He once told his students, "Never separate the lives you live from the words you speak." He stood for saying what you believe and doing what you say. At a time destructive neoliberalism took hold, he was a living, breathing antidote. His voting record showed it.
He supported progressive activism. He believed in backing principles with action. He battled hardliners supporting anti-populist measures he opposed.
At a fall 1990 White House reception for newly elected congressional members, he urged GHW Bush to spend more time on education and other social issues.
He also advised him against attacking Iraq. Not at all pleased, Bush privately asked an aide, "Who is this chickenshit?" His activism and outspokenness cursed him with the mark of Cain. He'd learn later how hard it stings.
Project Vote Smart covered his voting record from April 1992 - October 2002. Many progressive ones included:
- yea for family and medical leave;
- yea for homosexuals in the military;
- yea for ending military operations in Somalia;
- nay on the Comprehensive Terrorism Prevention Act;
- nay on space-based lasers;
- nay on the Telecommunications Bill letting media giants consolidate to greater size;
- nay on harmful welfare reform hurting poor people when they most need help;
- nay on Cuba sanctions;
- yea on helpful immigration reform;
- nay against reconfirming Alan Greenspan;
- yea for campaign finance reform;