Public Intellectual Kassim Ahmad tells disgraced Najib Razak to resign


July 26, 2015

Public Intellectual Kassim Ahmad tells disgraced Najib Razak to resign

by Kassim Ahmad

After the indirection mention of his name with two others related to him by the United States Department of Justice two days ago, it is best that Prime Minister Najib resigns. There can be no use whatsoever for him to continue to hold office, seeing the financial scandals that have surfaced involving him and his cronies. He should own up and ask for forgiveness from the Malaysian people. The Malaysia people are known for their magnanimous treatment of repentant wrongdoers.

The UMNO supreme council should call into session an extraordinary UMNO general assembly which will accept his resignation and recommends the calling of the 14th general elections. Our Parliament should convene and call for the General Election.

An UMNO general assembly should also elect new delegates and a new supreme council. This new general assembly should pass a resolution to root out corruption completely from the party and the government. If Singapore can do it, why cannot we?  A system of cadre-and-leader training must be instituted to bring about a zero corruption system by giving rise to principled politicians. Our people must not and should not accept less than that. We should base ourselves on the shining example of Prophet Muhammad, the leader who wrought an exemplary vessel of statecraft

Our Federal Constitution should be changed to reflect a just system of governance, as ordered by God in the Quran. This would better suit our constitutional stipulation that “Islam is the religion of the Federation.” With due respect to the famous jurists of the Reid Commission which drafted our constitution, they seemed unaware of the Prophet’s seminal constitutional document, known as the Medina Charter, the first written constitution in the world.[1]

It should be noted that the Medina Charter assigns the autonomous administration of religions to their respective its adherents, thus at one stroke of the pen eliminates religious conflicts. The state does not concern itself with religion.

Kassim Ahmad–The Rebel  and Fellow Kedahan I admire and disagree from time to time–Din Merican

Government, as are other affairs,  is carried out through consultation by the community. This is far more satisfactory than the Western concept of checks and balances. It is strange that the two hand that God gave us is made to fight one another! Why can they cooperate to enjoin good and prevent evil? More over this checks-and-balances theory has not been able to prevent the rise of colonialism and the creation of the Zionist State of Israel, a clear illegal and unjust occupation of Arab Palestine.

Time to act against those 1MDB money launderers led by “Malaysian Official 1”


July 25, 2016

Time to act against those 1MDB money launderers led by “Malaysian Official 1”

by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

The response of Malaysian government authorities to the civil suits filed by the US Department of Justice to seize more than US$ 1 billion (RM 4.02 billion) in assets allegedly linked to 1MDB has been a huge disappointment.

Faced with suits that allege massive embezzlement of funds and one of the worst money laundering scams in history, Cabinet Ministers and the Attorney-General are determined to absolve “ Malaysian Official 1” of any wrongdoing. They are obsessed with preserving, protecting and perpetuating the Prime Minister’s position whatever the costs and consequences.

It is not just the US Attorney-General that has gone public on this shameful attempt to launder perhaps US 3.5 billion (RM 14.07 billion) from a state investment company established ostensibly for the people’s benefit.

Singapore authorities have also seized assets worth S$240 million (RM 717.45 million) in an investigation of 1MDB related fund flows for possible money-laundering. Switzerland is another international financial hub that has begun to take action. 1MDB’s activities between 2009 and 2013 have now been exposed as utterly fraudulent on a global scale.

God cannot help you for betraying the Malaysian People–Thank You DOJ

Create an Independent Tribunal on 1MDB

The government should face up to this reality. As has been proposed by a number of groups and individuals in the last few days, it should set up an independent tribunal comprising men and women of integrity and credibility which will once and for all establish the whole truth about 1MDB and its activities and recommend appropriate action against the wrongdoers.

Apart from individuals with legal expertise, the tribunal should also have members with in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of money-laundering and money flows in today’s world. It should consist of both Malaysians and non-Malaysians. Cooperation with relevant agencies in the US, Switzerland, Singapore and other countries would be crucial.

