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Paul Wellstone

Paul Wellstone

Overview
Paul David Wellstone was a two-term U.S. Senator from the state of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party is a major political party in the state of Minnesota and the state affiliate of the Democratic Party. It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party...

, which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. Before being elected to the Senate in 1990, he was a professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 at Carleton College
Carleton College
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The college enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. In 2012 U.S...

. Wellstone was a progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 and a leading spokesman for the progressive wing of the national Democratic Party. He served in the Senate from 1991 until his death in a plane crash on 25 October 2002, 11 days before the US senate election
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2002
The 2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was running for re-election to a third term, but died in a plane crash eleven days before the election. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chose former Vice President...

 in which he was running for a third term.
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Encyclopedia
Paul David Wellstone was a two-term U.S. Senator from the state of Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 and member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party is a major political party in the state of Minnesota and the state affiliate of the Democratic Party. It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party...

, which is affiliated with the national Democratic Party. Before being elected to the Senate in 1990, he was a professor
Professor
A professor is a scholarly teacher; the precise meaning of the term varies by country. Literally, professor derives from Latin as a "person who professes" being usually an expert in arts or sciences; a teacher of high rank...

 of political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 at Carleton College
Carleton College
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The college enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. In 2012 U.S...

. Wellstone was a progressive
Progressivism
Progressivism is an umbrella term for a political ideology advocating or favoring social, political, and economic reform or changes. Progressivism is often viewed by some conservatives, constitutionalists, and libertarians to be in opposition to conservative or reactionary ideologies.The...

 and a leading spokesman for the progressive wing of the national Democratic Party. He served in the Senate from 1991 until his death in a plane crash on 25 October 2002, 11 days before the US senate election
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2002
The 2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was running for re-election to a third term, but died in a plane crash eleven days before the election. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chose former Vice President...

 in which he was running for a third term. His wife, Sheila
Sheila Wellstone
Sheila Ison Wellstone was an advocate for human rights, the environment, and peace. She was married to U.S. Senator from Minnesota Paul Wellstone....

, and daughter, Marcia, also died in the crash. They had two other grown children, David and Mark, who now co-chair the Wellstone Action
Wellstone Action
Wellstone Action is a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based non-profit organization that was founded by Jeff Blodgett. The camp trains progressive citizens - and potential candidates for public office - how to succeed in winning elections, enacting legislation, and passing ballot initiatives. The...

 nonprofit group.

Early life


Wellstone was born in Washington D.C. to Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

-Jewish immigrants, Leon and Minnie Wellstone, and raised in Arlington, Virginia
Arlington County, Virginia
Arlington County is a county in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The land that became Arlington was originally donated by Virginia to the United States government to form part of the new federal capital district. On February 27, 1801, the United States Congress organized the area as a subdivision of...

. Originally, his family name was Wexelstein, but his father changed the name to Wellstone in the 1930s when he encountered virulent anti-semitism. He attended Yorktown High School in Arlington. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

 (UNC) on a wrestling scholarship, graduating with a degree in political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 in three years and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was an undefeated Atlantic Coast Conference
Atlantic Coast Conference
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a collegiate athletic league in the United States. Founded in 1953 in Greensboro, North Carolina, the ACC sanctions competition in twenty-five sports in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association for its twelve member universities...

 champion in wrestling
Wrestling
Wrestling is a form of grappling type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. A wrestling bout is a physical competition, between two competitors or sparring partners, who attempt to gain and maintain a superior position...

.

Wellstone married in 1963. In 1965 he earned his B.A. in Political Science; William Keech and Joel Schwartz served as his thesis advisers. Four years later he was awarded a Ph.D. in Political Science. Wellstone's 1969 doctoral dissertation at UNC was "Black Militants in the Ghetto: Why They Believe in Violence." Upon earning his Ph.D., Wellstone accepted a job as a Professor of Political Science at Carleton College
Carleton College
Carleton College is an independent non-sectarian, coeducational, liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, USA. The college enrolls 1,958 undergraduate students, and employs 198 full-time faculty members. In 2012 U.S...

 in Northfield
Northfield, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,147 people, 4,909 households, and 3,210 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,452.2 people per square mile . There were 5,119 housing units at an average density of 732.1 per square mile...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

, where he taught until his election to the Senate in 1990.

During the 1970s, he became involved in community organizing
Community organizing
Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. A core goal of community organizing is to generate durable power for an organization representing the community, allowing it to influence...

, working with the working poor and other politically disenfranchised communities. The first organization he founded was the Organization for a Better Rice County, a group consisting mainly of single parents on welfare
Aid to Families with Dependent Children
Aid to Families with Dependent Children was a federal assistance program in effect from 1935 to 1996, which was administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services...

