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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 #106]

    [Rostenkowski raw #106]

    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. In this tape, Joseph K. Dowley, chief counsel to the Way and Means Committee, is interviewed. He discusses what a “powerful and important position” the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee is, and informs us that it has traditionally been a stepping-stone to the House Speakership. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw #204]

    [Rostenkowski raw #204]

    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. 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). The tape opens with Nick Melas, President of the Chicago Sanitary District, giving a speech. Dan O’Brien, Illinois state legislator and Democratic Committeeman for Chicago’s 43rd Ward, speaks to the crowd after being introduced by Rostenkowski. After O’Brien, an unidentified speaker, who is not on camera (the camera seems to be pointed toward the ground) urges to the audience vote the straight Democratic ticket, reminding them that: “the party is more important than any of us.” The next speaker is Lester Foreman, candidate for Circuit Court Judge. Then Morgan Finley, candidate for Clerk of Cook County Circuit Court, is introduced by Rostenkowski. His walk down the isle is reminiscent of flamboyant boxing champ, complete with wailing sirens, handshaking, and confetti. At the end of the tape, an unidentified speaker, presumably the emcee, urges the precinct captains in attendance to take the rally signs home, and then display the signs on election day. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw: New York Democratic convention #6]

    [Rostenkowski raw: New York Democratic convention #6]

    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 on the speakers’ podium and outside the convention hall. He comments on how well the convention has gone. He goes on to discuss making compromises between competing factions of the Democratic Party when setting the Party’s platform. Later in the video, back inside the convention hall, President Jimmy Carter is giving a speech, presumably his nomination acceptance speech. After Carter’s speech, the hall erupts into celebration (boisterous music, balloon drop, etc.). Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw: Rosty on TV]

    Found footage for use in the 1981 documentary “Rostenkowski”, a portrait of the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski, a powerful figure in Chicago (and national) politics. Continue reading

  • [Rostenkowski raw #107]

    [Rostenkowski raw #107]

    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. In this tape, U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill is interviewed briefly. He, predictably, praises Rostenkowski. He says that he would prefer that Rostenkowski take the Majority Whip job that has been offered him by House majority leader Jim Wright, rather than take the Chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. He explains the responsibilities of a House Majority Whip, and informs us that is the third highest leadership position in the House. After the interview is some shots of the large, ornate doors leading to the House Ways and Means Committee office. Rostenkowski explains that his name will be on the door, if he decides to take the job. Continue reading