James Abdnor

Last updated

James Abdnor
JamesAbdnor.jpg
15th Administrator of the Small Business Administration
In office
March 12, 1987 April 18, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Preceded by James C. Sanders
Succeeded by Susan Engeleiter
United States Senator
from South Dakota
In office
January 3, 1981 January 3, 1987
Preceded by George McGovern
Succeeded by Tom Daschle
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from South Dakota's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1973 January 3, 1981
Preceded by James Abourezk
Succeeded by Clint Roberts
30th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
In office
January 7, 1969 January 5, 1971
Governor Frank Farrar
Preceded by Lem Overpeck
Succeeded by William Dougherty
Personal details
Born
Ellis James Abdnor

(1923-02-13)February 13, 1923
Kennebec, South Dakota, U.S
DiedMay 16, 2012(2012-05-16) (aged 89)
Sioux Falls, South Dakota, U.S
Political party Republican
Education University of Nebraska–Lincoln (BA)
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the United States (1912-1959).svg  United States
Branch/serviceFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Battles/wars World War II

Ellis James Abdnor (February 13, 1923 – May 16, 2012) was an American politician from the state of South Dakota. A Republican, he served as a U.S. Senator.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

South Dakota State of the United States of America

South Dakota is a U.S. state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes, who compose a large portion of the population and historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the fifth smallest by population and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with North Dakota. Pierre is the state capital and Sioux Falls, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Contents

Personal life

Abdnor was born in Kennebec, South Dakota, the son of Mary (née Wehby) and Samuel J. Abdnor. [1] Abdnor served in the United States Army during World War II and then graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1945 where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. [2] He was a member of the South Dakota Senate from 1957 to 1969. A common, decent, [3] plain spoken man," [4] he was affectionately known as "the people's Senator." [5] He was also described as a "nice-guy public servant" with a "down-home, warm and fuzzy way. [6] His staff considered him to be a friend as well as an honorable mentor and public servant. [7] Like his South Dakota Congressional colleague James Abourezk, he was a second-generation Lebanese-American and second U.S. Senator of Lebanese descent after Abourezk, as well. [2]

Kennebec, South Dakota Town in South Dakota, United States

Kennebec is a town in Lyman County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 240 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lyman County.

United States Army Land warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Politics

Abdnor was chief clerk of the State Legislature in the early 1950s. [1] Abdnor was the 30th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota from 1969 to 1971, and unsuccessfully sought the nomination for the House of Representatives in 1970. [2] In 1972 he was elected to the House of Representatives as a Republican.

The Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota is the lieutenant governor of the U.S. state of South Dakota.

United States House of Representatives lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.

Abdnor ran in the 1980 election against three-term incumbent and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern for the United States Senate. Abdnor claimed McGovern was out of touch with the state and unseated him by a large margin. In 1986, after winning by a wide margin a bruising re-election primary campaign against then Governor Bill Janklow, Abdnor narrowly lost his Senate seat to then-Representative Tom Daschle. He served as the administrator of the Small Business Administration from 1987 to 1989, and served in an advisory capacity for John Thune's successful campaign against Daschle in 2004. [8]

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

George McGovern American politician

George Stanley McGovern was an American historian, author, U.S. representative, U.S. senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Legislation

Abdnor's accomplishments included authorization of the Grassropes irrigation project and the Walworth, Edmunds, Brown (WEB) rural water system, [9] reauthorization of the Belle Fourche irrigation project, and the inclusion of oats (of which South Dakota is a major producer) in the farm program. [10] [11]

As a fiscal conservative, on April 2, 1984, he introduced S. 2516, the Deficit Reduction Act, a forerunner to the Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget Act. As chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Water Resources, he exerted leadership in passage of legislation requiring cost-sharing for Federal water development projects. [12] [13] [14] His interest in chairing the subcommittee was spawned by the importance of water to South Dakota's primary industry, agriculture, and the fact the state had been promised irrigation development in trade for inundation of its Missouri River bottom land behind massive dams in order to provide flood control and navigation benefits to downstream states. [15] [16]

Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget Act

The Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 and the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987 were the first binding spending constraints on the federal budget.

Notable Abdnor staffers

John Thune had been a member of Senator Abdnor's staff. [17] Other notable members of Abdnor's staff who went on to fill important public service roles include John Hamre, Undersecretary of Defense; Jeff Trandahl, Clerk of the House; Bruce Knight, Undersecretary, Marketing and Regulatory Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); Larry Parkinson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement and Security, U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and Director, Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); Phil Hogen, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC); Vern Larson, South Dakota State Treasurer and Auditor; South Dakota State Senators Walter Conahan, Mike Vehle, Lee Schoenbeck and Scott Heidepriem; South Dakota State Representative Sean O'Brien; Charlotte Fischer, South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner; Roland Dolly, Commissioner of Economic Development for the State Of South Dakota; and Stephen Censky, Administrator of the Foreign Agricultural Service, CEO of the American Soybean Association, and United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.

Death

Abdnor died on May 16, 2012, at the age of 89. [1]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 McFadden, Robert (May 16, 2012). "James Abdnor, Former South Dakota Senator, Dies at 89". The New York Times.
  2. 1 2 3 "James Abdnor". Pierre, South Dakota: South Dakota State Historical Society . Retrieved May 16, 2012.
  3. Eulogy for Senator Jim Abdnor, Senator John Thune, May 19, 2012
  4. Plain Old Jim: A Tribute to Jim Abdnor, Herb Sundall, May 19, 2012
  5. Jim Abdnor and his people, Kevin Woster, Rapid City Journal, May 21, 2010.
  6. Even at 80, former Sen. Jim Abdnor retains voting bloc, David Kranz, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, February 23, 2003.
  7. Farewell to a Public Servant and a Friend, Bruce Knight, Agri-Pulse.
  8. Schudel, Matt (May 16, 2012). "James Abdnor, GOP congressman and senator from South Dakota, dies at 89". The Washington Post.
  9. Abdnor's role in authorizing the WEB rural water system is highlighted in Uphill Against Water: The Great Water War, by Peter Carrels
  10. A complete listing of the bills, resolutions, and amendments sponsored and co-sponsored by Abdnor in the Senate is available in the Government Printing Office's (GPO) online Congressional Record Index (CRI)
  11. Bills sponsored and co-sponsored by Abdnor in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 93rd through the 96th Congress (1973 - 1982) can be discovered using the Library of Congress' (LOC) Thomas system
  12. President Reagan's remarks in support of Senator Abdnor's reelection, September 29, 1986
  13. Water Resources Development Act of 1986
  14. Sharing the Burden [ permanent dead link ], United States Army Corps of Engineers publication
  15. Oahe irrigation potential remains untapped Archived June 29, 2013, at Archive.today , The Daily Republic, September 29, 2012
  16. Pick–Sloan Missouri Basin Program
  17. John Thune#Early life, education, and early political career
Political offices
Preceded by
Lem Overpeck
Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota
1969–1971
Succeeded by
William Dougherty
Preceded by
Charles Heatherly
Acting
Administrator of the Small Business Administration
1987–1989
Succeeded by
Susan Engeleiter
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
James Abourezk
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from South Dakota's 2nd congressional district

1973–1981
Succeeded by
Clint Roberts
Party political offices
Preceded by
Leo K. Thorsness
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from South Dakota
(Class 3)

1980, 1986
Succeeded by
Charlene Haar
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
George McGovern
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from South Dakota
1981–1987
Served alongside: Larry Pressler
Succeeded by
Tom Daschle