The tribunal should also have unhindered access to all those linked directly or indirectly to 1MDB and its affiliates. All the information gathered and analysis undertaken by the Auditor-General, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Central Bank (Bank Negara Malaysia), the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Police in the last few years should be made available to the tribunal.

Prime Minister Najib should not have anything to do with the appointment of the proposed tribunal. Since 1MDB is wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance and he is the Minister of Finance and was also the Chairman of 1MDB’s Board of Advisers, he should keep his distance from the tribunal. Isn’t it also true that right from the outset he was involved in the creation of the company and was, to all intents and purposes, its principal decision-maker? Besides, in the US Department of Justice’s civil suits he is alluded to as ‘Malaysian Official 1’ 36 times.

Prime Minister Najib should relinquish his post temporarily

To give moral ballast to the formation of the tribunal and its work, Najib should in fact relinquish his position as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance until the tribunal presents its findings to the nation. If the tribunal exonerates him, he can always return to his job. I had suggested on  July 10, 2015 that to facilitate investigations into 1MDB he should step aside temporarily. The situation has now become a lot worse.

What if the government does not want to initiate a tribunal and Najib is determined to cling on to power? The people could through their members of Parliament try to persuade the Speaker to hold an emergency session of Parliament. Both the proposal on a tribunal and the position of Najib could be resolved through a parliamentary vote. But for the vote to reflect the feelings of the people, the whip should be lifted and members on both sides of the House should be encouraged to vote according to their conscience.

If Parliament fails to act, one hopes the Conference of Rulers which had already expressed its profound concern over 1MDB in October 2015, will assume its moral responsibility to the nation and advice the Cabinet to do what is right on both the tribunal and the Prime Minister. The Rulers’ advice will carry much weight.

The Agong (King) and Malay Rulers must act

The Rulers one hopes will also impress upon everyone that resolving the 1MDB debacle is the nation’s top priority at this point in time. It is a moral issue of tremendous significance and should not be marginalised through inter-party, inter-personal politics and the desire to retain or to attain power. The 1MDB issue is not about ousting or hoisting anyone.

Similarly, legitimate concerns about Daesh terrorism and security should not be manipulated to divert attention from 1MDB. The people should not allow “a security situation” to be created which is then used to suppress the truth about 1MDB.

There are many instances in history when the elite’s fear of being exposed for corruption or abuse of power has led to the victimisation of justice and the curtailment of freedom. In this regard, those who are dedicated to espousing integrity through demonstrations and the like must always be cognisant of the danger of their protest being hijacked by others with their own mischievous agenda.

Instead of demonstrating, it is much more important at this stage for more and more groups to speak up. If the voices of concern reach a crescendo, the powers-that-be will not be able to ignore their plea for truth and justice. The alternative media today offer unfettered channels of communication which have not been utilised to the fullest.

A sector of society that has yet to add its moral strength (there have been some isolated voices here and there) to the struggle for accountability and transparency on 1MDB are established religious personalities from the different faiths. They don’t have to be told that at its root 1MDB is about values that lie at the core of religion, values such as honesty, truthfulness and trustworthiness. This is why Muslim, Buddhist, Confucianist, Hindu and Christian theologians should take a stand now for what is at stake is the moral character of the nation itself and its future. Is it so difficult to uphold what is right and denounce what is wrong?

Malaysia has been betrayed by Prime Minister Najib Razak


July 25, 2016

Malaysia has been betrayed by Prime Minister Najib Razak

by Dr. Azeem Ibrahim

“Malaysian civil society must now take firm and immediate action to put the country back on track. If not, I fear that the country will tragically end up as the perfect case study into how the problems of the Islamic world stem primarily from domestic corruption.”–Azeem Ibrahim

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/07/22/Malaysia-has-been-betrayed-by-Prime-Minister-Najib-Razak.html

I have argued time and again that the greatest threat to the Muslim world is not the West, but rather, corruption and incompetence in administration in the Muslim countries themselves.

