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Still going strong

Friday, Jan 31, 2014

* Jim Nowlan has a great column about longtime lobster Dick Lockhart

Full of spit and vinegar at 90, Richard Lockhart has for 55 years been the gold standard in lobbying Illinois government — that is, in getting the right information in the right format to the right people at the right time.

Lockhart has some suggestions for small organizations and individuals with interests in legislation.

A combat infantryman in World War II, Lockhart’s anti-tank company was overrun by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. As a prisoner of war, he suffered frost-bitten feet, which bother him to this day.

In 1954, Dick Lockhart worked on the successful effort to redistrict the Illinois legislature, which hadn’t been done since 1901.

A Chicagoan, Dick set up his own lobbying shop in 1958 and has carved out a niche of representing small statewide organizations that lack the big money to contribute heavily to candidates and officials.

His first client was the Mental Health Association of Illinois, and Dick is still their lobbyist.

In 1969-70 Dick served as a special consultant to the state Constitutional Convention. He convinced Con-Con president Sam Witwer to put the convention product to the voters in a special election, when only those with an interest one way or the other would vote for it, rather than in a general election, when the question would be weighed down by voters who knew nothing about it.

As a result, the 1970 Constitution was enacted.

* Unfortunately, Politico Influence misinterpreted the column as an obit. Its headline: ILLINOIS LOBBYING ‘GOLD STANDARD’ DIES.

Um, Dick ain’t dead.

Far from it.

In fact, he’s having a 90th birthday party at the Sangamo Club on February 5th from 5-7.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Hon. John Fritchey - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:30 pm:

    Dick is an institution within the institution. If only we had more like him…


  2. - Pat C - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:31 pm:

    Not a bad publicity guy, either! He gets a nice glowing Obit, when he can read and profit from it :)


  3. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:33 pm:

    Unbelievable, shoddy MISreporting…! See it way too often, too, sadly. Looks like Dick is one of our A#1 Illinoisans. Happy Birthday at 90 Dick! May God bless you with many more, and enjoy!!


  4. - Joan P. - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    Well, that’s embarrassing!


  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:53 pm:

    lol What a unique “gift” to honor such a fascinating, and happily, ongoing life.


  6. - Sine Die - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:58 pm:

    Rumors of Dick’s death have been “greatly exaggerated!’


  7. - DuPage - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    He can quote Mark Twain, “reports of my passing are greatly exaggerated”.


  8. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    Dick needs to invite the author of that Politico column.


  9. - Linus - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    Dick is a gentleman, a class act, and a good guy. Kudos to him!


  10. - Gator - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:36 pm:

    Dick is awesome and a gentleman.

    I’m a third his age and wish I had his energy :-(


  11. - Give Me A Break - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    Congrats to Dick, a great lobbyist and a great person. I always tell Dick he is one unique dood, the only guy to have been at both Con Cons and to have put a card in with the House Doorkeepers for Rep. Lincoln.


  12. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    I worked with Dick on many issues. He’s one of the great ones. Loved hearing his stories.

    Rich, any details on cost and whether it’s invite-only?


  13. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:57 pm:

    I think it’s free. Just go on in.


  14. - Norseman - Friday, Jan 31, 14 @ 4:58 pm:

    Politico Influence is probably not the first to count Dick out and he’s overcome all.

    My wife also loved working with Dick.


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