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Quayle: wide appeal but untried on national stage

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Moreover, his record in Congress has yet to be subjected to the sort of scrutiny that the Democrats and the press will inevitably apply. The only ripple of scandal in his private life concerns a weekend in 1980 with a trio of lawmakers, one of whom had a liaison at the time with a female lobbyist, who was working against a crop insurance bill. All three later voted against the bill, though all three denied that the lobbyist, Paula Parkinson, had influenced their votes. Quayle, meanwhile, was not accused of any assignations.

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But his record as a senator could be held up to some potentially effective ridicule by the Democrats. The plant-closing bill Quayle fought against, for example, was finally signed by President Reagan, reportedly after a plea from Bush. Twice last year, Quayle joined a small band of conservatives voting against a bill to restrict federal funding of institutions that discriminated on the basis of sex, race, age, or handicap. Quayle and his fellow conservatives argued that such a bill would increase federal intrusion, expand abortion rights, and trample on religious freedom.

Indeed, the attacks have already begun. Hours after the announcement of Quayle's nomination, a Democratic staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee offered a reporter a snippet from a floor debate late last year over a massive defense spending bill. In the debate, Quayle was opposing a Democrat-sponsored provision to ban anti-satellite weapons tests, partly because such weapons had proved to be such an effective defense for the US against Soviet attack in the best-selling novel, ``Red Storm Rising'' by Tom Clancy.

``At least,'' said the staff aide. ``We know he can read.''

Sen. Dan Quayle: a biographical sketch Born. Feb. 4, 1947, Indianapolis Education. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind., BA 1969; Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., JD 1974. Military career. Indiana National Guard, 1969-75. Occupational history. Indiana attorney general's office, 1970-71; administrative assistant to Gov. Edgar Whitcomb, 1971-73; Indiana Department of Revenue, 1973-74; associate publisher, Huntington (Ind.) Herald-Press; lawyer. Family. Wife, Marilyn Tucker Quayle (a lawyer); three children. Religion: Presbyterian. Political career. US House, 1977-81; US Senate since 1981. Congressional committees: Armed Services, Budget, Labor, and Human Resources. Views on social and foreign policy issues Abortion. Opposes federal funding of abortion, except in cases of incest or rape. Civil Rights Restoration Act. Opposed initial passage and a subsequent override of presidential veto. Contras. Supports military aid to the Nicaraguan rebels. Death penalty. Favors capital punishment for drug dealers. Farm aid. Advocates drought relief for farmers. Military. Favors Strategic Defense Initiative; voted for INF Treaty, banning intermediate-range nuclear missiles. South Africa. Supports limited sanctions against South Africa. Key Senate votes 1983 Overturn Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion Yes Allow chemical weapons production Yes Create Martin Luther King Jr. holiday Yes Bar funding for MX missile No 1984 Permit school prayer Yes Keep tax indexing Yes Retain funds for ``star wars'' defense research Yes 1985 Produce MX missiles Yes Weaken gun control laws Yes Reject school prayer No Limit textile imports No 1986 Amend Constitution to require balanced-budget amendment Yes Aid Nicaraguan contras Yes Block chemical weapons production No Impose sanctions on South Africa Yes 1987 Override Reagan's veto of highway bill No Mandate retaliation against unfair trade practices No Limit testing of antiballistic missiles in space No Continue compliance with SALT II missile limit No Confirm Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork Yes Reject plan to place nuclear dump in Nevada No SOURCE: CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY