SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Al the Pal returns to Springfield

Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013

* Sneed

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon, once a household name in Illinois, has just penned an autobiography, “The Gentleman from Illinois.”

Dixon, who lost re-election in 1992, served 43 consecutive years in elected office. He was a . . .

    ◆ State representative? Check.

    ◆ State senator? Check.

    ◆ State treasurer? Check.

    ◆ Secretary of state? Check.

    ◆ U.S. senator? Check.

◆ Ink spot: Dixon, who won election 30 times and suffered one defeat, will be signing books at Boone’s Saloon in Springfield on Tuesday night.

Should be an interesting crowd. I’ll be there. The Boone’s event starts at 5 o’clock this afternoon.

* From the Amazon book description

In 1993, Alan J. Dixon’s political career came to an end with a defeat—the first one in his forty-three years of elected service. Beginning his legislative career in 1950 as a Democrat in the Illinois House of Representatives, Dixon also served in the Illinois State Senate, worked as state treasurer and secretary of state, and concluded his political career as a U.S. senator. The Gentleman from Illinois is an insider’s account of Illinois politics in the second half of the twentieth century, providing readers with fascinating stories about the people he encountered and events he participated in and witnessed during his four decades of service.

With a degree of candor often unheard of in political memoirs, The Gentleman from Illinois reveals Dixon’s abilities as a storyteller. At times chatty and self-effacing, Dixon pulls no punches when it comes to detailing the personalities of major political figures—such as Mayor Richard J. Daley, Adlai Stevenson, Paul Simon, and presidents of the United States. Indeed, he uses this same honest approach when examining himself, fully describing the setbacks and embarrassing moments that peppered his own life.

As a moderate Democrat who regularly crossed party lines in his voting and his views, Dixon also shares his thoughts on the proper way to run a government, the difficulties of passing legislation, the balancing act required to be a statewide official, and other valuable observations on local, state, and national politics. Full of behind-the-scenes insights presented in 121 short vignettes, The Gentleman from Illinois entertains as much as it informs, making it a necessary book for everyone interested in Illinois politics.

* The book has its own Facebook page as well.

* Bernie

Back in May, Dixon talked about the book when he was in Springfield for a fundraiser hosted by Sangamon County Young Democrats to benefit a summer food program run by the Illinois Coalition for Community Services. The book’s cover picture, he noted, shows him speaking to ward committeemen in Chicago as then-Mayor Daley “sits there stroking his chin.” Dixon also made it clear that he’s really anxious for people to enjoy his stories.

On the subject of food, Dixon told the gathering one of the stories in the book: how he worked to keep $100 million for a food program in the federal budget that was on the chopping block under President RONALD REAGAN. He said he got a letter from then-Chicago Mayor HAROLD WASHINGTON asking for help. He called Washington and said, “I would be his instrument and return that money to the budget.”

In those days, he said, “one of my great friends” was then-Rep. DAN ROSTENKOWSKI, D-Chicago, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“And Rosty’s best pal was the Speaker of the House, TIP O’NEILL, and I used to go out and have an occasional drink with those guys,” Dixon said. “So I got together with them and introduced the bill to put the $100 million back in the budget. … We kicked out the money for covert assistance to the contras in Nicaragua and put in the money for food for people.”

* Check out the blurbs…

“Alan Dixon served more than forty years in elected office, and never wavered from his characteristic civility and kindness. His career is proof that a strong leader can treat even his greatest adversaries with the greatest respect.” —Richard M. Daley, former mayor of Chicago

“Here’s the good one—the book we waited 20 years for. The Gentleman from Illinois chronicles Alan Dixon’s four decades in Illinois and Washington politics, and gives us a ring side seat to the passion, intrigue, and excitement that seeking and holding public office in a state like Illinois can command. One of the state’s most revered public servants has told it all without fear or favor and we are right there with him”—Governor James R .Thompson

“Like Alan, The Gentleman from Illinois is entertaining, enlightening, and informative, and I highly recommend it.”—Sam Nunn, former U.S. senator from Georgia


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - downstate demo - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    Alan Dixon was best downstate politican for years.
    Built an impressive record and did not have to list it on his tombstone.
    Al the Pal was a real leader like others of his generation like Phil Rock who could things done.
    I will travel there tonight to salute this fine Democratic icon.

  2. - William j Kelly - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    My wife and I were interns for Sen. Dixon back in the day and are looking forward to reading his book.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:09 am:


    Will be a book I pick up, for sure.

  4. - Andy Raucci - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    You can add elected Police Magistrate at the age of 21 to the list of offices held by Alan Dixon.

  5. - Pike County Guy - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    A big middle finger to Al Holfeld as the spoiler candidate who gave us 6 glorious years of Carol Mosely Braun as our U.S. Senator.

  6. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Hungry Americans, Si! Contras, No!

