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Overview:

ARC is an economic development partnership between the federal government and the governors of thirteen states that works with the 23 million people in the Appalachian community in an effort to positively impact their lives. Its specific goals include increasing job opportunities, per capita income, and community development programs; improving the region’s infrastructure to make it economically competitive; promoting strategies aimed at closing socioeconomic gaps through education and workforce training; and building the Appalachian Development Highway System to fully connect the region to the nation’s transportation grid.

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History:

In the 1950s one of every three Appalachians lived in poverty and per capita income in the region was 23 per cent lower than the U.S. average. In 1960 the Conference of Appalachian Governors was formed by the heads of states in the region and in 1961 they approached President John F. Kennedy to ask for federal assistance. In 1963 he formed a federal-state committee that became known as the President’s Appalachian Regional Commission (PARC) and directed it to draw up “a comprehensive program for the economic development” of the area. The result of the PARC’s efforts was outlined in an

April 1964 report

which President Lyndon B. Johnson used as the basis for legislation developed with the bipartisan support of Congress. It was submitted in 1964 and the

Appalachian Regional Development Act (ARDA)

became law in March 1965, establishing ARC as a sustained national regional development program, and including authorization for several new entities, including the Appalachian Development Highway System, health, nutrition, childcare, and low-income housing projects, and entrepreneurship and telecommunications and technology initiatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What it Does:
The ARC, a federal-state partnership, is made up of a federal co-chair; the governors of the 13 Appalachian states, one of whom each year they select as the states’ co-chair; and grassroots participants, including people from local development districts and multi-county agencies with boards made up of elected officials, businessmen and women, and other local leaders.
 
Among their responsibilities:
  • Serve as a focal point and coordinating unit for Appalachian Programs, providing a forum for consideration of problems of the region, and proposed infrastructure solutions, as well as regional productivity and growth.
  • Continue addressing all possible avenues that may help in the effort to most quickly and expediently complete the 3,090-mile Appalachian Development Highway System. 
  • Coordinate the economic development activities of, and the use of economic development resources by federal agencies in the region.
  • Help generate a diversified competitive regional economy, by improving education and training and furthering entrepreneurial activities and the use of new technology.
  • Encourage local development districts and private investment in industrial, commercial, and recreational projects as well as the use of eco-industrial technologies and approaches, working to help determine the most socially and economically beneficial courses of action.
  • Conduct and sponsor investigations, research, and studies of local and private programs, and recommend modifications or additions that can increase their effectiveness.
  • Advocate planning so that housing, public services, and other community facilities will be provided in a way that enhances the beauty of the region and at the same time is compatible with conservation values.
  • Continually seek avenues to help the region expand access to health care services, recruit and train additional health care professionals, and decrease substance and domestic abuse.
  • Make recommendations to the President and to the state governors and local officials.
 
From the Web Site of the ARC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Does the Money Go:
Of the 13 states that are awarded grants from the ARC, Kentucky receives the most ($13.2 million).
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Suggested Reforms:

In their FY 2012 budget recommendations, Republicans proposed eliminating the ARC, noting that the agency’s removal would save the federal government $76 million. President Barack Obama retained the ARC in both his FY 2012 and FY 2013 budget proposals.

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Former Directors:

Anne Pope

Anne Breier Pope was nominated by President George W. Bush and began serving as the tenth federal co-chair on February 3, 2003. She is a 1983 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a BA in history, and she earned a JD from the Cumberland School of Law at Stanford in 1986. From 1987 to 1988 she clerked for U.S. District Judge James D. Todd in Jackson, Tennessee, and after that was an associate attorney with Webster, Chamberlain and Bean in Washington D.C. from 1988 to 1992. For three years Pope was president of the department store group Parks-Belk Company, and in 1995 was she named president of Proffitt's of the Tri-Cities, Inc., a division of Saks, where she remained for two years. In 1997 Pope became the Executive Director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission, and in 1999 she began serving in the cabinet of Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
 
Pope has contributed to the Bush-Cheney ticket, the Tennessee Republican Party, the Tennessee Senate campaigns of Republicans Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, William Frist, and Fred Thompson, and the Tennessee Congressional campaigns of Republicans William Jenkins and James Henry Quillen.
 
