Editors Note: This week, former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH), President of McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies, passed away at the age of 62 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. Those who knew Steve, both professionally and personally, know that he was not the type of person to give up easily - no matter how long the odds. And so it was with his battle with pancreatic cancer. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Jennifer, his children, his friends and family.
Below is a small sample of the outpouring of memorials to former Congressman LaTourette from all across the political spectrum.
Former Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH)
“Steve LaTourette was one of the most honest and loyal souls I ever had the privilege of knowing. With his passing, I have lost a friend, and Ohio has lost a dedicated servant.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI)
“All of us in the House will miss our friend and colleague, Steve LaTourette. Nobody could match his fierce sense of duty—or his great sense of humor. I will keep his wife, Jennifer, and the entire LaTourette family in my prayers.”
Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)
"Steve LaTourette was known for his bipartisanship and his ability to get things done for Ohio. He was a proud son of Cleveland, a tough prosecutor, and an effective legislator who could find common ground with just about anyone. But I will miss him most of all as a good friend with a great sense of humor."
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
“Steve was a really good friend and a tremendous mentor to me as a new Member of Congress. He was a smart, hardworking champion for northern Ohio, and someone whose word you could trust. He was a great Member of Congress – a Member’s Member. He excelled at three things a Member has to do to be successful: learn the rules and procedures of the institution, become an expert on an issue that’s important to those you serve and to the country, and – most importantly – keep your word. Steve became an expert on transportation because he knew how it could improve our economy and the lives of Americans. He was always thoughtful and willing to work with his colleagues to get things done for the good of the country, and he made the job a little bit easier for everyone with his razor-sharp sense of humor. He will be greatly missed.”
Toby Cosgrove, MD - CEO and President of the Cleveland Clinic
"Steve LaTourette was a true public servant. Our condolences go out to his family, as he’ll be greatly missed."
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
"My heart is heavy hearing of the passing of my colleague, former Rep. Steve LaTourette. My prayers are with his family & the Ohio community."
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
“Steve provided insights that were honest, pure and for the betterment of our country. He will be remembered in Congress for his strong leadership, dedication to good public policy and willingness to work across the aisle to get things done.”
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH)
"He was a tremendous congressman and a good friend. We started off as prosecutors, and public defenders before that, which I always thought gave us a better idea of how the world operated. To lose him and [former Ohio governor and senator] George Voinovich this year is tough. The good ones always go too soon."
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
"Steve LaTourette was a good man who was always willing to reach across the aisle to do right by the working men and women of northeast Ohio," Sen. Sherrod Brown. "Connie and I send our deepest sympathies to his family as they mourn his loss."
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Congressman Steve LaTourette. Ohio has lost a great advocate and public servant. He continually fought for those who did not have a voice. His strong leadership and friendship will be missed. My prayers are with his family at this difficult time.”
Former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
"He was my best friend in congress. Steve always had the long view about politics. He exemplified the kind of politics that works. His career will stand as an enduring testimony of the possibilities of going beyond partisanship. This is just devastating to me. It is a deep personal loss."
Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ)
"Saddened by the passing of my friend & former colleague in Congress, Steve LaTourette. A wonderful champion for NASA & Ohioans."
Edward Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO
"During his nine terms in the U.S. House, Steve LaTourette put service and progress above partisan politics. I will forever remember the committee and House floor battles led by Rep. LaTourette in defense of transportation workers’ jobs and rights. Whether the debate involved investing in our transportation system, demanding fair trade policy, or stopping legislation aimed at weakening worker protections or bargaining rights in our laws, Rep. LaTourette repeatedly stood on the side of working people. On a personal level, Steve was a good friend whose good humor and sharp wit made the difficult grind of Washington, DC a bit easier to endure."
"During a time of fierce partisanship and gridlock in Washington, Rep. LaTourette will always reflect the best that public service has to offer: setting ideology aside to find solutions to the problems faced by all Americans. Today, more than ever, we need more of the people we elect to embrace the legacy of Steve LaTourette."
The Concord Coalition
Former U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette...built a reputation as a moderate who sought bipartisan compromise, particularly in working to put the federal budget on a more sustainable course. In 2012 he introduced a budget plan with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) that was based on the recommendations of a bipartisan majority of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (Simpson-Bowles).
It was the only budget plan to receive bipartisan support in the House that year. Although House Republicans later approved a more partisan plan, the Cooper-LaTourette legislation remains a model for the way in which major compromises will eventually need to be made on the budget.
The Concord Coalition honored LaTourette, Cooper and the 36 other House members from both parties for their courage in supporting the legislation with the 2012 Paul E. Tsongas Economic Patriot Award.
Glenn Thrush - Politico
"Steve LaTourette was a great, funny, big-hearted, no-bullshit guy. So sorry he's gone -- need more like him."
About Steve LaTourette
Steve served 18 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Northeast Ohio.
A fiscally conservative, moderate Republican who strove to take a bipartisan and regional approach to governing, he is widely credited with leading the successful effort to save more than 1,100 jobs at Cleveland’s Defense Finance and Accounting Service and in assisting auto dealers impacted by the bankruptcy and bailout of GM and Chrysler.
Steve also served as president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, which is dedicated to supporting a pragmatic, fiscally conservative “governing majority” where political debate is encouraged to promote solutions to improve the lives of all Americans.
Before deciding not to seek re-election to a 10th term in Congress, Steve had become one of Speaker John Boehner's closest colleagues in the House. In 2007, Boehner asked Steve to serve as the Dean of the Ohio Republican Delegation and Ohio representative on the Republican Steering Committee, which chooses committee chairs and members. He was appointed in 2009 to the prestigious House Appropriations Committee, which provides funding for all federal government programs with the exception of mandatory spending programs like Social Security and Medicare.
For 12 years, Steve served on the Financial Services Committee. He wrote the identity theft portion of the reauthorization of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, including the provision that now truncates the credit card number on customer receipts.
He also served on three subcommittees – Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Interior, Environment and Related Agencies; and Legislative Branch. He served 14 years on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in several leadership positions and was Vice Chair of the Transportation subcommittee during the 112th Congress. As a member of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee, he played a role in the funding priorities for national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other public lands, water resource protection, and cultural agencies, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Kennedy Center. And as a member of the subcommittee responsible for funding the legislative branch of government, he was especially interested in the effective use of legislative resources in serving constituents.
Steve was also actively involved in Great Lakes and environmental issues and served as Co-Chair of the influential Great Lakes Task Force for a decade. In 2005, he was named co-chair of the Northeast Midwest Coalition (NEMW) and its Manufacturing Task Force, which has oversight of the Great Lakes Task Forces. NEMW focuses on economic competitiveness and environmental quality in the Northeast and Midwest states. He was also co-founder of the Nursing Caucus and was a leading advocate for nursing issues in Congress.
After leaving Congress, Steve became the president of McDonald Hopkins Government Services - a full service government affairs firm in Washington, D.C.
Prior to his election to the House of Representatives, Steve served from 1989 to 1995 as the Lake County (Ohio) Prosecutor. In 1990, he was named Prosecuting Attorney of the Year in Ohio for his successful prosecution of 13 members of a murderous religious cult. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Cleveland Marshall College of Law.