, which he organized to advocate for public housing, affordable health care, improved public education, free school lunches, and a publicly-funded day care center . During this same period, he also began organizing with union members, farmers, and liberal activists. Later, he would use these connections in his bid for the Senate.

In the early 1970s, the trustees of Carleton College considered firing him, and actually did fire him for a short time, but his students held a sit-in that resulted in him getting his job back and becoming the youngest professor at Carleton to ever get tenure.

Political career


In 1982, he ran for state auditor
Minnesota State Auditor
The Minnesota State Auditor is a constitutional officer in the executive branch of the U.S. State of Minnesota. The State Auditor is charged with overseeing more than $20 billion spent annually by local governments in Minnesota...

 but lost to Arne Carlson
Arne Carlson
Arne Helge Carlson, Sr. is an American politician and the 37th Governor of the state of Minnesota.-Early years, education and family:...

. In 1988, he was the Minnesota campaign manager for Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

's presidential campaign.

In 1990
United States Senate elections, 1990
Elections to one-third of the seats in the United States Senate were held on Tuesday, November 6, 1990. The Democratic Party increased its majority with a net gain of one seat from the Republicans. This was in keeping with the trend that the party of the President often loses seats in a midterm...

, Wellstone ran for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Rudy Boschwitz
Rudy Boschwitz
Rudolph Ely "Rudy" Boschwitz is a former Independent-Republican United States Senator from Minnesota. He served in the Senate from December 1978 to January 1991, in the 96th, 97th, 98th, 99th, 100th, and 101st congresses. He was then defeated by Paul Wellstone.-Life and career:Boschwitz was born...

, beginning the race as a serious underdog. He narrowly won the election, after being outspent by a 7-to-1 margin. Wellstone played off of his underdog image by airing a number of quirky, humorous advertisements created by political consultant Bill Hillsman
Bill Hillsman
William Gerard Hillsman, Jr. is an American political consultant and advertising executive. He works and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota...

 including "Fast Paul" and "Looking for Rudy", a pastiche
Pastiche
A pastiche is a literary or other artistic genre or technique that is a "hodge-podge" or imitation. The word is also a linguistic term used to describe an early stage in the development of a pidgin language.-Hodge-podge:...

 of the 1989 Michael Moore
Michael Moore
Michael Francis Moore is an American filmmaker, author, social critic and activist. He is the director and producer of Fahrenheit 9/11, which is the highest-grossing documentary of all time. His films Bowling for Columbine and Sicko also place in the top ten highest-grossing documentaries...

 documentary Roger & Me
Roger & Me
Roger & Me is a 1989 American documentary film directed by Michael Moore. Moore portrays the regional negative economic impact of General Motors CEO Roger Smith's summary action of closing several auto plants in Flint, Michigan, costing 30,000 people their jobs at the time and economically...

. Boschwitz was also hurt by a letter his supporters wrote, on campaign stationery, to members of the Minnesota Jewish community days before the election, accusing Wellstone of being a "bad Jew" for marrying a Gentile
Gentile
The term Gentile refers to non-Israelite peoples or nations in English translations of the Bible....

 and not raising his children in the Jewish faith. (Boschwitz, like Wellstone, is Jewish.) Wellstone's reply, widely broadcast on Minnesota television, was, "He has a problem with Christians, then." Boschwitz was the only incumbent U.S. senator to lose re-election that year.
Wellstone defeated Boschwitz again for re-election in 1996
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 1996
The 1996 United States Senate election in Minnesota was held on November 5, 1996. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone won re-election to a second term.-DFL:-Republican:-Major candidates:...

. During that campaign, Boschwitz ran ads accusing Wellstone of being "embarrassingly liberal" and calling him "Senator Welfare". Boschwitz accused Wellstone of supporting flag burning, a move that some believe possibly backfired. Prior to that accusation, Boschwitz had significantly outspent Wellstone on campaign advertising and the race was closely contested, but Wellstone went on to beat Boschwitz by a nine-point margin in a three way race (Dean Barkley received 7%).

Wellstone's upset victory in 1990 and subsequent re-election in 1996 were also credited to a massive grassroots
Grassroots democracy
Grassroots democracy is a tendency towards designing political processes where as much decision-making authority as practical is shifted to the organization's lowest geographic level of organization: principle of subsidiarity....

 campaign, which inspired college students, poor people and minorities to get involved in politics for the very first time. In 1990, the number of young people involved in the campaign was so notable that shortly after the election, Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

 told Wellstone that "the kids won it for you". Wellstone also spent a large portion of his Senate career working with the Hmong American
Hmong American
A Hmong American is a resident of the United States who is of ethnic Hmong descent. Hmong Americans are one group of Asian Americans. Many Lao Hmong war refugees resettled in the U.S. following the communist takeover of Laos in 1975...

 community in Minnesota, an immigrant community that had not traditionally been involved in American politics. Wellstone also spent a great deal of his Senate career cultivating the veterans community - he served on the Senate Committee on Veteran's Affairs, and successfully campaigned for atomic veteran
Atomic veteran
An atomic veteran is a veteran of the armed services who has been exposed to dangerous levels of nuclear radiation resulting from atomic weapons in the course of his or her duties.- External links :*...

s to receive compensation from the federal government and for increased spending on health care for veterans.