    That’s some fine trade!

    What did Ollie North then do? — a felony.

  7. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    Look forward to the book.

  8. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    Boone’s is an appropriate venue for this event. I’m a fan of his, but wonder if it’s taken him twenty years just to finally remember all of these anecdotes. It isn’t exactly a timely book, and my guess is many of the people featured are deceased, so we’ll have to take Dixon’s recollections for what they are. Still, I look forward to reading it.

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 1:30 pm:

    I wonder how often Al thinks about that Clarence Thomas vote. It wasn’t needed; Thomas would have been confirmed without it.

  10. - LisleMike - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 3:44 pm:

    My dad was his press secretary until his electino to the US Senate, where Dad passed just before Alan went on to Congress. He was always a fine person to me, a great friend of the press and very good to my Dad. “Gentleman” sums him up well.

  11. - downstate commissioner - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 6:56 pm:

    jumped the ticket and voted for him several times- his loss to what’s her name was a huge loss to Illinois.

  12. - Downstate GOP Faithless - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 7:34 pm:

    Only met Senator Dixon once or twice, but his son is one of my favorite Springfield operatives! A true reflection of the way his father raised him.

  13. - Pat C - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 7:57 pm:

    I wonder how often Al thinks about that Clarence Thomas vote. It wasn’t needed; Thomas would have been confirmed without it.

    Can someone remind me how it’s only one party that demands ideological purity? If we complain that Texas won’t elect a guy like Mark Kirk, let us also moan about California not electing someone like Al Dixon.

  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 9:08 pm:

    –If we complain that Texas won’t elect a guy like Mark Kirk, let us also moan about California not electing someone like Al Dixon.–

    Who’s doing any of that?

    Dixon was hardly a victim of ideological purity. It was a hot issue in a three-way race in which Al Hofeld pounded lumps on his head with negative spots.

    Dixon still almost won.

  15. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 9:28 pm:

    Senator Dixon was one of the best. I wish we still had guys who were willing to have a drink with the the opposition and work out a reasonable deal.

  16. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Aug 13, 13 @ 10:11 pm:

    Dixon Dirksen Douglas made you proud to be from Illinois.

  17. - Sangamon GOP - Wednesday, Aug 14, 13 @ 1:56 am:

    It was a very nice event, but I was not impressed when Bill Daley showed up and cut into line in front of just 10 or so people patiently waiting to say hi to Senator Dixon. Really? He is too self important to stand in line? It would have been a good place for him to meet and enjoy talking to some voters. He even had staff with him that could have held him a spot while he worked the room.

  18. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 14, 13 @ 8:55 am:

    ===was not impressed when Bill Daley showed up and cut into line===

    I was there and I think he was invited to do so. Dixon announced he was endorsing Daley, maybe jokingly, but at least Daley showed up. Quinn didn’t.

  19. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 14, 13 @ 8:56 am:

    By the way, I bought a book and Dixon signed it, “To the Big Dog.” lol

  20. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 14, 13 @ 9:18 am:

    – Dixon announced he was endorsing Daley, maybe jokingly, but at least Daley showed up. Quinn didn’t–

    Al was pretty honked when Quinn took on his pal, incumbent treasurer Donnewald, in the primary back in the day.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Rauner rejects latest refugee offer
* "At some point, however, deadlock will take its toll"
* Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards
* *** UPDATED x3 - Sneed: Gone *** Gone?
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Springfield's Rauner primaries
* Today's meeting primer
* Comptroller will make full December pension payment
* Caption contest!
* *** UPDATED x1 - Duckworth says Kirk acts "how enemies like ISIS want us to act" *** Mark Kirk uses Syrian refugee issue in new attack on Duckworth
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* ASUS is gearing up to launch the ZenWatch 2 in the UK
* Motorola announces availability of Moto 360 Sport smartwatch
* Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 could help usher in the era of 8GB RAM smartphones
* Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature
* New Vivo X6 and Vivo X6Plus officially announced
* How to use Cortana on your Surface
* BlackBerry Priv gets its inaugural monthly update: security, camera, performance tweaks

* Alex Avila wants to play, and against the Tigers
* Avila eager to wage 'friendly' AL Central rivalry
* Non-tender deadline looks familiar for White Sox
* Detroit Tigers make AL Central's first big splash with Jordan Zimme...
* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
* Starting Pitcher Rankings: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana maintain st...
* Scouting profile: Adam Engel


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Expectations of meeting are low - Pontiac Daily.....
* Rauner, Democrat leaders plan Tuesday budget su.....
* Rauner, Democrat leaders plan Tuesday budget su.....
* Illinois Lawmakers Who Crossed Rauner, Madigan .....
* Caption contest! - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog)..
* UChicago law professors sign letter urging Gove.....

