You are here: > Resources > Senator Joseph "Joe" I. Lieberman

Senator Joseph "Joe" I. Lieberman

Self Description

December 2005: "Now in his third term representing Connecticut in the United States Senate, Joe Lieberman has earned a national reputation as a thoughtful, principled, and effective legislator. He is perhaps best known as the Democratic candidate for Vice President in 2000. More than that, he is a national leader who works across party lines to find common ground, who speaks his conscience, and who gets things done for Connecticut and the country...."

Senator Lieberman was born in Stamford, Connecticut, on February 24, 1942, and attended public schools there. He received his bachelor's degree from Yale College in 1964 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1967. Senator Lieberman was elected to the Connecticut State Senate in 1970 and served there for ten years, including the last six as Majority Leader. In 1980, he returned to private legal practice for two years, and from 1983 through 1988, he served as Connecticut's 21st Attorney General. As Attorney General he took on polluters of Connecticut's environment, went after deadbeat dads by strengthening child support enforcement, and earned a strong reputation as a defender of consumers' rights.

Senator Lieberman was first elected to the United States Senate in 1988, scoring the nation's biggest political upset that year by a margin of just 10,000 votes. Six years later, he made history by winning the biggest landslide victory ever in a Connecticut Senate race, drawing 67 percent of the vote and beating his opponent by more than 350,000 votes. In 2000, Senator Lieberman was elected by another overwhelming margin to a third term.

Senator Lieberman is Ranking Member and former Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (formerly the Governmental Affairs Committee), which is responsible for assuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal Government. In addition, he is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on AirLand Forces and sits on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities; and the Small Business Committee.

Senator Lieberman is also a former Chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), which is "an idea center, catalyst, and national voice for a reform movement that is reshaping American politics by moving it beyond the old left-right debate." The DLC, like Senator Lieberman, advances public policy that honors the core American values of responsibility, opportunity, and community.

Third-Party Descriptions

July 2012: 'And this is more than just some idle speculation by hawkish members of the judiciary subcommittee: As Timm points out in his EFF post, a senior Justice Department official told the Washingtonian recently that journalists who speak to government sources about top-secret information should be careful, because doing so could “put them at risk of prosecution.” In the wake of the diplomatic-cable incident, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) also proposed something called the SHIELD law, which would make it a crime for anyone to publish classified information that might be “contrary to the national interest,” legislation he continues to promote.'

December 2010: ''The U.S. military will for the first time in history allow gays to serve openly...."This is one of the days where you really feel privileged to be in the U.S. Senate," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), the other co-sponsor of the bill. "There's been a lot of difficult times the last couple of years because it's so partisan to get anything done. But here we are, it came together."'

December 2010: 'The announcement came from Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. Lieberman said in a statement that Amazon's "decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies Wikileaks is using to distribute its illegally seized material."'

November 2008: 'IT’S NOT ONLY FOREIGN COUNTRIES that are eager to restrict speech on Google and YouTube. Last May, Senator Joseph Lieberman’s staff contacted Google and demanded that the company remove from YouTube dozens of what he described as jihadist videos. (Around the same time, Google was under pressure from “Operation YouTube Smackdown,” a grass-roots Web campaign by conservative bloggers and advocates to flag videos and ask YouTube to remove them.) After viewing the videos one by one, Wong and her colleagues removed some of the videos but refused to remove those that they decided didn’t violate YouTube guidelines. Lieberman wasn’t satisfied. In an angry follow-up letter to Eric Schmidt, the C.E.O. of Google, Lieberman demanded that all content he characterized as being “produced by Islamist terrorist organizations” be immediately removed from YouTube as a matter of corporate judgment — even videos that didn’t feature hate speech or violent content or violate U.S. law. Wong and her colleagues responded by saying, “YouTube encourages free speech and defends everyone’s right to express unpopular points of view.” In September, Google and YouTube announced new guidelines prohibiting videos “intended to incite violence.”'

July 2008: "Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the ranking Republican on the panel, had asked the GAO in 2006 to investigate the DCAA's audit practices."

June 2008: "Senator Boxer, who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, is presenting an amended version of a bill first sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut and John Warner (R) of Virginia. The bill proposes establishing a trading system for carbon-emission credits that supporters say will give companies a market incentive to reduce greenhouse gases. Critics say it creates a vast new federal bureaucracy at a high cost to the US economy and taxpayers."

May 2008: "Sen. Joe Lieberman wants YouTube and its rivals to delete any videos produced by al-Qaida, other Islamic terrorist groups, and any suspected sympathizers. But because there's no U.S. law requiring deletion--at least not yet--there's not much the onetime veep candidate can do except complain."

October 2007: Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., who plans a hearing on the report today, says 'serious hurdles remain if (the list) is to be as effective as we need it to be. Some of the concerns stem from its rapid growth, which could call into question the quality of the list itself.'

October 2007: A bill intended to lower emissions of greenhouse gases, introduced last week by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, and Senator John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, sets goals that would be virtually impossible to achieve without new nuclear plants.

October 2007: The allegations of ICE forcibly drugging deportees were raised last month by Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Connecticut, during the re-nomination hearing of ICE chief Julie Myers.

January 2007: The incoming chairman of the committee, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, was re-elected in November as an independent — after losing the Democratic primary — with help from Mr. Bloomberg, who sent field operatives to help the senator.

January 2005: Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.), one of the law's key sponsors, said yesterday that the new system is an improvement over earlier drafts but still "will undermine key employee protections that prevent workplace abuses and improve employee performance." He also called the limits on collective bargaining "excessive."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Director/Trustee/Overseer (past or present) Center for Jewish and Christian Values Organization Dec 12, 2006
Organization Executive (past or present) Committee on the Present Danger Organization Feb 6, 2007
Organization Executive (past or present) Connecticut (State Government) Organization Dec 23, 2005
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) Organization Dec 23, 2005
Member of (past or present) Democratic Party / Democratic National Committee (DNC) Organization
Member of (past or present) US Senate Organization Dec 23, 2005
Student/Trainee (past or present) Yale University Organization Dec 23, 2005
Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) Ambassador Daniel R. Coats Person Dec 12, 2006
Advised by (past or present) Supervisor of (past or present) Dan Gerstein Person Dec 2, 2008
Colleague/Co-worker of (past or present) Vice-President Albert "Al" Gore Jr. Person Dec 23, 2005
Opponent (past or present) Successor to Senator Lowell P. Weicker Jr. Person Oct 21, 2007

Articles and Resources

60 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Previous 20] [Next 1]

Date Resource Read it at:
Feb 16, 2006 Accepting Responsibility, With an Asterisk

QUOTE: Since Bush won the presidency in 2000 with a promise to usher in a "new era of personal responsibility," a public acceptance of culpability is de rigueur when something goes wrong. But admitting mistakes is an entirely different matter.

Washington Post
Jan 26, 2006 For Would-Be Lobbying Reformers, Money Habit Is Hard to Kick

QUOTE: While most everybody agreed that Congress was being subverted by lawmakers' reliance on lobbyists for campaign cash, the proposals getting the most serious consideration yesterday were relatively minor: whether to ban lobbyist-paid lunches or a few million dollars' worth of privately funded congressional trips.

Washington Post
Jan 24, 2006 White House Got Early Warning on Katrina

QUOTE: In the 48 hours before Hurricane Katrina hit, the White House received detailed warnings about the storm's likely impact, including eerily prescient predictions of breached levees, massive flooding, and major losses of life and property....The documents shed new light on the extent on the administration's foreknowledge....President Bush, in a televised interview three days after Katrina hit, suggested that the scale of the flooding in New Orleans was unexpected.

Washington Post
Jan 04, 2006 D.C. May Benefit as DHS Bases Grants on Risk

QUOTE: Regions at the highest risk of terrorist attack or natural disaster will receive an increased share of grant money under a new urban funding formula unveiled yesterday by the Department of Homeland Security....critics complained that sparsely populated states such as Wyoming were receiving a proportionally greater share of Homeland Security money than populous jurisdictions, including Washington, that are much more likely to be attacked.

Washington Post
Dec 23, 2005 FEMA Slows Search for Kids From Katrina

QUOTE: Efforts to locate 500 children still classified as missing after Hurricane Katrina are stalled because the Federal Emergency Management Agency, citing privacy laws, has refused to share its evacuee database with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children...

