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Record and controversies
For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal
Introduced carbon-capture legislation
Alexander introduced legislation with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in May 2007 that would make the Capital Power Plant a demonstration site for new carbon-capture technologies. The bill would authorize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award a competitive $3 million contract for a 2-year project. The measure would require technology that has been used in at least three other power plants that are at least five times larger than the Capital Power Plant.
Lamar Alexander has voted in favor of big oil companies on 89% of important oil-related bills, according to Oil Change International. These bills include Iraq War funding, climate change studies, clean energy, and oil import reductions.  See below for oil money in politics.
REAL ID Act
On May 10, 2005, Sen. Alexander voted for the REAL ID Act of 2005, included in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief (H.R.1268), which passed the Senate unanimously. However, the Senator still criticized the driver's license provisions of the REAL ID Act, which he said would create national identification cards and leave state governments with the responsibility for paying for them. He stated, "It is possible that some Governor may look at this and say: Wait a minute, who are these people in Washington telling us what to do with our driver's licenses and making us pay for them, too?"
- Main article: REAL ID Act of 2005
Anonymous hold on Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act
On April 17, 2007, when Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) brought the Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act, which would require senators to file their campaign finance reports electronically to the Federal Election Commission, to the floor for a unanimous consent motion, Sen. Alexander objected to the bill for an anonymous senator from the Republican side. This anonymous objection amounted to a senator placing a “secret hold” on the bill, effectively stopping it.
- Main article: Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act of 2007
A seventh generation Tennessean, Alexander was born in Maryville, Tennessee on July 3, 1940. He is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America.
He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University and was a law review editor at New York University Law School, where he roomed with current NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. He then clerked for John Minor Wisdom of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, served as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Howard Baker and worked for Bryce Harlow, counselor to late President Richard Nixon.
Alexander was the Republican candidate for governor of Tennessee in 1974, but was defeated by Ray Blanton. He defeated Knoxville banker Jake Butcher in the 1978 election , becoming the 45th Governor of Tennessee and was reelected in 1982. Alexander was constitutionally ineligible for a 3rd term and stepped down from the governorship in January 1987. He became the University of Tennessee president (1988–1991), and United States Secretary of Education (1991–1993). He helped found a company that is now the nation's largest provider of worksite day care. He taught about the American character as a faculty member at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
Alexander ran for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1996. He tried to project a "common man" image by frequently wearing plaid flannel shirts. Alexander's campaign achieved some momentum in the early caucus and primary states, with upper-echelon finishes in a crowded field. He did not win any primaries, however, and eventually he lost forward progress and withdrew in the face of Bob Dole's organizational strength. Alexander ran again in 2000, but met with less success.
Vowing to never again return to elective office, he was persuaded by the White House to run for the open seat of retiring Senator Fred Thompson in 2002. Seen as a moderate, his candidacy was vigorously opposed by conservatives who supported Congressman Ed Bryant, who had become one of the House managers during the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Alexander was well-funded and was armed by more prominent endorsements and eked out a closer-than-expected win over Bryant in the primary. Democrats had high hopes of recovering the seat with their candidate, Nashville Congressman Bob Clement, a member of a prominent political family, and despite grumblings by conservatives to defect to the moderately liberal Clement, Alexander was successful in defeating Clement in the general election.
First leadership attempt
In 2005, Alexander made it known that he was interested in becoming Republican whip for the 110th Congress. He campaigned over a period of 18 months for the position. His most likely opponent initially appeared to be Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, but Santorum was defeated in his bid for reelection. Former majority leader Trent Lott had also expressed interest in the position and with his friend and ally Santorum out of the race, he publicly declared his intention to run several days before the election. Alexander expressed confidence that he retained the votes necessary to win the position, but in secret balloting, the Senate Republican caucus chose Lott as minority whip by a vote of 25-24. 
On December 6, 2007 Alexander won a Senate Republican leadership vote to become the chairman of the GOP Conference, the third highest-ranking leadership spot of the party in the Senate. The position spearheads the caucus’s messaging and communications strategy. Alexander, in a secret ballot of 31-16, defeated Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) who attempted to appeal to more junior conservatives, arguing that fresh ideas were needed to reform a party that had lost its way on federal spending issues. After winning, Alexander said he planned to visit the other 48 Republican senators and craft a message aimed at attracting independent voters while energizing the base.
