Friday, December 22, 2006

Personal Asides: Thanks and Congratulations to the Roosevelt U All-Star Faculty…More Photos from the Album—Andrew Young.

Roosevelt U. All Stars!

The weekly Roosevelt University class “Influencing the System” is completed and I want to thank (a) all those who attended and those who sponsored some who attended…Frank Nofsinger and Tom Reedy, Jr. come to mind…and the all-star faculty that delivered a first-rate education on public policy formation. The faculty honor role:

State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock); Alderman Bernie Stone [50th]; Dan Miller, business editor for the “Chicago Sun-Times”; U. S. Rep. Ray LaHood (R-IL); U. S. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson (D-IL); Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke; Dan Proft, Republican strategist; State Senator John Cullerton (D-Chicago); State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale); Ron Gidwitz, former chairman of Helene Curtis and a Republican candidate for governor in the March primary; Becky Carroll, spokesperson for the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.

Philip Rock, former president of the Illinois State Senate (D); William Bauer, Judge of the 7th District U. S. Court of Appeals, former U. S. district judge; former U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and former DuPage county states attorney. Peter Fitzgerald, former U. S. Senator from Illinois; Tom Dart, Sheriff of Cook county; Dick Devine, States Attorney of Cook county; John Kass, columnist for the “Chicago Tribune”; Jack Roeser, CEO of Otto Manufacturing, Carpentersville and chairman, Family Taxpayers of Illinois.

Rich Miller, editor, “Capitol Fax” and; Phil Rogers, reporter, WMAQ-TV Channel 5-NBC; Roseanna Pulido, president, Illinois Minutemen; Frank Avila, Jr. lawyer and former Democratic candidate for Metropolitan Water Commissioner; Greg Baise, president-Illinois Manufacturers Association, former patronage chief for Governor Jim Thompson and 1984 Illinois campaign manager for Ronald Reagan; Mike Noonan, Roosevelt Group lobbyist and former campaign manager for Todd Stroger and Lisa Madigan; Clifford Kelley, radio talk show host on WVON and former alderman.

My deepest thanks to those who made this possible: Herbert Franks, Woodstock; State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), father and son and my dear friends; Dr. Paul Green, political science and boss extraordinaire, the very cooperative people at Roosevelt; to Mark McGuire who tirelessly served as my personal assistant.

Andrew Young

This photo was taken some fifteen years ago in Chicago when former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young came here for a fund-raiser preparatory to his running for governor of Georgia. Andy Young had been especially close to The Quaker Oats Company; at the suggestion of my boss, Bob Thurston, we made a documentary film of his first run for public office in 1972 when he became the first black man to be elected to the U. S. House from the deep south in one hundred years. The film was entitled (at Bob Thurston’s suggestion) “From King to Congress” and traced the steps of this then young African American from civil rights days to his election.

At each step of the way, I remained close to him notwithstanding that we disagreed…and still do...on some issues—but the basic decency, wit and profundity of Andy Young made him a pleasure to work with. He was a key factor for my getting the berth as a Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, by writing a letter in my behalf that baffled Dr. Janet Kearns Goodwin, then the gatekeeper at the Kennedy School. She was convinced Teddy Kennedy would veto me but after he and I spent an hour laughing at old Dirksen stories, I was in with the imprimatur from the Kennedy patriarch himself and Ms. Goodwin flounced away in a huff.

As ambassador to the United Nations, Andy Young flew to Cambridge, Massachusetts to appear as a guest lecturer at my class at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard. I don’t remember Dr. Goodwin being there although Richard Neustadt was; but she couldn’t resist auditing the course when Vito Marzullo spoke. When Andy came, we had to move the class to the main auditorium at Harvard to accommodate the overflow of people, including the Black Students Society of Harvard and Radcliffe as well as the president of Harvard.

To those liberals who wondered what Andy, Quaker or I have in common, he opened up the Harvard lecture by saying: “Beats me! It all started when I went to the supermarket near my house to buy a package of Quaker Oats and Roeser calls me! Everything good happened to me after that!” I must say that Andy has been a statesman of the civil rights movement and has never stooped to demagogic extremes or, for that matter, resorted to rhyming iambic pentameter heroic couplets during his speeches which has been very refreshing.


  1. Now that the RU seminar is done, and after Christmas and New Year's, I hope that you will restart the Trivia Contest Machine. That's a joke, Son- Sort of-

  2. As a traditional conservative I am depressed. I am depressed because I see that all that work that conservatives have done over the past 40 years has been squandered by President George Bush. I feel betrayed by him and the people that surround him. I feel that as a conservative I have played as sucker. Conservative talk show hosts from Rush Limbaugh on down suckered conservatives like me to support people like George Bush who in my opinion are not conservative at all and never were.

    Tom, I have not changed. I am still as conservative as ever: low taxes, limited government, prudent use of the military (not nation building), reigning in of government spending, support of traditional family values, etc.