Washington Post
Sep 20, 2005 Immigration Nominee's Credentials Questioned

QUOTE: The Bush administration is seeking to appoint a lawyer with little immigration or customs experience to head the troubled law enforcement agency that handles those issues, prompting sharp criticism from some employee groups, immigration advocates and homeland security experts.

Washington Post
Sep 13, 2005 A Major Test for FEMA And Its Contracting Crew: Sheer Scale of Katrina Awards a Concern

QUOTE: A recent audit by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general questioned whether FEMA's acquisition workforce was qualified.

Washington Post
Sep 06, 2005 FEMA Director Singled Out by Response Critics

QUOTE: ...politicians and officials in both parties have derided Brown's qualifications to head the nation's chief disaster-response agency ....

Washington Post
May 30, 2005 Filibuster Deal Evaded Key Question on High Court Nominees

QUOTE: The fragile compromise that averted a Senate showdown over judicial filibusters last week deliberately left unanswered the crucial issue likely to be at the heart of a debate over a future Supreme Court vacancy: Can Democrats filibuster a nominee on the grounds that he or she is too conservative without triggering the "nuclear option"?

Washington Post
Apr 14, 2005 Senate Committee Approves Greater Protections for Whistle-Blowers

QUOTE: ...the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved a bipartisan bill that supporters hope will encourage employees to step forward when they spot wrongdoing in government offices.

Washington Post
Feb 03, 2005 Chertoff Denies Advising On Interrogation Tactics: In Cordial Senate Hearing, Homeland Security Nominee Says He Did Not Discuss 'Hypothetical' Cases

QUOTE: Michael Chertoff, President Bush's nominee for secretary of homeland security, said at his Senate confirmation hearing yesterday that he did not give intelligence officials any specific advice in 2002 when they asked him which interrogation techniques used on alleged terrorists might someday be prosecuted as illegal torture.

Washington Post
Jan 27, 2005 Civil Service System on Way Out at DHS: White House Wants All Agencies to Have Option of Setting Own Personnel Policies

QUOTE: The Bush administration unveiled a new personnel system for the Department of Homeland Security yesterday that will dramatically change the way workers are paid, promoted, deployed and disciplined -- and soon the White House will ask Congress to grant all federal agencies similar authority to rewrite civil service rules governing their employees.

Washington Post
Aug 27, 2002 Cheney Says Peril of a Nuclear Iraq Justifies an Attack

QUOTE: Vice President Dick Cheney today presented the administration's most forceful and comprehensive rationale yet for attacking Iraq, warning that Saddam Hussein would "fairly soon" have nuclear weapons.

New York Times
Jul 15, 2002 S.E.C. Chief Rejects Calls for His Resignation

QUOTE: Harvey L. Pitt...said today that he would not resign despite calls for him to do so by lawmakers who say he has been lax in enforcing commission rules and shares responsibility for the nation's corporate accounting scandals.

New York Times
Jul 12, 2002 McCain Accounting Proposal Scuttled

QUOTE: Senate Democrats yesterday blocked a proposal that would have changed the way companies account for stock options...

Washington Post
Jan 07, 2002 State of the Pundit

QUOTE: Am I undergoing change of heart, change of mind, change of life? Questions of political loyalty and intellectual consistency always arise when an opinionmonger turns on one of his kind.

New York Times
Jan 06, 2002 Enron? We're Missing the Point

QUOTE: So if Enron's fall doesn't really matter in macroeconomic terms, why should we care? Because the corporate culture that bred that failure has undermined trust in the integrity of the public markets.

Washington Post
Jul 21, 2001 States Steer Religious Charities Toward Aid

QUOTE: ...local officials [in many states] are making unprecedented efforts to encourage religious charities to apply for government money.

New York Times
Jul 19, 2001 Faith Initiative Hits Snag in House: Gop Moderates' Bias Concerns Postpone Vote

QUOTE: ...fierce opposition from Democrats and Republicans concerned about discrimination in federally funded charitable efforts.

Washington Post
May 25, 2001 Crude Detentions in China

QUOTE: As the diplomatic climate has decayed between Washington and Beijing in recent months, China has singled out one group of Americans for particularly harsh treatment. A lengthening list of Chinese-born Americans have been detained by China's State Security Ministry. One of them has recently been charged with spying for Taiwan...

New York Times

60 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Previous 20] [Next 1]