Haley Barbour
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was elected by his fellow Appalachian governors to be the 2008 States’ Co-Chair. Barbour attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford, but at the age of 21 left in the first semester of his senior year to work on Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign and he never took the few final units he needed to graduate. In 1970 he ran the Mississippi Census, and after that, despite his lack of an undergraduate degree, he was admitted to the School of Law at the University of Mississippi, receiving a JD in 1973. He worked as a lawyer with the firm of Henry, Barbour and DeCell, and as Executive Director of the Mississippi Republican Party. From 1985 to 1986 he served as Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs under Ronald Reagan. Barbour went on to co-found the lobbying firm of Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers, where he was Chairman and CEO, and which he left to become Chairman of the Republican National Committee, from 1993 to 1997. After that he returned to the lobbying firm and was there for six more years, in 2000 also chairing George W. Bush’s Presidential Campaign Advisory Committee. In November 2003 Barbour was elected Mississippi’s governor, and he was re-elected in November 2007. He is also a Presbyterian Deacon and Sunday-school teacher.
 
From his earliest days in politics, Barbour has drawn attention for the extent to which he often goes to get results, as well as his style in doing it, and the at times questionable relationships he has developed over the years, which were especially brought to light when he opened his lobbying firm. Barbour garnered additional criticism when it was revealed that several of his family members and fellow lobbyists had greatly benefited from Hurricane Katrina-related businesses. 
 
Since 1994, Barbour has contributed more than $150,000 to various Republican campaigns.
Haley’s Shadow Money (by Adam Lynch, Jackson Free Press)
Who Controls Haley Barbour? (yaller dog blog)
Impeach Haley Barbour (by Steve Clemons, Washington Note)
Mr. Washington goes to Mississippi (by Nicholas Dawidoff, New York Times)
Haley’s Choice: Native Son Comes Home (by Donna Ladd and Jesse Yancy, Jackson Free Press)
more

Comments

N Kyle 6 years ago
christopher: going way back--the kids were pictured without shoes. as mentioned, three of the states are among our most prosperous. and, you don't know what other things i am doing re the state of our country. probably a hell of a lot more than you. and, i contribute money to medical research, colleges, programs for the hungry, pay college tuition for people in need, send money to friends and relatives in need--while i live frugally. since you don't have a clue about what i do...
Christopher M 6 years ago
n kyle your part about the "shoes" makes your comment ridiculously offensive. why don't you go after the mega-billions we give in foreign aid first? or why don't you go after the hundreds of billions in the welfare racket first? maybe you should get your butt in the car and do a tour of appalachia and see the plight of the crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating towns, and extreme environmental destruction due to mountaintop removal...you might change your mind. look..as a lib...
N Kyle 6 years ago
i trust this entity also gets taxpayer money from all of us--whether or not we live in appalachia. i notice that two or three states being helped by this commission are ranked among the top ten most prosperous. if all the kids in appalachia now have shoes--could we get rid of this commission? if the states which are members are funding it themselves--fine. i can't afford it.
NMRK 8 years ago
In the 1950's--Appalachia needed help. Is this still true? My guess is that we have many other parts of the country which would fall into the same set of statistics. I also believe we have many other agencies that overlap your efforts. Are we being redundant?

Leave a comment

Founded: 1965
Annual Budget: $64.8 million (FY 2013 Request); $470 million Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS)
Employees: 53 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.arc.gov/
Appalachian Regional Commission
Haslam, Bill
States’ Co-Chair

William Edward “Bill” Haslam, governor of Tennessee, was named states’ 2016 co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) on February 4, 2016, after being selected for the post by his fellow Appalachian state governors. His term ended in February 2017 as he was replaced by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Haslam worked in conjunction with ARC federal co-chair Earl F. Gohl, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010. Established in 1965, the ARC is an economic development partnership between the federal government and the governors of thirteen Appalachian states to positively impact the 25 million residents of the states’ 420 counties. Its focus is on improvement in job opportunities, income, development and training programs, infrastructure and education. In the budget he presented on March 16, 2017, President Donald Trump proposed eliminating all federal funding of the ARC.

 

Haslam was born on August 23, 1958, in Knoxville, the youngest of three children born to Cynthia Allen Haslam and Jim Haslam II. Six weeks after his birth, on October 9, his parents signed the documents to launch Pilot Corporation, which grew from the purchase of a Virginia gas station to become a major national petroleum firm and the successful owner/operators of convenience-store and Pilot Flying J truck-stop chains.

 

Young Haslam attended the private college-prep elementary school, Webb School of Knoxville, and during his teenage years he worked part-time at his father’s company. Envisioning a career as a history teacher and eventually a minister, Haslam, at the age of 16, became active in Young Life, a Christian youth ministry. Within weeks of attending his first event with the group, tragedy struck. On December 5, 1974, Haslam’s mother died suddenly at the age of 42, presumably from an undiagnosed heart condition—the same kind that was thought to have killed her father when he was in his 30s. Haslam later said that her death helped shape the formation of his religious faith. “Painful things are going to happen,” was the realization that went through his mind at the time, he later told Knoxville News Sentinel’s Josh Flory. “You have to decide, is there some meaning beyond just the everyday life you're living?”

 

Haslam attended Emory University and on his first day of class in 1976 he met Crissy Garrett, whom he would marry in 1981. During summer breaks, he performed voluntary work for the political campaigns of U.S. senators from Tennessee, Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander, and also served as a volunteer leader at Young Life. In 1980, he earned a B.A. in history from Emory. Before joining the seminary, he decided to return to Pilot, a move that led to his decision to remain with the firm and, in 1995, become its president. Four years later he left Pilot to join Saks Fifth Avenue as CEO of its catalog and e-commerce division. He left Saks in 2001 and joined the Dallas-based clothing chain, Harold’s Stores, as a member of its board. He also became an owner of the East Tennessee minor-league baseball team, the Tennessee Smokies.

 

Haslam entered the political arena in 2002, throwing his hat into the ring for mayor of Knoxville. The city’s traditionally non-partisan mayoral race took a partisan turn due to Haslam’s membership in the Republican Party, and his opponent, county commissioner Madeline Rogero, accused Haslam of being a puppet of the oil companies. But on September 30, 2003, Haslam defeated Rogero 52%-46%. Three years later, he appointed Rogero as his director of community development. Having doubled the city’s savings under his balanced-budget policy during his first term, Haslam was reelected in 2007 in an 87% landslide.

 

During his years as mayor, Haslam achieved success with a number of historic community preservation projects, including restoration of two Knoxville movie theaters and a restaurant. President George W. Bush took notice and, in 2008, appointed Haslam to a four-year term on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

 

In 2010, Haslam ran for governor of Tennessee, weathering criticism by his opponents over allegations of price-gouging by his oil firm in the aftermath of fuel shortages following Hurricane Katrina. He was also attacked for stonewalling requests that he disclose data pertaining to his income at Pilot. Nonetheless, he won the governorship that November, defeating his Democratic rival, Mike McWherter, by winning 65% of the vote. Combined with GOP state congressional wins, Haslam’s success brought Republicans full control of the state government for the first time since 1869. He ran for reelection in 2014 and defeated his Democratic opponent, Charles Brown, by winning more than 70% of the vote.

 

Haslam’s first act as governor in January 2011 was to overturn a state law requiring him and his top aides to disclose their outside income. “Government works better when people have input into the process, you are open to alternatives and examiner [sic] them, and then you explain why the decision was made,” Haslam stated in a head-scratching official statement. “The rule should be the more you can be in the open, the better.”

 

Ranked as the 17th most conservative governor in the country by a 2013 New York Times analysis, Haslam has marked his governorship by a number of controversial initiatives and actions. His 2011 budget called for cutting all state funding to Planned Parenthood, an attempt that was denied by an amendment added by an unknown lawmaker. That same year, he signed bills or orders to: overturn a Nashville measure barring discrimination against the employment of gays by companies contracted with the city; require photo identification at polling places; bypass the teachers’ union by doing away with public school teachers' collective bargaining rights; limit civil suit damages; lift the cap on charter schools; and impose a curfew on public demonstrators of the Occupy Nashville movement. (The resulting arrests of demonstrators were thrown out by commissioner Tom Nelson, who ruled that the state had no authority to set such a curfew.) He did veto the state’s so-called “Ag-Gag” bill, which targeted animal activists to prevent them from exposing animal cruelty.

 

During the next few years, Haslam refused to veto a bill (thereby making it law) allowing educators to challenge scientific teachings, such as evolution and global warming, and he refused to implement an Affordable Care Act state health exchange. He signed a bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients, and—acting against the advice of doctors, addiction experts and most national medical associations—he signed a bill allowing criminal assault prosecutions of new mothers if narcotics were used during pregnancy, which led to the arrest of a Tennessee mother two days after giving birth, even though she had taken methamphetamine, which is not a narcotic.

 

In 2016, under pressure from civil libertarians, Haslam vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible the official book of Tennessee, reasoning that “this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text.” He also signed a bill into law that allowed counselors and therapists with “sincerely held principles” to turn away potential clients who are gay, lesbian, or transgender. Numerous advocacy groups protested, including the ACLU of Tennessee. “This measure is rooted in the dangerous misconception that religion can be used as a free pass to discriminate,” said ACLU-TN executive director Hedy Weinberg. “Allowing counselors to treat some potential clients differently from others based on their personal beliefs defies professional standards and could cause significant harm to vulnerable people.”

 

In 2013, the FBI launched a fraud investigation into Pilot Flying J, for which Haslam had served as president until 1999, but who maintains 15% ownership in the company. The following year, the firm—under the chairmanship of Haslam’s billionaire brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam—confessed to shortchanging trucking companies on gas rebates, and it settled by agreeing to pay $92 million in fines.

 

According to Forbes, Bill Haslam’s net worth reached $2 billion in 2015, making him the wealthiest elected official in America. That is, until the January 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $3.5 billion.

 

If Haslam had his way, Trump would not have become president. In October 2016, immediately after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump was heard speaking crudely about having taken sexual advantage of women, Haslam called for Trump to withdraw from the presidential race. “I want to emphasize that character in our leaders does matter,” Haslam said in a statement. “None of us in elected office are perfect, but the decisions that are made in the Oval Office have too many consequences to ignore the behavior we have seen. It is time for the good of the nation and the Republican Party for Donald Trump to step aside and let Gov. Mike Pence assume the role as the party's nominee.” No other prominent state Republicans were reported to have expressed support for his position.

 

Haslam and his wife, Crissy, have a son, Will, and two daughters, Annie and Leigh, along with six grandchildren.

-Danny Biederman

 

To Learn More:

The GOP Star You've Never Heard Of (by Alexander Burns, Politico)

Tennessee Gov. Haslam Exempts Himself and Top Staff from Financial Disclosure (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Official Biography (Appalachian Regional Commission)

Official Biography (Office of the Governor of Tennessee)

more
Wolf, Tom
Previous Co-Chair

On February 2, 2017, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) was selected to be the year’s co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, which works to improve the lives of those who live in the 13 states that comprise Appalachia. Each of the 13 governors sits on the commission. The other co-chair is appointed by the President.

 

Wolf was born November 17, 1948, in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, to Bill and Cornelia Wolf. The town was named for Wolf’s great-great grandfather, who was the postmaster there. His family owned the major business in the town, what is now the Wolf Organization, which makes kitchen cabinets.

 

Wolf attended the Hill School, graduating in 1967, and went on to Dartmouth. After his first year there, Wolf went into the Peace Corps, serving in Orissa, India, and working on agricultural projects. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1972 with a B.A. and went to the University of London, where he earned an M.Phil. in 1978. Wolf continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Ph.D. in political science in 1981. His 600-page dissertation, “Congressional Sea Change: Conflict and Organizational Accomodation in the House of Representatives, 1878 to 1921,” was on the evolution of the committee system in the House of Representatives.

 

Although Wolf had teaching opportunities, he returned to Mount Wolf to work in the family business. He started as a forklift driver and managed a hardware store owned by the company. In 1985, upon his father’s retirement, Wolf along with two partners, who were cousins, bought the company. Wolf helped run the company as co-president until 2006, when he and his partners sold it to an investment firm.   

 

Wolf had his eye on a political career and in 2007 was appointed his state’s secretary of revenue by then Governor Ed Rendell (D). Wolf remained in the cabinet for about a year before resigning in preparation for a run for governor in 2010. However, in 2009, Wolf’s former family business, burdened with debt from the corporate buyout and in the home improvement business in the midst of the housing crash, was on the brink of bankruptcy. He and his former partners repurchased the company, changed its business model to emphasize manufacture rather than distribution of products produced by other companies, and put it on the road to recovery.

 

In 2013, with the Wolf Organization successful again, Wolf began campaigning for the 2014 contest for the Pennsylvania statehouse. Although a relative unknown, he won a four-way Democratic primary and ended up winning the general election with 54.9% of the vote, turning out deeply unpopular incumbent Tom Corbett (R).

 

Among Wolf’s moves as governor were a ban on fracking in state parks and a moratorium on the death penalty. Moving forward, he has proposed increased funding for Pennsylvania schools and more support for fighting the opioid epidemic in his state.

 

Wolf and his wife, Frances, whom he met in college and married in 1975, have two adult daughters, Sarah, an architect, and Katie, a geologist, both of whom also earned degrees at Dartmouth. Wolf underwent successful treatment for prostate cancer in 2016.

-Steve Straehley

To Learn More:

Gov. Tom Wolf Unveils His 2017-18 Budget (by Jan Murphy, Harrisburg Patriot-News)

The Unlikely Governor (by Julia M. Klein, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine)

Tom Wolf: Perfect Stranger (by Steve Volk, Philadelphia)

Tom Wolf Seeks to Bring Small-Town Ethos to Gubernatorial Race (by Thomas Fitzgerald, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Official Biography

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Bookmark and Share
Overview:

ARC is an economic development partnership between the federal government and the governors of thirteen states that works with the 23 million people in the Appalachian community in an effort to positively impact their lives. Its specific goals include increasing job opportunities, per capita income, and community development programs; improving the region’s infrastructure to make it economically competitive; promoting strategies aimed at closing socioeconomic gaps through education and workforce training; and building the Appalachian Development Highway System to fully connect the region to the nation’s transportation grid.

more
History:

In the 1950s one of every three Appalachians lived in poverty and per capita income in the region was 23 per cent lower than the U.S. average. In 1960 the Conference of Appalachian Governors was formed by the heads of states in the region and in 1961 they approached President John F. Kennedy to ask for federal assistance. In 1963 he formed a federal-state committee that became known as the President’s Appalachian Regional Commission (PARC) and directed it to draw up “a comprehensive program for the economic development” of the area. The result of the PARC’s efforts was outlined in an

April 1964 report

which President Lyndon B. Johnson used as the basis for legislation developed with the bipartisan support of Congress. It was submitted in 1964 and the

Appalachian Regional Development Act (ARDA)

became law in March 1965, establishing ARC as a sustained national regional development program, and including authorization for several new entities, including the Appalachian Development Highway System, health, nutrition, childcare, and low-income housing projects, and entrepreneurship and telecommunications and technology initiatives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

more
What it Does:
The ARC, a federal-state partnership, is made up of a federal co-chair; the governors of the 13 Appalachian states, one of whom each year they select as the states’ co-chair; and grassroots participants, including people from local development districts and multi-county agencies with boards made up of elected officials, businessmen and women, and other local leaders.
 
Among their responsibilities:
  • Serve as a focal point and coordinating unit for Appalachian Programs, providing a forum for consideration of problems of the region, and proposed infrastructure solutions, as well as regional productivity and growth.
  • Continue addressing all possible avenues that may help in the effort to most quickly and expediently complete the 3,090-mile Appalachian Development Highway System. 
  • Coordinate the economic development activities of, and the use of economic development resources by federal agencies in the region.
  • Help generate a diversified competitive regional economy, by improving education and training and furthering entrepreneurial activities and the use of new technology.
  • Encourage local development districts and private investment in industrial, commercial, and recreational projects as well as the use of eco-industrial technologies and approaches, working to help determine the most socially and economically beneficial courses of action.
  • Conduct and sponsor investigations, research, and studies of local and private programs, and recommend modifications or additions that can increase their effectiveness.
  • Advocate planning so that housing, public services, and other community facilities will be provided in a way that enhances the beauty of the region and at the same time is compatible with conservation values.
  • Continually seek avenues to help the region expand access to health care services, recruit and train additional health care professionals, and decrease substance and domestic abuse.
  • Make recommendations to the President and to the state governors and local officials.
 
From the Web Site of the ARC:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Where Does the Money Go:
Of the 13 states that are awarded grants from the ARC, Kentucky receives the most ($13.2 million).
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

more
Suggested Reforms:

In their FY 2012 budget recommendations, Republicans proposed eliminating the ARC, noting that the agency’s removal would save the federal government $76 million. President Barack Obama retained the ARC in both his FY 2012 and FY 2013 budget proposals.

more
Former Directors:

Anne Pope

Anne Breier Pope was nominated by President George W. Bush and began serving as the tenth federal co-chair on February 3, 2003. She is a 1983 graduate of Vanderbilt University with a BA in history, and she earned a JD from the Cumberland School of Law at Stanford in 1986. From 1987 to 1988 she clerked for U.S. District Judge James D. Todd in Jackson, Tennessee, and after that was an associate attorney with Webster, Chamberlain and Bean in Washington D.C. from 1988 to 1992. For three years Pope was president of the department store group Parks-Belk Company, and in 1995 was she named president of Proffitt's of the Tri-Cities, Inc., a division of Saks, where she remained for two years. In 1997 Pope became the Executive Director of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment, and Music Commission, and in 1999 she began serving in the cabinet of Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, as Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance.
 
Pope has contributed to the Bush-Cheney ticket, the Tennessee Republican Party, the Tennessee Senate campaigns of Republicans Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, William Frist, and Fred Thompson, and the Tennessee Congressional campaigns of Republicans William Jenkins and James Henry Quillen.
 
