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March 30, 2006
Contact: Bill Lacy, Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

Former Senate Majority Leader Daschle to give annual Dole Lecture on April 10 at KU

Tom Daschle

Tom Daschle

LAWRENCE — Former U.S. Senate Majority Leader and possible 2008 presidential candidate Tom Daschle will deliver the third annual Dole Lecture on April 10, the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas announced today.

Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat who led his party in the Senate from 1994 to 2005 and was Bob Dole’s counterpart for two of those years, will speak at 8 p.m. at the Lied Center.

“Tom Daschle is a leader and a friend,” said Dole, who led Senate Republicans from 1985 to 1996. “While we often disagreed, there was never a time when we did not trust each other. We might question the other side’s ideas, but rarely its motives and never its patriotism. I am pleased that my friend Tom Daschle is delivering this year’s Dole Lecture.”

Dole and Daschle are now colleagues at the Washington lobbying firm of Alston & Bird. Daschle also is a visiting professor at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute at Georgetown University and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. His wife, Linda Hall Daschle, grew up in Kansas and was Miss Kansas 1976 before becoming deputy administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and an aviation industry lobbyist.

Free tickets to the lecture are available at the Lied Center Box Office by calling (785) 864-2787 or visiting the office between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. weekdays or one hour before other performances. Tickets also will be available at the Student Union Activities office in the Kansas Union and the Murphy Hall ticket office.

Daschle, 58, is to be the third Dole Lecturer. Former President Bill Clinton inaugurated the series in 2004 and Dole delivered the lecture in 2005.

A native of Aberdeen, S.D., Daschle served three years as an intelligence officer in the Air Force before winning his state’s at-large seat in Congress in 1978. He was elected to the Senate in 1986, defeating an incumbent Republican. He entered the Senate leadership in 1988 and in 1994 he was chosen by his colleagues to succeed the retiring Sen. George Mitchell as Democratic leader. In the history of the Senate, only Lyndon Johnson had served fewer years before being elected to lead his party.

Much of his remaining 11 years in the Senate were spent in the minority, but he served as Senate Majority Leader for three weeks in January 2001 — the Senate was evenly divided with 50 members from each party and Vice President Al Gore was president of the Senate — and again from May 2001 to January 2003 thanks to Republican Sen. Jim Jeffords’ decision to become an Independent. Daschle was defeated for re-election in 2004 by 4,500 votes.

Daschle told a South Dakota newspaper in early March that he would make a decision about running for president by September.

The Dole Institute, established at KU in 1997 to honor the former Senate majority leader and 1996 Republican presidential nominee, is designed to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service. The institute houses Dole’s papers, one of the largest archives associated with a congressional leader. It also features a 3,300-square-foot public forum, a 120-seat seminar room/media center, KU’s first satellite uplink and extensive exhibits, including Dole’s World War II uniform, a 29-by-12-foot stained-glass American flag and two 10-foot columns from the World Trade Center.

For more information on the institute and its programming, see the institute’s Web site: www.doleinstitute.org.

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