In 2002, Wellstone campaigned for re-election to a third term (despite an earlier campaign pledge to only serve two terms) against Republican
Republican Party of Minnesota
The Republican Party of Minnesota is the Minnesota branch of the United States Republican Party. Elected by the party’s state central committee in June 2009, its chairman is Tony Sutton, and its deputy-chairman is Michael Brodkorb.-Early history:...

 Norm Coleman
Norm Coleman
Norman Bertram Coleman, Jr. is an American attorney and politician. He was a United States senator from Minnesota from 2003 to 2009. Coleman was elected in 2002 and served in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. Before becoming a senator, he was mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from 1994 to 2002...

, the two-term mayor of St. Paul
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

, formerly a Democrat who had supported Wellstone in his 1996 re-election campaign. Earlier that year he announced he had a mild form of multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

, causing the limp he had believed was an old wrestling injury.

Wellstone was in a line of left-of-center or liberal senators of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party is a major political party in the state of Minnesota and the state affiliate of the Democratic Party. It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party...

 (DFL). The first three, Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

, Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

 and Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

, were all prominent in the national Democratic Party. Shortly after joining the Senate, South Carolina Senator Fritz Hollings
Ernest Hollings
Ernest Frederick "Fritz" Hollings served as a Democratic United States Senator from South Carolina from 1966 to 2005, as well as the 106th Governor of South Carolina and Lt. Governor . He served 38 years and 55 days in the Senate, which makes him the 8th-longest-serving Senator in history...

 approached Wellstone and told him, "You remind me of Hubert Humphrey. You talk too much."

Policy views


Wellstone was known for his work for peace, the environment, labor, and health care; he also joined his wife Sheila to support the rights of victims of domestic violence
Domestic violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

. He made the issue of mental illness a central focus in his career. He was a supporter of immigration to the U.S. He opposed the first Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 in 1991 and, in the months before his death, spoke out against the government's threats to go to war with Iraq again. He was strongly supported by groups such as Americans for Democratic Action
Americans for Democratic Action
Americans for Democratic Action is an American political organization advocating progressive policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research and supporting progressive candidates.-History:...

, the AFL-CIO
AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

, the Sierra Club
Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president...

, the American Civil Liberties Union
American Civil Liberties Union
The American Civil Liberties Union is a U.S. non-profit organization whose stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." It works through litigation, legislation, and...

, and People for the American Way
People For the American Way
People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy group in the United States. Under U.S. tax code, People For the American Way is organized as a tax-exempt 501 non-profit organization.-Purpose:...

.

In 1996, he voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act
Defense of Marriage Act
The Defense of Marriage Act is a United States federal law whereby the federal government defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. Under the law, no U.S. state may be required to recognize as a marriage a same-sex relationship considered a marriage in another state...

. He later asked his supporters to educate him on the issue and by 2001, when he wrote his autobiography, Conscience of a Liberal, Wellstone admitted that he had made a mistake.

After voting against the congressional authorization for the war in Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

 on October 11, 2002, in the midst of a tight election, Wellstone is said to have told his wife, "I just cost myself the election."

In the 2002 campaign, the Green Party
Green Party (United States)
The Green Party of the United States is a nationally recognized political party which officially formed in 1991. It is a voluntary association of state green parties. Prior to national formation, many state affiliates had already formed and were recognized by other state parties...

 ran a candidate against Wellstone, a move which some Greens opposed. The party's 2000 Vice-Presidential nominee, Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke
Winona LaDuke is a Native American activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for vice president as the nominee of the United States Green Party, on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. In the 2004 election, however, she endorsed one of Nader's opponents, Democratic...

, described Wellstone as "a champion of the vast majority of our issues". The Green Party's decision to oppose Wellstone was criticized by some liberals.

Wellstone was the author of the 'Wellstone Amendment' added to the McCain-Feingold Bill for Campaign Finance Reform
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

, in what came to be known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
Campaign finance reform
Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns....

. The law, including the Wellstone Amendment, was called unconstitutional by groups and individuals of various political perspectives, including the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 State Democratic Party, the National Rifle Association
National Rifle Association
The National Rifle Association of America is an American non-profit 501 civil rights organization which advocates for the protection of the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the protection...

