Champion of Armenian Genocide Legislation, Rep. George Radanovich, Announces Retirement

WASHINGTON–Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), a driving force behind Congressional affirmation of the Armenian Genocide and vocal advocate of the concerns of the Central Valley’s active Armenian American community, announced Tuesday that he will be retiring at the end of the current Congressional term, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“Since his election in 1994, Rep. Radanovich has spearheaded successive Congressional efforts to secure affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, consistently standing up to those who would set aside truth for political expediency,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “We wish George and Ethie all the best in conquering the challenges ahead.”

In a statement released earlier today, Rep. Radanovich noted “As many already know, Ethie has been valiantly fighting ovarian cancer for nearly three years. My family needs me, and I intend to be by their side to win this battle. It is for this reason that I have decided to not seek reelection to Congress in 2010.”  Read his complete statement here

Rep. Radanovich has played a central role in Armenian Genocide affirmation efforts, introducing and securing passage of an amendment to the House fiscal year 1997 Foreign Aid bill, which cut $3 million in U.S. assistance to Turkey — the equivalent of Turkey’s annual lobbying budget against Armenian Genocide legislation at the time.  The House passage spurred a midnight press conference by then Turkish Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir, rejecting the U.S. economic assistance package because of its connection to Armenian Genocide affirmation.  Rep. Radanovich would follow up in 1997 by suggesting that funds rejected by Turkey be reprogrammed to Armenia, to offset the results of the devastating dual blockades by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Turkey eventually accepted the funds. Rep. Radanovich was also the lead sponsor of the 2000 Armenian Genocide resolution, dramatically taken off the Congressional agenda just moments before House consideration by Speaker Dennis Hastert, now a lobbyist for the Turkish Government, in response to a request from the Clinton Administration.  Since 2000, Rep. Radanovich has joined with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) in spearheading successive Genocide resolutions, including H.Res.252, which currently has over 135 cosponsors. He has also been a consistent advocate for increased U.S. assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh and Congressional efforts to end the dual Turkish and Azeri blockades of Armenia.

Rep. Radanovich has endorsed California State Senator Jeff Denham in the June Republican primary, though Fresno Mayor James Patterson is widely expected to run as well. The 19th Congressional District in California is Republican leaning with registered voters split 44% Republican, 37% Democrat, and 14% decline to state.

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10 Comments

  1. Politically-engaged Armenian said:

    This Congressional district has a large Armenian-American population and is a natural district for an Armenian congressperson. Why is an Armenian-American not running for this seat?

    • Politically engaged Armenian Grad student said:

      im assuming someone of Armenian ancestry is already lined up for this post…
      how about yeghparian or someone like-minded?
       
       

  2. Pingback: Champion of Armenian Genocide Legislation, Rep. George Radanovich … | armeniatoday

  3. Pingback: Champion of Armenian Genocide Legislation, Rep. George Radanovich … | Armenia News Station

  4. John K. said:

    Agree with Politically engaged Armenian.  When are we going to stop relying on Odars and start preparing our own politicians?  Armenian people your only salvation is in your own POLITICAL POWER!  MEEYAYN KAGHAKAGANOOTIUMP GAH  HAYOTS PERGOOTIUN!

  5. jon irvin said:

    After watching” the Armenian Genocide” documentary on KOCE, the public television channel, I am now, more than ever before, absolutely disgusted with the Turkish government in their refusal to acknowledge the crimes against humanity that were brought upon the Armenian people. I and my wife had considered taking a Mediterranean cruise which would have made stops at several Turkish cities. We have since changed our vacation plans and will never travel to Turkey.  I would like to know where and how I can become involved in making my voice heard on behalf of the Armenian people.

    • John K. said:

      Hi Jon,

      Thanks for your support.  To support the Armenian Cause,  you can start by writing or calling your Congressman and Senator and have your friends do the same and ask them to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution that is currently pending in the U.S House of Representatives and U. S. Senate.  I think the resolution # is HR-252 and S-252 .

      Thanks again

      John K.

    • Lisa said:

      Welcome to an uphill battle Jon and friends! By far the most effective advocate for the Armenian cause in America is the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Their link is copied below.
      http://www.anca.org/
      Their are many items listed to take action on under current action alerts. I usually check their web page every few days for updates or you can just join their email list near the link under donate today. Their goals are mainly to educate, motivate and activate a huge grassroots contingency of informed advocates for justice and human rights. Indeed a worthy cause that truly makes a difference in society.
      Best regards,
      Lisa

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