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.
00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with Rostenkowski on stage speaking with one of his fellow colleagues. Blumberg shoots Mrs. Rostenkowski as she awaits for the festivities to begin.
01:11Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Mrs. Rostenkowski if he could speak with her, but she could not hear Weinberg due to the noise. After repeating himself several times, Weinberg finally asks Mrs. Rostenkowski about her experiences at the rallies she has attended.
01:55Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski makes a grand entrance as he walks down the aisle through swarms of confetti.
02:26Copy video clip URL An unidentified speaker stands at the podium and says to the crowd, “Alright, I’d say that was about a five on a scale of ten.” The crowd follows that statement with a mixture of cheers and jeers. Blumberg then shoots the crowd as they wait for another speaker.
03:50Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski takes the microphone and talks about his experience with Weinberg and crew over the past week. He offers his thanks to Tom Weinberg for all of his hard work, but accidentally says his name wrong by calling him “Tom Weinberger.” Blumberg tapes Weinberg’s amused reaction as he walks up to the crew member doing sound and says, “We call that ‘media burn.'” Blumberg then compiles more footage of the crowd. This lasts for several minutes.
06:30Copy video clip URL A man in a large blue, dinosaur-like costume walks in to the event and receives a few odd looks.
07:27Copy video clip URL The emcee and Rostenkowski introduce Judge Robert J. Sulski, who is running for retention. Sulski makes his way down the aisle through a swarm of confetti. Rostenkowski says a few words about Sulski and his work in the district.
09:44Copy video clip URL Sulski begins his speech by praising Rostenkowski for his support and guidance. “I wouldn’t be a candidate right now if it weren’t for his leadership, his encouragement, and support.” Sulski then explains to the attendees that when running for retention, a judge needs sixty percent of the vote in order to win.
11:23Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski explains what the democratic ballot will look like at the polling place. He emphasizes once again to pull the democratic lever.
13:12Copy video clip URL The emcee and Rostenkowski introduce Nick Melas, President of the Chicago Sanitary District. Rostenkowski then says a few remarks about Melas and his work in the Sanitary district. “Nick Melas has every qualification and certainly, in the opinion of Danny Rostenkowski, deserves retention as not only the commissioner of the Sanitary District but the President of the Board as well.”
15:09Copy video clip URL Melas takes the microphone and begins to speak. He offers his gratitude to everyone involved with the rally.
16:02Copy video clip URL Tape ends.