* The Latest: Rauner, Dems hope for best with budget summit
* Aurora rapist gets 6 years for failing to report new address
* EXCHANGE: Kids get peek at work of veterinary clinic
* Bionic thumb allows Illinois man to 'do fantastic things'
* Officials: Prep football championship crowds close to 30,000
* Huntley Historical Society raising money for new museum
* Rauner, Dem leaders plan Tuesday budget summit
* Prosecutor: Abuse victim couldn't identify accused commander
* Demonstrations continue in police shooting of black teen
* Student in custody for allegedly bringing gun to school

* Syrian refugees become issue in Illinois Senate race
* Cities, counties demand action amid Illinois budget mess
* Two file to run against Rodney Davis as candidates rush to beat Monday deadline
* Candidates rush to beat Monday filing deadline
* Judge orders Illinois to pay home health workers' insurance
* Cities, counties struggle during Illinois budget mess
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees

* Printing company taps new CEO
* Jimmy John's nixes IPO
* Mondelez looks to unload European candy brands
* Peoples' new owner urges no slowdown in high-cost pipe program
* CEO leaves struggling Broadwind Energy

* Blackhawks’ Marko Dano gets a surprise visit from his mom on 21st birthday
* Sneed: Emanuel fires McCarthy
* Emanuel responds to demands for McCarthy’s ouster with a task force
* Black pastors press Trump on his tone in closed-door meeting
* Source: FBI finds Burger King video not altered in Laquan McDonald case
* Brown: Voters can decide whether Alvarez has to go
* Ald. Harris quietly files to challenge Dorothy Brown
* A pair of young Blackhawks players made a trip to see Santa Claus
* Time for Blackhawks to shut down Jonathan Toews, the fighter
* Top-heavy Blackhawks still seeking a depth charge

* Garry McCarthy out as Chicago Police Department superintendent
* After McDonald killing, Emanuel tries to buy time with police task force
* Ventra app gets first big test among Metra commuters
* 'Water recovery operation' underway as search for missing McHenry man continues
* 'Daily Show' host: I don't want to go to Chicago 'because I don't want to die'
* Ex-financial officials sue College of DuPage, alleging politics led to firings
* Overnight Log: 'They call him Big Zero. A 69-year-old man named Big Zero'
* 16-year-old boy killed, five other people wounded in shootings in Chicago
* Man charged with driving off in van with girl, 2, inside
* Tyshawn Lee's killing the fourth in recent feud between gang factions

* Syrian refugees become issue in Illinois Senate race
* Cities, counties demand action amid Illinois budget mess
* Kathleen Parker: The pathology of Trump-itis
* Two file to run against Rodney Davis as candidates rush to beat Monday deadline
* Judge orders Illinois to pay home health workers' insurance
* James Durkin: Compromise needed to restore Illinois' standing
* Bernard Schoenburg: Book on Blagojevich impeachment lets reader 'be right there'
* Andy Shaw: It's time to crack down on no-bid contracts
* 'Pot doctors' pushing boundaries in Illinois, other states
* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting

* Bono on Paris attacks: Nothing's stopping us from going back
* Talese honored at 21 Club for classic Sinatra profile
* Drake is Spotify's most streamed artist of the year globally
* David Letterman donating talk show memorabilia to Ball State
* Illinois man faces murder charges in wife, stepson's deaths
* Southern Illinois fires head football coach Dale Lennon
* Obama says Russia may finally come around on Assad's future
* Los Angeles deputy describes rescuing newborn buried alive
* U of Chicago threat came amid tension over police shooting
* Defense chief: U.S. expanding special operations force in Iraq

* What would the holidays be without donuts, beefs and pizza?
* Report: Emanuel fires Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy
* AP source: Terrelle Pryor to sign with Browns
* Broadway musical 'Waitress' makes history with its lineup
* UnitedHealth CEO terms ACA exchange growth a 'bad decision'

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Legislation Proposed to Reform H-1B and L-......
* Tightening L-1 Rules in Grassley/Durbin Bi......

* Syrian refugees become issue in Illinois S......
* Kirk, Duckworth clash over Syrian refugees......
* Syrian refugees become issue in Illinois S......
* Syrian refugees become issue in Illinois S......
* Syrian refugees become issue in Illinois S......

* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* Rahm threatens Black clergy.
* New Kirk ad: Duckworth, Kirk have "Big Differences" over Syrian refugee solutions
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* Random thoughts.
* Morning Minute: Freddie Mac offers six quick steps to boost your credit
* Richard C. Cooke, Judges Marianne Jackson, William B. Sullivan, Carrie Hamilton, and Ketki "Kay" Steffen unopposed in their respective subcircuit primary races; contests abound elsewhere
* It brings out the rats.
* Rahm’s political crisis. He’s in free fall.
* Di Leo: Black Friday on Chicago's Magnificent Mile

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller