Michigan
MI

JohnDingellRep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) will retire at the end of his current term, capping a historic career as the longest-serving member of Congress in history.

In prepared remarks for his annual "State of the District" speech distributed by his office Monday afternoon, Dingell described his decision as personal and rooted in the standards he had set for himself as a lawmaker.

"Around this time every two years, my wife Deborah and I confer on the question of whether I will seek reelection. My standards are high for this job. I put myself to the test and have always known that when the time came that I felt I could not live up to my own personal standard for a Member of Congress, it would be time to step aside for someone else to represent this district. That time has come," Dingell was set to say, according to the prepared remarks.

Dingell first announced his decision to Michigan newspapers. "I’m not going to be carried out feet first," Dingell told the Detroit News. "I don’t want people to say I stayed too long."

ingell, 87, has served in the House for nearly 60 years. He became the longest-serving member of Congress last summer. He said his health was good enough for him to make another run, but he decried the hostile tone that has come to define business on Capitol Hill these days.

Dingell told the Detroit News he finds "serving in the House to be obnoxious" and that "it's become very hard because of the acrimony and bitterness, both in Congress and in the streets." In his prepared "State of the District" remarks, Dingell said he was hopeful the "fever" that has come over Congress will break.

First elected in 1955 to succeed his father, Dingell has achieved legendary status in the House, where he has left a mark on historic pieces of legislation ranging from the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act, to name a few.

Even as he built a career that brought him veneration on Capitol Hill, Dingell butted heads with some in his own party. Following redistricting, Dingell survived a primary against a fellow Democratic member in 2002 -- one who had the backing of now-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), no less. In 2008, another Pelosi ally, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), ousted Dingell as chairman of the highly influential House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Dingell's district is expected to remain in Democratic hands: President Obama won 66 percent of the vote there in 2012. Dingell's wife, Debbie Dingell, is a possible candidate to succeed her husband in the Ann Arbor-based district. She is an experienced political hand who flirted with a Senate bid last year before declining to run, clearing the way for Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) to pursue the Senate with his party squarely behind him.

"She’s been my guide, my counsel, my friend and my closest adviser," Dingell told the Detroit News.

Dingell told the Washington Post today that he wasn't sure if his wife would run for his seat. “You’ll have to talk to the lovely Deborah," he said. "She is the one who is going to make that decision. She has not told me what she’s planning on doing."

Born in Colorado Springs, Colo., on July 8, 1926, Dingell was raised in Detroit and Washington. He joined the Army at age 18 during World War II and rose to the rank of second lieutenant before earning a law degree from Georgetown University.

Dingell joins 22 other House members who are seeking and not seeking the office of senator or governor.

Members of both parties showered Dingell with praise Monday upon learning of his retirement.

"Today we honor the service and legacy of Michigan's greatest Congressman," tweeted Peters. "His accomplishments will never be forgotten."

Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) tweeted: "His leadership and skills will be missed in E & C."

Added Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), a tea party-aligned Republican: "Despite our differences, Congressman Dingell has always been kind and gracious -- and I will miss our elevator rides. Congrats on retirement."

Link to original article from The Washington Post

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MI Legislators with ALEC Ties

House of Representatives

  • Former Rep. Frank Accavitti, Jr. (D-42), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2008[102]
  • Majority Caucus Chair Dave Agema (R-74), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2008[102]
  • Former Rep. Fran Amos (R-43), registered for ALEC annual meeting in 2005 and paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2006 and 2007[102]
  • Former Rep. Richard A. Bandstra (R-Grand Rapids, 1985-1994, Michigan 3rd Court of Appeals through January 2003), Former "Public Sector Chairman," Civil Justice Task Force[103]
  • Former Rep. Bill Caul (R-99), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007[102]
  • Former House Speaker Craig DeRoche (R-38), paid ALEC membership dues in 2006 and sent three staffers to ALEC annual meeting in 2006 (for $1,200) with taxpayer funds[102]
  • Former Rep. Leon Drolet (R-33), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[102]
  • Former Rep. David Farhat (R-91), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[102]
  • Former Rep. Edward Gaffney (R-1), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007[102]
  • Rep. Judson Gilbert (R-81), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 while a state senator[104]
  • Rep. Gail Haines (R-43); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
  • Rep. Ken Horn (R-94), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2011[102], Civil Justice Task Force member
  • Former Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-90, now Michigan Congressman R-2), ALEC Alumni in Congress,[105] paid ALEC membership with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007 while a state representative[102]
  • Former Rep. Jerry Kooiman (R-75), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[102]
  • Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-44), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2011[102]
  • Rep. Kenneth Kurtz (R-58), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force[106]
  • Rep. Matthew Lori, (R-59), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force[106]
  • Rep. Peter J. Lund (R-36); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force
  • Rep. Tom McMillin (R-45), sponsored 2011 HB 4050. Compare to ALEC's "Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act"[107]
  • Former Rep. Kimberley Meltzer (R-33), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2009[102]
  • Former Rep. Tim Moore (R-97), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2007[102]
  • Rep. Aric Nesbitt (R-80); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
  • Former Rep. Tom Pearce (R-73), registered for 2006 ALEC annual meeting and paid 2009 ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds[102]
  • Rep. Amanda Price (R-89); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
  • Former Rep. Rick Shaffer (R-59), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007[102]
  • Former Rep. Fulton Sheen (R-88), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2006 and 2007[102]
  • Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-65), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2011[102]
  • Former Rep. John Stahl (R-82), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2008[102]
  • Former Rep. John Stakoe (R-44), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007[102]
  • Former Rep. Glenn Steil, Jr. (R-72), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007[102]
  • Former Rep. William Van Regenmorter (R-74), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[102]

Senate

  • Sen. Jason Allen (R-37), former ALEC State Chairman[108], paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2006[104]
  • Former Sen. Patricia Birkholz (R-24), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[104]
  • Sen. Darwin Booher (R-35), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2007 and 2009 while a state representative[102]
  • Former Sen. Cameran Brown (R-16), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[104]
  • Sen. Bruce Caswell (R-16), Health and Human Services Task Force[106]
  • Former Sen. Valde Garcia (R-22), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[104]
  • Sen. Mike Green (R-31), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2011[104]
  • Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-34), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2007 and 2009 (twice) while a state representative,[102] Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force member
  • Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-29), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005, 2007 and 2009 while a state representative,[102] and in 2011 while a state senator<ref="MichiganSenate"/>
  • Sen. Rick Jones (R-24), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 while a state representative[102]
  • Sen. Mike Kowall (R-15), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2009 while a state representative, and in 2011[102]
  • Former Sen. Wayne Kuipers (R-30), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[104]
  • Sen. Arlan B. Meekhoff (R-30), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2009 while a state representative[102]
  • Sen. John Moolenar (R-36), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005 and 2007 while a state representative[102]
  • Sen. Mike Nofs (R-19), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2008 while a state representative[102]
  • Former Sen. Bruce Patterson (R-7), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2009[104]
  • Sen. David B. Robertson (R-26), paid ALEC membership dues with taxpayer funds in 2005[102]
  • Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-20), State Chairman[109]; Civil Justice Task Force

Information from SourceWatch

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