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  • Rostenkowski on Politics 101

    Rostenkowski on Politics 101

    “The game is compromise. That’s politics.” -Dan Rostenkowski This month The Atlantic published an article titled “How American Politics Went Insane,” diagnosing the cause of the pervasive political disintegration in Washington, D.C. as “chaos syndrome.” Joining the choir of complaints about the chaos undermining American politics, the author, Jonathan Rauch, offers a new tune: “Our most pressing political problem today is that the country abandoned the establishment, not the other way around.” Rauch contends that in the course of reforming … Continue reading

  • [Dan Rostenkowski Congressional race 1994]

    [Dan Rostenkowski Congressional race 1994]

    Dan Rostenkowski runs for reelection in the 1994 Congressional race, despite facing allegations of fraud and corruption. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw #201]

    [Rostenkowski raw #201]

    Raw footage from the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski,” a portrait of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. The tape begins at a local Chicago courthouse. Midway through, it cuts to the outside of a campaign rally for Dan Rostenkowski. Whole tape is mostly b-roll. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw #202]

    [Rostenkowski raw #202]

    Raw footage from the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski,” a portrait of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. This tape captures the mood at a rally for Rostenkowski in the field house in Chicago’s Pulaski Park (which sits in Rostenkowski’s district on Chicago’s northwest side). A small boy has trouble pronouncing “Rostenkowski.” A polka band plays. At about ten minutes in, Rostenkowski enters the rally, and climbs the stage to give a speech. He says a few words, and then introduces Richard M. Daley, who is running for the office of State’s Attorney. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw: New York Democratic convention #4]

    [Rostenkowski raw: New York Democratic convention #4]

    Raw footage from the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski,” a portrait of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. The crew is on the floor of the convention center at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Rostenkowski is interviewed. He discusses the withdrawal of Senator Edward Kennedy from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He also discusses the challenges of running the convention. He says the most challenging aspect of running the convention is keeping the media satisfied. At just after eight minutes, someone in the convention hall apparently sets off some firecrackers, startling both Rostenkowski and the camera crew. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw #104]

    [Rostenkowski raw #104]

    Raw footage from the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski,” a portrait of the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. The crew follows Rostenkowski as he makes his way to the final whip meeting of the 96th Congress. The audio is fairly poor throughout and switches from channel to channel before coming through both for the second half of the tape. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw #203]

    [Rostenkowski raw #203]

    Raw footage from the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski,” a portrait of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. The footage is from a rally for Rostenkowski in the field house in Chicago’s Pulaski Park (which sits in Rostenkowski’s district on Chicago’s northwest side). Rostenkowski acknowledges the camera crew’s presence while on stage and has the audience give a round of applause to Tom Weinberg. He then introduces Judge Robert J. Sulski, who is running for retention (re-election). Sulski reminds the audience that a judge running for retention needs to gain 60% of the vote to win. Rostenkowski reiterates what Sulski said. Rosty next introduces Nick Melas, the president of the Chicago Sanitary District, who is running for reelection. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw: New York Democratic convention #5]

    [Rostenkowski raw: New York Democratic convention #5]

    Raw footage from the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski,” a portrait of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. On the floor of the convention center at the 1980 Democratic National Convention. Features footage of Rostenkowski working the phones on the speakers’ podium. Illinois delegates are also interviewed. They are asked what Rostenkowski’s role is at the convention. Few of the delegates seem to know. One suggests that Rostenkowski’s role is to find common ground among the various factions of the Democratic Party that are represented at the convention. Continue reading