Jay Rockefeller

Jay Rockefeller

Infobox Senator | name=Jay Rockefeller

jr/sr=Junior Senator
state=West Virginia
term_start=January 15, 1985
alongside=Robert Byrd
preceded=Jennings Randolph
order2 = 29th Governor of West Virginia
term_start2 = January 17, 1977
term_end2 = January 14, 1985
predecessor2 = Arch A. Moore, Jr.
successor2 = Arch A. Moore, Jr.
order3= Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
term_start3= January 4, 2007
preceded3=Pat Roberts
order4=Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs
term_start4=January 3, 1993
term_end4=January 3, 1995
preceded4=Alan Cranston
succeeded4=Alan Simpson
term_start5=January 3
term_end5=January 20, 2001
preceded5=Arlen Specter
succeeded5=Arlen Specter
term_start6=June 6, 2001
term_end6=January 3, 2003
preceded6=Arlen Specter
succeeded6=Arlen Specter
order7= 22nd Secretary of State of West Virginia
governor7=Arch A. Moore, Jr.
preceded7=Robert D. Bailey, Jr.
succeeded7=Edgar F. Heiskell, III
date of birth=birth date and age|1937|06|18
place of birth=New York City, New York
occupation= college administrator
residence= Charleston, West Virginia
spouse=Sharon Percy Rockefeller
children=John D. Rockefeller V
Valerie Rockefeller
Charles Rockefeller
Justin Rockefeller
alma_mater=Harvard University
net worth = $56-127.5 million (USD)cite web
title=Jay Rockefeller's Personal Finances

John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV (born June 18, 1937), generally known as Jay Rockefeller, has served as a Democratic U.S. Senator from West Virginia since 1985. He was Governor of West Virginia from 1977 to 1985. As a great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, he is the only current politician of the prominent six-generation Rockefeller family and the only Democrat in what has been a traditionally progressive Republican dynasty. [Only Democrat in a staunchly Republican dynastyndash see John Ensor Harr and Peter J. Johnson, "The Rockefeller Century: Three Generations of America's Greatest Family", New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988. (p.394)]

He is related to several prominent Republican supporters and former officeholders: he is a great-grandson of Rhode Island Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, a nephew of banker David Rockefeller and Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller and of former U.S. Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller, son-in-law of former Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois, and cousin of Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Winthrop Paul Rockefeller.

Early life, education, and family

Born in New York City to John D. Rockefeller III and Blanchette Ferry Hooker, Jay Rockefeller graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1954. He graduated from Harvard University in 1961 with a B.A. in Far Eastern Languages and History after having spent three years studying Japanese at the International Christian University in Tokyo.

After college, Rockefeller worked for the Peace Corps in Washington, D.C., under John F. Kennedy, where he developed a friendship with Robert Kennedy and worked as an assistant to Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver. He served as the operations director for the Corps' largest overseas program in the Philippines. He continued his public service in 1964–1965 as a VISTA volunteer, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, during which he moved to Emmons, West Virginia.

Rockefeller, along with his son Charles, is a trustee of New York's Asia Society, established by his father in 1956; he is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He voted against the 1993 North American Free Trade Agreement, which was heavily backed by his uncle, David Rockefeller.

Since 1967, Rockefeller has been married to the former Sharon Percy, the chief executive officer of WETA-TV, the leading PBS station in the Washington, D.C., area, which broadcasts such notable programs as "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and "Washington Week".

Sharon is the daughter of former U.S. Senator Charles H. Percy of Illinois, who had an association with the Rockefeller family. They have four children: John D. Rockefeller V ("Jamie"), Valerie, Charles, and Justin. Jamie's wife Emily is the daughter of former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The Rockefellers reside in Charleston, West Virginia. They also, like other members of the family, have a ranch in the Grand Teton National Park in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Bill Clinton (a friend of Rockefeller's) and his family spent their summer vacation in August, 1995, at the ranch. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?sec=travel&res=990CE0D8113AF931A25754C0A963958260&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fC%2fClinton%2c%20Bill CHRONICLE - New York Times ] ]

West Virginia state politics

He was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1966, and to the office of West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968. He won the Democratic nomination for Governor in 1972, but was defeated in the general election by the Republican incumbent Governor Arch Moore. Rockefeller then served as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1973 to 1976.

USS "Stump", July 1984

Rockefeller was elected Governor of West Virginia in 1976 and re-elected in 1980. He served as Governor when manufacturing plants and coal mines were closing as the national recession of the early 1980s hit West Virginia particularly hard. Between 1982 and 1984, West Virginia's unemployment rate hovered between 15 and 20 percent.

United States Senate

In 1984, he was elected to the United States Senate, narrowly defeating businessman John Raese as Ronald Reagan narrowly carried the state in the presidential election. As in his 1980 gubernatorial campaign against Arch Moore, Rockefeller spent over $12 million to win his Senate seat. To date, this has been the last competitive Senate race in West Virginia. Rockefeller was re-elected in 1990, 1996 and 2002 by substantial margins. He was chair of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs (1993–1995; January 3 to January 20, 2001, and June 6, 2001–January 3, 2003).

In April 1992, he was the Democratic Party's finance chairman and considered running for the presidency, but pulled out after consulting with friends and advisers. He went on to strongly endorse Clinton as the Democratic candidate. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CE1DA133FF933A25757C0A964958260 THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: The Front-Runner; Like Voters, Superdelegates Have Doubts About Clinton - New York Times ] ]

He is Chairman of the prominent Senate Intelligence Committee, from which he comments frequently on the war in Iraq.

In 1993 Rockefeller became the principal Senate supporter, with Ted Kennedy, behind Bill and Hillary Clinton's sweeping health care reform package, liaising closely with the First Lady, even opening up his mansion in Rock Creek Park for its first strategy meeting. The reform was subsequently defeated by an alliance between the Business Roundtable and a small-business coalition. [The Clintons and health care reformndash see Haynes Johnson & David S. Broder, "The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point", Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1996. (pp.32–34,50,227)]

In 2002, Rockefeller made an official visit to several Middle Eastern countries, during which he discussed his personal views regarding United States military intentions with the leaders of those countries. In October of that year, Rockefeller strongly expressed his concern for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction program while addressing the U.S. Senate,

:"There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe that Iraq poses an imminent threat, but I also believe that after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. It is in the nature of these weapons, and the way they are targeted against civilian populations, that documented capability and demonstrated intent may be the only warning we get. To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? We cannot!"http://www.senate.gov/~rockefeller/news/2002/flrstmt0102002.html]

In November 2005 during a TV interview, Rockefeller stated: "I took a trip...in January of 2002 to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and I told each of the heads of state that it was my view that George Bush had already made up his mind to go to war against Iraq, that that was a predetermined set course that had taken shape shortly after 9/11."

Rockefeller noted that this was his personal opinion, and that he was not privy to any confidential information indicating that such action was planned. [ [http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175433,00.html FOXNews.com - Transcript: Sens. Roberts, Rockefeller on 'FNS' - FOX News Sunday | Chris Wallace ] ] On October 11 of that year, he was one of 77 Senators who voted for the Iraq Resolution authorizing the Iraq invasion.

On February 29, 2008 he endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States, citing Obama's judgment on the Iraq war and national security issues, and calling him the right candidate to lead America during a time of instability at home and abroad. This endorsement stood in stark contrast from the results of the state primary.

enate Committee Assignments

As of 2007, Rockefeller serves on the following:
*Select Committee on Intelligencendash Chairman
**Subcommittee on Oversight of the Terrorist Surveillance Program (Vice Chairman)
*Committee on Veterans' Affairs
*Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
** Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security (Chairman)
** Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, Insurance, and Automotive Safety
** Subcommittee on Interstate Commerce, Trade, and Tourism
** Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Innovation
** Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security
*Committee on Finance
** Subcommittee on Health Care (Chairman)
** Subcommittee on International Trade and Global Competitiveness
** Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy
*Joint Committee on Taxation
*United States Trade Advisor
*Senate Steel Caucusndash Co-Chairman

Iraq War

Rockefeller has been an outspoken critic of President Bush and the Iraq war in the past years, especially starting in late 2003. As chair of the Intelligence committee, he has indicted the President for his handling of intelligence and war operations. The previous year, however, Rockefeller was very much in line with Bush and those pushing for strong actionndash military, if necessaryndash against Iraq and Saddam Hussein.

On October 10, 2002, he said that "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years... The global communityndash in the form of the United Nationsndash has declared repeatedly, through multiple resolutions, that the frightening prospect of a nuclear-armed Saddam cannot come to pass. But the U.N. has been unable to enforce those resolutions. We must eliminate that threat now, before it is too late... Saddam Hussein represents a grave threat to the United States, and I have concluded we must use force to deal with him if all other means fail."

Rockefeller and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the final two pieces of the Phase II report on Iraq war intelliegence on June 5, 2008. [ [http://rockefeller.senate.gov/press/record.cfm?id=298774 Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) ] ] Senator Rockefeller said, "The president and his advisers undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against Al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein." [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/world/middleeast/06intel.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=rockefeller+iraq&st=nyt&oref=slogin Bush Overstated Iraq Evidence, Senators Report - NYTimes.com ] ]

Television violence

In July 2007, Senator Rockefeller announced that he planned to introduce legislation before the August Congressional recess that would give the FCC the power to regulate TV violence. According to the July 16, 2007 edition of Broadcasting & Cable, the new law would apply to both broadcast as well as cable and satellite programming. This would mark the first time that the FCC would be given power to regulate such a vast spectrum of content, which would include almost everything except material produced strictly for direct internet use. An aide to the senator said that his staff had also been carefully formulating the bill in such a way that it would be able to pass constitutional scrutiny by the courts.

Retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies

In 2007, Senator Rockefeller began steering the Senate Intelligence Committee to grant retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies who were accused of unlawfully assisting the National Security Agency (NSA) in monitoring the communications of American citizens (see Hepting v. AT&T). [ [http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/politics/la-na-fisa19oct19,1,4939644.story?coll=la-news-politics-national Senate panel OKs spy measure - Los Angeles Times ] ]

This was an about-face of sorts for Senator Rockefeller, who had hand-written a letter to Vice President Cheney in 2003 expressing his concerns about the legality of NSA's warrantless wire-tapping program. Some have attributed this change of heart to the spike in contributions from telecommunications companies to the senator just as these companies began lobbying Congress to protect them from lawsuits regarding their cooperation with the NSA [http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/10/dem-pushing-spy.html Democratic Lawmaker Pushing Immunity Is Newly Flush With Telco Cash | Threat Level from Wired.com ] ] .

Between 2001 and the start of this lobbying effort, AT&T employees had contributed $300 to the senator.. After the lobbying effort began, AT&T employees and executives donated $19,350 in 3 months. The senator has pledged not to rely on his vast fortune to fund his campaigns [ [http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/external/pre-election/bios/437.html?SITE=NCGRDELN&SECTION=POLITICS&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT Election 2008 ] ] , and the AT&T contributions represent about 2% of the money he raised during the previous year.

Retroactive immunity for torture

Though publicly deploring torture, Rockefeller was one of two Congressional Democrats briefed on waterboarding and other secret CIA practices in the early years of the Bush Administration, as well as the existence of taped evidence of such interrogations (later destroyed). [cite web |url=http://rockefeller.senate.gov/news/2007/pr120607a.html |publisher=U.S. Senate website |title=Chairman Rockefeller Statement on the CIA Decision to Destroy Tapes of Early Detainee Interrogations |date=2007-12-06 |accessdate=2007-12-11] In December 2007, Rockefeller opposed a special counsel or commission inquiry into the destruction of the tapes, stating "it is the job of the intelligence committees to do that." [cite news |url=http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hyL3au-RZxEcch2P9ymXaJ9mroogD8TER1IO0 |title=White House Stays Quiet on CIA Tapes |author=Calvin Woodward |publisher=Associated Press |date=2007-12-10 |accessdate=2007-12-10 ]

