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Kit Bond

Christopher Samuel "Kit" Bond (born March 6, 1939) is a former governor and current senior United States Senator of Missouri. He has been in the Senate since 1987 and is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and career

A sixth-generation Missourian, Bond was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Elizabeth Green and Arthur D. Bond. His father was captain of the 1924 Missouri Tigers football team and a Rhodes Scholar. His maternal grandfather, A.P. Green, founded A.P. Green Industries, a fireclay manufacturer and a major employer for many years in Bond's native Mexico, Missouri. Kit Bond graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1956, Princeton University in 1960, and the University of Virginia School of Law in 1963. From 1963 to 1964, Bond served as a law clerk to the Honorable Elbert Tuttle, then Chief Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1964 to 1967, Bond practiced law at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.

Initial public service

Bond's rise in Missouri politics was meteoric: four years after returning to his home state, he was elected governor. Bond moved back to his hometown of Mexico, Missouri in the fall of 1967, and ran for Congress in 1968. He won the Republican primary in August, and nearly defeated the incumbent, Democratic Congressman Bill Hungate, in November. Then-Attorney General John Danforth hired Bond as an Assistant Attorney General in 1969, where Bond led the office's Consumer Protection Division. At the age of 31, Bond was elected Missouri State Auditor in 1970; two years later, Bond captured the governor's mansion, making him, at 33 years of age, the youngest governor in the history of Missouri. In 1976, he was on the short list of to be Gerald Ford's vice presidential running mate.

In many ways Bond governed as a moderate during his first term as governor: for example, he drew criticism from conservatives for his support of the Equal Rights Amendment. While governor, on June 25, 1976 he signed an executive order rescinding the Extermination Order against Mormons issued by Governor Lilburn Boggs on October 27, 1838. In 1976, in a surprising upset, Bond was defeated for re-election by Democrat Joseph P. Teasdale, then Jackson County Prosecutor. Teasdale's tenure was rocky, and in 1980 Bond made a successful comeback, defeating fellow Republican and incumbent Lieutenant Governor Bill Phelps in the primary, and Teasdale in November. Among Bond's most noted accomplishments was taking the Parents As Teachers program statewide.

Bond was succeeded as governor in 1985 by John Ashcroft, also a Republican. Ashcroft later served alongside Bond in the Senate

U.S. Senate

Committee assignments

  • Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Defense
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (Ranking Member)
  • Committee on Environment and Public Works
    • Subcommittee on Public Sector Solutions to Global Warming, Oversight, and Children's Health Protection
    • Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security, and Water Quality
  • Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Select Committee on Intelligence (Vice Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Oversight of the Terrorist Surveillance Program

Elections

After Sen. Thomas Eagleton decided not to run for re-election, Bond was elected Senator in 1986, defeating Lieutenant Governor Harriett Woods. Bond was narrowly re-elected in 1992 over St. Louis County Councilwoman Geri Rothman-Serot. In 1998 Bond decisively defeated Attorney General Jay Nixon and Libertarian Tamara Millay after a hard-fought campaign, and in 2004 he won re-election over Democratic challenger State Treasurer Nancy Farmer with 56 percent of the vote.

Approval ratings

Source Date Approve Disapprove Undecided
Survey USA December 23, 2007 54% 38% 8%

Issues

Environmental record

The conservative environmental watchdog group Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) has given Bond an exceptionally low rating of –2 for the 109th United States Congress, citing anti-environment votes on seven out of seven issues deemed critical by the organization. According to the 2006 REP scorecard, Bond supported oil drilling both offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, while opposing “efficiency and renewable-resource programs to improve energy security, lower costs, and reduce energy-related environmental impacts.

Torture

Kit Bond drew much criticism when, during a debate he made a comment comparing waterboarding to swimming, stating "There are different ways of doing it. It's like swimming, freestyle, backstroke," in response to the question "do you think that waterboarding... constitutes torture? He followed up by saying "There are some who say that, in extreme circumstances, if there is threat of an imminent major attack on the United States, it might be used, but I certainly would not favor it in any circumstance."

Free Trade

Bond has been a great supporter of expanding free trade to the third world, and he believes in giving presidential authority to fast track trade relations. He has voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and believes in permanently normalizing trade relations with China and Vietnam

Government reform

While Bond voted in favor in banning members of Congress from receiving gifts from lobbyists, he has generally opposed campaign reform. He voted against the McCain Feingold Act for bipartisan campaign finance solutions. Bond also voted against limiting contributions from corporations or labor.

Civil and gay rights

Bond has a mixed record on civil rights legislation. Despite receiving only an 11% rating from the NAACP, he broke with Republicans to vote in favor of setting aside highway funds for minorities and to allow for affirmative action. However, he has voted consistently against same-sex marriage, supporting the proposed constitutional ban of it.

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy

In October 2008, Bond apologized to former U.S. Attorney Todd Graves, after a U.S. Justice Department report cited Bond forcing Graves out over a disagreement with Representative Sam Graves. Following the report, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other officials involved in the firings of nine U.S. attorneys broke the law. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an Ethics Committee complaint against Bond over his role in the ouster of Graves.

Personal life

Bond's son Sam, returned fall 2007 from his second tour of duty in Iraq, is an officer in the United States Marine Corps, making Bond one of only a few federal elected officials with a child serving in uniform.

In 1994, his wife, Carolyn, filed for a divorce, which was finalized the following year. Bond married Linda Pell, now Linda Bond, in 2002. She grew up in the Kansas City suburb of Gladstone and works as a consultant to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. She and Bond had dated for about a year before they were engaged on May 17, 2001, and had also dated in 1996 and 1997. It is her second marriage as well.

After winning his second term as Governor, Bond sued his investment manager and Paine Webber, alleging his $1.3 million trust fund had been drained. He was one of several clients who sued, and he settled in 1996 for $900,000.

Bond has permanent vision loss in one eye, which he claims is the result of undiagnosed amblyopia during childhood.

Electoral history

2004 Missouri United States Senatorial Election

Kit Bond (R) (inc.) 56%
Nancy Farmer (D) 42.8%
Kevin Tull (Lib.) 0.7%
Don Griffin (Constitution) 0.4%

1998 Missouri United States Senatorial Election

Kit Bond (R) (inc.) 52.7%
Jay Nixon (D) 43.8%
Tamara Millay (Lib.) 2%
Curtis Frazier (U.S. Taxpayers) 1%
James F. Newport (Reform) 0.5%

1992 Missouri United States Senatorial Election

Kit Bond (R) (inc.) 51.9%
Geri Rothman-Serot (D) 44.9%
Jeanne Bojarski (Lib.) 3.2%

1986 Missouri United States Senatorial Election

Kit Bond (R) 52.6%
Harriet Woods (D) 47.4%

1980 Missouri Gubernatorial Election

Kit Bond (R) 52.6%
Joseph P. Teasdale (D) 47% _ Helen Savio (Socialist Workers) 0.3%

Footnotes

External links

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