- Rob Simmons
name =Rob Simmons
date of birth=birth date and age|1943|2|11
place of birth =
New York City, New York
district = 2nd
January 3, 2001– January 4, 2007
succeeded = Joe Courtney
religion = Episcopalian
spouse = Heidi Simmons
occupation=military advisor, political assistant
Robert Ruhl Simmons (born
February 11 1943), American politician, was a Republican member of the United States House of Representativesfrom 2001 to 2007, representing the 2nd Congressional District of Connecticut. He was defeated by Democratic challenger Joe Courtney in the 2006 elections by a razor-thin margin of 83 votes.
New York City, Simmons was educated at Haverford Collegeand served in the United States Armyand the Central Intelligence Agency. In the Army, after leaving active duty, he led the 434th Military Intelligence Detachment associated with Yale University, and in this capacity led the writing of the first-ever "Open Source Intelligence Guide for the Military Intelligence Officer." This achievement in the 1990s led to the nomination, and selection, of his unit as the best small unit in the U.S. Army Reserve, and his promotion to full Colonel.
In 1979 he became a staff member for Senator
John Chafeeof Rhode Island, and then in 1981 the Staff Director for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) then under the Chairmanship of Senator Barry Goldwater(R-AZ), during which time he learned a great deal about Senate oversight of illegal intelligence activities. Leaving the Senate staff, he became both a teacher of political science at the college level, and a member of the Connecticut House of Representativesbefore entering the House, defeating ten-term Democratic incumbent Sam Gejdensonby only 2,000 votes. Despite being in the most Democratic GOP-held seat in the nation and being targeted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committeeas a possible pickup, Simmons fought off a challenge from Democrat Joe Courtney in 2002, winning 54%-46%.
In 2004, Simmons defeated Democrat Jim Sullivan, winning 54%-46%.
In 2005, the
NRCClisted Simmons as one of their most vulnerable members and his seat was widely seen as a possible Democratic pickup in 2006. Courtney was once again the Democratic nominee in 2006 and the race was considered a toss-up.
On election night Simmons trailed his challenger, Joe Courtney, by 167 votes out of over 242,000 votes cast. This margin was small enough to trigger an automatic recount under Connecticut law. During this recount, elections officials discovered several errors in the original vote. The recount concluded on
November 14giving Courtney an 82 vote victory over Simmons. [ [http://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-recount1115.artnov15,0,3177021.story?coll=hc-big-headlines-breaking Topic Galleries - Courant.com ] ] As Simmons fared far better than other defeated Republican incumbents it was speculated he would try for a political comeback in 2008, which he did not rule out in conceding the 2006 election to Courtney. However, on March 4th, 2007, on an episode of Face the State, he stated that he would not challenge Joe Courtney in 2008.
February 26, 2007, Rob Simmons was nominated by Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell to become the State's first Business Advocate. [http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/m-news+article+storyid-20043.html] The Office of the Business Advocate was established as part of the Governor's 2006 "Jobs for the 21st Century" Act (PA 06-83), for the purpose of providing centralized assistance to businesses in the state, and to pro-actively provide assistance to businesses of broader economic significance to the State. [ [http://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/ACT/PA/2006PA-00083-R00SB-00702-PA.htm An Act Concerning Jobs For The Twenty-First Century ] ] The office was originally intended to be a part of the Office of Policy and Management, but is now slated to be relocated into the Department of Economic and Community Development, for administrative purposes only, as part of the Governor's Fiscal Year 2008–2009 Proposed Budget. [ [http://www.opm.state.ct.us/budget/20082009BudgetBooks/BigBook/Detail/ConservDev.pdf Office of Policy and Management ] ]
Simmons was a member of the
House Armed Services Committeeand was involved in issues concerning the district's major defense presence at the Electric Boat submarineshipyard in Groton and the nearby Naval Submarine Base New London. In 2005, the Base Realignment and Closure Commission(BRAC) targeted the U.S. Navy's New London submarine base for closure. Simmons was among the many Connecticut politicians who urged the BRAC to reverse their proposal to close the base, which the BRAC did on August 24, 2005.
Simmons was also on the House Homeland Security Committee, and in his first assignment as a Chairman, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment, had broken with the conventional wisdom in Washington, and become the foremost proponent in Congress for giving all state and local authorities free open source software for sharing, collaborative work, and desktop analytics, modeled after STRONG ANGEL, the program to create the same free tools for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) who must share unclassified information with U.S. forces in the transition to and from hostilities. Simmons was also the champion for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) on the Hill, and sponsored hearings that have led to the draft Smart Nation Act that he developed in consultation with various OSINT authorities.
Simmons is a member of various liberal/moderate Republican organizations such as The
Republican Main Street Partnership, Republicans for Choice, The Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans for Environmental Protectionand It's My Party Too. He was endorsed for re-election by Planned Parenthood. In 2003, he voted with the House Democrats to oppose Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The bill was passed by a large 281-142 majority on October 2, 2003.
Simmons is married to the former Edith Heidi Paffard. They have a son Robert and a daughter Jane.
* [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/s001152/ Voting record maintained by the Washington Post]
* [http://ctconservative.blogspot.com/2006/06/interview-with-representative-rob.html Connecticut Conservative Interview with Simmons]
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