I don't always agree with Ted Kennedy--just most of the time.
My biggest disagreement with him was over the Visual Artists Rights Act which I thought did a lot more for established artists than it was ever going to do for working artists like I was back in the 1980s, and I told him so at the press conference he called to announce VARA. When the press conference was over, and I was talking to a lawyer from California, I felt a presence at my side, which moved closer as I moved away. It was the Senator. He wanted me to know that he would have his staff look into my concerns. I did help get photographers included in VARA, even if it is for limited edition, fine-art art prints of runs less than 200. It didn't help the average working photographer and it specifically excluded commercial photography. I know why it was written that way, I just wish the Senator had been willing to put more work into copyright issues affecting the majority of photographers.
Senator Kennedy has in most circumstances worked very hard for the so called average working person. He's been at the forefront of health insurance and child welfare legislation and equal rights. Despite his personal wealth, I always felt he wasn't in politics for the power of anything except to do good. Unlike plenty of people we could name who were in it for power. He's had his flaws, but I'd rather see him in his Senate seat than not. I'm still sorry he didn't make it to the White House.
I'm greatly saddened by the news in this last hour that Senator Kennedy has a brain tumor. I would hate to lose his voice in Congress. I would hate to lose the last of the bleeding-heart liberal legislators who inspired me. I wish him well and the best medical treatment that science has to offer.