Talk:Richard Shelby

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His name[edit]

Redirecting to "Dick" Shelby seems backwards. History and current media exclusively refer to him as "Richard" Shelby. Seeing that Richard M. Nixon isn't under Dick Nixon, would seem to suggest that this page get put back to Richard Shelby, with Dick Shelby redirecting to there. --Sturmde 20:41, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Sturmde's recommendation. I have made the necessary changes. --Ewbrown 20:32, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

It doesn't seem to be fixed yet. I changed the title over his picture though to Richard. -- Anonymous 15:35, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Tenet and Shelby[edit]

While looking to see if George Tenet had ever been a lobbyist for a Greek-American association (an assertion for which I can find no evidence), every news report I found said that Shelby had been hostile to Tenet since 1998 over the CIA's failure to warn of India's nuclear tests, and other issues. Further, Shelby was on the record as having strongly recommended the Bush Administration replace Tenet soon after the 2000 election, and that Shelby had been calling for Tenet's replacement ever since 9/11.

Although Shelby's opposition to Lake is a matter of public record, specific sources are needed for the material linking Tenet and Shelby as allies if it is to be considered anything but original research. Willhsmit 22:14, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Possible additional controversy: Shelby and Tuscaloosa Title Co. and the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee[edit]

A recent Forbes article on the anti-competitive nature (read: 'scam') in the title insurance industry ( talks about Shelby's role as the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee in suffocating a proposed rule that would increase the competitiveness of an industry that he is a direct beneficiary of. See also

So here you have a senator earning between $100,000 to $1,000,000 per year in dividends alone from a title insurer who voted against title insurance reform?? Please tell me this qualifies as a controversy!

Tin Foil Hat Vandalism[edit]

I replaced this nugget: a select coalition of traditionally-white senators that formed a secret society with enormous influence over U.S. politics.

This was describing the boll wevils, who were basically moderate southern Dems. If anyone has a better NPOV description than the one I gave, use it, however the above was obvious vandalism.~~jm —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Constitution Restoration Act[edit]

Why isn't this on the article? Shelby was the sponsor of this notorious Theocratic act, which attempted to strip the courts of their right to hear cases about the usage of God. I should also mention that his ultra-conservative Presbyterianism and affiliation with the Constitution Party reeks of Christian Reconstructionism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:19, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Title Co. Paragraph[edit]

I'm removing the paragraph about his association with Tuscaloosa Title Co. It lacks NPOV and is poorly written. Patrick Sewell (talk) 05:53, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it was pretty POV-laden the way it was phrased, good catch. However, it's well-sourced; I changed the wording to be more neutral, and restored the section. -Pete (talk) 07:35, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Place of Birth controversy Revisited.[edit]

With the Senators new found joy of questioning the presidents citizenship I think expanding on the "he claims" aspect of his own birth would now be relevant to the body of this article and should be taken out of the foot note section. Expansion should include a clear statement that the Senators word is all the public has regarding the place of his birth. Any other editors agree?Dkriegls (talk) 18:20, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

This is a good point and why I added the statement to the article. All the public has to go on is what Mr. Shelby states of his birth. He has never produced a DNA test to confirm his mother is who he says and we do not have a link to the official Alabama birth certificate. Only a link to a 3d representation of his original birth certificate on the official website of the agency which holds the original would do, along with the complete certified results of a DNA test. If that material is not presented we should stick to the wording that is in place now, and add a disclaimer along the lines of "but this has never been fully confirmed". TWilliams9 (talk) 19:19, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Don't you have anything better to do? We don't edit an article based on what the subject is doing in real life. Maybe fact tag the material or maybe remove it but lets keep it real. Or maybe we can break into the guys house and do a do-it-yourself DNA test. I obviously don't know the history here, nor do I really want to. If his "parentage" is in question, then maybe this can go further. Anyways, --Tom 21:04, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I see. This guy is a ****. That doesn't mean we have to be ****s. --Tom 21:10, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
We would just be applying the same high standards to this article as he wants to apply to the POTUS. [[1]] That seems more than fair. TWilliams9 (talk) 21:14, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Again, it doesn't make a hill of beans difference what the subject of this article does in relation to Wiki policies and guidelines. We don't use articles as some tit-for-tat gothcha games. If this dude's linage has been questioned by RS and it's some big deal, then MAYBE it can be covered, but if that is not the case, this is a very bad road to go down. What do others think...if anything :) --Tom 21:58, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree with Threeafterthree. I started this thread and would still like to add this detail to it because I think it is relevant. However, not with out it being cited by some big player third party. If anyone has a good source for his non-documented birth, or better yet, a source talking about the hypocrisy of his recent statements due to said birth, then please bring it to this thread so other editors can discuss before putting in the article. Dkriegls (talk) 07:13, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
And hopefully not from the DailyKos or such. --Tom 14:21, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Cleanup needed[edit]