Haley Barbour
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was elected by his fellow Appalachian governors to be the 2008 States’ Co-Chair. Barbour attended the University of Mississippi in Oxford, but at the age of 21 left in the first semester of his senior year to work on Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign and he never took the few final units he needed to graduate. In 1970 he ran the Mississippi Census, and after that, despite his lack of an undergraduate degree, he was admitted to the School of Law at the University of Mississippi, receiving a JD in 1973. He worked as a lawyer with the firm of Henry, Barbour and DeCell, and as Executive Director of the Mississippi Republican Party. From 1985 to 1986 he served as Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs under Ronald Reagan. Barbour went on to co-found the lobbying firm of Barbour, Griffith, and Rogers, where he was Chairman and CEO, and which he left to become Chairman of the Republican National Committee, from 1993 to 1997. After that he returned to the lobbying firm and was there for six more years, in 2000 also chairing George W. Bush’s Presidential Campaign Advisory Committee. In November 2003 Barbour was elected Mississippi’s governor, and he was re-elected in November 2007. He is also a Presbyterian Deacon and Sunday-school teacher.
 
From his earliest days in politics, Barbour has drawn attention for the extent to which he often goes to get results, as well as his style in doing it, and the at times questionable relationships he has developed over the years, which were especially brought to light when he opened his lobbying firm. Barbour garnered additional criticism when it was revealed that several of his family members and fellow lobbyists had greatly benefited from Hurricane Katrina-related businesses. 
 
Since 1994, Barbour has contributed more than $150,000 to various Republican campaigns.
Haley’s Shadow Money (by Adam Lynch, Jackson Free Press)
Who Controls Haley Barbour? (yaller dog blog)
Impeach Haley Barbour (by Steve Clemons, Washington Note)
Mr. Washington goes to Mississippi (by Nicholas Dawidoff, New York Times)
Haley’s Choice: Native Son Comes Home (by Donna Ladd and Jesse Yancy, Jackson Free Press)
more

Comments

N Kyle 6 years ago
christopher: going way back--the kids were pictured without shoes. as mentioned, three of the states are among our most prosperous. and, you don't know what other things i am doing re the state of our country. probably a hell of a lot more than you. and, i contribute money to medical research, colleges, programs for the hungry, pay college tuition for people in need, send money to friends and relatives in need--while i live frugally. since you don't have a clue about what i do...
Christopher M 6 years ago
n kyle your part about the "shoes" makes your comment ridiculously offensive. why don't you go after the mega-billions we give in foreign aid first? or why don't you go after the hundreds of billions in the welfare racket first? maybe you should get your butt in the car and do a tour of appalachia and see the plight of the crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating towns, and extreme environmental destruction due to mountaintop removal...you might change your mind. look..as a lib...
N Kyle 6 years ago
i trust this entity also gets taxpayer money from all of us--whether or not we live in appalachia. i notice that two or three states being helped by this commission are ranked among the top ten most prosperous. if all the kids in appalachia now have shoes--could we get rid of this commission? if the states which are members are funding it themselves--fine. i can't afford it.
NMRK 8 years ago
In the 1950's--Appalachia needed help. Is this still true? My guess is that we have many other parts of the country which would fall into the same set of statistics. I also believe we have many other agencies that overlap your efforts. Are we being redundant?

Leave a comment

Founded: 1965
Annual Budget: $64.8 million (FY 2013 Request); $470 million Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS)
Employees: 53 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://www.arc.gov/
Appalachian Regional Commission
Haslam, Bill
States’ Co-Chair

William Edward “Bill” Haslam, governor of Tennessee, was named states’ 2016 co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) on February 4, 2016, after being selected for the post by his fellow Appalachian state governors. His term ended in February 2017 as he was replaced by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Haslam worked in conjunction with ARC federal co-chair Earl F. Gohl, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010. Established in 1965, the ARC is an economic development partnership between the federal government and the governors of thirteen Appalachian states to positively impact the 25 million residents of the states’ 420 counties. Its focus is on improvement in job opportunities, income, development and training programs, infrastructure and education. In the budget he presented on March 16, 2017, President Donald Trump proposed eliminating all federal funding of the ARC.

 

Haslam was born on August 23, 1958, in Knoxville, the youngest of three children born to Cynthia Allen Haslam and Jim Haslam II. Six weeks after his birth, on October 9, his parents signed the documents to launch Pilot Corporation, which grew from the purchase of a Virginia gas station to become a major national petroleum firm and the successful owner/operators of convenience-store and Pilot Flying J truck-stop chains.

 

Young Haslam attended the private college-prep elementary school, Webb School of Knoxville, and during his teenage years he worked part-time at his father’s company. Envisioning a career as a history teacher and eventually a minister, Haslam, at the age of 16, became active in Young Life, a Christian youth ministry. Within weeks of attending his first event with the group, tragedy struck. On December 5, 1974, Haslam’s mother died suddenly at the age of 42, presumably from an undiagnosed heart condition—the same kind that was thought to have killed her father when he was in his 30s. Haslam later said that her death helped shape the formation of his religious faith. “Painful things are going to happen,” was the realization that went through his mind at the time, he later told Knoxville News Sentinel’s Josh Flory. “You have to decide, is there some meaning beyond just the everyday life you're living?”

 

Haslam attended Emory University and on his first day of class in 1976 he met Crissy Garrett, whom he would marry in 1981. During summer breaks, he performed voluntary work for the political campaigns of U.S. senators from Tennessee, Howard Baker and Lamar Alexander, and also served as a volunteer leader at Young Life. In 1980, he earned a B.A. in history from Emory. Before joining the seminary, he decided to return to Pilot, a move that led to his decision to remain with the firm and, in 1995, become its president. Four years later he left Pilot to join Saks Fifth Avenue as CEO of its catalog and e-commerce division. He left Saks in 2001 and joined the Dallas-based clothing chain, Harold’s Stores, as a member of its board. He also became an owner of the East Tennessee minor-league baseball team, the Tennessee Smokies.

 

Haslam entered the political arena in 2002, throwing his hat into the ring for mayor of Knoxville. The city’s traditionally non-partisan mayoral race took a partisan turn due to Haslam’s membership in the Republican Party, and his opponent, county commissioner Madeline Rogero, accused Haslam of being a puppet of the oil companies. But on September 30, 2003, Haslam defeated Rogero 52%-46%. Three years later, he appointed Rogero as his director of community development. Having doubled the city’s savings under his balanced-budget policy during his first term, Haslam was reelected in 2007 in an 87% landslide.

 

During his years as mayor, Haslam achieved success with a number of historic community preservation projects, including restoration of two Knoxville movie theaters and a restaurant. President George W. Bush took notice and, in 2008, appointed Haslam to a four-year term on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

 

In 2010, Haslam ran for governor of Tennessee, weathering criticism by his opponents over allegations of price-gouging by his oil firm in the aftermath of fuel shortages following Hurricane Katrina. He was also attacked for stonewalling requests that he disclose data pertaining to his income at Pilot. Nonetheless, he won the governorship that November, defeating his Democratic rival, Mike McWherter, by winning 65% of the vote. Combined with GOP state congressional wins, Haslam’s success brought Republicans full control of the state government for the first time since 1869. He ran for reelection in 2014 and defeated his Democratic opponent, Charles Brown, by winning more than 70% of the vote.

 

Haslam’s first act as governor in January 2011 was to overturn a state law requiring him and his top aides to disclose their outside income. “Government works better when people have input into the process, you are open to alternatives and examiner [sic] them, and then you explain why the decision was made,” Haslam stated in a head-scratching official statement. “The rule should be the more you can be in the open, the better.”

 

Ranked as the 17th most conservative governor in the country by a 2013 New York Times analysis, Haslam has marked his governorship by a number of controversial initiatives and actions. His 2011 budget called for cutting all state funding to Planned Parenthood, an attempt that was denied by an amendment added by an unknown lawmaker. That same year, he signed bills or orders to: overturn a Nashville measure barring discrimination against the employment of gays by companies contracted with the city; require photo identification at polling places; bypass the teachers’ union by doing away with public school teachers' collective bargaining rights; limit civil suit damages; lift the cap on charter schools; and impose a curfew on public demonstrators of the Occupy Nashville movement. (The resulting arrests of demonstrators were thrown out by commissioner Tom Nelson, who ruled that the state had no authority to set such a curfew.) He did veto the state’s so-called “Ag-Gag” bill, which targeted animal activists to prevent them from exposing animal cruelty.

 

During the next few years, Haslam refused to veto a bill (thereby making it law) allowing educators to challenge scientific teachings, such as evolution and global warming, and he refused to implement an Affordable Care Act state health exchange. He signed a bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients, and—acting against the advice of doctors, addiction experts and most national medical associations—he signed a bill allowing criminal assault prosecutions of new mothers if narcotics were used during pregnancy, which led to the arrest of a Tennessee mother two days after giving birth, even though she had taken methamphetamine, which is not a narcotic.

 

In 2016, under pressure from civil libertarians, Haslam vetoed a bill that would have made the Bible the official book of Tennessee, reasoning that “this bill trivializes the Bible, which I believe is a sacred text.” He also signed a bill into law that allowed counselors and therapists with “sincerely held principles” to turn away potential clients who are gay, lesbian, or transgender. Numerous advocacy groups protested, including the ACLU of Tennessee. “This measure is rooted in the dangerous misconception that religion can be used as a free pass to discriminate,” said ACLU-TN executive director Hedy Weinberg. “Allowing counselors to treat some potential clients differently from others based on their personal beliefs defies professional standards and could cause significant harm to vulnerable people.”

