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Rep. Sonny Bono (R-California) dies at 62



The Netly News / Afternoon Line
January 6, 1998
When Sonny Turns to Blue

   Rep. Sonny Bono, a Congressman better known for his songwriting than
   his lawmaking, died yesterday in a skiing accident. He was 62. Bono
   built his show-biz career on being the butt of Cher's jokes and found
   that he played a similar role in Washington, a town where
   self-deprecation is reviled, not admired. Washingtonian magazine once
   dubbed him the dumbest member of Congress, and commentators criticized
   his informal approach to lawmaking on the buttoned-down House
   Judiciary committee, on which the California Republican tackled
   Internet legislation. Early last year he staunchly opposed the FBI's
   demands for increased government snooping power but then backed down.
   He told me in September that at first he had not been "aware" of the
   details surrounding the encryption debate and there are others "we
   have to be concerned about." Bono also sponsored H.R. 1621 and H.R.
   2589, two copyright extension bills currently being considered by
   Congress. --Declan McCullagh/Washington