.[6] In 1980 he ran for chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court, but was unsuccessful. He also ran for district judge in Lewis & Clark County in 1982 and Broadwater County in 1984, but lost both elections.[7]

Attorney General of Montana[edit]

In 1988, he ran for Attorney General of Montana. He defeated Democratic nominee Mike McGrath, the Lewis and Clark County Attorney, 52%-48%.[8] He served in this position until 1993.

Governor of Montana[edit]

Elections[edit]

In 1992, incumbent Governor Stan Stephens declined to run due to health problems. Racicot decided to run and easily won the Republican primary by defeating Andy Bennett 69%-31%.[9] He won every county in the state.[9] He then competed with Democratic State Representative Dorothy Bradley of Bozeman. Both candidates called for a 4% sales tax, but differed on how to spend such a tax. Racicot defeated her 51%-49%, a difference of 10,980 votes.[10]

In 1996 Racicot ran for re-election. He easily defeated Rob Natelson in the Republican primary, 76%-24%.[11] He was challenged in the general election by long-time state State Senator Chet Blaylock. Polls showed that Racicot maintained a sizable lead over Blaylock during the campaign.[12] A few weeks before the election however, Blaylock unexpectedly died of a heart attack on the way to a debate.[12] Reluctantly, his little known running mate, Judy Jacobson continued the drive but had little time to launch her own campaign. Because the election was so near, the voting ballots could only be changed to show Jacobson running for both governor and lieutenant governor. In one of the largest margins in state history, Racicot defeated Jacobson, 79%–21%, winning every county in the state.[13]

Tenure[edit]

After working with the Montana State Legislature to eliminate the $200 million deficit in 1993, the Racicot Administration produced a $22.4 million budget surplus the year after. They used the surplus to cut taxes.

As governor, Racicot approved legislation that deregulated the utility sector in Montana. This legislation was sought by the Montana Power Company, the major utility supplier in the state. Following passage, the Montana Power Company divested itself of its utility operations and became a telecommunications company. The company filed for bankruptcy a few years later. The final result of this sweeping deregulation of Montana's utilities was a drastic rise in rates for most of the power customers in Montana.[14] Workers with pensions from Montana Power were suddenly left without income.

Chairman of the RNC[edit]

On December 5, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that he would appoint Racicot, a strong Bush ally,[15] to become the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was one of Bush's earliest supporters and was a very effective spokesman for the Bush campaign in the recount debacle.[16][17] In addition, Racicot was Bush's first choice for U.S. Attorney General, but he took himself off the list for personal reasons.[18][19][20][21] In order to be confirmed, he severed ties to lobbying organizations that were connected to Enron.[22] On January 18, 2002 the 165-member RNC unanimously ratified Racicot.[23]

Racicot was extremely successful as the Republican party performed very well in the 2002 midterm elections.[24] Republicans took control the U.S. Senate, making Bill Frist the Senate Majority Leader. In the wake of the McCain-Feingold finance reform, the RNC raised a record-$250 million in soft money.[25]

In January 2003, he decided to resign to become Chairman of the Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.[26] Bush appointed Ed Gillespie as the next Chairman of the RNC.[27]

2004 presidential election[edit]

Racicot was the Chairman of Bush's re-election campaign from 2003 to 2004, the entire election cycle.[28] He said of his job: "I'm just a utility infielder."[29] Racicot calls U.S. Senator John Kerry "out of the mainstream" and dismissed all polls suggesting Kerry would win.[30][31] He also said Kerry's "record on defense and intelligence funding is not defensible."[32]

Bush won re-election to a second term, defeating Kerry 51%-48%.[33]

Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct[edit]

On a Dateline NBC special which aired in August of 2013, it was suggested that Racicot engaged in prosecutorial misconduct while serving as Montana special prosecutor in the case of Barry Beach and, thereafter, in taking part of an apparent coverup. Racicot prosecuted Barry Beach in 1984 for the murder of Kimberly Nees in Poplar Springs, Montana. It was suggested that his prosecution took place under questionable circumstances and Racicot was on record on Dateline as stating that bloody handprints found at the scene of the murder were of, "no probative value" to the case.[34] The case against Beach relied entirely on a taped confession that was later erased, as well as stating that evidence existed in open court that did not exist, such as a pubic hair that supposedly belonged to Barry Beach that was ruled inadmissible because a definite match could not be made and the hair could not even be found in the evidence locker. The general lack of evidence against Barry Beach has lead some[35] (including a Montana District Court Judge) to conclude that a wrongful conviction was obtained and a coverup had taken place that Racicot had taken part in, as well as that he had knowingly made false statements and purjured himself in open court. No investigation of Racicot's prosecutorial misconduct has yet taken place and Barry Beach remains in prison serving his 100 year sentence without the possibility of parole. [34]

Private sector career[edit]

Racicot served as President of the American Insurance Association (AIA), an insurance industry lobbying group[36] from June 13, 2005[37] to February 1, 2009.[38] He said "The AIA is widely regarded as one of the most effective business advocacy groups in state capitols and in the halls of Congress, and I am looking forward to beginning this next chapter of my career, and immersing myself in the industry challenges that must be resolved in the immediate future, such as extension of the national terrorism insurance program, as well as longer-term priorities, such as addressing lawsuit abuse and modernizing the industry’s regulatory system.”[37]

He serves as a current board member for Jobs for America’s Graduates and the Board of Visitors of University of Montana School of Law, and is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a division of which is AmeriCorps. He has also served on the Board of the Lewis & Clark County United Way, and is a past chairman of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth, where his predecessor was former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He is a director of Massachusetts Mutual Life Association and a former partner at the Texas-based law firm Bracewell & Giuliani.

Electoral history[edit]

Montana Gubernatorial Election 1992
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Marc Racicot 209,401 51.35
Democratic Dorothy Bradley 198,421 48.65
Montana Gubernatorial Election 1996
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Marc Racicot (incumbent) 320,768 79.17
Democratic Judy Jacobson 84,407 20.83

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Former State Governors". www.netstate.com. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ Lewis, Charles (December 20, 2001). "The GOP's New Lobbyist in Chief". Washington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  3. ^ Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Marc Racicot". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 26, 2011. 
  4. ^ Jeffrey St. Clair: Marc Racicot, Bush's Main Man
  5. ^ 2000 Presidential Election
  6. ^ http://www.islandparknews.com/atf.php?sid=2172
  7. ^ http://mt.gov/racicot/other/marcbio.asp
  8. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=34038
  9. ^ a b http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=380929
  10. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=142629
  11. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=380930
  12. ^ a b "Montana Candidate Dies Before Debate". New York Times. October 24, 1996. 
  13. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=82383
  14. ^ http://helenair.com/news/state-and-regional/racicot-s-revisionist-history-on-utility-deregulation/article_44a12898-0ad1-5b7f-a8b6-485c63994364.html
  15. ^ "CNN Transcript". CNN. 
  16. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=nboaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zj4EAAAAIBAJ&pg=5104,4385620&dq=marc+racicot&hl=en
  17. ^ "COUNTING THE VOTE: THE TEXAS GOVERNOR; Allies of Bush Attempt to Discredit Recount Procedures". The New York Times. November 19, 2000. 
  18. ^ Lester, Will (November 30, 2001). "GOP national chairman resigns post". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  19. ^ "Bush taps Racicot as GOP chairman". Chicago Sun-Times. December 5, 2001. 
  20. ^ Martin, Gary. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SAEC&p_theme=saec&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F03AE907B695E49&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=WT&p_theme=wt&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F1118C83B2D2A6E&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ Berke, Richard L. (January 18, 2002). "G.O.P. Weighs Chief's Stance on Enron Tie". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=WT&p_theme=wt&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F126B26C476EE94&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=NWEC&p_theme=nwec&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0F7B4F2EC417F419&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/08/08/marc-racicot-bush-s-main-man/
  26. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=t9JYAAAAIBAJ&sjid=u_IDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4623,5445685&dq=marc+racicot&hl=en
  27. ^ http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2003/jun/16/20030616-104105-5356r/
  28. ^ Memmott, Mark (September 17, 2004). "Bush faces ad barrage". USA Today. 
  29. ^ http://www.greatfallstribune.com/news/stories/20040829/localnews/1138088.html
  30. ^ http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=DP&p_theme=dp&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=104D3D3526DFD81C&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. ^ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1692558
  32. ^ "Candidate Bush Starts Striking At Democrats". Boston Globe. February 24, 2004. 
  33. ^ http://triblive.com/x/valleyindependent/news/s_269003.html#axzz2TnXi0mNN
  34. ^ a b http://insidedateline.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/04/04/858999.aspx?p=1
  35. ^ http://www.change.org/petitions/state-of-montana-in-the-name-of-justice-free-barry-beach-3
  36. ^ http://www.aiadc.org/AIApub/
  37. ^ a b http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2005/06/13/55908.htm
  38. ^ http://www.aiadc.org/AIAdotNET/docHandler.aspx?DocID=318741
Political offices
Preceded by
Mike Greely
Attorney General of Montana
1989–1993
Succeeded by
Joseph Mazurek
Preceded by
Stan Stephens
Governor of Montana
1993–2001
Succeeded by
Judy Martz
Party political offices
Preceded by
Stan Stephens
Republican nominee for Governor of Montana
1992, 1996
Succeeded by
Judy Martz
Preceded by
Jim Gilmore
Chairperson of the Republican National Committee
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Ed Gillespie