, and Republican Senator Mitch McConnell
Mitch McConnell
Addison Mitchell "Mitch" McConnell, Jr. is the senior United States Senator from Kentucky and the Republican Minority Leader.- Early life, education, and military service :...

 (Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

), the Senate Majority Whip
Whip (politics)
A whip is an official in a political party whose primary purpose is to ensure party discipline in a legislature. Whips are a party's "enforcers", who typically offer inducements and threaten punishments for party members to ensure that they vote according to the official party policy...

. On December 10, 2003, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling upholding the key provisions of McCain-Feingold, including the Wellstone Amendment. Wellstone called McCain-Feingold's protection of "advocacy" groups a "loophole" allowing "special interests" to run last-minute election ads. Wellstone pushed an amendment to extend McCain-Feingold's ban on last-minute ads to nonprofits like "the NRA, the Sierra Club
Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president...

, the Christian Coalition, and others." Under the Wellstone Amendment, these organizations could only advertise using money raised under strict "hard money" limits — no more than $5,000 per individual.

In January 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the McCain-Feingold Bill and removed restrictions on the NRA and other's ability to campaign at election time in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, , was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that the First Amendment prohibits government from censoring political broadcasts in candidate elections when those broadcasts are funded by corporations or unions...

.

Presidential aspirations


Shortly after his re-election to the Senate in 1996, Wellstone began contemplating a run for his party's nomination for President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 in 2000.


As the first stage in his campaign, he embarked upon a cross-country speaking and listening tour that he dubbed "the Children's Tour" in May 1997. This tour, which took him to rural areas of Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and Appalachia
Appalachia
Appalachia is a term used to describe a cultural region in the eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in the U.S...

 and the inner cities
Inner city
The inner city is the central area of a major city or metropolis. In the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland, the term is often applied to the lower-income residential districts in the city centre and nearby areas...

 of Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

, and Baltimore, was intended to retrace the steps taken by Senator Robert F. Kennedy
Robert F. Kennedy
Robert Francis "Bobby" Kennedy , also referred to by his initials RFK, was an American politician, a Democratic senator from New York, and a noted civil rights activist. An icon of modern American liberalism and member of the Kennedy family, he was a younger brother of President John F...

 during a similar tour in 1966, in order to highlight the fact that conditions had not improved, as well as to test his message.

In 1998, Wellstone began to more openly investigate the possibility of running. He formed an exploratory committee
Exploratory Committee
In the election politics of the United States, an exploratory committee is an organization established to help determine whether a potential candidate should run for an elected office. They are most often cited in reference to United States Presidential hopefuls, prior to the primaries.Exploratory...

 that paid for his travels to Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 and New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

, homes of the two first contests of the nomination process, to speak before organized labor and local Democrats. (His catchphrase from these speeches, "I represent the democratic wing of the Democratic Party," would later be incorporated into the 2004 stump speech of Governor Howard Dean
Howard Dean
Howard Brush Dean III is an American politician and physician from Vermont. He served six terms as the 79th Governor of Vermont and ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. Although his U.S...

.)

On January 9, 1999, Wellstone called a press conference
News conference
A news conference or press conference is a media event in which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and, most often, ask questions. A joint press conference instead is held between two or more talking sides.-Practice:...

 in the Minnesota capitol building. Rather than announcing his candidacy, as had been expected, he instead declared that he would not be a candidate. His explanation was that his old wrestling injury (in reality, it would some time later be diagnosed as multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

) prevented him from mustering the stamina necessary for a national campaign. Later that year, he would endorse the candidacy of former Senator Bill Bradley
Bill Bradley
William Warren "Bill" Bradley is an American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party's nomination for President in the 2000 election.Bradley was born and raised in a suburb of St....

 of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

, the only Democrat to run against Gore.

Gulf War


Wellstone voted against authorizing the use of force before the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

 on January 12, 1991 (the vote was 52–47 in favor). He also voted against the use of force before the Iraq War on October 11, 2002 (the vote was 77–23 in favor). Wellstone was one of 11 senators to vote against both the 1991 and 2002 resolutions. The others were also all Democratic senators: Daniel Akaka
Daniel Akaka
Daniel Kahikina Akaka is the junior U.S. Senator from Hawaii and a member of the Democratic Party. He is the first U.S. Senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry and is currently the only member of the Senate who has Chinese ancestry....

 of Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, Jeff Bingaman
Jeff Bingaman
Jesse Francis "Jeff" Bingaman, Jr. , is the senior U.S. Senator from New Mexico and a member of the Democratic Party...

 of New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd
Robert Carlyle Byrd was a United States Senator from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959 to 2010...

 of West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

, Kent Conrad
Kent Conrad
Kent Conrad is the senior United States Senator from North Dakota. He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party, the North Dakota affiliate of the Democratic Party...

