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George R. Nethercutt, Jr. (born October 7, 1944) is an Americanmarker politician, and is the founder and chairman of The George Nethercutt Foundation. He was a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2005, representing .

Born in Spokane, Washingtonmarker, and a graduate of North Central High School, Nethercutt earned a B.A. in English from Washington State Universitymarker and a law degree from Gonzaga Universitymarker. He worked as a clerk for Alaskan federal Judge Raymond Plummer. Nethercutt then served as staff counsel and later chief of staff to Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) before returning to private practice in Washington State. Specializing in estate and adoption law, he also co-founded the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, a private, not-for-profit institution to help prevent child abuse.

Congressional career

Nethercutt was first elected to Congress in 1994 in a dramatic election in which he unseated the Speaker of the House Tom Foley. This marked the first time a sitting Speaker of the House was unseated since 1860, and only the second to be unseated in U.S. history (the first was William Pennington by Nehemiah Perry). In Congress, he sat on the House Appropriations Committee and the House Science Committee. He had a strongly conservative voting record.

Nethercutt's campaign against Foley included significant attention to Foley's opposition to term limits. In 1992, Washington state voters had approved a ballot measure limiting the terms of Washington officials, including federal officials such as U.S. Representatives. Foley had brought suit contesting the constitutionality of this limit and won in court. Nethercutt repeatedly cited the caption of Foley's lawsuit — "Foley against the People of the State of Washington" — and promised each time that he would serve no more than three terms (six years) in the House.

The Democrats mounted a serious bid to regain the seat Foley had held for 30 years, but Nethercutt won by an unexpectedly large 12-point margin. He was handily reelected in 1998. In 2000, when his pledge to serve only three terms would have kicked in, Nethercutt changed his mind and announced his intention to run for re-election again, infuriating term-limits supporters. Nethercutt was nevertheless re-elected without much difficulty in 2000 and in 2002.

2004 Senate race

Nethercutt decided to run for U.S. Senate in 2004, hoping to again unseat an incumbent, this time Senator Patty Murray, rather than running for a sixth term in the House. Term limits again became an issue in the campaign, as Nethercutt's broken promise to limit himself to three terms in the House was one of the issues that Democratic advertisements focused on.

Nethercutt was also hampered by his lack of name recognition in the more densely populated western part of the state. Washington has not elected a senator from east of the Cascades since Miles Poindexter in 1916. Other important issues included national security and the war in Iraq. Nethercutt supported the invasion of Iraq, while Murray opposed it.

Nethercutt was a heavy underdog from the start, and his campaign never gained much traction. In November, he lost by 12 points, receiving 43 percent of the vote to Murray's 55 percent.

Current employment

Nethercutt left the House of Representatives at the end of his term in January 2005, but has said that he probably will not retire from politics completely. For now, he and two other political veterans (former Interior Department deputy secretary J. Steven Griles and former White House national energy policy director Andrew Lundquist) have joined to form the political lobbying firm of Lundquist, Nethercutt & Griles, LLC.

The Nethercutt Foundation

Nethercutt has founded the The George Nethercutt Foundation in Spokane, Washingtonmarker. The Foundation is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization in the United States dedicated to fostering civic involvement. The foundation accepts applications from college students who aspire to be Nethercutt Fellows. The Nethercutt Fellowship involves, among other things, a trip to Washington, D.C.marker where fellows have the opportunity to see the inner-workings of the United Statesmarker government.

Mission

It is the purpose of the Foundation to develop in young adults an understanding of government, business, public policy issues and civics, and to foster leadership qualities that will add value to their communities and create a new generation of principled leadership across Americamarker.

Program Overview

Each year the Foundation identifies promising students in the United Statesmarker to become Nethercutt Fellows. The program combines academic work in their college or university community; targeted on-site exposure to government, business and leaderhip in Washington, DCmarker; and the opportunity to partner and intern with participating businesses or nonprofit organizations to provide substantive assistance and career preparation activities.

This program provides Nethercutt Fellows national exposure, leadership training, high level mentoring and professional development opportunities. All experiences from the program are designed to foster in young people an appreciation for the American system of government, the importance of a free society, and the obligations expected of citizens to perpetuate American ideals and principles of liberty.

Academics

The academic program involves lectures from professors who are experts in the fields of economics, political science, Constitutional history and leadership development. Courses will also be a forum for students to meet and interact with leaders in business, foreign affairs, government and politics with the stated goal of fostering appreciation for the benefits of living in a free country.

Fellowship

One of the highlights for the Foundation students is an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC. On this trip, students visit the White House, the U.S. Capitol and tour the US Senate and US House of Representatives, meet with Members of Congress, tour selected federal agencies and meet with ranking government officials.

Fellows also meet with major corporate leaders, trade association personnel and business representatives to get an inside look and receive information about the operations of the private sector's interaction with government.

Through this exposure, Fellows are able to return home to their communities armed with knowledge of the mechanics of an agency, an institution or a business and valuable insight into the workings of government, thereby serving as an asset to business and educational interests in the Fellow's community.

Internship

As the final component to the Nethercutt Fellowship, each student spends time as an intern with a business or nonprofit organization in their community. Nethercutt Fellows gain career experience in their individual area of interest, while serving as an asset to local business and nonprofit entities by contributing their skills and energy to their leadership experience.

Electoral history

: Results 1994–2002
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1994 106,074 49% 110,057 51%
1996 Judy Olson 105,166 44% 131,618 56%
1998 Brad Lyons 73,545 38% 110,040 57% John Beal American Heritage 9,673 5%
2000 Tom Keefe 97,703 39% 144,038 57% Greg Holmes Libertarian 9,473 4%
2002 Bart Haggin 65,146 32% 126,757 63% Rob Chase Libertarian 10,379 5%

Washington Senator (Class III)]] results: 2004
Year Democrat Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2004 1,549,708 55% 1,204,584 43% J. Mills Libertarian 34,055 1% Mark B. Wilson Green 30,304 1%

References

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