To this argument there were a number of crucial pieces of evidence. First of all, there is a clear inverse correlation between corruption and economic development not just in the Middle East, but globally. Secondly, Muslim countries are among the most corrupt countries in the world, and this maps well to the problems we know well from the region.

Sadly, it is kleptocacy led Najib Razak

In this sense, the abundance of natural resources has served to mask much of the problem, as per capita wealth in the region comes out as much higher than it would have been for a given level of corruption, and that distorts the perception of societal problems in these countries.

For another, that abundance of wealth can be used to buy off the acquiescence of the population to an otherwise questionable regime, as is the case with the benefits that these states lavish upon their population, or alternatively, can be used to fund extensive repressive police and intelligence apparatuses to keep the population in check, as was the case in Saddam-era Iraq.

Malaysia has been betrayed not so much by its institutional traditions, as by its populist Prime Minister Najib Razak. He has ridden a wave of popular support into power on the back of promises for economic liberalization, and growth and opportunity, but has seemingly wasted no time in milking the state dry for his own personal gain and the gain of his family.–Azeem Ibrahim

But there was also plenty of converse evidence, specifically states on the periphery of the Islamic world which did not conform the region’s reputation for corruption.

Most notably, we had the examples of Turkey and of Malaysia. Malaysia is a secure and naturally wealthy country with a track record of success in development and is suffering entirely from self-inflicted wounds.

In both the cases, the countries have inherited and sustained over the span of the 20th century an ethos of modernism and civic-mindedness which emulated that in the successful countries in the West. And they reaped the benefits of social and political stability, and economic development, both having been the most economically developed Islamic countries in international rankings.

But I fear we are about to be witnesses to a very cruel experiment, which I believe will prove my argument. It is yet too early to make a definitive judgement on the direction Turkey is heading in after the failed coup of the other week, even if the omens do not look good.

Breakdown of institutional functioning

In the case of Malaysia, we are already seeing the breakdown in institutional functioning and credibility which will likely see the country join the other Middle Eastern countries in the infamous club of corrupt and barely functioning states.

Malaysia has been betrayed not so much by its institutional traditions, as by its populist Prime Minister Najib Razak. He has ridden a wave of popular support into power on the back of promises for economic liberalization, and growth and opportunity, but has seemingly wasted no time in milking the state dry for his own personal gain and the gain of his family.

An ongoing Wall Street Journal investigation is looking into evidence that as much as $1 billion has been siphoned into the prime minister and his relatives’ bank accounts, most of it from the coffers of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, allegedly started by Mr Razak soon after he took charge in the country in 2009. And a further $5 billion are unaccounted for.

Neither Turkey nor Malaysia can hide behind the usual excuses about Western intervention or historical colonial crimes. Both have come into the post WW2 world as confident, independent nations, and both carved a way in the world for themselves through hard work and diligence, efforts which have yielded a good life to the majority of their citizens.

Turkey currently finds itself in a complex political, economic and security crisis from which we cannot draw too many general conclusions. But Malaysia is suffering entirely from self-inflicted wounds. It is a secure and naturally wealthy country with a track record of success in development. But it has let its guard down, and has let corruption infest the highest levels of government.

Malaysian civil society must now take firm and immediate action to put the country back on track. If not, I fear that the country will tragically end up as the perfect case study into how the problems of the Islamic world stem primarily from domestic corruption.

*Azeem Ibrahim is an RAI Fellow at Mansfield College, University of Oxford and Research Professor at the Strategic Studies Institute, US Army War College. He completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge and served as an International Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a World Fellow at Yale.

