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HONORING JEFFERY J. DYE -- HON. KEN BENTSEN (Extension of Remarks - July 15, 1997)

[Page: E1430]



in the House of Representatives

TUESDAY, JULY 15, 1997

Mr. BENTSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor the memory of an extraordinary young man, Jeffery J. Dye, who unexpectedly passed away April 21, 1997, at the age of 27. This remarkable young man will truly be missed.

Jeff had only begun to fulfill his limitless potential when he was struck down by an epileptic seizure. His loss is a tragedy to his family, his friends, and to anyone who believes in the honor of public service.

Jeff's passing is a personal loss to me, Mr. Speaker, because he served as a research assistant on my first campaign for Congress. In addition, his parents, Dennis and Janell Dye, live in my district in West University Place.

Though only 27 years old, Jeff Dye had already made his mark in the rough and tumble world of politics. His boundless energy and enthusiasm for political battle served him well on the campaign trail and in the halls of power. He was a trusted aide in the offices of Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock, and Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, but it was the thrill of political campaigning that truly stirred Jeff's passion.

In an age of cynicism and resentment toward government, Jeff held the firm belief that the government has a responsibility, indeed an obligation, to help those less fortunate in our society. He hoped to use the Internet as a tool to expand participation and open the doors of government to more people. He believed that making it easier to find information on candidates would give the electorate the tools they need to make better decisions.

Like many bitten by the campaign bug, Jeff bounced around from position to position across the country. Wherever he landed, Jeff's intelligence, enthusiasm, and integrity left everyone who met him with the impression that he was a young man with a very bright future. He served exceptionally at each of his many stops, wearing many hats along the way. He was a crack researcher, a spectacular fundraiser, and a cunning political strategist, and at the time of his death he had just begun a new challenge as executive director of the Tennessee Democratic Party.

But Jeff Dye will not be remembered only for his political resume. He will be remembered for his passion, his commitment, and his dedication to making the world a better place. His parents are establishing a foundation in his name, dedicated to helping other motivated young men and women make their mark through public service. The foundation's goal is to fund travel and living costs for students who serve their junior year as congressional interns in Washington, DC.

Mr. Speaker, Jeff's years among us were far too few, but thanks to the efforts of his parents his idealism and dedication will live on. I look forward to the day when students from the Jeffery J. Dye Leadership Foundation serve as interns in my office and I urge my colleagues to also participate in this internship program. In this way we can all honor Jeff Dye and the ideals in which he so strongly believed.