I've done some cleanup, but don't intend to spend more time here. So I'll note what's left to do:

  • There are three subsections, "Career", "Political views", and "Environmental record", that ought to be part of a single level 3 section, "Political actions and positions", with subsections for various areas, one being "Environmental", another being "Financial regulation", and a final one ("Other") used as a catchall. Right now the first two sections are just a mishmash of things.
  • The existing footnotes are dreadful; see WP:CITE and WP:FOOT for how they should be formatted.
  • There is a long article in today's Washington Post about Shelby and his career; that should be used to expand the article as well as to source some of the existing information that lacks a source. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 17:52, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


Why is a four-day hold notable? And let's have a source other than a left-wing blog. And let's have some factual accuracy, such as the fact that the hold began and ended while the Senate was out of session, so it had no effect. Or, better yet, let's adhere to WP:WEIGHT and WP:NOT#NEWS and delete the paragraph entirely. THF (talk) 04:54, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

If you want to discuss this rationally, please don't make blatantly false claims implying that this section is only sourced to "a left-wing blog". This is a major story and sourced to multiple RS sources. Gamaliel (talk) 19:44, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I am amazed that CNN had the foresight to report on this 2010 development in 2003, which is one of the "RS sources" that you have added multiple times. You continue to add factually incorrect information to a BLP. Please self-revert. THF (talk) 19:59, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Please specify the factual inaccuracy and I will correct it. Or you could, say, correct it yourself without chopping out the whole incident. Gamaliel (talk) 20:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I already did, but you're apparently not reading my talk-page comments and/or what you're inserting into a BLP. THF (talk) 20:15, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
If you are speaking about the statement "the hold began and ended while the Senate was out of session, so it had no effect", you are welcome to insert it into the article provided you have an RS. Gamaliel (talk) 20:21, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
It's your responsibility not to insert inaccurate information into a BLP. Find better sources yourself if you think this is somehow notable -- a proposition you still have offered no defense of. THF (talk) 21:07, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't feel the current text is inaccurate, so I see no need to change it. If you want to see changes, it's your responsibility to make the changes you want. Gamaliel (talk) 22:13, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I will need to report you to administrators if you persist in adding false information to a BLP. I've given you my compromise solution. If you don't like it, you need to suggest accurate language. THF (talk) 05:24, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe the current text is inaccurate nor do I believe you have established that it is. If you spend one tenth of the time that you use to harangue me in three different forums to explain your position, then we might make progress here. Gamaliel (talk) 13:15, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I'll repeat, and you still won't read it: Why is a four-day hold notable? And let's have a source other than a left-wing blog. And let's have some factual accuracy, such as the fact that the hold began and ended while the Senate was out of session, so it had no effect. Or, better yet, let's adhere to WP:WEIGHT and WP:NOT#NEWS and delete the paragraph entirely. THF (talk) 04:54, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

