|Chuck Robb Biography||
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Charles Spittal "Chuck" Robb (born June 26, 1939) is an United States politician. He served as Governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986, and was later a United States Senate from 1989 until 2001. In 2004, he chaired the Iraq Intelligence Commission.
Charles Robb was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin in 1961. A Marine Corps veteran who finished first in his class at Quantico, Robb became a White House Honor Guard. It was there that he met and eventually married Lynda Bird Johnson Robb, the daughter of former U.S. President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Robb went on to serve two tours of duty in Vietnam, where he led a rifle company in combat, and was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war he attended the University of Virginia Law school earning a LL.D. in 1973, and following a federal judicial clerkship he entered private practice.
Lt. Governor and Governor
In 1977, Robb won election as a Democratic Party (United States) for the Lieutenant Governorship of Virginia. He served as Lieutenant Governor from 1978 to 1982 and as Governor from 1982 to 1986. In the 1977 election, Robb was the only of three Democrats running for statewide office to win that year, leaving him as the sole head of a political party that had not won a governor's race in a dozen years. Four years later in 1981, Robb led all three Democrats into office by appealing to conservatives who were disenchanted with his opponent's maverick style. Virginia Democrats again won all three statewide offices in 1985, which was viewed as an endorsement of Robb's leadership while in office. As a campaigner, Robb was capable but reserved. During a time when political communication styles were beginning to favor sound bites, Robb was known for speaking in paragraphs about complex policy issues. He was also noteworthy among his contemporaries for raising substantial sums of campaign funds. Politically, Robb was a moderate, but known as a conservative Democrat. As governor, he balanced the state budget without raising taxes, and dedicated an additional $1 billion dollars for education. He appointed a record number of women and minorities to state positions, including the first African American to the state Supreme Court. He was the first Virginia Governor in 25 years to use the death penalty. Robb was instrumental in creating the Super Tuesday primary that brought political power to the Southern states. He was also a co-founder in creating the Democratic Leadership Council. He was a strong vote-getter in Virginia in the 1980s and helped mold a more progressive Virginia Democratic Party than the one that had ruled the state for decades. He was considered a Presidential or Vice-Presidential prospect for a time.
Robb later served as Democratic member of the United States Senate from 1989 until 2001. Robb was elected in 1988, defeating Maurice Dawkins with 71% of the vote. Robb ranked annually as one of the most ideologically centrist Senators, and he often acted as a bridge between Democratic and Republican Party (United States) members, preferring background dealmaking to seeking the legislative limelight. His fellow Democrats removed him from the Budget Committee for advocating deeper cuts in federal spending. In 1991, he was one of a handful of Democratic Senators to support authorizing the use of force to expel Iraq forces from Kuwait. That same year he was one of only eleven Democrats to vote in favor of Clarence Thomas's controversial nomination to the Supreme Court. In 1992 he was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and during his term the DSCC raised record amounts of funding to elect seven new Democrats to the Senate. On social issues though, Robb was more liberal. He voted for the Assault Weapons Ban and against the execution of minors. He was opposed to a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. In 1993, he supported President Clinton's proposal to lift the ban on homosexuals in the armed forces. Three years later Robb was the only senator from a Southern state to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act. In stating his opposition to the bill, which his friends and supporters urged him to support, he said the following: "I feel very strongly that this legislation is wrong. Despite its name, the Defense of Marriage Act does not defend marriage against some imminent, crippling effect. Although we have made huge strides in the struggle against discrimination based on gender, race, and religion, it is more difficult to see beyond our differences regarding sexual orientation. The fact that our hearts don't speak in the same way is not cause or justification to discriminate." Some have speculated that his position on gay rights, along with his positions on other hot-button issues like abortion, only alienated the generally conservative voters of Virginia, contributing to his eventual defeat.
In 1991, Robb admitted that he had spent time with former Miss Virginia Tai Collins alone in a hotel room during the time he was Governor in the 1980's. However, he denied having an affair with her, merely - and arguably somewhat improbably - admitting to sharing a bottle of wine and receiving a nude massage. Collins later told Playboy magazine that the two had been having an affair since 1983. There were also rumors that during the time he was Governor, Robb was present at parties where cocaine was used. He strongly denied this when the issue was raised during his 1988 campaign for the US Senate. Also in 1991, three of his aides resigned after listening to illegally-recorded cell phone conversations of Virginia Governor (and possible 1994 Senate primary opponent) Doug Wilder. In 1994, Robb narrowly defeated former Iran-Contra figure Oliver North in a poor year nationally for Democrats and despite being outspent 4 to 1. United States Senate John Warner refused to support North, who had lied to congress and was a convicted felon, and instead backed third-party candidate and former Virginia Attorney General J. Marshall Coleman, whom Robb had defeated in the 1981 Gubernatorial contest. The 1994 senate campaign was documented in the 1996 film A Perfect Candidate. During the campaign, Robb won the endorsement of former Reagan Navy Secretary James H. Webb, and high profile Republicans such as Elliot Richardson, William Ruckelshaus, and William Colby. Following his re-election in 1994, Robb continued to promote fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense; he was the only senate Democrat to vote for all items in the GOP's "Contract With America" when they reached the senate floor, including a Balanced Budget amendment and a Line Item Veto. He became the only senator to simultaneously serve on all three national security committees: Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence. After two terms in the Senate and 25 years in statewide politics, he was defeated in a close race in 2000 by his Republican opponent, George Allen (politician), who was also a former governor. Robb was the only Democratic incumbent senator to be defeated in that election.
Following his two terms in the Senate, Robb served on the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Naval Academy, and began teaching at George Mason University School of Law. On February 6, 2004, Robb was appointed co-chair of the Iraq Intelligence Commission, an independent panel tasked with investigating U.S. intelligence surrounding the United States' 2003 invasion of Iraq and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In 2006 he was appointed to serve on the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He also serves on the Iraq Study Group with former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. A New York Times article on October 9, 2006 credited Robb with being the only member of the group to venture outside the American controlled "green zone" on a recent trip to Baghdad. He is also a former member of the Trilateral Commission. Category:1939 births Category:Living people Category:Vietnam War veterans Category:Lieutenant Governors of Virginia Category:Governors of Virginia Category:United States Senators from Virginia pl:Chuck Robb
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/