 of North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, Daniel Inouye
Daniel Inouye
Daniel Ken "Dan" Inouye is the senior United States Senator from Hawaii, a member of the Democratic Party, and the President pro tempore of the United States Senate making him the highest-ranking Asian American politician in American history. Inouye is the chairman of the United States Senate...

 of Hawaii, Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 of Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, Patrick Leahy
Patrick Leahy
Patrick Joseph Leahy is the senior United States Senator from Vermont and member of the Democratic Party. He is the first and only elected Democratic United States Senator in Vermont's history. He is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy is the second most senior U.S. Senator,...

 of Vermont
Vermont
Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

, Carl Levin
Carl Levin
Carl Milton Levin is a Jewish-American United States Senator from Michigan, serving since 1979. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 of Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Barbara Mikulski
Barbara Mikulski
Barbara Ann Mikulski is the senior United States Senator from Maryland and a member of the Democratic Party. Mikulski, a former U.S. Representative, is the longest-serving female senator in U.S...

 of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, and Paul Sarbanes
Paul Sarbanes
Paul Spyros Sarbanes , a Democrat, is a former United States Senator who represented the state of Maryland. Sarbanes was the longest-serving senator in Maryland history, having served from 1977 until 2007. He did not seek re-election in 2006, when he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Ben Cardin...

 of Maryland.

Other key military action votes


Wellstone supported requests for military action by 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...

, including Operation Restore Hope in Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

 (1992), Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Uphold Democracy
Operation Uphold Democracy was an intervention designed to remove the military regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état that overthrew the elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide...

 in Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 (1994), Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

 (1995), Operation Desert Fox in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 (1998) and Operation Allied Force in Yugoslavia (1999). On July 1, 1994, during the 100-day Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

 from April 6 to mid-July 1994, Wellstone authored an amendment to the 1995 defense appropriations bill.

Death


On October 25, 2002, Wellstone, along with seven others, died in an airplane crash in northern Minnesota, at approximately 10:22 a.m. He was 58 years old. The other victims were his wife, Sheila; one of his three children, Marcia; the two pilots, his driver and two campaign staffers. The airplane was en route to Eveleth
Eveleth, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,865 people, 1,717 households, and 971 families residing in the city. The population density was 611.0 people per square mile . There were 1,965 housing units at an average density of 310.6 per square mile...

, where Wellstone was to attend the funeral of Martin Rukavina, a steelworker whose son Tom Rukavina
Tom Rukavina
Thomas "Tom" Rukavina is a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, representing District 5A since 1987. His district, known as the Mesabi Range, includes portions of St...

 serves in the Minnesota House of Representatives
Minnesota House of Representatives
The Minnesota House of Representatives is the lower house in the Minnesota State Legislature. There are 134 members elected to two-year terms, twice the number of members in the Minnesota Senate. Each senate district is divided in half and given the suffix A or B...

. Wellstone decided to go to the funeral instead of a rally and fundraiser in Minneapolis attended by Mondale and fellow Senator Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

. He was to debate Norm Coleman in Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

, that same night.


The Beechcraft King Air A100
Beechcraft King Air
The Beechcraft King Air family is part of a line of twin-turboprop aircraft produced by the Beech Aircraft Corporation...

 airplane crashed into dense forest about two miles from the Eveleth
Eveleth, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,865 people, 1,717 households, and 971 families residing in the city. The population density was 611.0 people per square mile . There were 1,965 housing units at an average density of 310.6 per square mile...

 airport, while operating under instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules
Instrument flight rules are one of two sets of regulations governing all aspects of civil aviation aircraft operations; the other are visual flight rules ....

. It had no flight data recorder
Flight data recorder
A flight data recorder is an electronic device employed to record any instructions sent to any electronic systems on an aircraft. It is a device used to record specific aircraft performance parameters...

s. Autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 toxicology
Toxicology
Toxicology is a branch of biology, chemistry, and medicine concerned with the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms...

 results on both pilots were negative for drug or alcohol use. Icing
Atmospheric icing
Atmospheric icing occurs when water droplets in the atmosphere freeze on objects they contact. This can be extremely dangerous to aircraft, as the built-up ice changes the aerodynamics of the flight surfaces, which can increase the risk of a subsequent stalling of the airfoil...

, though widely reported on in following days, was considered and eventually rejected as a significant factor in the crash. The board judged that while cloud cover might have prevented the flight crew from seeing the airport, icing did not affect the airplane's performance during the descent.

At first, FBI agents were sent to investigate possible foul play involved with the crash. After a few days, the agents ruled out the possibility that the crash was not accidental, but not before following several criminal leads involving death threats. Wellstone had been receiving death threats since he took office, forcing the FBI to tap his phone so it could locate angry callers. Information regarding the FBI's involvement in investigating Wellstone's death was not publicly released until October 2010. Government documents also indicated that the FBI had been following Wellstone before he became a senator, and included records dating back as far as his arrest at a 1970 anti-war protest.