    But something has changed Tom, the Republican party has marched far to the left of me. George Bush has led that march. Something really bothered me to the core about invading Iraq. What I see today in Iraq I could have predicted! Why because Bush's Democracy dreams would lead to the Shiite majority can of worms being opened. Why could he or his advisers not see that? Were the learned Harvard and Yale intellectuals too arrogant or did they have their feet firmly planted in MID AIR? On another point, Bush's blind dream of "free trade" has lead to the biggest trade deficits in history and the economic gutting of many areas of the country from Sandusky, Ohio to outsourced computer programers in Silicon Valley. But then Wall Street paid itself bigger and bigger bonuses on the short term profits while the country's economic base and Main Street was gutted. (can se say OHIO?) My conservative ideals stand for national soverignty not global onesided WTO deals. Under Bush we got the Patriot act. Conservative? No! My library records became suspect while George Bush left the Mexican Border open.

    I am still the same conservative I have ever been and yet I have seen George Bush destroy the Republican party with his lemmingesque foreign policy which led to the loss of the house and the Senate in November's election. Like RINO Ryan did to Illinois, Bush did to the Republicans at the National level.

    And now he opens the door to an Obama or Hilary for president win....

    Tom, I as a conservative feel betrayed by George Bush, by you, and other so called conservative pundits who fell in the with intellectual cute crowd and abandoned conservative ideals for the sake of popularity and political expediency. Yes you did hold the line on the social issues but you fell off the conservative cart on the important international issues. On those issues you hopped in bed with the Weekly Standard crowd who in my opinion have never ever been true conservatives. They wanted my support for their international causes but in the end they selfishly ruined the conservative movement and now they hide from blame while trying to blame us the true conservatives who never wavered in our foundation built on sound CONSERVATIVE ideals.

    Yes Tom, as a conservative I am depressed because how long... just HOW LONG am I going to have to wait for the Republicans to get control of the House Senate and Presidency again? Hmnnnnn

    George Bush and his pals really sqandered it ALL! He squandered our future and our country. Depressed, well I guess I have a right to be!

  3. The economy seems to humming along in Sandusky and San Francisco, despite the wild claims of outsourcing by the Dobbesian demagogues.

    Low unemployment, low inflation, a bit of a tax cut, and significant wage growth seem to be a good thing, not a failure of the Bush administration.


  4. Just look at the loss of the Republican House and the Republican Senate! A Bush success? NO

    If things were as great as you say, John this would not have happened. And take some time to visit Sandusky. It is economically dead. So dead that the Sandusky post office is now a museum. Same is true for Toledo, Dayton, Lima, etc. The new "service" job base has much lower wages.

    Michigan and Ohio now have some of the highest forclosure rates in the country.

    Success? Hardly.

    And the area in the US slowest to recover has been the Midwest.

  5. Lovie's LeatherDecember 25, 2006 at 7:51 AM

    The economy is the best as it ever has been, Louis. But you are right about it not being great everywhere. In our economy, there seems to be a metropolitan scramble where people are leaving more rural areas in exchange for better opportunities. But as far as "lower wage service jobs," those obviously aren't the norm simply because we haven't seen a decline in average or median national income. So, yes, the Bush policies, just like almost any economic policy, is good for some and not good for others. The point is, overall things are good.

  6. Lovie where to you get your economic analysis of the Midwest from? Blago's economic "non-development" office?

    I get mine from a number of well placed sources including the Midwest economic reports of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.

    If you read the reports of Bill Testa and others, you will discover that the Midwest's manufacturing base is one of the most important keys to economic foundation and success of the area. As these good jobs have declined the area, regional economy simply has not found a good paying replacements. In this region the manufacturing base was the foundation of many of the good paid service jobs from accounting to computers to insurance.

    So many of the modern pundits have dismissed the importance of this base to the local economy. They forgot something called the multiplier effect. A company like Wrigley shuts their Chicago plant and the pundits say "ho hum", "so what".

    There is simply not enough Abbott Labs, or Motorola bype jobs to fill the gap! And it is sad when companies like Lucent sell off its Fiber Optics, crown jewel to Japan.

    The pundits try to put the following jobs on par with the jobs that have been lost:

    Husband works stocking shelves at Walmart or Home Depot while wife is a clerk at TJ Maxx. This couple with their average 8000 in credit card debt can barely afford their ARM mortgage on their condo in a 10 plex in Romeoville! What little they had in "home equity" was cashed in to retain a fleeting middle class lifestyle. Success? NO!

    But then it all depends on your perspective, Lovie. You probably stand at the corner of 75th Street and Rt 59 and call the clutter of big box stores and cheap mega-condoplexes economic success in the year 2006. I see it as evidence of regional decline.

  7. Louis,

    In nostalgia, manufacturing may have been glamorous. In reality, it kind of stunk. If real wages are higher elsewhere, and inflation is low, then maybe it is time to move out of Sandusky and down to San Antonio.

    There are a slew of midwestern towns tied to archaic tax structures, and medieval government. They probably should be allowed to die the lonely death they have brought upon themselves. So what? Kane County is growning like wildfire, as is Kendall County.

    Bush and the Republican's ridiculous spending, as well as terrible PR in Iraq (as well as muddy headed planning in Iraq) got the Republicans whacked.

    High wages, Low taxes and low unemployment were not the reasons Republicans lost.