Over the years he has met and advised numerous world leaders on policy development and was ranked as a Top 100 Global Thinker by the European Social Think Tank in 2010 and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He tweets @AzeemIbrahim

 

Hillary’s Memoirs–Hard Choices


July 24, 2016

Hillary’s Memoirs–Hard Choices

by David Runciman (June 12, 2014)

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Steely determination … Hillary Clinton. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP

Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton review – buttoned-up but still revealing

What is Hillary Clinton’s strategy for becoming president – sheer persistence? This faintly robotic but impressive memoir is the latest chapter in an amazing story

If Hillary Clinton becomes the next American president she won’t just be the first woman to hold that office: she’ll be the first Secretary of State to get there since James Buchanan in 1857. Unlike in Britain, where foreign secretaries and chancellors of the exchequer routinely go on to the top job, senior US cabinet positions are not seen as stepping stones to the White House. No secretary of the treasury has ever become president. Cabinet officers are meant to be functionaries: people whose job is to make sense of the world. Presidents are meant to be politicians: people whose job is to lead it. In this long, exhausting, faintly robotic but ultimately impressive book, Hillary makes her pitch to be both.

When she lost to Obama following their titanic struggle for the Democratic nomination in 2008, she had no intention of serving in his cabinet. She expected to go back to the Senate and plot her next move from there. So, she tells us, it came as a bolt from the blue when Obama offered her the chance to become the US “diplomat-in-chief”. She demurred, still bruised by the hurtful things that had been said about her from his side during the campaign (most hurtful of all, the charge that her husband, who before Obama used jokingly to be called America’s first black president, was a racist). Obama persisted. It didn’t take long for Hillary to be tempted. She says she liked the idea of following in the footsteps of one of her political heroes, William Seward, another senator from New York who lost his party’s presidential nomination and then faithfully served Lincoln, the man who had beaten him, helping to abolish slavery in the process. She also says she was tickled by parallels with the fictional world of The West Wing, where the president-elect offers his defeated rival the job of secretary of state and refuses to take no for an answer. It’s nice to know that even the people at the top have spotted how often life now imitates TV.

However, this can’t be the whole story. Hillary leaves out any mention of political calculation, saying only that “When your President asks you to serve, you should say yes.” But political calculation is what the Clintons do for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hillary says she consulted her husband, and it’s impossible to think they didn’t discuss what it would do to her chances of having another crack at the top job. It might not have looked like the most promising route back. But Hillary had been horribly scarred during the 2008 campaign by her 2002 vote as a senator to authorise the Iraq war. Obama hammered her on it, conveniently ignoring the fact that he wasn’t in the senate back then, so didn’t have to face that particular hard choice. The great thing about being secretary of state is that you don’t have to vote on anything: almost all the work you do is behind the scenes. So it’s a job that gives you the chance to craft your own narrative about the hard choices you faced and how you dealt with them, unhampered by the public record. That’s what Clinton does here, telling us about the fights she won and the fights she lost, but always on her own terms. She comes across as consistently hawkish, pushing Obama to take stronger action in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, though more cautious than some of the excitable young people around him when it came to the Arab Spring (his aides, she says, “were swept up in the drama and idealism”; not her). She is able to explain her thinking in detail, making clear that military action always has to be accompanied by a commitment to social and economic reconstruction – not hard power or soft power but “smart power”. The underlying message is that if Obama didn’t always listen, more fool him.

For most of her tenure this political strategy worked brilliantly. As Obama’s first term drew to an end, she was the most popular politician in the country, her poll ratings far higher than those of her boss, since she was untouched by the miserable struggle to get his domestic programme through Congress. Then cameBenghazi. The attack on the US consulate on 11 September 2012, which claimed the lives of the US Ambassador to Libya and three of his countrymen, is the stick that her opponents now use to beat her with. She has been accused of complicity in the disaster (the inadequate security at the consulate is said to rest at her door) and of trying to cover it up afterwards. Conspiracy theories about what really happened abound, though the likeliest explanation for any gaps in the official narrative is cock-up rather than conspiracy: in the heat of the moment different government agencies spun the evidence to cover their backs. But that doesn’t stop the anti-Hillary conspiracy theorists from having a field day.

