Byron Dorgan

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Byron Dorgan

Byron Dorgan is a former Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing North Dakota. He was first elected to his seat in 1992. Prior to his career in the Senate, he was elected in 1980 and served six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dorgan was raised in Regent, North Dakota. At age 26, he became North Dakota's youngest-ever constitutional officer when he was appointed State Tax Commissioner.

Dorgan earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver.

Dorgan is married to Kim Dorgan and has four children: Scott, Shelly (deceased), Brendon, and Haley.

Dorgan is the author of theNew York Timesbestselling book Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America, and a newly released book Reckless: How Debt, Deregulation, and Dark Money Nearly Bankrupted America (And How We Can Fix It!).[1]

"Knows about" DSOC"

Nancy Lieber, International Committee chair of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, wrote a June 30, 1981 letter to Danielle Page, a staffer for Canadian Member of Parliament Ian Waddell.

Dear Danielle Page,
I'm sending along a list of Congresspeople and senators who know about us, democratic socialism, and -- perhaps Canada.
Only the first one is an open socialist, but the others are sympathetic in varying degrees.

The list was;

Hope this is of help and you recruit them to the cause!
In Solidarity,
Nancy Lieber
Chair, Intl. Committee

Supported by Council for a Livable World

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 Byron Dorgan in his successful Senate run as candidate for North Dakota.[2]

DSA interest in campaign funders



Sen. Byron Dorgan was reelected[3]to a third term in the Senate in November 2004 with nearly 70 percent of the vote after serving two previous terms in the Senate and six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has served in the Democratic Leadership since 1996, first as an assistant Democratic floor leader and currently as chairman of the Senate Democratic Party Policy Committee, a position that he has held since 1998.

As chairman of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the Energy Committee, Dorgan has worked to bring about a new, comprehensive approach on this nation's energy policy. He has been a leader in the Senate in the fight to stop excessive oil speculation and the push for renewable energy, especially in his home state of North Dakota. In addition, Dorgan serves on the Commerce Committee and as chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, and he has devoted his career to fighting for the interests of rural America.

Anti-CAFTA rally

Thousands of people in the Red River Valley want to send a message to federal lawmakers and trade negotiators ? they don?t want the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

More than 25,000 people have signed petitions opposing the trade deal that is being promoted by the Bush administration. Residents along the Minnesota-North Dakota border say CAFTA could wipe out the sugar beet industry and many communities along with it.

CAFTA is the first step toward destroying the U.S. sugar program, U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said at a news conference Sept. 16, 2004, where he and other elected officials accepted the petitions. It would undermine beet growers in our region and throughout the country, and will export tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.

Most of the signatures on the anti-CAFTA petitions were gathered by farmers and workers employed in the sugar industry, said Mark Froemke, a leader of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco & Grain Millers, the union representing workers at the sugar processing plants in North Dakota and Minnesota.

In addition to Dorgan and Froemke, the Moorhead news conference was attended by Congressman Collin Peterson, D-Minn.; Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.; U.S. Senator Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; and representatives of sugar beet growers and cooperatives. Froemke said opponents plan to hold other events in Minnesota to highlight the threats posed by CAFTA.[4]

Lui Cheng 2007 American tour

The American Center for International Labor Solidarity and the National Labor College recently hosted Professor Liu Cheng for Shanghai Normal University to discuss the evolution of the new draft contract labor law in China. Cheng’s visit to the NLC on March 27th was the culmination of a multi-state tour meeting with union leaders and members of Congress.

For the report by Global Labor Strategies analyzing the impact of transnational corporations on the first draft of the Contract Law go to: UNDUE INFLUENCE: Corporation Gain Ground in Battle Over Chinas New Labor Law

Liu Cheng's tour included nearly 45 events over 17 days, in the Bay Area, Boston, Amherst, New York and Washington DC. A partial list of the many sponsoring organizations, and their key contact, includes:

Senator Byron Dorgan's Office, Washington DC - Gabriel Adler.

Fighting the Cuba travel ban

According to Boston Democratic Socialists of America's The Yankee Radical June 2009;[5]

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..

“Punishing the American people in our effort to somehow deal a blow to the Castro government has not made any sense at all,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., earlier this spring. Byron is a sponsor of the Senate bill. “At long last, this policy, which has been in place for 50 years and has not worked, will finally be removed,” he said. [6]

Trade with Cuba

In 2009 Sen. Mary Landrieu joined four other senators to push for more small business opportunities with Cuba.

Landrieu, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner requesting that changes in American telecommunications policy toward Cuba include access to new exports and opportunities for U.S. small businesses.

In April, President Barack Obama announced of a series of changes to limits on travel and gifts from the U.S. to Cuba, as well as the authorization of greater telecommunications links between the two countries.

The letter was also signed by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

"As the administration negotiates with the Cuban government and comes up with new regulations, we would respectfully request your consideration to make U.S. small business interests a priority in these discussions," the senators wrote. "Small businesses are the engine of the American economy and, now more than ever, deserve a level playing field for new opportunities in Cuba. "

Specifically, the senators asked about five specific administration policies relating to small business participation in telecommunications activities in Cuba:

  • Whether U.S. Small Business Administration and Export-Import Bank loans would be eligible to be used for authorized small business activities with Cuba;
  • The specific roles that federal agencies such as the Department of Commerce, Export-Import Bank and SBA could play in promoting U.S. small business exports/activities in Cuba;
  • Whether the administration, as provided by the Regulatory Flexibility Act when a trade is likely to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small companies in an industry sector, will work with the SBA Office of Advocacy to seek streamlined rules and licensing requirements for U.S. small business activities to Cuba;
  • Whether the administration plans to issue an online accessible step-by-step small business guide on doing business with Cuba under the new guidelines; such a document could outline banking procedures, business travel, claims, regulatory licensing and other relevant issues; and - Whether the administration plans to encourage the Cuban government to support joint ventures between Cuban and U.S. small businesses on these projects.[7]


  • Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs
  • Committee on Appropriations
  • Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Water
  • Subcommittee on Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science
  • Subcommittee on Defense
  • Subcommittee on Interior
  • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
  • Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
  • Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety and Security
  • Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
  • Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation and Export Promotion
  • Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance
  • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security
  • Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
  • Subcommittee on Energy
  • Subcommittee on National Parks
  • Subcommittee on Water and Power[8]

External links


  1. About Dorgan
  2. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  4. [, Workday Minnesota, Grain Millers gather thousands of signatures opposing CAFTA September 19, 2004]
  5. TYR, June 2009
  6. PW, Pressure mounts to end Cuban travel ban by: JOHN BACHTELL july 18 2009
  7. [New Orleans CityBusiness (New Orleans, LA) May 11, 2009 La. Sen. Landrieu seeks to grow U.S. small business' opportunities with Cuba BYLINE: CityBusiness Staff]
  8. Committees