 

In 2013, the FBI launched a fraud investigation into Pilot Flying J, for which Haslam had served as president until 1999, but who maintains 15% ownership in the company. The following year, the firm—under the chairmanship of Haslam’s billionaire brother, Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam—confessed to shortchanging trucking companies on gas rebates, and it settled by agreeing to pay $92 million in fines.

 

According to Forbes, Bill Haslam’s net worth reached $2 billion in 2015, making him the wealthiest elected official in America. That is, until the January 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $3.5 billion.

 

If Haslam had his way, Trump would not have become president. In October 2016, immediately after the release of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” video in which Trump was heard speaking crudely about having taken sexual advantage of women, Haslam called for Trump to withdraw from the presidential race. “I want to emphasize that character in our leaders does matter,” Haslam said in a statement. “None of us in elected office are perfect, but the decisions that are made in the Oval Office have too many consequences to ignore the behavior we have seen. It is time for the good of the nation and the Republican Party for Donald Trump to step aside and let Gov. Mike Pence assume the role as the party's nominee.” No other prominent state Republicans were reported to have expressed support for his position.

 

Haslam and his wife, Crissy, have a son, Will, and two daughters, Annie and Leigh, along with six grandchildren.

-Danny Biederman

 

To Learn More:

The GOP Star You've Never Heard Of (by Alexander Burns, Politico)

Tennessee Gov. Haslam Exempts Himself and Top Staff from Financial Disclosure (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Official Biography (Appalachian Regional Commission)

Official Biography (Office of the Governor of Tennessee)

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Wolf, Tom
Previous Co-Chair

On February 2, 2017, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) was selected to be the year’s co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, which works to improve the lives of those who live in the 13 states that comprise Appalachia. Each of the 13 governors sits on the commission. The other co-chair is appointed by the President.

 

Wolf was born November 17, 1948, in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, to Bill and Cornelia Wolf. The town was named for Wolf’s great-great grandfather, who was the postmaster there. His family owned the major business in the town, what is now the Wolf Organization, which makes kitchen cabinets.

 

Wolf attended the Hill School, graduating in 1967, and went on to Dartmouth. After his first year there, Wolf went into the Peace Corps, serving in Orissa, India, and working on agricultural projects. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1972 with a B.A. and went to the University of London, where he earned an M.Phil. in 1978. Wolf continued his education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Ph.D. in political science in 1981. His 600-page dissertation, “Congressional Sea Change: Conflict and Organizational Accomodation in the House of Representatives, 1878 to 1921,” was on the evolution of the committee system in the House of Representatives.

 

Although Wolf had teaching opportunities, he returned to Mount Wolf to work in the family business. He started as a forklift driver and managed a hardware store owned by the company. In 1985, upon his father’s retirement, Wolf along with two partners, who were cousins, bought the company. Wolf helped run the company as co-president until 2006, when he and his partners sold it to an investment firm.   

 

Wolf had his eye on a political career and in 2007 was appointed his state’s secretary of revenue by then Governor Ed Rendell (D). Wolf remained in the cabinet for about a year before resigning in preparation for a run for governor in 2010. However, in 2009, Wolf’s former family business, burdened with debt from the corporate buyout and in the home improvement business in the midst of the housing crash, was on the brink of bankruptcy. He and his former partners repurchased the company, changed its business model to emphasize manufacture rather than distribution of products produced by other companies, and put it on the road to recovery.

 

In 2013, with the Wolf Organization successful again, Wolf began campaigning for the 2014 contest for the Pennsylvania statehouse. Although a relative unknown, he won a four-way Democratic primary and ended up winning the general election with 54.9% of the vote, turning out deeply unpopular incumbent Tom Corbett (R).

 

Among Wolf’s moves as governor were a ban on fracking in state parks and a moratorium on the death penalty. Moving forward, he has proposed increased funding for Pennsylvania schools and more support for fighting the opioid epidemic in his state.

 

Wolf and his wife, Frances, whom he met in college and married in 1975, have two adult daughters, Sarah, an architect, and Katie, a geologist, both of whom also earned degrees at Dartmouth. Wolf underwent successful treatment for prostate cancer in 2016.

-Steve Straehley

To Learn More:

Gov. Tom Wolf Unveils His 2017-18 Budget (by Jan Murphy, Harrisburg Patriot-News)

The Unlikely Governor (by Julia M. Klein, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine)

Tom Wolf: Perfect Stranger (by Steve Volk, Philadelphia)

Tom Wolf Seeks to Bring Small-Town Ethos to Gubernatorial Race (by Thomas Fitzgerald, Philadelphia Inquirer)

Official Biography

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