Alexander’s victory came one year after Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) won in an upset by one vote for the position of minority whip, the second ranking position. In late November 2007 Lott announced he would resign from the Senate at the end of December, opening his caucus position. Current Conference Chairman John Kyl (R-Ariz.) moved up to the minority whip spot uncontested. Kyl and Alexander would assume their new roles January 1, 2008.
Money in politics
This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00009888&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>
|Links to more campaign contribution information for Lamar Alexander
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
|Fundraising profile:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by organization/corporation:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
|Top contributors by industry:||2006 election cycle||Career totals|
- Revolving door profile for Lamar Alexander from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- 2006 privately funded travel profile for Lamar Alexander from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
- Personal finance profile for Lamar Alexander from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org website.
Oil money in politics
Lamar Alexander has received $127,350 in oil contributions during the 110th congress. $76,500 of those dollars were from industry PACS. In total, Alexander has accepted $256,400 from oil companies since 2000, which makes him one of the top recipients of oil money in the Senate. See above for oil and energy voting record.
Committees and affiliations
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Subcommittee on Children and Families
- Subcommittee on Retirement & Aging
- Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
- Senate Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Homeland Security
- Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science
- Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Legislative Branch
- Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury, the Judiciary, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works
- Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety
- Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight and Children's Health Protection
Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)
- Senate Special Committee on Aging
- Senate Committee on the Budget
- Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- Subcommittee on Energy - Chair
- Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
- Subcommittee on National Parks
- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
- Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism
- Subcommittee on African Affairs
- Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
- Subcommittee on International Economic Policy Export and Trade Promotion
- Subcommittee on Bioterrorism Preparendess and Public Health
- Subcommittee on Education and Early Childhood Development - Chair
- Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety
Coalitions and caucuses
- Chair of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Caucus.
Boards and other affiliations
More background data
District Office - Chattanooga:
Joel E. Soloman Federal Building
900 Georgia Avenue, Suite 260
Chattanooga, TN 37402
District Office - Jackson:
109 South Highland Street, Suite B-9
Jackson, TN 38301
District Office - Knoxville:
Howard H. Baker Jr, United States Courthouse
800 Market Street, Suite 112
Knoxville, TN 37902-2303
District Office - Memphis:
167 North Main Street, Suite 1068
Memphis, TN 38103
District Office - Nashville:
3322 West End Avenue, Suite 120
Nashville, TN 37203
District Office - Tri-Cities:
Terminal Building, Suite 101
Tri-Cities Regional Airport
2525 Highway 75
Post Office Box 1113
Blountville, TN 37617
Articles and resources
- ↑ Kelly McCormack, "BILL: Power plant to be demonstration site" The Hill, May 30, 2007.
- ↑ Vote Tracker
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Manu Raja, "Alexander readies for leadership role," The Hill, December 6, 2007.
- ↑ Follow the Oil Money
- ↑ Vote Tracker
- Official website
- Politics1 profile
- Lamar Alexander's Skeleton Closet
- See how you compare to Lamar Alexander
- Follow the Oil Money-Senate
- Vote Tracker
- Follow the Coal Money- Senate
- Appalachian Voices
Related SourceWatch articles
- Laurie Kellman, "Trent Lott Wins Back Leadership Spot," Associated Press (via ABC News), November 15, 2006.
- Bob Geiger, "On Snowe-Landrieu Bipartisan Initiative: Kiss My Democratic Ass," BobGeiger.com Blogspot, December 22, 2006.
- Howie Klein, "Democrats Could Take Virginia and Tennessee Senate Seats Next Year," DownWithTyranny! Blogspot, June 25, 2007.
Local blogs and discussion sites
|Current Office: U.S. Senate|
Ranking Member On:
Ranking Member On:
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Caucus
|Committees: Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Commerce Justice and Science and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on State Foreign Operations and Related Programs, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Interior Environment and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Legislative Branch, Senate Committee on Appropriations/Subcommittee on Transportation Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works/Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming Oversight and Children's Health Protection, Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions, Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions/Subcommittee on Retirement and Aging, Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions/Subcommittee on Children and Families, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration|
|First Elected to Current Office:
November 5, 2002
|First Took Current Office:
January 7, 2003
November 4, 2014
|Previous Political Work?
Secretary, Department of Education, Governor of Tennessee
|Other Party Membership:|
|Zip Code Affiliations:|
Date of Birth: July 3, 1940