I already removed the blog. This is a farce. Stop making things up and talk about the actual issues. Gamaliel (talk) 14:41, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
And you still haven't responded to the five other things wrong with that paragraph, or made any effort to make the paragraph accurate. Which is why I'm deleting it again. If you add it without defense on the talk page, I will seek administrative intervention. THF (talk) 15:29, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
There's five? Well how about making a list instead of spreading your complaints over different pages and edit summaries. Gamaliel (talk) 15:56, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

I'll add that it's also factually false that Shelby put a hold on "the remaining" Obama nominees, as there were dozens of nominees that Shelby did not put a hold on. THF (talk) 15:35, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

According to the article's sources, Shelby "has placed a blanket hold on all executive nominations on the Senate calendar". Gamaliel (talk) 15:56, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
And Shelby's office released a statement refuting that false claim. It's been pointed out to you that your sources for this non-notable trivia are inaccurate. Do the research: if it's as notable as you say, there are surely daily reports and updates--and even then, there's a WP:PERSISTENCE problem unless there's coverage months from now. WP:NOT#NEWS: this is an encyclopedia, rather than a place to catalog every inaccurate transient blog attack on a Republican. THF (talk) 16:03, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Reliable sources say otherwise. If you wish to dispute multiple reliable sources, stop grandstanding and produce your evidence as I've been asking all along. Gamaliel (talk) 16:04, 12 February 2010 (UTC)


  1. WP:BLP: Inaccurate: falsely implies that holds were not lifted.
  2. WP:BLP: Inaccurate: falsely implies that holds had any effect on nomination.
  3. WP:BLP: Inaccurate: falsely implies that such holds are not frequently used by both Democrats and Republicans.
  4. WP:BLP: Inaccurate: falsely implies that Shelby placed holds on all nominees, rather than several.
  5. WP:PERSISTENCE/WP:NOT#NEWS/WP:WEIGHT. No evidence that this is encyclopedic. There are thousands of political spats every year. If this doesn't result in a rule change, or block significant legislation, or have long-term political repercussions for Shelby, then no one's going to care in a week, much less a year, much less when Shelby retires. It doesn't belong in his article until we know that. THF (talk) 16:19, 12 February 2010 (UTC), updated 08:01, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Much appreciated. Now maybe we can finally get something done here.

  • I will add the fact that most, but not all, of the holds were lifted.
  • This is an unsourced interpretation, not a fact.
  • The notability of this stems from such a sweeping use of the hold procedure, not the fact that he used it at all. I will clarify this in the section.
  • The sources say all, therefore we must say all. If you dispute the sources, you must back it up with something more than assertion.
  • Widespread coverage and the unprecedented nature of employing so many holds make it notable. Gamaliel (talk) 16:47, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  • If your argument is that this is notable because it's unprecedented, you lose:[2][3] Moreover, secret holds are secret -- so we don't know how many dozens of others happened that didn't get reported. Since this isn't unprecedented, we go by WP:PERSISTENCE.
  • NB that the sources are plainly wrong, since Obama has more than 70 nominations pending, and Shelby's spokesman rebutted it. Shelby didn't hold any uniform military personnel, federal judges, or Treasury nominees, all of which require Senate confirmation. THF (talk) 17:50, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Your assertion is insufficient to contradict reliable sources. Sources please. Gamaliel (talk) 18:00, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Shelby's spokesman. THF (talk) 19:04, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Link or proper citation, please. As much as I'd like to, I can't simply take your word for it or evaluate these alleged statements without one or the other, nor can material from this spokesman be included without either one. Gamaliel (talk) 19:10, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree with Gamaliel. This has been in multiple mainstream news sources, easily found on Google news. And I didn't have to go searching for it to know this, as I've been reading them as they've come out. Yworo (talk) 17:56, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Noone disputes that there has been a blip of news coverage. Under WP:WEIGHT and WP:PERSISTENCE that's necessary, but not sufficient. THF (talk) 19:04, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. A single editorial from a partisan source is enough for you to fight for inclusion in a biography if the subject is someone you consider liberal. But if it's a conservative that you happen to agree with, then wide coverage by mainstream third-party news sources over a number of days is a "blip" and insufficient. It's one or the other. How do you reconcile your argument here with your earlier argument at Nina Totenberg? --Loonymonkey (talk) 03:08, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Please don't repeat arguments over multiple pages. As for the answer to your question, WP:PERSISTENCE is clear on this. A representative editorial reflecting a notable controversy that has been discussed by reliable sources for twenty years should be included in a biography; if you'd like, I can find another dozen or so reliable sources saying the same thing for Nina Totenberg, and we can pick and choose three or four to go in if you're unhappy with the Bozell source that someone else found.
In contrast, a week of news coverage about a non-notable event should not be included in the encyclopedia anywhere. If I'm wrong, and people are still talking about Shelby's holds in a year (or even in two or three months), I'll admit I'm wrong and that a neutral version of the paragraph that tells both sides of the story should be included. Until then, you have no basis to claim that this is a notable event just because there's a blip of news coverage for a standard legislative tactic that happens thousands of times a year. Wikipedia is not a newspaper. THF (talk) 07:49, 13 February 2010 (UTC)


