Richard Lugar

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Richard Lugar

Richard Lugar was, until 2012, a Republican Senator from Indiana. He is the U.S. Senate's most senior Republican and longest serving U.S. Senator in Indiana history. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1976 and won a sixth term in 2006 with 87 percent of the vote, his fourth consecutive victory by a two-thirds majority.

Richard Lugar and his wife, Charlene, were married September 8, 1956, and have four sons and thirteen grandchildren.[1]

Prior to serving in Congress, Senator Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975. He currently serves as President of The Lugar Center.

Committee service

Lugar is the Republican leader of the Foreign Relations Committee and a member and former chairman of the Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.[2]


Senator Lugar graduated first in his class at both Shortridge High School in Indianapolis and Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He attended Pembroke College at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, studying politics, philosophy and economics.[3]

Richard Lugar, was involved with the high school that Alice Palmer attended.[4]

Navy service

Senator Lugar volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1957, ultimately serving as an intelligence briefer for Admiral Arleigh Burke, Chief of Naval Operations.[5]

Business career

Senator Lugar manages his family's 604-acre Marion County corn, soybean and tree farm. Before entering public life, he helped manage the family's food machinery manufacturing business in Indianapolis with his brother Tom.[6]

Early politics

As the two-term mayor of Indianapolis (1968-75), Lugar envisioned the unification of the city and surrounding Marion County into one government. Unigov, as Mayor Lugar's plan was called, set the city on a path of uninterrupted economic growth. He served three terms on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, including two terms as the Vice-Chair of the Commission, and served as President of the National League of Cities.[7]


Senator Lugar has been a leader in reducing the threat of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. In 1991, he forged a bipartisan partnership with then-Senate Armed Services Chairman, Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), to destroy these weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. To date, the Nunn-Lugar program has deactivated more than 7,500 nuclear warheads that were once aimed at the United States.[8]

In the summer of 1986, President Ronald Reagan asked a bipartisan group of United States Senate leaders to attend meetings in Geneva, Switzerland. His hope was that formal negotiations between the former Soviet Union and the United States would commence and perhaps lead to a treaty on nuclear arms reduction that would come before the United States Senate for ratification and require a two-thirds majority vote. Formal arms control negotiations did not commence that year, and Senator Sam Nunn and Richard Lugar took the opportunity in subsequent years during visits to Europe to stay in touch with Russians we had met in Washington or during travels in Russia.

In 1991, some of the Russians with whom we had maintained ties came to visit Senator Sam Nunn and me in Senator Nunn’s Washington office. They portrayed dire circumstances in which nuclear weapons might not have sufficient security, in which military personnel sometimes were deserting their posts, and circumstances in which the security of Russia and the United States would be jeopardized without vigorous and prompt American assistance. Prompt drafting and passage of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program in the last days of the 1991 United States Senate session provided a timely and vitally necessary response. The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program evolved into a very important way in which Russia and the United States provided not only essential action for security of our two countries but reassurance of our leadership to the rest of the world.
It is a personal privilege on June 14 for me to be present with Senator Sam Nunn as we witness Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States Sergey I. Kislyak sign a new agreement which provides for additional cooperative efforts under terms of a new agreement following the umbrella agreement that expired on June 17.

Russia and the United States have successfully defended against the existential threat initially posed by developments in 1991, and I hope that we will find new ways of working together both in Russia but also in new locations as our two countries deal with new threats and assume additional responsibilities. As a result of our work, together, in Russia, many terrorist groups have moved their efforts to acquire weapons and materials of mass destruction to new places such as Africa and Southeast Asia. The Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program is not ending but is moving with the threats to our security and to the rest of the world.
I look forward to learning of ways in which Americans including Senator Sam Nunn and I can be helpful and supportive. We look forward to additional cooperative and positive developments.[9]

Agriculture committee

As Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, Senator Lugar built bipartisan support for 1996 federal farm program reforms, ending 1930s era federal production controls. He has promoted broader risk management options for farmers, research advancements, increased export opportunities and higher net farm income. Senator Lugar initiated a biofuels research program to help decrease U.S. dependency on foreign oil. He also led initiatives to streamline the U.S. Department of Agriculture, reform the food stamp program and preserve the federal school lunch program.

