[Congressional Record Volume 153, Number 2 (Friday, January 5, 2007)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E18]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                          COMMENDING LEE BANDY

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. JOE WILSON

                           of south carolina

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, January 4, 2007

  Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Madam Speaker, last month, the dean of 
South Carolina political reporters, Lee Bandy, announced his retirement 
from The State newspaper. Bandy joined The State in 1966, serving as 
Washington correspondent and bureau chief before relocating to 
Columbia. I well remember him giving me a tour of Congressional offices 
when I was a Senate intern in 1967.
  I have known and worked with Lee extensively during my years in South 
Carolina politics. While his departure marks the end of an era, I know 
Lee will continue to exert tremendous influence on the South Carolina 
political scene.
  At a recent meeting of Midlands First Tuesday Club, I presented Lee a 
Certificate of Achievement on behalf of Congress.
  On December 14, 2006, The State's Aaron Gould Sheinin penned the 
following article marking Bandy's retirement:

  After 40 Years and 3,000 Columns, The State's Lee Bandy is Retiring

       Hailed as a legend by colleagues and a mover and shaker by 
     sources, reporter has kept finger on pulse of S.C. politics
       Legendary political reporter and columnist Lee Bandy will 
     retire at the end of the year after 40 years with The State 
     newspaper.
       Bandy, 71, has been with the newspaper since 1966. He 
     started as Washington correspondent, then served as 
     Washington bureau chief. He moved to Columbia in January 
     1992.
       While Bandy will retire from day-to-day reporting, he will 
     continue writing his weekly Sunday column at least through 
     2007.
       During a luncheon in his honor Wednesday at the newspaper, 
     Bandy told his colleagues, ``I've met a lot of fascinating 
     people, and I might add I've worked with some wonderful 
     people. You've been a source of inspiration to me.''
       As the top political reporter in South Carolina, Bandy 
     often is sought out by politicians looking for a positive 
     mention in his Sunday column. During Wednesday's lunch, in 
     fact, potential 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards left 
     a phone message for Bandy congratulating him on his coming 
     retirement.
       During 40 years of writing his column, Bandy never missed a 
     week. He said he estimates he's written 3,000 columns. Each 
     column is about 800 words. That's more than 2 million words, 
     ``and that's more than enough for anybody,'' Bandy said.
       David Broder, longtime political reporter for The 
     Washington Post, said Bandy was a legend in the Senate Press 
     Gallery in Washington. Broder still occasionally calls Bandy 
     to get the pulse of South Carolina politics.
       ``He's enormously generous and helpful and tells you 
     stories you would never hear from any other source,'' Broder 
     said.
       Former S.C. Gov. David Beasley, a Republican, called Bandy 
     his friend and said, ``No one has become president of the 
     United States without crossing his path in 40 years, and no 
     one has had an impact on South Carolina government that 
     hasn't dealt with Lee Bandy.''
       A native of Asheville, Bandy is a graduate of Bob Jones 
     University. He is a member of the exclusive Gridiron Club of 
     Washington journalists. He and his wife, Mary, have two sons, 
     Ryan and Michael, a daughter, Alexa, and two grandchildren, 
     Sophia and Nathaniel. They are members of First Presbyterian 
     Church in Columbia and live in Forest Acres.

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