On September 28, 2006, Rockefeller voted with a largely Republican majority to suspend habeas corpus provisions for anyone deemed by the Executive Branch an "unlawful combatant," barring them from challenging their detentions in court. Rockefeller's vote gave a retroactive, nine-year immunity to U.S. officials who authorized, ordered, or committed acts of torture and abuse, permitting the use of statements obtained through torture to be used in military tribunals so long as the abuse took place by December 30, 2005. [cite news |url=http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0609290178sep29,1,1387725.story |title=Tribunal bill OKd by Senate |publisher=Chicago Tribute |author=William Neikirk, Andrew Zajac, Mark Silva |date=2006-09-29 |accessdate=2006-09-29 ] Rockefeller's vote authorized the President to establish permissible interrogation techniques and to "interpret the meaning and application" of international Geneva Convention standards, so long as the coercion fell short of "serious" bodily or psychological injury. [cite news |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/29/washington/29detain.html |title=Senate Passes Broad New Detainee Rules |publisher=New York Times |date=2006-09-28 |accessdate=2007-12-10 ] [cite news |url=http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/politics/4223241.html |title=Senate OKs detainee interrogation bill |publisher=Associated Press |author=Anne Plummer Flaherty |date=2006-09-28 |accessdate=2006-09-29 ] The bill became law on October 17, 2006.


On April 7 in an interview for The Charleston Gazette, Rockefeller criticized John McCain's Vietnam experience:

“McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn’t know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues.” [West Virginia Senator Apologizes for Comments on McCain]

The McCain campaign called for an apology from Senator Rockefeller and for Barack Obama, whom Rockefeller has endorsed, to denounce the comment. Rockefeller later apologized for the comment [ [http://www.register-herald.com/local/local_story_099204606.html The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia - Rockefeller apologizes to McCain over Vietnam service comment ] ] and the Obama campaign issued a statement expressing Obama's disagreement with the comment. Senator Lindsay Graham (R) of South Carolina noted that "John didn't drop bombs from 35,000 feet....the bombs were not laser guided (in the 1960 and 1970s)". [ [http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/04/08/rockefeller-apologizes-for-saying-mccain-doesnt-care-about-lives-of-war-bystanders/ After Rockefeller Insult, McCain Camp Claims Obama Won’t Shut Down Campaign Smears - America’s Election HQ ] ]

Further reading

*"Jay Rockefeller: Old Money, New Politics", Richard Grimes, Parsons, West Virginia: McClain Printing Company, 1984.
*"The System: The American Way of Politics at the Breaking Point", Haynes Johnson and David S. Broder, Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1996. (Significant mention)

Electoral history

2002 West Virginia United States Senatorial Election

1984 West Virginia United States Senatorial Elections

ee also

*Rockefeller family
*John D. Rockefeller III
*David Rockefeller
*Asia Society
*US Senate Report on chemical weapons Rockefeller chaired this committee.
*2005 CIA interrogation tapes destruction


External links

* [http://rockefeller.senate.gov/ United States Senator Jay Rockefeller] , U.S. Senate site
*CongLinks | congbio = r000361 | fec = S4WV00027 | opensecrets = N00001685 | votesmart = S0961103 | ontheissuespath = Senate/John_Rockefeller.htm
* [http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/r/john_d_iv_rockefeller/index.html New York Timesndash John D. Rockefeller IV News] ongoing collection of news stories and commentary
* [http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/467/2022595.html Peace Corps biography of Jay Rockefeller]
* [http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=John_D._Rockefeller_IV SourceWatch Congresspediandash John D. Rockefeller IV] profile
* [http://www.wvculture.org/history/jayrock.html West Virginia Archives and Historyndash John D. Rockefeller, IV] biography
* [http://www.wvculture.org/history/rockefelleria1.html Inaugural Address of John D. Rockefeller, IV (1977)]
* [http://www.wvculture.org/history/rockefelleria2.html Inaugural Address of John D. Rockefeller, IV (1981)]
* [http://votimus.com/user/Candidate_nonmember.aspx?UID=95&UT=3 Biography and issue positions] at Votimus.com


* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/15/AR2006111501633.html Senator Outlines Plans For Intelligence Panel] Rockefeller's agenda on becoming chairman in January, 2007.

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