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Bob Livingston

Bob Livingston

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Robert Linlithgow "Bob" Livingston Jr. (born April 30, 1943) is a Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

-based lobbyist and a former Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 U.S. Representative from Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

. He was Chairman of the Appropriations Committee
United States House Committee on Appropriations
The Committee on Appropriations is a committee of the United States House of Representatives. It is in charge of setting the specific expenditures of money by the government of the United States...

 from 1995–99, and he was chosen as Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is a U.S. Republican Party politician who served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995 and as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999....

's successor as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives...

 late in 1998, but chose instead to withdraw and retire after extramarital affairs of his were discovered.

Family


Livingston is a descendant of Robert Livingston (via
Henry W. Livingston
Henry W. Livingston
Henry Walter Livingston was a United States Representative from the state of New York and son of Continental Congressman Walter Livingston....

), the elder brother of Philip Livingston
Philip Livingston
Philip Livingston was an American merchant and statesman from New York City. He was a delegate for New York to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1778, and signed the Declaration of Independence.-Family history:...

, one of the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence
Declaration of independence
A declaration of independence is an assertion of the independence of an aspiring state or states. Such places are usually declared from part or all of the territory of another nation or failed nation, or are breakaway territories from within the larger state...

. One of his ancestors in New York State (Henry Livingston) was probably the (then anonymous) author of the poem, The Night Before Christmas".

Livingston is married to the former Bonnie Robichaux (also born 1943), a native of Raceland
Raceland, Louisiana
Raceland is a census-designated place on Bayou Lafourche in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 10,224 at the 2000 census...

 in Lafourche Parish and niece of former United States Senator Allen J. Ellender
Allen J. Ellender
Allen Joseph Ellender was a popular U.S. senator from Houma, Louisiana , who served from 1937 until his death. He was a Democrat who was originally allied with the legendary Huey Pierce Long, Jr.. As Senator he compiled a generally conservative record, voting 77% of the time with the Conservative...

. While being reared as an Episcopalian
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

 he converted to his wife's religion of Roman Catholicism. The Livingstons had a son named Richard, who died in July 2006, while trimming a tree and being electrocuted by a live wire.

Early career


Out of college, he joined the law practice of David C. Treen
David C. Treen
David Conner "Dave" Treen, Sr. , was an American attorney and politician from Mandeville, St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana – the first Republican Governor of the U.S. state of Louisiana since Reconstruction. He was the first Republican in modern times to have served in the U.S...

, who would become Louisiana's first Republican congressman and governor since Reconstruction. Treen had been an active Republican back in the days when the party barely existed in Louisiana, and this connection allowed Livingston to make valuable contacts in GOP circles. He was a delegate to all Republican conventions between 1976 and 2000. Livingston later worked for the U.S. attorney for Louisiana's Eastern District, the Orleans Parish district attorney's office, and the Louisiana state attorney general, the Democrat William J. "Billy" Guste, Jr.
William J. Guste
William J. "Billy" Guste, Jr., is a New Orleans attorney, businessman and popular Democratic attorney general of Louisiana from 1972 to 1992. He succeeded the scandal-plagued Jack P.F. Gremillion, a fellow Democrat who had held the position since 1956. Guste received recognition for molding the...


Career in Congress



Livingston resigned his position as head of the state attorney general's organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

 unit in 1976 when he won the Republican nomination for Louisiana's 1st Congressional District, based in the New Orleans suburbs and including a large part of the city itself. The seat had opened up when 36-year incumbent Democrat and former House Armed Services Committee chairman F. Edward Hébert
Felix Edward Hébert
Felix Edward Hébert , known as F. Edward Hébert, was the longest-serving member of the United States House of Representatives from the state of Louisiana, having represented the New Orleans-based First Congressional District as a Democrat from 1941 until his retirement in 1977.Hébert was born in...

 retired. Although the seat had been trending Republican for some time, Livingston narrowly lost to one-term state legislator Richard Tonry
Richard Alvin Tonry
Richard Alvin Tonry is a former Louisiana politician affiliated with the Democratic Party and a one-term congressman.Tonry was born in New Orleans. He graduated from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, in 1962. He earned a law degree from Loyola University of New Orleans in 1967...

. Livingston was denied victory by the third-party candidacy of former Sixth District Congressman John Rarick
John Rarick
John Richard Rarick was a lawyer who served as a Louisiana state district court judge from 1961 to 1966 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, the seat of West Feliciana Parish, and as a Democratic U.S. representative from the Sixth Congressional District from 1967 to 1975...

 of St. Francisville
St. Francisville, Louisiana
St. Francisville is a town in and the parish seat of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,712 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:St...

, the seat of West Feliciana Parish. Rarick, who had been one of the most conservative
Conservatism
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 Democrats in Congress during his tenure, presumably siphoned off enough votes from Livingston to allow Tonry to win.

Allegations, however, surfaced of "tombstone" votes for Tonry in both the primary and general election
General election
In a parliamentary political system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.The term...

. Tonry was forced to resign in May 1977 and lost the Democratic nomination for the special election in August to State Representative
Louisiana House of Representatives
The Louisiana House of Representatives is the lower house in the Louisiana State Legislature, the state legislature of the US state of Louisiana. The House is composed of 105 Representatives, each of whom represents approximately 42,500 people . Members serve four-year terms with a term limit of...

 Ron Faucheux. Faucheux also faced an independent challenge from the left. Livingston took advantage of the split in liberal
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 ranks to become the first Republican to represent New Orleans in Congress since Reconstruction. Livingston was aided by a cadre of dedicated Republican volunteers, including the newly-installed National Committeewoman Virginia Martinez
Virginia Martinez (Louisiana politician)
Virginia Morse Martinez, usually known as Ginny Martinez , was a long-term Louisiana Republican Party official who is credited with having landed her party's 1988 national convention in her adopted home city of New Orleans. Delegates nominated the Bush-Quayle ticket...

 of Kenner. In 1978, Livingston won a full term with 86 percent of the vote. He was reelected eleven times, the last nine of those times unopposed. His district became even more Republican after the 1980s round of redistricting. Most of the district's share of New Orleans was shifted to the 2nd District and was replaced with some heavily Republican territory in Jefferson Parish
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
Jefferson Parish is a parish in Louisiana, United States that includes most of the suburbs of New Orleans. The seat of parish government is Gretna....

. After the 1990 census, Livingston's district gained copacetic Washington Parish and Tangipahoa Parish from Louisiana's 6th congressional district
Louisiana's 6th congressional district
Louisiana's 6th congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Louisiana. Located in south-central Louisiana, the district contains the state capital of Baton Rouge and its suburbs and the western half of the Florida Parishes and areas west and south of Baton Rouge...

 while relinquishing equally conservative Saint Bernard Parish to Louisiana's 3rd congressional district
Louisiana's 3rd congressional district
Louisiana's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The district surrounds the southern tier of the Greater New Orleans Area. The district contains large portions of southeastern and south central Louisiana, including River Parishes and East Acadiana...

.

Although well known in Louisiana, Livingston was a relatively low-key congressman for his first eighteen years in Washington. But he managed early in his career to land a spot on the Appropriations Committee. This, along with his conservative stances on most issues, made him popular with his constituents, most of whom had never been previously represented by a Republican.

Livingston ran for governor in 1987 but finished third, behind fellow Congressman Buddy Roemer
Buddy Roemer
Charles Elson "Buddy" Roemer III is an American politician who served as the 52nd Governor of Louisiana, from 1988 to 1992. He was elected as a Democrat but switched to the Republican Party on March 11, 1991...

 of the Sixth District and Edwin Edwards
Edwin Edwards
Edwin Washington Edwards served as the Governor of Louisiana for four terms , twice as many terms as any other Louisiana chief executive has served. Edwards was also Louisiana's first Roman Catholic governor in the 20th century...

 in a field of nine, ten points short of gaining a berth in the runoff, officially the Louisiana general election
General election
In a parliamentary political system, a general election is an election in which all or most members of a given political body are chosen. The term is usually used to refer to elections held for a nation's primary legislative body, as distinguished from by-elections and local elections.The term...

. Two other major candidates finished behind Livingston: then Democratic Congressman Billy Tauzin
Billy Tauzin
Wilbert Joseph Tauzin II , usually known as Billy Tauzin, American lobbyist and politician of Cajun descent, was President and CEO of PhRMA, a pharmaceutical company lobby group...

