Former Congressman Steve LaTourette, a liberal Republican from Cleveland, Ohio has died at 62 due to pancreatic cancer.
Former Congress member Steve LaTourette, known for his moderate brand of Republican politics and his irreverent brand of humor, died Wednesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 62.
LaTourette grew up in Cleveland Heights. His father, Eugene, was an accountant, and his mother, Patricia, worked for a life insurance company. At Cleveland Heights High School, LaTourette led petition drives to permit students to wear jeans and grow facial hair. Although he regularly spent campaign money on season tickets to Ohio State University football games during his years in Congress, LaTourette graduated from the University of Michigan before obtaining a law degree from Cleveland State University.
After law school, LaTourette worked as a public defender, a job he said taught him what it was like to have “nobody like you.” He was elected to serve as Lake County prosecutor in 1988, after losing an initial bid for the job.[…]
“We are losing an intelligent, thoughtful and highly motivated public servant, one who always puts his constituents first,” Renacci said. After watching colleagues deliver farewells from a gallery above the House of Representatives floor, LaTourette joked it was a shame for bipartisanship to break out only when he’s leaving.
“It was like being at my funeral, but it was better because I was able to look at it from above,” LaTourette continued. “I don’t think I’ll have that privilege at my real funeral.”
LaTourette is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and six children: Sarah, Amy, Clare, Sam, Emerson and Henry. A previous marriage ended in divorce.
Via The Plain Dealer
As David Bossie of Citizens United once explained, LaTourette spent his time outside of Congress as a lobbyist and raising money to defeat conservatives:
LaTourette now runs an organization whose goal is to counter Citizens United Political Victory Fund’s (“CUPVF”) efforts to elect principled conservatives who want to change Washington. Known as the Republican Main Street Partnership, LaTourette supports moderate candidates while keeping an interestingly close relationship to Speaker John Boehner, who is also from Ohio. At every turn, if a Boehner ally in the House is challenged by a conservative candidate in a primary, the Republican Main Street Partnership is there to support the moderate establishment candidate, with Boehner’s donors eager to fund those efforts.
And at the time of his divorce, his wife went public with how much Washington, D.C. changed him. As she explained to The Hill:
The wife of Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) said Monday that her husband of 21 years has asked her for a divorce after admitting he is involved with another woman, a Washington lobbyist.
“He called me on Friday and said he wants a divorce,” Susan LaTourette said in a telephone call from her workplace near the Cleveland suburb of Madison Village, where she, her husband and their four children live.
Susan LaTourette, who said she doesn’t know where her husband lives when Congress is in session, blamed the Washington culture for the breakup.
“I think Washington corrupts people,” she said. “He was a wonderful husband and father, the best I ever saw, until he went there. I told him I was trying to get him out of the dark side, all that power and greed and people kissing up to them all time. Now he’s one of them. All they care about is getting reelected. I hate them all.”
Steve LaTourette, a lawyer who was Lake County district attorney for six years before winning a seat in Congress in 1994, declined to comment when informed of his wife’s assertions.
“He’s not going to be making any statements today,” his communications director, Deborah Setliff, said Monday. “He said it’s a private matter and he has no comment.”
Let us pray for LaTourette’s family during this difficult time. Rest in peace.