Tammy Baldwin

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Tammy Baldwin
Tammy Baldwin, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
United States Senator
from Wisconsin
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with Ron Johnson
Preceded by Herb Kohl
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1999 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Scott Klug
Succeeded by Mark Pocan
Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 78th district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 1999
Preceded by David Clarenbach
Succeeded by Mark Pocan
Personal details
Born Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin
(1962-02-11) February 11, 1962 (age 52)
Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Lauren Azar (2010–present)
Alma mater Smith College
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Website Official website

Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) is the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district.

Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, in the 2012 U.S. Senate election. She is the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the Senate and the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history. As of 2012, Baldwin's voting record makes her one of the most liberal members of Congress.[1]

Early life, education, and early political career

Baldwin was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of Pamela (née Green) and Joseph Edward Baldwin. She was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents.[2][3] Her maternal grandfather, biochemist David E. Green, was Jewish (the son of immigrants from Russia and Germany), and her maternal grandmother, who was Anglican, was English-born.[4] Baldwin's aunt is biochemist Rowena Green Matthews; through her maternal grandfather, Baldwin is a third cousin of comedian Andy Samberg.[5][6]

Baldwin graduated from Madison West High School in 1980 as the class valedictorian. She earned a B.A. degree from Smith College in 1984 and a J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989.[7] She practiced law from 1989 to 1992.[8]

Baldwin was first elected to political office in 1986 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position she held until 1994. She also served one year on the Madison City Council to fill a vacancy in the coterminous district.[9]

Wisconsin Assembly (1993–1999)

Elections

In 1992, Baldwin ran to represent Wisconsin's 78th Assembly District. She won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 43% of the vote.[10] In the general election, Baldwin defeated Mary Kay Baum (Labor and Farm party nominee) and Patricia Hevenor (Republican party nominee) 59%-23%-17%.[11] She was one of just six openly gay political candidates nationwide to win a general election in 1992.[12]

In 1994, Baldwin won reelection to a second term with 76% of the vote.[13] In 1996, she won reelection to a third term with 71% of the vote.[14]

Tenure

Baldwin was the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly and one of a very few openly gay politicians in the country at the time. In 1993, Baldwin said she was disappointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton's compromise on LGBT rights in supporting the military's don't ask, don't tell policy.[15] In early 1994, she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin.[16][17] In 1995, she proposed domestic partnerships in Wisconsin.[18]

Baldwin opposes capital punishment in Wisconsin.[19]

Committee assignments

  • Criminal Justice Committee[20]
  • Education Committee (Chair)[21]

U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2013)

Baldwin presiding over the House while serving as Speaker Pro Tempore

Elections

In 1998, U.S. Congressman Scott Klug of the 2nd District, based in Madison, announced he would retire, prompting Baldwin to run for the seat. She won the Democratic primary with a plurality of 37% of the vote.[22] In the general election, she defeated Republican nominee Josephine Musser 53%-47%.[23]

Baldwin was the first woman elected to Congress from Wisconsin. She was also the first openly gay person elected to the House of Representatives.[24]

In 2000, Baldwin won reelection to a second term, defeating Republican John Sharpless 51%-49%, a difference of 8,902 votes. While she lost eight of the district's nine counties, she carried the largest, Dane County, with 55 percent of the vote—enough to give her the victory.[25]

After the 2000 census, the 2nd District was made significantly more Democratic in redistricting. Baldwin won reelection to a third term in the newly redrawn 2nd district with 66% of the vote against Republican Ron Greer.[26] In 2004, she beat Dave Magnum 63%-37%.[27] She won a 2006 rematch against Magnum, again winning 63%-37%.[28] In 2008, she defeated Peter Theron 69%-31%,[29] and in 2010 she won a seventh term with 62% of the vote against Chad Lee.[30]

Tenure

Philosophy

In October 2012, Baldwin described herself as a proud progressive. Specifically, she said, "Fighting Bob La Follette stood up to fight the monopolies of the day and wanted people to have a stronger voice. We have the same powerful interests today who think they can write their own rules in Washington ... I consider myself a progressive and a fighter who's not afraid to stand up to those interests."[31]

In 2003 Baldwin served on the advisory committee of the Progressive Majority, a political networking group dedicated to electing progressive candidates to public office.[32]

Baldwin is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. According to a 2011 National Journal survey, Baldwin was among the most liberal members of the House.[32] As of 2012, Baldwin's voting record made her one of the most liberal members of Congress.[1]

Opposition to Iraq War

On October 10, 2002, Baldwin was among the 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq. She invoked "postwar challenges," saying that "there is no history of democratic government in Iraq", its "economy and infrastructure are in ruins after years of war and sanctions," and rebuilding would take "a great deal of money."[33] In 2005, she joined the Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus.[citation needed]

Impeachment of Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales

On August 1, 2007, Baldwin cosponsored H. Res. 333, a bill proposing articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney, and H Res. 589, a bill proposing the impeachment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. On January 20, 2008, Baldwin wrote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that on Dec. 14, 2007, "I joined with my colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee, Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), in urging Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to conduct hearings on a resolution of impeachment now pending consideration in that committee." Although some constituents "say I have gone too far," others "argue I have not gone far enough" and feel "we are losing our democracy and that I should do more to hold the Bush administration accountable for its actions."[34]

Baldwin speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.
Health care reform

An outspoken advocate of single-payer, government-run health insurance since her days as a state legislator, Baldwin introduced the Health Security for All Americans Act, aimed at creating such a system, multiple times, beginning in 2000.[citation needed]

On July 26, 2004, Baldwin spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in prime time on the issue of health care. During the 110th Congress, Baldwin wrote several pieces of legislation that were passed by the House. The Reeve Paralysis Act authorizes additional funding for the treatment of ailments that result in immobility, while the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Act increases funding for low-income women to receive preventative screenings. Another bill she authored, the Veteran Vision Equity Act, guarantees benefits for military veterans.[35]

Baldwin introduced provisions to the healthcare reform bill that specifically addressed disparities in health care for queer and trans* communities. Most significant among them were the “Early Treatment for HIV Act,” which sought to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income individuals living with HIV or AIDS; the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, which sought to end the tax for gay employees whose partners are covered under their employment health insurance coverage; and a provision to collect data toward ending disparities in health care for queer and trans* people. None of these provisions were included in the final version of the PPACA, though there was some relief for HIV-positive individuals who have to purchase expensive AIDS-related medications. Baldwin did, however, author the amendment to the PPACA that allowed Americans to stay on their parents' plans until the age of 26, a significant part of the legislation.

In November 2009, Baldwin voted for the version of healthcare reform that included a public option, a government-run healthcare plan that would have competed with private insurers, but only the House passed that version. She ultimately voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that become law in 2010.[citation needed]

Women's rights
US Senator Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin speaking at a US Department of Justice event.

Baldwin lent her support to such initiatives as the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and voted for the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.[36][37] These acts criminalize and outline prosecution guidelines and punishments for wage discrimination based on sex. She received a grade of 100 from the League of Women Voters as of 2007.[38] She has received favorable evaluations from other civil rights groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union.[38]

Baldwin has advanced what she sees as stronger enforcement of laws against sexual violence and violence against women.[36] She is a supporter of the Violence Against Women Act, which allowed victims of sexual violence and other sexual crimes to take their cases to federal courts and provided funding for various anti-sexual violence initiatives and programs. She is also among the sponsors of a resolution to promote and support National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.[36]

Baldwin has promoted her efforts on behalf of women's health and reproductive rights.[36] She sponsored the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, which helped low-income, underinsured, and uninsured women pay for cervical and breast cancer-related medical services.[36][39]

Minority Rights

Bahai groups praised her for supporting a bill that would make the desecration of Bahai cemeteries a violation of religious freedom.[40]

Resolution on 9/11 victims

Baldwin was one of 22 members of Congress to vote against a 2006 resolution honoring victims of the September 11 attacks on the fifth anniversary of 9/11. (The resolution passed 395-22.) Baldwin says she voted against the resolution because it used divisive language amounting to an endorsement of the Patriot Act and immigration bills she characterized as overly harsh.[41][42]

Her vote received renewed attention in the 2012 U.S. Senate campaign when Tommy Thompson's campaign released an ad about it. Thompson said in a statement, "Wisconsin voters need to know that Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin put her extreme views above honoring the men and women who were murdered by the terrorists in the Sept. 11 attacks on our nation."[41] The Baldwin campaign responded by saying Thompson's ad was a "dishonest attack that tries to suggest Tammy Baldwin opposes honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks."[41]

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate (2013–present)

2012 election

Baldwin and Thompson debating during the 2012 election

Baldwin ran as the Democratic nominee against Republican nominee Tommy Thompson, who had formerly been governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services. She announced her candidacy on September 6, 2011, in a video emailed to supporters.[43] She ran uncontested in the primary election,[citation needed] and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention about tax policy, campaign finance reform, and equality in the United States.[44]

