Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 11, 1976 · Page 122
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 122

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 11, 1976
Page 122
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Page 122 article text (OCR)

One of the seven original Mercury astronauts, Glenn became the fat American to orbit the earth on Feb. 20,1962. America acclaimed ]ohn Clenn and his wife--riding with Vice President Lyndon lohnson--in a New York ticker-tape parade. Glenn became interested in politics, made unsuccessful Senate bids in '(A and '70. speeches i n Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri a n d elsewhere as part of Kovacik's plqn to promote Glenn as a Presidential candidate. Then th ere j s the Institute of American Resea^h, a corporation controlled by Kovacijc m at financed research on a book about politics and "ethnic" voters. Th;,t helped Glenn carry Cleveland wards dominated by citizens of Polish and other East European descent The institute also developed information about delegate selection procedures for this week's convention. Frequent consultations Glenn describes Kovacik as "a good friend" wh o is "highly interested in political Campaigns." The two men consult ofv en about politics, but Glenn seems to have tried to put some distance betvveen himself and Kovacik. For insta ncer Glenn says he was "very surprised" and npt happy to find half a dozen Kovacik aides campaigning for him at thfc Democrat's "mini-convention" in late 1974. During his year and a half in the Senate, Gl enn has worked particularly hard to establish himself as a serious lawmaker v^p bases his political career on accomijijshment--not his astronaut image or ^ behind-the-scenes political operation. Glenn began his rise to political prominence after his Feb. 20, 1962, orbit of tr, e earth, which transformed him from a n obscure Marine Corps aviator int o a n instant folk hero. Two years later, j n 1%4, Glenn made his initial bid f or the Senate, but he was forced to withdraw after sustaining serious injuries j n a bathroom fall. Having retired f rom the Marine Corps after 23 years, Glenn became an executive officer of the Royal Crown Cola Co. in 1965. He mounted a second campaign for the Senate in 1970, but was narrowly defeated in the primary. In his third try, Glenn .won the 1974" primary and the general election against Cleveland's Republican Mayor Ralph Perk. He carried every one of Ohio's 88 counties and was swept into office by a margin of more than one million votes. '' Glenn, who will be 55 years old next Sunday, has dedicated himself in Congress to the task of outgrowing what Edward P. Whelan, associate editor of Cleveland magazine, described as the image of "a nice guy but a lightweight" To a great extent, he has succeeded in doing so by devoting an extraordinary amount of time, energy and attention to official duties. A major interest has been energy development, but Glenn also has taken the initiative in civil rights, curbing government bureaucracy, budget reform and long- range planning for the nation. Good attendance record Glenn is proud of having introduced 19 successful amendments to bills on the Senate floor, an unusual accomplishment for any legislator, much less a freshman. ln~ addition, he has an attendance record matched by few. "If there's been one surprise--and if s been a pleasant one--if s the discovery that if you put the effort forth, you can have an impact on the Senate," Glenn said in an interview. "You can't be doing what you're supposed to do in Washington and also be 'running around the countryside--and I take my work very seriously." Glenn's voting record in the Senate has ranged from moderate to liberal. On his third try, Glenn finally won the Senate race in Ohio in 1974. His wife, Annie, lends her support as Vice President Rockefeller swears him into office. Two conservative organizations that rate members of Congress, Americans for Constitutional Action and the American Conservative Union, gave him scores of only 16 and 12 percent out of a possible 100 percent But he is hardly a radical. Americans for Democratic Action, probably the best-known liberal rating group, gave Glenn a score of 50 percent--midway on their scale--last year. Glenn is highly regarded and well liked by other Senators--and he has been particularly effective in mustering support for his amendments. Perhaps the most dramatic demonstration of that ability came during debate on an appropriations bill last December. Glenn proposed to raise to $10 million from $3.1 million the amount for development of fuel cells, energy storage devices he first encountered while an astronaut That amendment immediately ran into strong opposition from Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D., W. Va.). whose position as Assistant Majority Leader makes him one of the most powerful Senators. Subcommittee chairmen as influential as Byrd seldom are overridden continued

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