Thursday, 6 November 2014

Today in History November 6 : Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

November 6 is the 310th day of the year. There are 55 days remaining until the end of the year.

Tammy Baldwin, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg
Tammy Baldwin

Today's Highlight in History:
2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) is the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district.

Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, in the 2012 U.S. Senate election. She is the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the Senate and the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history. As of 2012, Baldwin's voting record makes her one of the most liberal members of Congress.

Baldwin was born and grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, the daughter of Pamela (née Green) and Joseph Edward Baldwin. She was raised by her mother and her maternal grandparents. Her maternal grandfather was Jewish (the son of immigrants from Russia and Germany), and her maternal grandmother, who was Anglican, was English-born. Baldwin graduated from Madison West High School in 1980 as the class valedictorian. She earned a B.A. degree from Smith College in 1984 and a J.D. degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1989. She practiced law from 1989 to 1992.

Baldwin was first elected to political office in 1986 when she was elected to the Dane County Board of Supervisors, a position she held until 1994. She also served one year on the Madison City Council to fill a vacancy in the coterminous district
Baldwin presiding over the House
while serving as Speaker Pro Tempore

Baldwin was the first openly lesbian member of the Wisconsin Assembly and one of just six openly gay political candidates nationwide to win a general election in 1992.

In 1993, Baldwin said she was disappointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton's compromise on LGBT rights in supporting the military's don't ask, don't tell policy. In early 1994, she proposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Wisconsin. In 1995, she proposed domestic partnerships in Wisconsin Baldwin opposes capital punishment in Wisconsin
US Senator Tammy Baldwin from
Wisconsin speaking at a US Department of Justice event.
An outspoken advocate of single-payer, government-run health insurance since her days as a state legislator, Baldwin introduced the Health Security for All Americans Act, aimed at creating such a system, multiple times, beginning in 2000.

On July 26, 2004, Baldwin spoke at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in prime time on the issue of health care. During the 110th Congress, Baldwin wrote several pieces of legislation that were passed by the House. The Reeve Paralysis Act authorizes additional funding for the treatment of ailments that result in immobility, while the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Act increases funding for low-income women to receive preventative screenings. Another bill she authored, the Veteran Vision Equity Act, guarantees benefits for military veterans.
Baldwin speaks during the second day of the
2008 Democratic National Convention
in Denver,Colorado.

Baldwin introduced provisions to the healthcare reform bill that specifically addressed disparities in health care for queer and trans* communities. Most significant among them were the “Early Treatment for HIV Act,” which sought to allow states to provide Medicaid coverage to low-income individuals living with HIV or AIDS.

The Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, which sought to end the tax for gay employees whose partners are covered under their employment health insurance coverage.

In November 2009, Baldwin voted for the version of healthcare reform that included a public option, a government-run healthcare plan that would have competed with private insurers, but only the House passed that version. She ultimately voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that become law in 2010.
Baldwin and Thompson debating during the 2012 election

Baldwin ran as the Democratic nominee against Republican nominee Tommy Thompson, who had formerly been governor and Secretary of Health and Human Services. She announced her candidacy on September 6, 2011, in a video emailed to supporters. She ran uncontested in the primary election, and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention about tax policy, campaign finance reform, and equality in the United States.
She was endorsed by Democracy for America, and she received campaign funding from EMILY's List, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and LPAC. Baldwin was endorsed by the editorial board of The Capital Times, who wrote that "Baldwin's fresh ideas on issues ranging from job creation to health care reform, along with her proven record of working across lines of partisanship and ideology, and her grace under pressure mark her as precisely the right choice to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl." Former Gov. Tommy Thompson claimed that her “far left approach leaves this country in jeopardy.”

On November 6, 2012, Baldwin became the first openly gay candidate to be elected to the U.S. Senate. Because of her 14 years in the House of Representatives, under Senate rules she had the highest seniority in her entering class of senators.

The senator was featured in Time's November 19 edition in the Verbatim section, where she was quoted as saying "I didn't run to make history" on her historic election. In a separate section, she was also mentioned as a new face to watch in the Senate.


World Events

1789 – Pope Pius VI appoints Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.
1844 – The first constitution of the Dominican Republic is adopted.
1856 – Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, is submitted for publication.
1861 – American Civil War: Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America.
1913 – Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
1917 – World War I: Third Battle of Ypres ends: After three months of fierce fighting, Canadian forces take Passchendaele in Belgium.
1918 – The Second Polish Republic is proclaimed.
1935 – Edwin Armstrong presents his paper "A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation" to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
1935 – First flight of the Hawker Hurricane, with its K5083 first prototype.
1935 – Parker Brothers acquires the forerunner patents for Monopoly from Elizabeth Magie.
1944 – Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
1947 – Meet the Press makes its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).
1962 – Apartheid: The United Nations General Assembly passes a resolution condemning South Africa's racist apartheid policies and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.
1991 – The last Kuwaiti oil field fire is extinguished.
1995 – The Rova of Antananarivo, home of the sovereigns of Madagascar from the 16th to 19th centuries, is destroyed by fire.
1999 – Australians vote to keep the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.
2004 – An express train collides with a stationary car near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing seven and injuring 150.
2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

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