, of the neighboring Third District and outgoing Secretary of State James H. "Jim" Brown.

Livingston endorsed his House colleague Roemer, then a Democrat, after the primary, but the runoff election was canceled because Edwards conceded the race to Roemer. It was said that then Edwards wanted to face Livingston in a general election (or would not have bowed out if the opponent had been a Republican), and, when that did not happen, Edwards pulled out of the second round of balloting to prevent Roemer from consolidating majority support.

Despite his showing in the gubernatorial race, Livingston remained popular in his district and went on to win easy re-elections as he moved up the leadership ladder in the House.

Chairman, House Appropriations Committee


Livingston first came to national attention in 1995, when he was named chairman of the Appropriations Committee after the Republican takeover of the House
Republican Revolution
The Republican Revolution or Revolution of '94 is what the media dubbed Republican Party success in the 1994 U.S. midterm elections, which resulted in a net gain of 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and a pickup of eight seats in the Senate...

. This instantly made him one of the most powerful members of Congress. During one committee session, he brandished a machete
Machete
The machete is a large cleaver-like cutting tool. The blade is typically long and usually under thick. In the English language, an equivalent term is matchet, though it is less commonly known...

 to demonstrate his seriousness as a budget-cutter.

During the Monica Lewinsky scandals, Livingston was one of many Republicans who demanded President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

's resignation, and later impeachment
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

, for perjury
Perjury
Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the willful act of swearing a false oath or affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to a judicial proceeding. That is, the witness falsely promises to tell the truth about matters which affect the outcome of the...

. After Newt Gingrich
Newt Gingrich
Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich is a U.S. Republican Party politician who served as the House Minority Whip from 1989 to 1995 and as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999....

 resigned as Speaker
Speaker of the House of Representatives
-National governments:* Speaker of the House of Representatives of Antigua and Barbuda* Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives* Speaker of the House of Representatives of Belize* Speaker of the House of Representatives...

 in part because of Republican losses in the 1998 elections, majority leader Dick Armey
Dick Armey
Richard Keith "Dick" Armey is a former U.S. Representative from Texas's and House Majority Leader . He was one of the engineers of the "Republican Revolution" of the 1990s, in which Republicans were elected to majorities of both houses of Congress for the first time in four decades. Armey was...

 and majority whip Tom DeLay
Tom DeLay
Thomas Dale "Tom" DeLay is a former member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1984 until 2006. He was Republican Party House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2005, when he resigned because of criminal money laundering charges in...

 had opted not to contest the Speaker's chair. Livingston announced that he was not only running for Speaker but had lined up enough support to win. Livingston was nominated as the Republican candidate for Speaker without opposition, and since their party still retained a narrow majority in the House, this effectively made him Speaker-elect.

Resignation


During debate over the impeachment of Bill Clinton
Impeachment of Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton, President of the United States, was impeached by the House of Representatives on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice on December 19, 1998, but acquitted by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Two other impeachment articles, a second perjury charge and a charge of abuse of...

 on December 19, 1998, Livingston acknowledged that he had had an affair
Affair
Affair may refer to professional, personal, or public business matters or to a particular business or private activity of a temporary duration, as in family affair, a private affair, or a romantic affair.-Political affair:...

 and resigned as Speaker-elect. He challenged President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 to resign as well. Livingston then announced he would resign from the House in May 1999. This was despite support from the Minority Leader Dick Gephardt
Dick Gephardt
Richard Andrew "Dick" Gephardt is a lobbyist and former prominent American politician of the Democratic Party. Gephardt served as a U.S. Representative from Missouri from January 3, 1977, until January 3, 2005, serving as House Majority Leader from 1989 to 1995, and as Minority Leader from 1995 to...

 of the Democrats who had agreed to work with Livingston had the latter assumed the Speaker's office and not make a continued issue of Livingston's affair. Indeed had Livingston become Speaker as originally intended, this would have made it much more difficult for the Republicans to carry out impeachment proceedings.

Livingston was succeeded by David Vitter
David Vitter
David Vitter is the junior United States Senator from Louisiana and a member of the Republican Party. Previously, he served in the United States House of Representatives, representing the suburban Louisiana's 1st congressional district. He served as a member of the Louisiana House of...

, who later went on to become the first popularly elected Republican Senator from Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, and Bobby Jindal
Bobby Jindal
Piyush "Bobby" Jindal is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and formerly a member of the United States House of Representatives. He is a member of the Republican Party....

, who later became Governor of Louisiana. The District is currently represented by Steve Scalise
Steve Scalise
Stephen Joseph "Steve" Scalise is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2008. He is a member of the Republican Party...

 of Metairie, Louisiana.

Livingston Group


Soon after retiring from public life he founded The Livingston Group
The Livingston Group
The Livingston Group is the lobbying firm founded by Bob Livingston in 1999 after he stepped down as Speaker-elect and resigned his seat. The firm describes its services on its official website, saying it provides comprehensive public affairs, government relations and lobbying services on a global...

, one of many lobbying groups in the nation's capital. Noted accomplishments include Congressional approval of a US / Moroccan Free Trade Agreement, and Congressional normalization of relations between the US and Libya following the Libyan abdication of nuclear technology and settlement of claims by family members for people killed in Pan Am 103 and related violent incidents in the 1980s.

Clients


The Livingston Group's clients include "the Cities of New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a major United States port and the largest city and metropolitan area in the state of Louisiana. The New Orleans metropolitan area has a population of 1,235,650 as of 2009, the 46th largest in the USA. The New Orleans – Metairie – Bogalusa combined statistical area has a population...

 and Baton Rouge
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is located in East Baton Rouge Parish and is the second-largest city in the state.Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, and research center of the American South...

, Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

, the New Orleans Business Council, Rolls Royce, and Verizon." Another important client was the Republic of Turkey, on whose behalf the Group lobbied to maintain and improve US relations as they pertained to international and historical issues affecting the Republic of Turkey. Critics contend that this lobbying was a form of genocide denial
Denial of the Armenian Genocide
The denial of the Armenian Genocide is the assertion that the Armenian Genocide did not occur in the manner or to the extent described by scholarship...

, as Turkey does not recognize the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

 as a genocide, and does not want the American Government to recognize these events as genocide either.

The Livingston Group has also represented the government of Egypt. Acting as lobbyist for Egypt
Arab lobby in the United States
The Arab lobby in the United States is a collection of formal and informal groups and professional lobbyists paid directly by Arab governments that lobby the public and government of the United States on behalf of Arab interests. and/or on behalf of Arab-American rights in the United...

 Livingston "helped stall a Senate bill that called on Egypt to curtail human rights abuses" in 2010. His stated role is to enhance relations between the United States and the Republic of Egypt, which he perceives as critical to a resolution of tension in the Middle East.

Other work


Livingston, considered a formidable lobbyist, was identified by Jonathan Tilove of the New Orleans Times-Picayune as supporting U.S. Representative Anh "Joseph" Cao
Joseph Cao
Anh "Joseph" Quang Cao is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 2009 until 2011. He is a member of the Republican Party. In April 2011, he announced he will be a candidate for Attorney General of Louisiana in 2011, however in September 2011 he pulled out of the race.He was the first...

.

In 2003, Livingston was inducted into the Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame
Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame
The Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame in Winnfield, Louisiana, highlights the careers of more than a hundred of the state’s leading politicians and political journalists. Because three governors, Huey P. Long, Jr., Oscar K...

 in Winnfield.

Livingston testified in the 2009 trial of Mose Jefferson
Mose Jefferson
Mose Oliver Jefferson was a member of the New Orleans family that includes his younger brother, convicted felon and former U.S. Representative William J. Jefferson...

, who was convicted on four counts related to bribery.

In 2011, Livingston became Treasurer of the Louisiana Republican Party. "Livingston said taking the fundraising assignment for the Louisiana GOP would not in any way undermine the work of The Livingston Group."

Livingston is also a member of the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems
International Foundation for Electoral Systems
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems is an international, non-profit organization founded in 1987. This Washington, D. C.-based development organization provides assistance and support for elections in new and emerging democracies...

, a non-profit involved in international elections, and he is a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Knights Hospitaller
The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta , also known as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta , Order of Malta or Knights of Malta, is a Roman Catholic lay religious order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature. It is the world's...

.

External links