I'm still waiting for a single editor to explain how this paragraph meets WP:PERSISTENCE. This guideline has been ignored in every single talk-page comment defending the paragraph. THF (talk) 08:01, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

To quote the guideline: "This may be difficult or impossible to determine shortly after the event occurs, as editors cannot know whether an event will receive further coverage or not. That an event occurred recently does not in itself make it non-notable." So, basically, it say this is something to be decided later. Yworo (talk) 09:19, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia regularly sees new material added shortly after the events themselves unfold. Are we then supposed to wait two, three months after the incident has concluded to see if it's still referenced before adding them in? Secondly, here's an LA Times editorial (dated today) which discusses Shelby's holds in the context of Senate holds. The guideline itself says that "Events that are only covered in sources published during or immediately after an event, without further analysis or discussion, are likely not suitable for an encyclopedia article". This editorial is itself evidence that coverage of the event has clearly gone beyond mere reporting of it. Still not notable enough for you? Then please explain why Bozell's editorial is notable enough to be cited in this article, whilst an LA Times editorial isn't. Ethereal (talk) 09:49, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
OK, that persuades me. Thank you for taking the time to respond; I obviously couldn't be aware of an LA Times editorial issued today yesterday. THF (talk) 15:33, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Recentism tag[edit]

Shelby's been in Congress thirty years, and, aside from election results, there are three sentences about his first twenty years, and one about his first ten. THF (talk) 15:03, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Then add more content about the first ten. Yworo (talk) 15:06, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Why does that require you to remove a proper tag? THF (talk) 15:12, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Because consensus is currently against you. Two editors have removed the tag, because it isn't warranted. Leave it off and discuss. Yworo (talk) 15:15, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I am discussing. One removing editor falsely thought I was complaining about a single paragraph. And you still haven't justified removing the tag. So I don't see any consensus. Self-revert, please, and discuss, and don't be disruptive by making me waste time by asking for an RFC whether an article about a person who's been in Congress since the 1970s that has nothing about his pre-Congress career and next to nothing before 2004 violates WP:RECENTISM. THF (talk) 15:24, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Gun control views[edit]

The article alleged in the second sentence of Political Views that "Shelby says he opposes gun control, but Senator Shelby has supported several key gun control measures" without reference for the first part of the sentence, so I've changed it to "Senator Shelby has also supported several key gun control measures". Change it back if you have a source for it. (talk) 23:43, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

More independent-minded than Sessions?[edit]

In the paragraph that begins "Shelby is considered to be much more independent-minded than his Senate colleague from Alabama, Jeff Sessions", evidence offered is incorrect or incomplete. According to U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 106th Congress ( Shelby supported Gramm–Leach–Bliley. According to this WP biography, he opposed it: "In 1999 he was the only Senate Republican to vote against the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act." (In fact, no Republican voted against it). This is a serious error.