The National Transportation Safety Board
National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation. In this role, the NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents and incidents, certain types of highway crashes, ship and marine...

 (NTSB) later determined that the likely cause of the accident was the failure of both the pilot and copilot to maintain a safe minimum airspeed, leading to a stall
Stall (flight)
In fluid dynamics, a stall is a reduction in the lift coefficient generated by a foil as angle of attack increases. This occurs when the critical angle of attack of the foil is exceeded...

 from which they could not recover. The final two radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 readings detected the airplane traveling at or just below its predicted stall speed given conditions at the time of the accident. Aviation experts speculated the pilots might have lost situational awareness because they were lost and looking for the airport. They had been off course for several minutes and "clicked on" the runway lights, something not usually done in good visibility. There was a problem with the airport's navigational beacon (VOR). According to Minnesota Public Radio:
Other pilots at the charter company told NTSB that both pilots displayed below average flying skills. The captain had a well-known tendency to allow copilots to take over all functions of the aircraft as if they were the sole pilot during flights. After the crash, three copilots told of occasions in which they had to take control of the aircraft away from the captain of the accident flight. After one of those incidents, only three days before the crash, the copilot had urged the captain to retire. A few months before the crash, the accident flight's captain told another pilot, a childhood friend, that he had difficulty piloting and landing King Airs. Significant discrepancies were also found in the captain's flight logs in the course of the post-accident investigation indicating he had probably greatly exaggerated his flying experience, most of which had been accrued before a 12 year hiatus from flying due to a fraud conviction and poor eyesight. In 2001 he had Lasik surgery but it only improved his vision to 20/50, 20/30 and he was required by FAA regulations to wear corrective lenses, however the pilot's wife and his childhood friend said he had stopped wearing them. The coroner who examined his badly burned body was unable to determine if he was wearing contacts at the time of the crash.

The First Officer was cited by coworkers as having to be consistently reminded to keep his hand on the throttle and maintain airspeed during approaches. He had two previous piloting jobs, 1998-9 with Skydive Hutchinson as a pilot and in 1999 with Northwest Airlines as a trainee instructor. However he was dismissed from both jobs for lack of ability. The captain's widow told the NTSB that her husband told her “the other pilots thought [the accident flight's copilot] was not a good pilot.”

Aftermath


Don Hazen, executive editor of Alternet
AlterNet
AlterNet, a project of the non-profit Independent Media Institute, is a progressive/liberal activist news service. Launched in 1998, AlterNet now claims a readership of over 3 million visitors per month .AlterNet publishes original content as well as journalism from a wide variety of other sources...

, wrote of the death, "Progressives across the land are in shock as the person many think of as the conscience
Conscience
Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Moral judgement may derive from values or norms...

 of the Senate is gone." Wellstone died just 11 days before his potential re-election
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2002
The 2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was running for re-election to a third term, but died in a plane crash eleven days before the election. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chose former Vice President...

 in a crucial race to maintain Democratic control of the Senate. Campaigning was halted by all sides. Minnesota law required that his name be stricken from the ballot, to be replaced by a candidate chosen by the party. The DFL selected former Vice President Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

 to compete with Norm Coleman
Norm Coleman
Norman Bertram Coleman, Jr. is an American attorney and politician. He was a United States senator from Minnesota from 2003 to 2009. Coleman was elected in 2002 and served in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. Before becoming a senator, he was mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from 1994 to 2002...

 in the general election.

The memorial service for Wellstone and the other victims of the crash was held in Williams Arena
Williams Arena
Williams Arena, located on the Twin Cities main campus of the University of Minnesota is the home of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers men's and women's basketball teams, and the men's and women's hockey teams until 1992, when the hockey teams received their own buildings...

 at the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 and was broadcast live on national TV. Many high profile politicians attended the memorial, including former 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...

, former Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, and more than half of the U.S. Senate. The White House offered to send Vice-President Dick Cheney
Dick Cheney
Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney served as the 46th Vice President of the United States , under George W. Bush....

 to the service, but the Wellstone family declined.

The "raucously partisan" memorial service was criticized by many people, including radio host Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III is an American radio talk show host, conservative political commentator, and an opinion leader in American conservatism. He hosts The Rush Limbaugh Show which is aired throughout the U.S. on Premiere Radio Networks and is the highest-rated talk-radio program in the United...

 and Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's former speechwriter Peggy Noonan
Peggy Noonan
Peggy Noonan is an American author of seven books on politics, religion, and culture and a weekly columnist for The Wall Street Journal...

