Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

October 17, 2013

MARK HEINIG: Our man for all seasons

In a sense, he was congressman to all

Former Rep. Lee Hamil-ton’s 34 years in the U.S. House of Repre-sentatives speak for themselves. It’s hard to overesti-mate the importance of anybody who manages to survive that long in Congress. Seniority plays a very important role in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Those who have served the longest get the committee assignments they prefer. During his many years in office, Congressman Hamilton was a member of many powerful committees and chaired several of them.

Probably because they have fewer constituents, most members of the House of Representatives aren’t as well-known as senators. When voters in Indiana’s 9th Congressional District first elected Hamilton, I was a 19-year-old college sophomore. I was an egotistical young loudmouth who thought he had all the answers but didn’t even understand the questions! Back then, I didn’t live anywhere near the 9th District and 19-year-olds couldn’t vote anyway. I didn’t even know who Hamilton was.

As the years passed, I heard Hamilton’s name — only occasionally at first and more frequently later. I still knew very little about the man and his accomplishments. I guess I wasn’t paying attention. I needed half a lifetime to realize how much he did for both Hoosiers and all other Americans.

In the geographic sense, I can’t claim he was my congressman, because I still have never resided in his district. However, in a broader sense, he was everybody’s congressman. He acknowledged his duty to serve all Americans. Since retiring from politics, he has brought the same spirit of service to his work at the Indiana University Center for Congress.

His newspaper columns consistently offer much more than a mere digest of current congressional issues with brief editorial remarks. They reveal his comprehensive and perceptive understanding of how Congress works, and, more importantly, how it should work when our legislators do the job that we elected them to do.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Take a walk to school At the risk of sounding like “old fogies,” we remember walking to school when we were kids.Back in the day, that’s how it was. If it was within walking distance, you were walking to school.Today, like much else, it’s a very different picture. The vas

    July 31, 2014

  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • LETTERS: Marriage culture in area must change Marriage culture in area must change Last week's article on the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Kids Count report caught my eye. While I'm happy that Indiana is improving in the educational domain, the poverty statistics are saddening. I was just s

    July 31, 2014

  • A lookat IU salaries Of the five highest paid employees of Indiana University, three are involved with athletics. That was the case in 2013 as well.In new evidence that spending on athletic department salaries is outpacing the rest of the university, if not the vast majo

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plot a plan to quit now OK, so maybe today isn’t the perfect day to quit smoking. For years, the experts were preaching any day was a good day to quit, and they had annual campaigns encouraging people to give up the habit.The campaigns raised awareness, and they led many sm

    July 30, 2014

  • LETTERS: City should celebrate its young track star City should celebrate its young track starCongratulations to Tionna Brown, who has given the city of Kokomo the platform to acknowledge what commitment, perseverance, sacrifice and determination can do.I find this a unique opportunity for her Common

    July 30, 2014

  • ANDREA NEAL: Fleeting canal era had lasting impact on state Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed to great fanfare. Cannon fire, parades, balls and speeches celebrated the speed and ski

    July 30, 2014

  • Schools need kids' parents For school-age children in southern Miami County — and their parents — this is a seminal week. Classes start at Maconaquah schools on Friday.School starts for the rest of the Kokomo area next week.Before your children head back to school, ensure they

    July 29, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll