Senator Dennis DeConcini: From the Center of the Aisle

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University of Arizona Press, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 286 pages
Dennis DeConcini, a contemporary of Arizona greats like Sandra Day OÕConnor, Barry Goldwater, and Rose Mofford, is an Arizona icon in his own right. Starting his public career as the Pima County Attorney, DeConcini orchestrated an unprecedented rise to a seat in the U.S. Senate, which he held for eighteen years. His political memoir, co-authored with historian Jack L. August Jr., reaches beyond typical reflections to provide the reader with penetrating and revealing insights into the inner workings and colorful characters of Arizona politics and the United States Senate. A vigilant centrist, who got results by building coalitions on both sides of the aisle, Senator DeConciniÕs approach was not bound to strict party alliances but was deeply rooted in the independent political environment of Arizona. During his career, he sponsored legislation limiting the sale of assault weapons, which provoked the National Rifle Association. He confounded Democratic Party regulars by supporting Clarence Thomas during the controversial confirmation hearings and again split with his party in his support for William RehnquistÕs nomination to Chief Justice. In 1980 he voted for Ronald Reagan, but in 1993 he cast the swing vote for President Bill ClintonÕs tax bill, which was strongly opposed by Republicans in Arizona. This political memoir will be of interest to anyone concerned with the inner workings of the U.S. Senate or Arizona politics and offers relevant insights into todayÕs political climate.
 

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Contents

And We Danced for Fifty Years
21
Gaining Political Literacy
37
The Panama Canal Dilemma
69
A Day in the Life
93
Judicial Politics
117
Keating Five
144
A New Federalism for American Indians
172
Transitions
186
Memories and Reflections
209
Conclusion
231
Bibliography
265
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Jack L. August, Jr. is currently the Executive Director of the Arizona Historical Foundation at Arizona State University.

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