She was endorsed by Democracy for America, and she received campaign funding from EMILY's List, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and LPAC.[45] Baldwin was endorsed by the editorial board of The Capital Times, who wrote that "Baldwin's fresh ideas on issues ranging from job creation to health care reform, along with her proven record of working across lines of partisanship and ideology, and her grace under pressure mark her as precisely the right choice to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl."[46]

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson claimed that her “far left approach leaves this country in jeopardy.”[47]

The candidates had three debates, on September 28,[48][49] October 18,[50] and October 26.[51] According to Baldwin's Federal Election Commission filings, she raised about $12 million, over $5 million more than her opponent.[52]

On November 6, 2012, Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Because of her 14 years in the House of Representatives, under Senate rules she had the highest seniority in her entering class of senators.[53]

The senator was featured in Time's November 19 edition in the Verbatim section, where she was quoted as saying "I didn't run to make history" on her historic election.[54] In a separate section, she was also mentioned as a new face to watch in the Senate.[55]

Committee assignments

Electoral history

Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 1998[57]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 116,377 52.49% +11.49
Republican Josephine Musser 103,528 46.69% -10.68%
Write-ins 1,578 0.80% +0.76%
Turnout 221,693 -21.50%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing
Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2000[58]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 163,534 51.36% -1.13%
Republican John Sharpless 154,632 48.56% +2.07%
Write-ins 214 0.06% -0.70%
Turnout 318,380 +30.36
Democratic hold Swing
Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2002[59]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 163,313 66.00% +14.64
Republican Ron Greer 83,694 33.82% -14.74%
Write-ins 403 0.16% +0.10
Turnout 247,410 -28.68%
Democratic hold Swing
Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2004[60]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 251,637 63.26% -2.74%
Republican Dave Magnum 145,810 36.66% +2.84%
Write-ins 277 0.06% -0.10%
Turnout 397,724 +37.79%
Democratic hold Swing
Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2006[61]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 191,414 62.82% -0.56%
Republican Dave Magnum 113,015 37.09% +0.53%
Write-ins 259 0.08% +0.02%
Turnout 304,688 -23.39%
Democratic hold Swing
Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2008[62]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 277,914 69.33% +6.51%
Republican Peter Theron 122,513 30.56% 6.53%
Write-ins 414 0.10%
Turnout 400,841 +23.98%
Democratic hold Swing
Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2010[63]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 191,164 61.73% -7.60%
Republican Chad Lee 118,099 38.16% +7.60%
Write-ins 197 0.06% -0.04%
Turnout 309,460 -22.79%
Democratic hold Swing
2012 United States Senate election, Wisconsin[64]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Tammy Baldwin 1,547,104 51.41% -15.9
Republican Tommy Thompson 1,380,126 45.86% +16.4
Libertarian Joseph Kexel 62,240 2.07% +2.1
Independent Nimrod Allen, III 16,455 0.55% n/a
Other Scattered 3,486 0.12% +0.1
Majority 166,978 5.55
Turnout 3,009,411
Democratic hold Swing

Personal life

For fifteen years, Baldwin's domestic partner was Lauren Azar; in 2009, the couple registered as domestic partners in Wisconsin.[65] They separated in 2010.[66]