Combining his experiences on the Foreign Relations and Agriculture Committees and recognizing that energy security impacts every aspect of life in the United States, from the cars we drive and how much we pay at the gas pump to our vulnerability to foreign terrorism and our relationships with other countries, Senator Lugar launched the Lugar Energy Initiative.[10]

Senator Lugar has promoted policies that spur economic growth, cut taxes, lead to job creation, eliminate wasteful government spending and reduce bureaucratic red tape for American businesses.

Supported by Council for a Livable World

Council for a Livable World, 2010 endorsement

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Richard Lugar in his successful Senate run as candidate for Indiana.[11]

In the 1999/2000 election cycle Jerome Grossman (on behalf of C.L.W.) donated $250 to Lugar's campaign.

In 2010, C.L.W. endorsed Lugar in his Senate race.

Credit for New START treaty

According to the Council for a Livable World, in December 2010, After a battle that lasted many months, the Senate voted 71-26 to give its advice and consent to the New START Resolution of Ratification.

The effort to win the Senate’s two-thirds majority was like riding a roller coaster, with optimism followed by pessimism followed by optimism and back and forth.
Ultimately, the vote was a remarkably bipartisan victory in an intensely hyper-partisan atmosphere. It is a victory for the consensus of former national security officials of both parties and both active duty and retired military.
Ratification of the treaty is only the beginning. The U.S. and Russia should take advantage of the momentum created by the approval of New START to pursue negotiations on reductions in all types of nuclear warheads, including non-deployed and non-strategic warheads, in a timely manner.

Lots of credit goes to Senators Kerry and Lugar (R-IN), who managed the treaty, other Senators who have been active for the treaty such as Casey (D-PA), Shaheen (D-NH), Cardin (D-MD), Franken (D-MN) and others, the Obama Administration who put together a terrific campaign (and I will not name everyone because there are too many to name) and a terrific effort by the arms control community.[12]


In 2005 the DREAM Act, a narrowly tailored, bipartisan measure that Dick Durbin sponsored with Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), would permit undocumented students to become permanent residents if they came to the US as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years.[13]

In Russia with Obama

Lugar, Obama in Perm, August 2008

A U.S. delegation headed by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was detained August 2005 for three hours at an airport in Russia before being allowed to leave the country for Ukraine.

Russian border guards at the airport in the Siberian city of Perm demanded to search the U.S. government aircraft carrying the delegation, which also included Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was making his first foreign trip since becoming a senator. Obama is also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee.

American officials, citing a U.S.-Russian agreement that does not allow such inspections, refused to allow the search, leading to a three-hour standoff. [14]

Fighting the Cuba travel ban

According to Boston Democratic Socialists of America's The Yankee Radical June 2009;[15]

This travel ban, enacted in 1962, is now under attack from a left-right coalition including the Chamber of Commerce, agribusiness, Human Rights Watch and civil liberties groups. The other side, comprised of cold war hard liners and much of the Cuban émigré community, is using the lack of free elections and democratic rights in Cuba as arguments for keeping the ban. Although as Sam Farber notes in his recent book on the Cuban revolution, the original justification for the travel ban and trade embargo had nothing to do with reasons like these—it was Castro’s interference with the “freedom” of American corporations to dominate the Cuban economy.

According to Amnesty International, Cuba now has 58 political “prisoners of conscience”, down from the thousands of years past. Amnesty nonetheless opposes the American trade embargo and travel ban, as do most Cubans, including Oswaldo Paya, the leading democratic oppositionist. And this year efforts to at least lift the travel ban might actually succeed, give[[n our new President and Democratic Congress. The Senate bill, S.428, is sponsored by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Dick Lugar (R-IN); in the House, Cape Cod Congressman]] Bill Delahunt is a key advocate. Contact his office for more information..

Roosevelt Institute

Lugar sits on the National Advisory Board of the Roosevelt Institute. The namesakes of the Institute are Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Historical leaders of the Progressive movement.[16]

Serving as advisors to the Roosevelt Institute are:[17]

The Roosevelt Institute works closely with many progressive political and educational organizations to encourage public debate, promote sound public policy and involve students in the civic life of their communities. In addition, they are supportive of the efforts of a wide range of groups involved in similar progressive causes. Partners include:[18]