“…what comes through is Clinton’s sheer persistence. This is how she does politics, by keeping going and totting up the small victories so that they outweigh the defeats. Unlike Obama, who still appears to believe that politics is about rational argument, and unlike George Bush, who thought it was about vision, Hillary believes it is about breaking things down. She is a disaggregator, who can’t see a problem without trying to make it smaller, more manageable, and only then does she try to fit the pieces back together again.”–David Runciman, Political Theorist at Cambridge University

In the US, the Benghazi chapter of this book is the one that has been most eagerly awaited. It is fair to say that Clinton doesn’t give much away. At the same time, she doesn’t give an inch. She stands on her dignity, insists she acted at all times on the best information she had, profoundly regrets what happened, takes full responsibility but refuses to get drawn into the naked politicisation of a human tragedy. It’s not so much a non-denial denial as a piece of non-political politics. Will it silence the critics? Of course not. They will see it as more evidence that she has something to hide. It gives a glimpse of what any future Hillary campaign for the presidency will be like: the Republicans will try to open up her past; she will try to shut it down.

For those reasons, this is a pretty buttoned-up book. But it is not unrevealing. Clinton gives some clear indications of her likes and dislikes. She doesn’t seem to have much time for David Cameron, whom she appears to find too smooth (she much prefers William Hague); she is warily respectful of Angela Merkel; she was almost charmed by Nicolas Sarkozy; she thinks of Vladimir Putin as little more than a thug. Her silences often speak volumes. She says next to nothing about Samantha Power, the leading Obama foreign policy adviser who once called her a “monster”; she makes no mention at all of Anthony Weiner, the husband of her top aide, Huma Abedin, who humiliated them all with the tawdriest of sex scandals (he was the guy who tweeted his penis, then did it again). She says nothing about the state of her health, though it was bad towards the end of her time in office and is likely to dominate speculation about her future. She insists on her sense of humour, which, as so often, is a clear sign that she doesn’t really have one. She lists the number of times she went on David Letterman’s show to make “pantsuit jokes” (telling us the number – it was three – doesn’t add to the sense of fun). She recounts the moment when she tried to lighten US-Russia relations by giving her Soviet counterpart a literal “reset button”, though unfortunately the Russian word for “reset” was misspelt to mean “overcharged”. She tells us she was tempted to send the official responsible to Siberia. Ho ho.

Above all, what comes through is Clinton’s sheer persistence. This is how she does politics, by keeping going and totting up the small victories so that they outweigh the defeats. Unlike Obama, who still appears to believe that politics is about rational argument, and unlike George Bush, who thought it was about vision, Hillary believes it is about breaking things down. She is a disaggregator, who can’t see a problem without trying to make it smaller, more manageable, and only then does she try to fit the pieces back together again. Peace, she tells us, doesn’t necessarily begin with a grand fanfare. Sometimes it comes out of the temporary ceasefire that holds just long enough to make a difference. Part of why this book is so exhausting is its thoroughness: she travels the whole world and tells us about the different challenges she faced, taking them all seriously. Early on she quotes approvingly a maxim from Deng Xiaoping: “Coolly observe, calmly deal with things, hold your position, hide your capacities, bide your time, accomplish things where possible.” The US could do worse than having Deng as its next President.

Hard Choices is a prosaic book, but still, it is an amazing story. Think back to the first time Hillary entered the world’s consciousness, in early 1992, sitting on a sofa for a joint TV interview to try to rescue her husband from the terminal damage that Gennifer Flowers seemed likely to do to his presidential ambitions. It would have been barely credible back then that both of them might one day be president. But there was a true steeliness to that joint performance which gave a glimpse of the future. Their eyes told a story: we are not going away; we can keep going with this; we will outlast anything you have got. Doggedness is not the only political virtue and, God knows, it’s not the most attractive one. But who’s to say it’s not the most important.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jun/12/hard-choices-hillary-clinton-review-buttoned-up-revealing

1MDB is more than just about stolen money


July 24, 2016

1MDB is more than just about stolen money

by TK Chua

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

La Maison de Vincent a Arles, by Vincent Van Gogh.

This painting by Vincent van Gogh belongs to Malaysia

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/23/van-gogh-and-monet-paintings-seized-in-1mdb-corruption-investigation

So many countries are now investigating 1Malaysia Development Berhad: in the course of them doing that, I hope some are not subtly holding this country to ransom. Given our endless predicaments, it is important to ensure that our sovereignty and vital interests are not compromised when dealing with others.