References

  1. ^ a b Bergquist, Lee (2012-10-27). "Election 2012 - Baldwin's voting record places her among top liberals". Jsonline.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  2. ^ "Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin". Ancestry.com. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  3. ^ Baldwin, Tammy. "About". Friends of Tammy Baldwin. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ Roehr, Bob (June 14, 2007). "Marriage activists mark Loving anniversary". The Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  5. ^ http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20674345,00.html
  6. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/new-senators-of-the-113th-congress-86141.html
  7. ^ "Tammy Baldwin's Biography". TammyBaldwin.house.gov. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  8. ^ "Biography". Tammybaldwin.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  9. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 2003-2004,' Biographical Sketch of Tammy Baldwin, pg. 13
  10. ^ "WI State House 78 - D Primary Race - Sep 08, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  11. ^ "WI State House 78 Race - Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  12. ^ "AIDS, gay rights top agenda". The Telegraph-Herald. January 4, 1993. 
  13. ^ "WI State House 78 Race - Nov 08, 1994". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  14. ^ "WI State House 78 Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Baldwin disappointed with Clinton compromise". The Milwaukee Journal. July 20, 1993. 
  16. ^ Weintraub, Joanne (February 11, 1994). "Activist denounces move to legalize gay marriages". The Milwaukee Journal. 
  17. ^ "Lesbian can't adopt child". The Milwaukee Sentinel. June 9, 1994. 
  18. ^ "Benefits/ Mates gain coverage". The Milwaukee Journal. July 17, 1995. 
  19. ^ "JSOnline.com News Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. 1994-09-16. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  20. ^ "'Pre-emption bill' deserves to be shot down". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. April 3, 1995. 
  21. ^ "Former prisoners blast, laud prison 'boot camp'". The Telegraph-Herald. December 17, 1993. 
  22. ^ "WI - District 02 - D Primary Race - Sep 08, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  23. ^ "WI District 2 Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Tammy Baldwin: Openly gay lawmaker could make history in Wisconsin U.S. Senate race - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  25. ^ "WI District 2 Race - Nov 07, 2000". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  26. ^ "WI District 2 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ "WI - District 02 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  28. ^ "WI - District 02 Race - Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  29. ^ "WI - District 02 Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  30. ^ "WI - District 02 Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Baldwin: i'm proud to be a progressive". Fdlreporter.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  32. ^ a b "Vote Ratings 2010". National Journal. Atlantic Media. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  33. ^ Pincus, Walter. "Democrats Who Opposed War Move Into Key Positions". Washington Post. 
  34. ^ Tammy Baldwin (Jan 20, 2008). "Impeachment resolution a matter of accountability". JSOnline. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  35. ^ "Congresswoman Tamy Baldwin - About Tammy". Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  36. ^ a b c d e "Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin - Women's Rights". Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  37. ^ "S.181 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 - U.S. Congress - OpenCongress". 
  38. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - Representative Tammy Baldwin - Interest Group Ratings". Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  39. ^ "H.R. 1132 (110th): National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (GovTrack.us)". Retrieved 2009-11-27. 
  40. ^ Passon, Kevin (11 September 2014). "Local Bahá’ís praise national leaders for stance against cemetery destruction in Iran". The Herald Independent. Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  41. ^ a b c Bergquist, Lee (2012-10-23). "Thompson ad attacks Baldwin on 9-11 vote". Jsonline.com. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  42. ^ Joseph, Cameron (2001-09-11). "Thompson ad hits Baldwin on vote against 9/11 memorial - The Hill's Video". Thehill.com. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  43. ^ Glauber, Bill (September 6, 2011). "Tammy Baldwin enters race for open Senate seat". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  44. ^ "Tammy Baldwin at the 2012 Democratic National Convention". September 6, 2012. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  45. ^ Craver, Jack (September 5, 2012). "Can Tammy Win?". Capital Times. Retrieved September 5, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Baldwin offers integrity and independence". The Capital Times. October 24, 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  47. ^ Kiely, Eugene (23 October 2012). "Smearing Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin Senate Race". Fact Check. Retrieved 30 October 2014. 
  48. ^ "Wisconsin Senate Debate - C-SPAN Video Library". C-spanvideo.org. 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  49. ^ Stein, Jason, and Lee Bergquist. "Baldwin, Thompson Spar on Their Records, Nation's Future". Jsonline.com. Retrieved September 28, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Wisconsin Senate Debate - C-SPAN Video Library". C-spanvideo.org. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  51. ^ "Wisconsin Senate Debate - C-SPAN Video Library". C-spanvideo.org. 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  52. ^ "Congressional Elections: Wisconsin Senate Race: 2012 Cycle". OpenSecrets. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  53. ^ McCord, Quinn (September 25, 2012). "Seniority Report". National Journal. Retrieved December 2, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Verbatim", Time, November 19, 2012: 15 
  55. ^ "The Senate - A Few New Faces", Time, November 19, 2012: 18 
  56. ^ 3:20 PM (2012-12-12). "Committee Assignments For 113th Congress Approved By Democratic Steering Committee". Democrats.senate.gov. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  57. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 1998". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  58. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2000". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  59. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2002". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  60. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2004". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  61. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2006". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  62. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2008". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  63. ^ "Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district election, 2010". Clerk.house.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  64. ^ 2012 County-by-County Report
  65. ^ Emily Miller (4 June 2010). "Lesbian Congresswoman Splits With Domestic Partner". Human Events. 
  66. ^ "Wis. congresswoman separates from longtime partner". WQOW. May 29, 2010. 

External links

Articles / presentations
Wisconsin State Assembly
Preceded by
David Clarenbach
Member of the Wisconsin Assembly
from the 78th district

1993–1999
Succeeded by
Mark Pocan
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Scott Klug
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district

1999–2013
Succeeded by
Mark Pocan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Herb Kohl
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Wisconsin
(Class 1)

2012
Most recent
United States Senate
Preceded by
Herb Kohl
United States Senator (Class 1) from Wisconsin
2013–present
Served alongside: Ron Johnson
Incumbent
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tim Scott
United States Senators by seniority
88th
Succeeded by
Jeff Flake