Thompson in Action

Photos Copyright 1998, 1999 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.  All rights reserved.

March 10, 1999. Having announced a week earlier that he would not make a presidential bid, Sen. Thompson endorsed former Tennessee Governor Lamar Alexander.
July 24, 1998--New York City.  At the Republican National Committee's summer meeting, Sen. Thompson speaks of the threat posed by proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.  He said China is the world's worst proliferator and described a situation in Russia where nuclear waste is stored behind wooden doors guarded by guards who are not being paid.  Thompson said there must be linkage between our policy and other nations' behavior, that the U.S. should have a national missile defense program, should stop proliferating ourselves, should revisit our sanctions policy, and should revamp the intelligence community.  "This matters," he said.
Late March 1998. With the campaign finance special investigation concluded, Sen. Thompson is able to focus more attention on his other efforts. High on the list was the Regulatory Improvement Act of 1998 (S. 981), which he and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) introduced in February. Of the possibility of a presidential run, Thompson said he was "too busy now" and would "wait to the end of the year and decide whether I want to think about it."
March 5, 1998.  The Committee on Government Affairs, in a business meeting, votes 8-7 to approve its report on the special investigation. The atmosphere of tense anticipation that characterized opening of the special investigation hearings back in July 1997 has dissipated. From March 1997, when the Senate approved S. 39 providing funding for the investigation, the Committee issued 427 subpoenas, received over 1,500,000 pages of documents, took 200 depositions and conducted over 200 witness interviews. In 32 days of hearings, the Committee took testimony from 72 witnesses. S. 39 required the committee to finish by December 31, 1997 and to submit a report to the Senate by January 31, 1998. Sen. Thompson cited the deadline as a major impediment to the investigation.   
July 8, 1997. A break in the action on the opening day of the campaign finance investigation hearings.   
July 8, 1997. In an atmosphere of tense expectation and intense media attention, Sen. Thompson launches the public hearings in the campaign finance investigation. His opening statement, pointing to "a Chinese plan to subvert our election process," prompted some controversy.   
June 12, 1997. Sen. Thompson, chairman of the Committee on Governmental Affairs since January 1997, was given the task of heading the special investigation into campaign finance abuses in the 1996 campaign. However, partisan bickering marked the investigation from the outset. Here Thompson presides over a special investigation business meeting to discuss immunizing some potential witnesses. In prepared remarks he referred to "unedifying squabbles over the issuance of subpoenas essential to our investigation...hollow accusations of partisanship and...a myriad of other activities normally associated with a political campaign, not a serious Congressional investigation."