Jefferson-Lincoln Awards

The fifteenth annual Jefferson-Lincoln Awards, An Evening to Honor Lives of Public Service was held Saturday, November 8, 2014  at The Inn at Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach. The annual event honors policymakers and journalists whose work best exemplifies dedicated effort on behalf of the greatness of our nation and serves as the Panetta Institute’s major fundraiser that supports the Institute’s mission to inspire men and women to lives of public service.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

Senator Ron Wyden

This year’s honorees were United States Senator Ron Wyden, former United States Representative Mike Rogers and Pentagon Correspondent for CNN Barbara Starr.

Secretary Leon E. Panetta paid tribute to the honorees for their commitment to service and leadership. “Our nation and our world are at a dangerous precipice from the threat of ISIS and unrest in the Middle East, to Ebola in Africa and elsewhere and unrest in Ukraine,” he said. “Now is the time for American leadership. Americans need to be able to rely on unbiased balanced journalism and elected officials who are prepared to govern. Our economy is slowly beginning to show signs that we can do better. It is time that our democracy does the same. Tonight’s honorees prove that it can be possible.”

Institute Co-Chair and CEO Sylvia Panetta thanked those in attendance and reminded them that their support guarantees that the Institute can continue its mission of service to young people. “The story of the Panetta Institute is one of people. It’s the story of how over 750 students attend our Leon Panetta Lecture Series each spring, getting to see first-hand that there are leaders in our democracy,” she said. “It’s the story of more than 14,000 young readers who go on in school with improved literacy skills, better able to participate in our democracy because of the work of the Panetta Institute’s Monterey County Reads.”

Representative Mike Rogers

Representative Mike Rogers

Secretary Panetta praised the honorees as role models. “Tonight, we celebrate the story of the Institute and honor three individuals whose professional accomplishments exemplify its mission of public service: a dedication to the principles of our democracy through bipartisan leadership and balanced informative reporting.”

Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Finance and ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Wyden has been described by The Wall Street Journal as a “workhorse, a doer.” He follows his own advice that government needs to be more transparent by holding an open-to-all town hall meeting for each of Oregon’s thirty-six counties each year. He has the reputation for hearing all sides of an issue and looking for common sense, bipartisan solutions to our nation’s problems, as exemplified by his assembling of coalitions from both parties on issues such as healthcare, infrastructure and tax reform.

CNN correspondent Barbara Starr

CNN correspondent Barbara Starr

Former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, United States Representative Mike Rogers was a highly respected leader on national security policy. In the 112th Congress, Congressman Rogers authored three bipartisan intelligence authorization bills that were signed into law. He also wrote the leading cybersecurity bill to protect the security of individuals, businesses and our nation as a whole from cyber predators. As a member of the powerful Energy and Commerce panel, he was a leader in efforts to adopt an energy policy to end America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Finally, Americans and the rest of the world have had the benefit of Barbara Starr’s exemplary journalism as Pentagon correspondent for CNN. Ms. Starr has been embedded with United States troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. She has also reported directly from Russia, the Persian Gulf, Central America and the Chinese-North Korean border. Her respected journalistic career has been marked by an independence of judgment, depth of investigative reporting, and spoken and written eloquence as she covers our nation’s men and women in uniform.

This year’s banquet was a great fundraising success with more tables purchased than in any year thus far. Below is a list of individuals, companies and organizations who generously supported this year’s event.


Sherry E. DeBoer for Leon and Sylvia Panetta

Sue Antle for Barbara Starr

Debra and George W. Couch III for Mike Rogers

California State University, Monterey Bay for Ron Wyden


Association of California Life & Health Insurance Companies

Frank & Denise Quattrone Foundation

Zenith Insurance — A Fairfax Company


Automobile Club of Southern California

Laurie and David Benjamin

Blue Shield of California

The Boeing Company

CalChamber/Redwood Pacific

Steve Caldeira / International Franchise      Association

California American Water

Cannery Row Company

Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation



Roger W. Coleman

Community Hospital Foundation

Dignity Health

Dominican University of California


Foundation for the Naval Postgraduate School

Lockheed Martin

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Mike and Mary Orradre

Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Pacific Maritime Association                                Sugerman Communications Group

Leon and Sylvia Panetta


Pebble Beach Company

Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System

Santa Clara University

Southern Company

Stevens, Sloan & Shah CPAs

Tanimura & Antle, Inc.

Louise and Ed Trout

Victory Toyota Scion/Lexus Monterey Peninsula

Kathy and Tom Wiggans

Stanley Zax


Bruce G. Bodaken

The Don Chapin Company, Inc.

Mann Packing Co., Inc.

Dr. Patrick Welton and Annette Welton



Bank of America

Charles L. Canfield-Santa Cruz Seaside Company

Union Bank


John De Luca, Ph.D.

Monterey County Business Council

Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss

Anthony Varni










Previous Jefferson-Lincoln honorees include:

Year 2013

  • Bob Schieffer, Host CBS Face the Nation
  • Barbara Mikulski, U.S. Senator, Maryland (D)
  • Saxby Chambliss, U.S. Senator, Georgia (R)

Year 2012

  • Ray LaHood, 16th Secretary of Transportation (R)
  • Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent and Anchor, CNN
  • Steny Hoyer, U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District, Maryland (D)

Year 2011

  • Robert Gates, 22nd Secretary of Defense (R)
  • Alice Rivlin, 30th Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget (D)
  • Wolf Blitzer, Lead Political Anchor, CNN

Year 2010

  • Tom Brokaw, Special Correspondent, NBC Nightly News
  • Cokie Roberts, Senior News Analyst, NPR and ABC News
  • David Brooks, Columnist, The New York Times

Year 2009

  • Bernard Shaw, Anchor Emeritus, CNN
  • Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News
  • Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor and Anchor, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

Year 2008

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th Governor, California (R)
  • Jane Harman, U.S. Representative, 36th District, California (D)
  • Jim Saxton, U.S. Representative, 3rd District, New Jersey (R)
  • Ron Brownstein, Political Director, Atlantic Media

Year 2007

  • David Broder, National Political Correspondent, The Washington Post
  • Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent, PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
  • Belva Davis, Television Journalist, KQED

Year 2006

  • Sherwood Boehlert, U.S. Representative, 24th District, New York (R)
  • Ike Skelton, U.S. Representative, 4th District, Missouri (D)

Year 2005

  • Susan Collins, U.S. Senator, Maine (R)
  • Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator, California (D)
  • Joseph Lieberman, U.S. Senator, Connecticut (D)

Year 2004

  • John Breaux, U.S. Senator, Louisiana (D)
  • Olympia Snowe, U.S. Senator, Maine (R)

Year 2003

  • William Cohen, 20th Secretary of Defense (R)
  • Norman Mineta, 14th Secretary of Transportation (D)
  • Marty Meehan, U.S. Representative, 5th District, Massachusetts (D)
  • Christopher Shays, U.S. Representative, 4th District, Connecticut (R)

Year 2002

  • Russ Feingold, U.S. Senator, Wisconsin (D)
  • John McCain, U.S. Senator, Arizona (R)

Year 2001

  • John Murtha, U.S. Representative, 12th District, Pennsylvania (D)
  • Bill Young, U.S. Representative, 10th District, Florida (R)

Year 2000

  • John Chafee, U.S. Senator, Rhode Island (R) Posthumously
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, U.S. Senator, New York (D)