Roy Romer

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Roy Romer
Roy Romer Colorado.jpg
Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District
In office
June 7, 2000 – November 13, 2006
Preceded byRamon C. Cortines (Acting)
Succeeded byDavid Brewer
General Chair of the Democratic National Committee
In office
January 21, 1997 – September 25, 1999
Served with Steven Grossman (National Chair)
Preceded byChris Dodd
Succeeded byEd Rendell
39th Governor of Colorado
In office
January 13, 1987 – January 12, 1999
LieutenantMike Callihan
Samuel H. Cassidy
Gail Schoettler
Preceded byRichard Lamm
Succeeded byBill Owens
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
August 4, 1992 – August 17, 1993
Preceded byJohn Ashcroft
Succeeded byCarroll Campbell
Treasurer of Colorado
In office
March 23, 1977 – January 13, 1987
GovernorRichard Lamm
Preceded bySam Brown
Succeeded byGail Schoettler
Personal details
BornRoy Rudolf Romer
(1928-10-31) October 31, 1928 (age 90)
Garden City, Kansas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Bea Romer (née Miller)
Children7 (including Paul and Chris)
EducationColorado State University, Fort Collins (BA)
University of Colorado, Boulder (LLB)
Yale University
Military service
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Air Force
Battles/warsKorean War

Roy Rudolf Romer (born October 31, 1928) is an American politician, who served as the 39th Governor of Colorado and served as the superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District from 2000 to 2006.

Family and education[edit]

Romer was born in Garden City, Kansas, the son of Margaret Elizabeth (Snyder) and Irving Rudolph Romer.[1] He grew up in the southeastern Colorado town of Holly. Romer received a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Colorado State University in 1950, where he served for one year as President of the Associated Students of Colorado State University. He later received a law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1952. He also studied ethics for one year at Yale Divinity School, and was a legal officer in the U.S. Air Force. He and his wife, Bea, have seven children, 19 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. His son Paul Romer is a Nobel Prize winning economist, and another son Chris Romer was elected to a Colorado State Senate seat from Denver in November 2006. He also had a 16-year long extramarital affair with a close friend from about 1982 to 1996. He apologized for the affair during a 1998 press conference and denied ever having sex outside of marriage, although he admitted to hugging and kissing his mistress.[2]

Early professional activities[edit]

In the 1950s and 1960s, Romer was an attorney in Denver. He was also active in the management of his family's agricultural operations throughout Colorado. Romer has continued and is also the owner, with one of his sons, of a chain of John Deere equipment dealerships in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He helped develop Colorado's Centennial Airport, ran a flying school and owned and operated a ski area.

Political career[edit]

Colorado state government[edit]

Romer served in the Colorado House of Representatives from 1958 to 1962 and in the Colorado Senate from 1962 to 1966. Romer was Colorado State Treasurer from 1977 to 1987 (winning re-election to full four-year terms in 1978 and 1982), and a member of the governor's cabinet. Romer was first elected as governor in 1986, and re-elected in 1990 and 1994; he was the last Colorado governor to serve three terms.[3] In 1997, Romer, along with Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt and Wyoming Governor Jim Geringer, led a bipartisan team of 19 state governors in the founding of Western Governors University.

National political positions[edit]

Romer chaired the Democratic Governors Association in 1991. In 1992, he was co-chairman of the Democratic National Platform Committee. Romer served as national vice chair of the Democratic Leadership Council, and was a national co-chairman of the Clinton-Gore '96 campaign. In January 1997, Romer was elected to serve as general chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

From 1992 to 1993, Romer served as chair of the National Governors Association. In 1994–1995 he chaired the Education Commission of the States, and in 1995, was part of a bipartisan effort by the nation's governors to reform Medicaid.

Romer v. Evans[edit]

In law, his name is associated with the anti-discrimination suit Romer v. Evans that was brought to the Supreme Court during his tenure as Governor of Colorado. Though he was opposed to the amendment to the Constitution of Colorado in question, he defended the law in state and federal court in his position as Governor during litigation. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled against the state's defense of Amendment 2, that it had “a rational relationship to legitimate state interests". The Court then invalidated Amendment 2 under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution. The state ultimately failed to give a "rational basis" to the purpose of the law. The case did not go as far to ruling that homosexuals are protected as intermediate or strict scrutiny under the Fourteenth Amendment and left that question to lower federal and state courts to decide.

Romer v. Grant[edit]

In October 2004, Roy Romer and the Los Angeles Unified School District filed suit in the United States District Court, Central District of California against David Grant, a former student of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The suit cited false endorsement of the Lanham Act, violation of the Can-Spam Act, California Statutory Cyber Piracy, violation of the right of publicity under California statutory and common law, and California statutory unfair competition.

The lawsuit alleged David Grant attempted to lure the district's 700,000 students to a pornographic website. Roy Romer and the Los Angeles Unified School District subsequently settled the suit by paying Grant $360,000.00 in exchange for the domain name royromer.com.

Professional activities[edit]

Romer in 2010

On June 7, 2000,[4] he became Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he served for six years. On October 12, 2006, the Los Angeles Board of Education unanimously named David L. Brewer III as his successor.

On April 25, 2007, Roy Romer began his service as the chairman and lead spokesman for Strong American Schools, a nonprofit project responsible for running Ed in 08, an information and initiative campaign funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli and Edythe Broad foundation, aimed at encouraging 2008 presidential contenders to include education in their campaign policies.[5]

Honors and awards[edit]

In 2008, a middle school in Los Angeles was named after him and it was first opened to students in September of that year.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Irene English Shoemaker (1990). Van Buskirk, a legacy from New Amsterdam: a genealogy of the descendants of Lauren Andriessen and Jannetje Jans, married New Amsterdam 12 December 1658. R.W. Shoemaker.
  2. ^ Woodruff, Judy (February 6, 1998). "Romer Acknowledges Extramarital Relationship". CNN.
  3. ^ The Colorado constitution now limits governors to two consecutive terms and eight years in office ("Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27. Retrieved 2007-03-24.)
  4. ^ "Colorado Ex-Governor Takes Schools Post". The New York Times. The Associated Press. June 7, 2000.
  5. ^ Herszenhorn, David M. (April 25, 2007). "Billionaires Start $60 Million Schools Effort". The New York Times.
  6. ^ "School starts today for LAUSD students". Torrance Daily Breeze. September 3, 2008.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Robert Knous
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Colorado
(Class 2)

1966
Succeeded by
Floyd K. Haskell
Preceded by
Richard Lamm
Democratic nominee Governor of Colorado
1986, 1990, 1994
Succeeded by
Gail Schoettler
Preceded by
Dick Celeste
Chair of the Democratic Governors Association
1990–1991
Succeeded by
John D. Waihe'e III
Preceded by
Chris Dodd
General Chair of the Democratic National Committee
1997–1999
Served alongside: Steven Grossman (National Chair)
Succeeded by
Ed Rendell
Political offices
Preceded by
Sam Brown
Treasurer of Colorado
1977–1987
Succeeded by
Gail Schoettler
Preceded by
Richard Lamm
Governor of Colorado
1987–1999
Succeeded by
Bill Owens
Preceded by
John Ashcroft
Chair of the National Governors Association
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Carroll Campbell
Academic offices
Preceded by
Ramon C. Cortines
Acting
Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District
2000–2006
Succeeded by
David Brewer