It is important to keep vigilant of treaties signed, concessions made, and foreign policies promulgated during this difficult time.

How could we raise so much money through bonds and then use the proceeds for unimaginable wayward indulgences? Are reputable investment bankers and sophisticated bond investors blind or are they part of the conspiracy?

It is just too convenient to push the responsibility to the Malaysian government (present and future) and the Malaysian taxpayer. It is time investment bankers are held accountable and bond-holders take a “haircut”. I don’t care, maybe we should just default on the bonds and damn the sovereignty ratings: there is not much reputation left to protect in the first place.

READ THIS: 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/decision-time-on-malaysias-1mdb-1469142956

Institutional failure is now pervasive. These institutions were set up under our constitution and system of government. They draw salaries and perks from our coffers; they are expected to perform specific functions and entrusted responsibility. But look at them now, none of them work.

There are investigations which lead to no outcome. They are enquiries and audits, but the results are hidden. They have the inherent power to “make a difference” but somehow they have chosen to remain silent.

How do we feel as Malaysians now? While we exchange jokes about the baloney, I think the indignation, despair and uncertainty in each of us is very real. We feel that those entrusted to govern have failed us completely. Our democratic rights are being denied and our economic wellbeing threatened.

I hope we can all see the double jeopardy here: even if we Malaysians are prepared to lose the money in 1MDB, it will not buy us the country we used to have, having now become so parochial, archaic, hypocritical, corrupt, and incompetent.

1MDB is an eye opener to many things we take for granted. We can’t assume that national leaders will do the right and proper things. We can’t assume we are a democracy simply because we hold elections every five years. We can’t assume institutions will perform their roles and protect the people. We are all very capable of indulging in fake democracy and false pretences.

TK Chua is an FMT reader.

READ THIS:

Justice Dept. Rejects Account of How Malaysia’s Leader Acquired Millions (NYT), Change Log

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/23/world/asia/malaysia-1mdb-najib-razak.html

By RICHARD C. PADDOCK | First archived on July 22, 2016, 8:23 a.m.

On Citizen (Timothy) Kaine


July 24, 2016

On Citizen Kaine

http://www.biography.com/people/tim-kaine-338982#profile

 

Citizen Kaine –Devoted Family Man

Democrat Tim Kaine served as Governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010, and is currently a member of the U.S. Senate. In 2016, Hillary Clinton chose him as her vice presidential running mate.

“Failing at something you care about is painful but ultimately less destructive to one’s sense of self than not trying.”
—Tim Kaine

Synopsis

Born in Minnesota in 1958, Tim Kaine began practicing law in Richmond, Virginia, after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1983. He was voted to the Richmond City Council in 1994, marking the start of a political ascent that eventually led to his election as Virginia governor in 2005. Following a stint as chairman of the Democratic National Party, Kaine was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2012. In 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton chose Kaine as her vice presidential running mate.

Formative Years

Politician, lawyer, Virginia governor and senator, Timothy Michael Kaine was born on February 26, 1958, in St. Paul, Minnesota, but grew up in the area of Kansas City, Missouri. The eldest son of an ironworker and a home economics teacher, Kaine has noted he wasn’t raised in an overtly political household, but became drawn to matters of public interest during the political and social upheaval of the 1960s.

Kaine attended Rockhurst High School, an all-boys Jesuit high school, where he joined spring mission drives to fund Jesuit activities in Honduras and became student government president. He went on to the University of Missouri, completing his bachelor’s degree in economics in three years, before entering Harvard Law School.

Kaine took a year off from law school to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras, where he ran a small vocational school for teenage boys while honing his Spanish. It was an eye-opening experience for the Midwesterner, who witnessed the devastating effects of poverty up close, and ignited his longstanding commitment to social justice.

