[Rostenkowski raw #206]

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 is a continuation of 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 introduces Richard M. Daley, who is running for Illinois State's Attorney. In his introduction, Rostenkowski says that Daley was not supported by the Rostenkowski organization, but he won anyway. Rostenkowski now supports Daley. Daley gives a classically unpolished, somewhat sprawling speech in which he promises to crack down on crime and collect overdue property taxes if elected to the office of State's Attorney.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with a black screen.

00:18Copy video clip URL Cut to Richard M. Daley slowly making his way toward the stage to speak to the crowd about his run for State’s Attorney.

01:19Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski makes a rather compelling speech about the Democratic Party and its association with the Rostenkowski and Daley families. “You know, I’ve been a Democrat all my life. My father before me and my grandfather before him were Democrats. And there are associations that you draw on, in marching in the ranks of the Democratic Party, that you grow a great affection for. And there people that are the mortar and the glue that keep that party together. My dad was a great friend of Richard J. Daley, and I was a great friend of Richard J. Daley.” The crowd follows this remark with a loud, approving roar. Rostenkowski then states, “You know, Ritchie wasn’t our candidate in the primary. Ritchie put his boxing gloves on and took us on, and you know something: it made a bigger man out of him.” “But I want to say this to you: I’m a Democrat, and I going to support Democrats for office.” Rostenkowski then says, very solemnly,  that he is extremely proud to be supporting Richard M. Daley for State’s Attorney.

05:11Copy video clip URL Rostenkowski introduces Daley to the crowd and is immediately followed by large wave of applause. As Daley steps toward the microphone, Rostenkowski takes Daley’s wrist and raises it high as a sign of support.

06:31Copy video clip URL Daley finally begins his speech by thanking all of his colleagues and those in attendance for their support. Daley then speaks about the issues having to do with the campaign, including crime, the criminal justice system, and the current State’s Attorney (who Daley believes is doing an inadequate job). “The sad thing, he doesn’t realize what life is all about. There are more senior citizens being victims of crime, and if I stood here twenty years ago and said that, every person here would say, ‘He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.’ But would you believe regardless of what age you are, when you’re a senior citizen, you’re more likely to be a victim of a crime than you were when you were younger. If you’re a younger person today, you’re more likely to be sold narcotics in a park, or school, or forest preserve, or on any street corner, because the State’s Attorney does not view his role as a deterrent of crime. He’s not concerned about your children. He’s not concerned about gang influence. And he tells me publicly that he is doing away with gangs. I stated he must live in a different city or county.” Daley then speaks a little bit about uncollected real estate taxes and the current State’s Attorney’s personal accusations made against Daley. “These statements go way beyond politics, and maybe that’s what we live now. We live in fear of crime. Are we truly living in fear of politics?”

11:52Copy video clip URL Daley goes on to state, “I am proud that I am running as a Democrat. I am proud that I am working for lever B.” “But we see today a different type of politics, and we will decide what type of politics is it.” During Daley’s speech, Blumberg focuses in on Rostenkowski as he attentively listens to Daley’s words. Daley then says, very softly slamming his fist against the podium, that he will be a good State’s Attorney for the people of Chicago.

14:35Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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