, for having a political tone. Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura
James George Janos , better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host...

, who had stated his preference to appoint a Democrat to serve out the remainder of Wellstone's term through January 2003, "stormed out" of the "partisan foot-stomp" event and threatened to appoint "an ordinary citizen" instead. Some disputed this criticism, however; in his book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is a satirical book on American politics by comedian, political commentator and now Senator Al Franken, published in 2003 by Dutton, a subsidiary in the Penguin Group. Franken had a study group of 14 Harvard graduate students known as "TeamFranken" to help him...

, comedian and political commentator Al Franken
Al Franken
Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

 wrote that conservative media figures had distorted the event for political gain. On November 4, the day before the election, Ventura appointed state planning commissioner Dean Barkley
Dean Barkley
Dean Malcolm Barkley is a politician who briefly served as a member of the United States Senate from Minnesota following the death of Paul Wellstone...

, founder and chair of Ventura's Independence Party of Minnesota
Independence Party of Minnesota
The Independence Party of Minnesota , formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is the third largest political party in Minnesota, behind the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Republican Party . It is the political party of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura , and endorsed former U.S...

, to complete the remaining two months of Wellstone's Senate term; he had run against Wellstone in 1996.

Coleman won Wellstone's seat but was defeated in his bid for reelection by Franken in 2008
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008
The 2008 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 4, 2008. After a legal battle lasting over eight months, Al Franken from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in one of the closest elections in the history of the Senate...

, in a three-way race that included Barkley.

The song "The Ballad of Paul and Sheila" by folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 artist Mason Jennings
Mason Jennings
Mason Jennings is an American pop-folk singer-songwriter. He is well known for his simple yet catchy melodies, intimate lyrics, literary and historical themes, and distinctive voice...

 was written about the deaths of the senator and his wife. Wellstone is also mentioned in "The Cause of Death" by rap artist Immortal Technique.

Legacy



The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
AFL-CIO
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, commonly AFL–CIO, is a national trade union center, the largest federation of unions in the United States, made up of 56 national and international unions, together representing more than 11 million workers...

 has created the AFL-CIO Senator Paul Wellstone Award for supporters of the rights of labor unions. Presidential candidate Howard Dean
Howard Dean
Howard Brush Dean III is an American politician and physician from Vermont. He served six terms as the 79th Governor of Vermont and ran unsuccessfully for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2005 to 2009. Although his U.S...

 and California state senator John Burton
John L. Burton
John Lowell Burton is the current Chairman of the California Democratic Party. He is an American politician who served as a Democratic California State Senator from 1996 until 2004, representing the 3rd district. From 1998 until he was forced out of office by term limits in 2004, he served as the...

 both received the first award in January 2003. In 2004, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States...

 dedicated the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Memorial Garden as a tribute to the couple, both graduates of the university.

Near the site of his plane crash, a memorial to the Wellstones was dedicated on September 25, 2005. His distinctive green bus was present, as well as hundreds of supporters and loved ones. The Senator and his wife were laid to rest at Lakewood Cemetery
Lakewood Cemetery
Lakewood Cemetery is a large private, non-sectarian cemetery located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is located at 3600 Hennepin Avenue at the southern end of the Uptown area...

 in Minneapolis, the same cemetery in which Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey is interred. A memorial sculpture near Lake Calhoun
Lake Calhoun
Lake Calhoun is the biggest lake in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and part of the city's Chain of Lakes. Surrounded by city park land and circled by bike and walking trails, it is popular for many outdoor activities...

 marks their gravesites. Visitors sometimes follow the Jewish custom of placing small stones on the boulder marking the family plot or on the individual markers. His legacy continues as Wellstone Action
Wellstone Action
Wellstone Action is a Saint Paul, Minnesota-based non-profit organization that was founded by Jeff Blodgett. The camp trains progressive citizens - and potential candidates for public office - how to succeed in winning elections, enacting legislation, and passing ballot initiatives. The...

, a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that trains citizens and potential candidates with a progressive agenda.

In 2007, former First Lady
First Lady
First Lady or First Gentlemanis the unofficial title used in some countries for the spouse of an elected head of state.It is not normally used to refer to the spouse or partner of a prime minister; the husband or wife of the British Prime Minister is usually informally referred to as prime...

 Rosalynn Carter
Rosalynn Carter
Eleanor Rosalynn Carter is the wife of the former President of the United States Jimmy Carter and in that capacity served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981. As First Lady and after, she has been a leading advocate for numerous causes, perhaps most prominently for mental...

 joined with David Wellstone to push Congress to pass legislation regarding mental health
Mental health
Mental health describes either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and...

 insurance. Wellstone and Carter worked to pass the "Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008" which requires equal coverage of mental and physical illnesses when policies include both types of coverage; both testified before a House subcommittee regarding the bill in July 2007. David said of his father, "Although he was passionate on many issues, there was not another issue that surpassed this in terms of his passion." Because Paul Wellstone's brother had suffered from mental illness, Wellstone had fought for changes in mental health and insurance laws when he reached the Senate.

