Senator Joseph Lieberman (ID - Connecticut), who gamers might know as one of the original critics of video game violence, is retiring from the U.S. Senate at the end of the month after a 24-year term.
Back in the early 90s, Lieberman led hearings on video game violence and threatened the industry that if it didn't do something, Congress would. And so, the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) was born.
One year later, Lieberman co-sponsered the Family Entertainment Protection Act which called for federal enforcement of the ESRB ratings, fining retailers up to $5000 for selling M or AO-rated games to minors. The bill never became law.
Last week, Lieberman delivered his farewell speech on the Senate Floor. You can watch it to your left. It's a bit long though so below is a farewell letter from Lieberman that came to us from ECA boss Hal Halpin.
At the end of this year, I will retire from the United States Senate. As my twenty-four years in Congress draw to a close, I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Senator. This has been an extraordinary privilege. During my career, I have always been inspired by the strength shown by people through even our darkest days; and this past Friday, December 14th, was certainly one of the darkest in Connecticut’s history. But even in the wake of the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, we remain as united by our resolve to build a more perfect union as we are in our grief over the innocent lives that we lost in Newtown.
Over the years, I have benefited from your thoughts and concerns on important legislative policies and their impacts on Connecticut, in particular, and the nation, as a whole. I thank you for writing to me.
I am proud to have served on the Committees on Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, Small Business, and especially as Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Among my top priorities in the Senate has been to improve the health, safety, and economic well-being of our citizens, to preserve the freedoms that we all cherish, and to protect the beauty of our state and nation’s irreplaceable natural treasures.
Throughout my career in the Senate, I have worked to ensure sufficient federal funding for critical programs and services for the benefit of my constituents. In addition, I have fought on behalf of our men and women in uniform, our veterans, and our first responders, whose mission is the security of our homeland. For defending our freedom and safety, we certainly owe them our enormous gratitude and support.
As is custom, I had the privilege of delivering farewell remarks on the Senate floor last week. If you would like to view them, just click here.
Finally, I want to say that an active and engaged citizenry is essential to our democracy. I hope you will continue to stay in touch with your elected representatives in the future. Lifting your voice, and working together with those in Congress and in the Administration, you really can make a great difference.
I wish you every blessing in the days and years ahead.
Joseph I. Lieberman
UNITED STATES SENATOR
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen