Sheldon Whitehouse

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U.S. Senator

Sheldon Whitehouse




Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senate Committee on the Budget, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senate Special Committee on Aging
(subcommittees and past assignments)

Candidates for the RI-Senate Class I Seat:
(Next election: 6 November 2012)

Confirmed: None so far
Considering: None so far
Rumored: None so far
Potential: None so far
Dropped-out: None so far
(more info and editing for the RI-Senate Class I Seat)
On the Web
Official website

Sheldon Whitehouse is the Junior Senator for the state of Rhode Island. He is a Democrat, and was first elected in 2006.


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

Click through the score to see the records of other members of Congress and full descriptions of the individual votes.

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. Senate votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Cornel Young, Jr. Death

When black Providence police officer Cornel Young Jr. was shot by two fellow officers while he was off-duty in January 2000, Whitehouse was criticized for not appointing an independent prosecutor to investigate the shooting. Later that year, Whitehouse was criticized when 15-year-old Jennifer Rivera, a witness in a murder case, was shot by a relative of the man she was to testify against later that year.[1] After Rivera's shooting, Whitehouse strengthened the state's witness protection program.


Born in 1955, Whitehouse is the son of Charles Whitehouse, a WWII veteran and a three-time ambassador. Whitehouse is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia Law School. In 1994 President Bill Clinton appointed Whitehouse to be the U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island. As U.S. Attorney Whitehouse prosecuted the first case the new federal "three strikes" law and began the investigation into what became Operation Plunder Dome, a municipal corruption case that sent Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci to jail on conspiracy charges.

In 1998 Whitehouse was elected Rhode Island's Attorney General. As Attorney General he initiated a lawsuit against the lead paint industry that ended in a mistrial; the state later won a second lawsuit against former lead paint manufacturers Sherwin Williams Co., Millennium Holdings and NL Industries that found them responsible for creating a public nuisance. Whitehouse also founded the Rhode Island Quality Institute, "an organization dedicated to improving health care quality in the State of Rhode Island,"[2] and authorized the first Rhode Island State Police wire tap to investigate public corruption.

In 2002 Whitehouse made a run for the Democratic nomination for Governor. He lost to Sen. Myrth York by 900 votes.

2006 Senate race

When Whitehouse entered the race he initially faced a tight primary against Secretary of State Matt Brown. Whitehouse held a clear fundraising edge and Brown soon dropped out of the race after questions about his fundraising practices brought increasing negative attention.

Whitehouse has used Rhode Island's status as the most Democratic state in the nation as a means to ask voters to send a Democrat to the Senate over his opponent, liberal Republican Lincoln Chafee. Despite Chafee's liberal positions on social issues and the war Whitehouse has been able to use President Bush's unpopularity against the incumbent Senator.

Whitehouse favors bringing "the troops home from Iraq in a reasonable time frame".[3] Whitehouse has labeled the American health care system as "both our biggest national problem and our biggest national opportunity."[4]

Polls showed Whitehouse with a lead throughout the race.[5] In the general election, he defeated Chafee 53%-47%. [6]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Thornton & Naumes$ 43,200
Technology Crossover Ventures$ 37,600
Goldberg, Lindsay & Co$ 34,200
Edwards Wildman Palmer$ 26,000
Comcast Corp$ 25,331
DLA Piper$ 25,300
Bickel & Brewer$ 24,300
Ocean Champions$ 22,800
Walt Disney Co$ 21,666
Intellectual Ventures LLC$ 21,400
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Sheldon Whitehouse
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

More Background Data

Background information on Lincoln Chafee, whom Sheldon Whitehouse challenged in the 2006 congressional elections:


DC office
  • 717 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
    Ph: 202-224-2921 Fax: 202-228-6362
    Webform email
District offices
  • 170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100, Providence, RI 02903
    Ph: 401-453-5294 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and Resources


Local blogs and discussion sites

Audio of Whitehouse Introducing His First Congressional Legislation -- 3 Bills on Health Care Reform


Semantic data (Edit data)