Friday, July 30, 2021

Former Senator Carl Levin Has Died at 87

He served 35 years in the Senate. 

I have to agree --- a man of integrity. 

At the New York Times, "Carl Levin, the Senate Scourge of Corporate America, Dies at 87."

And the Detroit Free Press, "Carl Levin, Michigan's longest serving U.S. senator, dies at 87":

Carl Levin, a liberal Democrat who rose from a prominent Detroit family to become Michigan’s longest-serving U.S. senator and helped set military priorities and investigate corporate behavior for decades before retiring in 2015, died Thursday. He was 87.

The Levin Center at Wayne State University, which was formed on the senator's behalf after he left the Senate, put out a statement late Thursday, saying, "With great sadness and heavy hearts, the (center and family) announce the passing of Senator Carl Levin."

Levin disclosed in his recently published memoir, "Getting to the Heart of the Matter: My 36 Years in the Senate," that he was diagnosed with lung cancer nearly four years ago, when he was 83.

U.S. Rep. Andy Levin, D-Bloomfield Twp., put out a statement on his uncle's passing:

“Throughout my adult life, wherever I went in Michigan, from Copper Harbor to Monroe, I would run into people who would say, ‘I don’t always agree with Senator Levin, but I support him anyway because he is so genuine, he tells it straight and he follows through.’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Levin a champion for Michigan.

"He saw what we were capable of when we came to the table as Michiganders, as Americans, to get things done," she said.

A defender of Senate traditions, even when his own party moved to change them, Levin, who was trained as a lawyer, twice served as chairman of the powerful Armed Services Committee, despite having never served in uniform himself.

As such, he helped set U.S. military strength and policy, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, though he voted against authorizing the use of force in the latter.

He also investigated questionable Pentagon spending practices and played a key role in overturning the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” rule that prohibited gay service members from openly acknowledging their sexual orientation prior to 2011. As head of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, he led probes questioning what he saw as corporate excesses, including those involving Enron, Apple and Goldman Sachs.

As a Michigan senator, he defended the auto industry, supported the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler in 2008-09 and backed numerous projects including Detroit’s RiverWalk, the M-1 Light Rail and the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, among others. For years, he fought for a new Soo Lock — efforts that only began to bear fruit after he left office.

“We could not aspire to better service than what he has given our country,” the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said of his Armed Services Committee colleague just before Levin’s retirement. McCain, a war hero, went on to call Levin “a model of serious purpose, firm principle and personal decency” and said that while they often disagreed, Levin never went back on his word...

Still more.