Two other facts are offered as evidence of Shelby's "independent-mind": he voted "against two major tort reform bills, the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and the Common Sense Product Liability and Legal Reform Act." The link for the second Act goes to WP page that says "Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name." However, the bill Common Sense Product Liability and Legal Reform Act of 1995 exists, without a WP page. According to Roll Call Votes, Shelby was one of six Republicans to vote against it (

Given the number of bills Senators vote on, two votes (not three) that oppose Republican sponsored legislation seem insufficient to show "independent mindedness," an ambiguous term in any case. Also, Shelby's "colleague from Alabama" at the time of the two nay votes was Democrat Senator Howell Heflin, who also voted nay, not Jeff Sessions. Thus this paragraph should be removed until clarified. If Shelby is more independent than Sessions, sufficient examples that compare his votes to Sessions should be provided, in form to show statistical significance. Given that Sessions may be highly partisan, this will demonstrate that Shelby is more independent relative to someone like Sessions, only.

Brian Coyle208.80.117.214 (talk) 08:37, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Your first and last points are valid, but your middle paragraph doesn't amount to anything. The fact there is no article doesn't mean anything, and the fact that five other Republicans voted nay is irrelevant because the comparison is to Sessions, not the party as a whole. Of course the fact that Heflin was his colleague doesn't help with the comparison. I'll remove the paragraph, but someone may want to replace the evidence with other bills or ACU ratings, though we should be careful about the latter because he was a Democrat for his first eight years in office, which might skew his lifetime score. -Rrius (talk) 08:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

No mention of Shelby's donations from finance sector[edit]

During the 2010 campaign cycle, Shelby raised more from Wall Street than any other sector. He got $3.8 million from finance, insurance, credit and mortgage companies ( reports that securities and investment firms, unsurprisingly, have a very small footprint in Alabama. Nursing homes, regional banks, agriculture, and 25 other kinds of business are more important. The finance and insurance sector is the biggest donor to politicians nation-wide, providing 21% of all funding. But they supply 45% of Shelby's total take. Between 2005-2010, Shelby was the Finance/Credit and Payday Loan sectors' biggest donation recipient (

Brian Coyle208.80.117.214 (talk) 08:37, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Shelby is not only on the Banking Committee, but the ranking member (i.e., in line to chair the committee in a Republican Senate), so of course he gets a ton of money from them. -Rrius (talk) 08:48, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Space Launch System[edit]

The sections discussing the Space Launch System are highly editorial in nature, making speculative assertions that lack sources (e.g. "Lockheed joint venture that builds rockets in Shelby's home state. Numerous other companies are developing reusable suborbital launch vehicles, which could evolve into orbital systems. Unlike Constellation, these reusable vehicles offer the promise of significant cost and safety improvements."), giving only arguments from critics, and cites several self-published sources.

I made some minor changes to increase the neutrality of the article; however, I would prefer that the original author would make corrections and additions to remove non-NPOV language and give due weight to arguments in favor of the SLS. GuyalOfSfere (talk) 20:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Committee assignments[edit]

Isn't Shelby now the ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, not Banking? (talk) 16:13, 6 June 2014 (UTC)


Shelby attended Birmingham School of Law in Birmingham, AL, earning his JD in 1961. He passed the bar the same year. He later went on the the University of Alabama School of Law where he earned his L.L.B.

The Alabama bar website,, is quite clear on where he earned his JD. is a direct link to search for him.

Robert Bork is equally conservative as Clarence Thomas[edit]

In Richard Shelby#1980s it says "Shelby opposed Reagan's nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court . . . However, in 1991, Shelby supported Pres. George Bush's equally conservative Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas." There are citations, but the information is behind a pay wall and I didn't pay to look through them. It seems unlikely, though, that reliable sources would be able to determine that two judges were equally conservative. I didn't change anything here, but it seems unlikely this statement is defensible. —Salton Finneger (talk) 18:37, 25 May 2017 (UTC)

Political views[edit]

What is his political view regarding illegal immigration and building The Wall? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:25, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

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