On March 5, 2008 the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 passed H.R. 1424, the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Addiction Equity Act of 2007, by a vote of 268-148. It was sponsored by Representatives Patrick Kennedy
Patrick J. Kennedy
Patrick Joseph Kennedy II is the former U.S. Representative for , serving from 1995 until 2011. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The district includes all of Bristol County and Newport County, and parts of Providence County. Kennedy did not seek re-election in 2010.A member of the Kennedy...

 (D-Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

) and Representative Jim Ramstad
Jim Ramstad
James Marvin "Jim" Ramstad is a United States politician from the state of Minnesota.-Early life:Ramstad was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, was educated at the University of Minnesota and the George Washington University Law School. He was an officer in the United States National Guard from 1968...

, (R-Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

), both of whom are recovering alcoholics. The narrower Senate bill S. 558, passed earlier, was introduced by Kennedy's father, Senator Edward Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 (D-Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

), Pete Domenici
Pete Domenici
Pietro Vichi "Pete" Domenici is an American Republican politician, who served six terms as a United States Senator from New Mexico, from 1973 to 2009, the longest tenure in the state's history....

, (R-New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

), and Mike Enzi
Mike Enzi
Michael Bradley "Mike" Enzi is the senior U.S. Senator from Wyoming and a member of the Republican Party.Raised in Thermopolis, Wyoming, Enzi attended George Washington University and the University of Denver. He expanded his father's shoe store business in Gillette before being elected mayor of...

, (R-Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

).

Electoral history



*Wellstone won the Democratic primary in 2002, but was replaced by Mondale after his death. Absentee ballots that had already been cast did not count towards Mondale's totals.

See also

  • Albert Scott Crossfield
    Albert Scott Crossfield
    Albert Scott Crossfield was an American naval officer and test pilot.-Biography:Born in Berkeley, California, Crossfield grew up in California and Washington. He served with the U.S. Navy as a flight instructor and fighter pilot during World War II...

  • Brook Berringer
    Brook Berringer
    Brook Warren Berringer was an American quarterback for the University of Nebraska football team in the mid-1990s. Berringer came to Nebraska from Goodland, Kansas, and played a back-up role to Tommie Frazier...

  • Jessica Dubroff
    Jessica Dubroff
    Jessica Whitney Dubroff was a seven-year-old pilot trainee who died attempting to become the youngest person to fly an airplane across the United States...

  • John F. Kennedy, Jr. Piper Saratoga crash
  • John T. Walton
    John T. Walton
    John Thomas Walton was a decorated United States war veteran and a son of Walmart founder Sam Walton. He was also the chairman of True North Partners, a venture capital firm...


Further reading

  • Blodgett, Jeff, Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way, University of Minnesota Press, 2008. http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/B/blodgett_winning.html
  • Casper, Barry (Mike), Lost in Washington: Finding the Way Back to Democracy in America, University of Massachusetts Press, 2000.
  • Four Arrows (Don Trent Jacobs) and Fetzer, Jim, American Assassination: the Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone, Vox Pop, 2004.
  • Hightower, Jim. "Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can go With the Flow". Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons, Inc, 2008.
  • Bill Hillsman
    Bill Hillsman
    William Gerard Hillsman, Jr. is an American political consultant and advertising executive. He works and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota...

    , Run The Other Way: Fixing the Two-Party System, One Campaign at a Time
  • Lofy, Bill, Paul Wellstone: The Life of a Passionate Progressive, University of Michigan Press, 2005
  • Lofy, Bill, Politics the Wellstone Way: How to Elect Progressive Candidates and Win on Issues, University of Minnesota Press, 2005. http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/W/wellstone_politics.html
  • McGrath, Dennis J. and Smith, Dane, Professor Wellstone Goes to Washington: The Inside Story of a Grassroots U.S. Senate Campaign, University of Minnesota Press, 1995. http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/M/mcgrath_prof.html
  • Wellstone, Paul, The Conscience of a Liberal: Reclaiming the Compassionate Agenda, University of Minnesota Press, 2002. http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/W/wellstone_conscience.html
  • Wellstone, Paul, How the Rural Poor Got Power: Narrative of a Grass-Roots Organizer, University of Minnesota Press, 2003. http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/W/wellstone_how.html
  • Wellstone, Paul, and Barry Casper, Powerline: The First Battle of America's Energy War, University of Minnesota Press, 2003. http://www.upress.umn.edu/Books/W/wellstone_powerline.html

External links