Links - Official Sites: Senate Office, Sandhills PAC
Legislation: 109th, 108th, 107th, 106th, 105th; Project Vote Smart
Finances: Sandhills PAC (1), Hagel for Senate  |  Open Secrets
Patrick Ruffini's 2008 Presidential Wire: Stories on Chuck Hagel
In Brief - Elected to the U.S. Senate in Nov. 1996, re-elected in 2002.  President of McCarthy & Co., an investment banking firm based in Omaha, Nebraska.  President and CEO of World United Service Organizations.  Co-founded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc., a publicly traded corporation, in the mid-1980s.  Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration, nominated by President Reagan in 1981.  Manager of Government Affairs for The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in Washington, DC, 1977-80.  Staffer to Congressman John Y. McCollister (R-NE), 1971-77.  Newscaster and talk show host with radio stations KBON and KLNG in Omaha starting in 1969.  Served in Vietnam in 1968, two Purple Hearts.  Graduate of the the Brown Institute for Radio and Television in Minneapolis and University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Born Oct. 4, 1946 in North Platte, NE.  [Timeline].

An Independent Course
Sen. Chuck Hagel's independent-mindedness appears to sit well with Nebraska voters, who re-elected him in 2002 by the largest margin ever in the state's history, but that same maverick streak has at times alienated fellow Republicans.  Most notably Hagel has been an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration's handling of Iraq.  An article in the August 12, 2002 issue of National Review labeled him as "Sen. Skeptic (R., France)" and described him as "Bush’s #1 war critic in Congress."  On October 8,  2004 during the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Democratic nominee Sen. John Kerry cited Hagel's criticisms of the Administration's handling of the war.  In an article in the June 27, 2005 issue of U.S. News & World Report, Hagel stated, “The White House is completely disconnected from reality... It's like they're just making it up as they go along.  The reality is we're losing in Iraq.” PAC featured that quote in a TV ad.  To take another example, as 2005 drew to a close Sen. Hagel was one of four Republicans to join with Democrats in opposing extension of the Patriot Act due to civil liberties concerns.

Hagel has also taken an independent course in introducing several legislative initiatives.  On October 25, 2005 he introduced comprehensive immigration reform legislation which would address national security, employment verification, workforce needs, and accountability.  The package, which consists of four bills, is a toughened version of the legislation Hagel sponsored with Sen. Daschle in the last Congress. Hagel's proposal does offer a path to legalization for those who have resided in the United States for at least five years; in addition to fees they would be required to pay a $2,000 fine.  On October 19, 2005 Hagel introduced legislation which would create a Comprehensive Entitlement Reform Commission to review Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  On March 7, 2005 he introduced a Social Security reform proposal, the first such bill introduced in the Senate in 2005.  The proposal would move the retirement age from 67 to 68 starting in 2023 and would start a voluntary program for those 45 and younger to put some money in personal accounts.

Hagel's March 12, 2007 non-announcement ("I am here today to announce that my family and I will make a decision on my political future later this year.") fell decidely flat.  His name continued to pop up, however.  Appearing on CBS News' "Face the Nation" on May 13 Hagel said that he had recently dined with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been frequently mentioned as a possible independent presidential candidate.  "It's a great country to think about a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation," Hagel mused.

Stump speech - Politics & Eggs, Bedford, NH, May 4, 2005.  [transcript]

Articles and Readings
Joseph Lelyveld.  "The Heartland Dissident."  The New York Times Magazine.  February 12, 2006 (cover story).
On C-SPAN's "Q&A," program date November 13, 2005.
George Neumayr.  "Ground Chuck."  The American Spectator. January-February 2005 (cover story).

Charlyne Berens.  July 2006.  CHUCK HAGEL: Moving Forward.  Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
"Berens charts Hagel’s quick rise to national recognition and influence and examines the background that has led Hagel to an outspoken internationalism that often puts him at odds with his own party and president.  This complex, plain-spoken Nebraskan may be on his way to the White House.  Charlyne Berens explains why and how...  Charlyne Berens is a Professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln."

July 28, 2006-Addressing U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East in a speech at the Brookings Institution.
March 20, 2006-Speaking at the International Association of Fire Fighters' 2006 Alfred K. Whitehead Legislative Conference.
March 19, 2006-Speaking to reporters after an appearance on ABC News' "This Week."
Oct. 16, 2005-Answering questions after an appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation."
Sept. 6, 2005-Addressing New America Foundation forum on "Terrorism, Security, and America's Purpose: Towards a More Comprehensive Strategy."
May 4, 2005-At the "Politics and Eggs" forum in Bedford, NH.  ["Politics and Eggs" by The New England Council and The New Hampshire Political Library]
March 6, 2005-Answering questions after an appearance on CBS News' "Face the Nation."

Key People
Sandhillls PAC - Kevin Chapman.

On the Web  March 31, 2006
Official Site Independent Site 

Copyright © 2005, 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action