Legal Career

After earning his J.D. from Harvard in 1983, Tim Kaine moved to Richmond, Virginia, to put his law degree to use. He made a name for himself early in his career by taking on the appeal of a death row inmate named Richard Lee Whitley. Although Whitley had confessed to sexually assaulting and murdering a 63-year-old neighbor, Kaine was deeply opposed to the death penalty, and his investigation into Whitley’s troubled background had spurred him to fight for the inmate.

Over the course of 17 years as a practicing lawyer, Kaine specialized in representing people who had been denied housing opportunities because of their race or disability. Devoting much of his time to pro-bono work, he helped found the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness and was a board member of the Virginia chapter of Housing Opportunities Made Equal. Additionally, he taught legal ethics at the University of Richmond Law School for six years.

Political Rise

Tim Kaine entered politics in 1994 when he was elected to the Richmond City Council. He served six years, including the last two as mayor when he helped to create and implement the law known as Project Exile to reduce gun-related violence. He was then elected Virginia’s Lieutenant governor in 2001, a role in which he served as president of the Virginia Senate.

When Kaine ran for governor in 2005 against Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, he introduced himself as a leader guided by his family and Catholic faith. He also urged his fellow religious Democrats to talk about their faith in campaigns, saying “Voters want to understand what motivates you.” When Republicans attacked Kaine’s opposition to the death penalty, he responded with a TV ad in which he explained that his religious beliefs led him to oppose capital punishment, but that he would enforce the state’s laws. Similarly, although he was personally opposed to abortion, he felt obligated to uphold its legality.

Virginia Governor and DNC Chairman

Tim Kaine was inaugurated in Virginia’s colonial capitol of Williamsburg as the state’s 70th governor on January 14, 2006. His star on the rise, he was selected to give the Democratic response to President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address shortly afterward.

Battling partisan gridlock during his term, Kaine cut social welfare programs to balance the budget and invested in infrastructure development, but otherwise struggled to push through major legislation. His national profile continued to rise, however, as he was the first governor outside Illinois to endorse Barack Obama for president. He was widely considered a strong candidate to be picked as the Democratic presidential nominee’s running mate, before eventually losing out to Delaware Senator Joe Biden.

Kaine became chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2009, and held on to the position despite his party’s significant losses in the 2010 midterm elections. He stepped down in 2011 with the intention of campaigning for Jim Webb’s soon-to-be-vacated Virginia senate seat.

U.S. Senator

After defeating former Virginia Senator and Governor George Allen in the 2012 campaign, Tim Kaine became the first senator to deliver a speech in Spanish from the Senate floor.

Since being elected to his post, Kaine has joined the Senate’s Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations and Aging Committees. Among his accomplishments, he introduced the Troop Talent Act of 2013 to help servicemen and women transition to the civilian workplace, and coauthored the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Additionally, he is a founder and co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, and has introduced legislation to address issues of sexual assault and drug treatment.

On July 22, 2016, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced via text message to her supporters that she had selected Kaine as her vice presidential running mate. She also tweeted the announcement.

Personal

Kaine met his wife, Anne Holton, at Harvard Law School. Named Virginia’s secretary of education in January 2014, Anne is the daughter of former Republican Virginia Governor Linwood Holton (1970-74), who desegregated the Commonwealth’s public schools.

The Kaines, who married on November 24, 1984, are actively involved with Richmond’s St. Elizabeth Catholic Church. They have three children: Nat, Woody and Annella.

Fact Check

We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!

Citation Information

Article Title

Tim Kaine Biography
Author

Biography.com Editors
Website Name

The Biography.com website
URL

http://www.biography.com/people/tim-kaine-338982
Access Date

July 24, 2016
Publisher

A&E Television Networks
Original Published Date

Email address

BIOGRAPHY
Tim Pawlenty
GOVERNOR, LAWYER (1960–)
BIOGRAPHY

© 2016 Bio and the Bio logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC.

 

 

 

Email address

BIOGRAPHY
Tim Pawlenty
GOVERNOR, LAWYER (1960–)
BIOGRAPHY

Terms of Use
© 2016 Bio and the Bio logo are registered trademarks of A&E Television Networks, LLC.