Posted by | August 11, 2010 13:43 | Filed under: Top Stories

Dan Rostenkowski, who was a leading Democrat in the Reagan era and the powerful head of the House Ways and Means Committee, but who later did time for corruption, has died at age 82.

As House Ways and Means Committee chairman, Rostenkowski was known as a consensus builder and a master of legislative tactics. He is credited with leading a 1983 effort to rescue Social Security from insolvency and pushing through a sweeping 1986 overhaul of the nation’s tax system.

But Rostenkowski himself acknowledged that his legacy would always be tainted by his stint in federal prison.

“I know that my obituary will say, ‘Dan Rostenkowski, felon,’ and it is something that I have to live with,'” he said in a 1998 broadcast interview with Robert Novak and Mark Shields.

In 2000, however, then-President Bill Clinton pardoned Rostenkowski. Two prominent Republicans, former President Gerald R. Ford and former House Minority Leader Robert H. Michel were among those urging the pardon.

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By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.