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'American Hustle'

“I’m just very grateful. I’ve come to deny birthdays at this point,” said former Senator Larry Pressler on the occasion of his 76th year, “but I’m very happy this year because I’m kind of celebrating. I had a rough year and I had five surgeries in the last 15 months, but I’ve finally gotten done with all of that. The fella who took me over to Johns Hopkins and introduced me to my doctor is Bill Lambert and he’s here tonight. He more or less saved my life I think. People are here tonight from each aspect of my life. I know everybody here. You don’t know each other so that’s kind of a strange party but I’m glad you’ve all come to know each other.” The party was held at the very elegant home of Chang Turkmani and her husband Salal which has a bit of history – the first being that Adlai Stevenson II (US Ambassador to the UN & Presidential candidate) lived here and later James Baker III, Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan.


Pressler served in the US Senate for 18 years (3 terms) and was the first Vietnam veteran elected to the US Senate. While in the Senate, he served as Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committees. He was also an active member of the Foreign Relations Committee. He was the principle author of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and of the “Pressler Amendment,” which limited foreign countries from using USA to develop nuclear weaponry. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served two terms as a member of the US House of Representatives from 1975-1979. He was an announced candidate for the presidency in 1980 and drew national fame and praise for flatly turning down a bribe on tape in the ABSCAM scandal, which takes us to the fun part where Larry tells a sting bribery group to basically shove it!