SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
“Generally speaking, my political career was built on goodwill and accommodation”

Monday, Jul 7, 2014

* Sun-Times

His detractors ridiculed him as “Al the Pal.”

His supporters never quite saw that as an insult.

Former Sen. Alan J. Mr. Dixon carved out a four-decade long career in Illinois’ rough-and-tumble politics by essentially being a nice guy.

Opponents dimissed him as an old-school glad hander. But the Belleville Democrat prided himself on being able to get along with Democrats and Republicans alike and “sit down and make a deal.”

Mr. Dixon, 86, died Sunday morning at his downstate home.

* Post-Dispatch

Sen. Dixon became police magistrate when he was still a law student — the same year Harry S Truman was inaugurated for a full-term as president: 1949.

He won every election after that: for state representative, state senator, state treasurer, secretary of state, before winning election to the Senate in 1981. He was re-elected six years later.

“I got beat once, that’s a pretty good average,” Sen. Dixon told an interviewer in 2002.

He added: “I was smart enough when I got beat to quit.”

* From his hometown paper, the Belleville News-Democrat

Former Gov. James Thompson, a Republican and 40-year friend of Dixon, said Sunday he last saw Dixon a year ago when he was signing copies of his book “The Gentleman from Illinois.” Thompson wrote the book’s forward.

“He was just a magnificent guy to know. He did the state of Illinois proud,” Thompson said. “He used to say, ‘Listen, pal, we can get these things done.’” […]

Dixon is survived by his wife Joan “Jody” Dixon, and three children, Stephanie (Doug) Yearian, of Waterloo; Jeffrey (Stacy) Dixon, of Chicago; Elizabeth (Stuart) Megaw, of Fairfax, Va. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements for Dixon are pending at Renner Funeral Home.

* Tribune

Last year, Dixon published a memoir titled, “The Gentleman From Illinois: Stories From Forty Years of Elective Public Service.”

“Generally speaking, my political career was built on goodwill and accommodation,” he wrote. […]

[Carol] Moseley Braun, who won the three-way [1992 Democratic primary against Dixon and Al Hofeld], said Dixon “was always a gentleman.”

“That level of civility really needs a resurrection in our politics today,” she said, reached by phone Sunday night.

* Governor Pat Quinn…

“Alan Dixon had a patriot’s determination to do what was best for his state and nation.

“Alan Dixon served with distinction in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly, two statewide elected offices, and as our United States Senator.

“He was a statesman, but he was also a warm and friendly soul who never met a stranger.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Dixon’s family, friends and people whose lives he touched. He will be missed.”

* House Speaker Michael J. Madigan…

“Alan Dixon was one of a kind. A great leader and representative who always put the public’s interests first.

“He was a great friend. Shirley and I offer our sympathies to his family and our prayers they be given the strength to endure these sad times.”

* US Sen. Dick Durbin…

“From his days as a Police Magistrate in Belleville to his leadership position in the United States Senate, Alan Dixon was known for his honesty, his hard work and his commitment to the state he loved. Alan was the first statewide Democrat to voluntarily make a full disclosure of his net worth. Alan started the first bipartisan Illinois Congressional lunches, a tradition which continues to this day. His friendships reached across the aisle and across our state. I lost a pal today and Illinois lost a man who brought honor to public service.”

* Secretary of State Jesse White…

“The state of Illinois lost a dedicated public servant today in Alan Dixon. Senator Dixon was a man of integrity who always voted his conscience and had a unique ability to build consensus through compromise.

“As former Illinois Secretary of State, Dixon moved the office forward in a way that focused on customer service.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to his friends. I was privileged to work with him, and to call him my friend. Alan Dixon will be missed.”

* Even some Republicans issued statements. US Sen. Mark Kirk…

“Alan Dixon was a dedicated public servant who spent the majority of his life representing the people of Illinois. But for his leadership, Illinois would have lost Scott Air Force Base - the largest employer south of I-80. We owe Alan a debt of gratitude for all he did for our state.”

* Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party…

“We are saddened at the loss of Sen. Dixon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and we thank him for his service to our state.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


17 Comments
  1. - Stones - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    A class act. Senator Dixon understood the art of the deal and the fact that you need relationships to get things done in politics. Condolences to his family.


  2. - A guy... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    A Statesman by any measure. One of Illinois’ finest.


  3. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    Alan J. Dixon was a fully seasoned political veteran when he was elected to the US Senate in 1980. He had a long and distinguished career in Illinois government as our treasurer and secretary of state, and before that as a legislator from Bellville Illinois in the General Assembly. Senator Dixon was a WWII veteran and his rise and service as a public official from Illinois, reflects what we have come to see and admire about that generation of Americans. He believed in public service, he believed in bipartisan cooperation and he believed in serving our state well. As a US Senator, Alan did that and we remember him for his selfless work for Illinois.

    “Generally speaking, my political career was built on goodwill and accommodation”

    However, after a long and distinguished public career in Illinois, Senator Dixon discovered himself as a target within the 1992 Democratic Senate primary. David Axelrod had partnered with millionaire lawyer Al Hofeld, who then spent millions of Hofeld’s millions running 30 second television ads across Illinois targeting incumbent senator Dixon as a senator who favored special interests over Illinoisans. Axelrod’s Hofeld television ads carpeted our state and suggested that Dixon took thousands in PAC money from banks and military businesses in exchange for senate favors. For several months, Axelrod and Hofeld drove Dixon’s image down, threatening his renomination.

    This Axelrod/Hofeld onslaught against Dixon created an opportunity for Carol Mosely Braun, who decided that she could win the nomination as an unabashed Chicago liberal. As an African American woman, Braun was seen as a completely different type of candidate, apart from the typical middle-aged white males the representing Illinois. When Senator Dixon voted to confirm Clarence Thomas as a US Supreme Court justice, Braun was positioned within the primary to win Democratic voters who opposed that decision.

    After decades of being “Al the pal” to everyone he worked with both in elected offices and on Illinois streets, Alan Dixon discovered that being an excellent public official wasn’t enough in a world where sharp political elbows filled with millions could gin up a voter backlash and demonize him. Dixon would have easily been reelected that November for many more years as our non-ideological US Senator, but couldn’t survive Axelrod’s onslaught and Braun’s powerful partisan appeal.

    Dixon belongs to an age when bipartisanship, cooperation, public service and results were held in high esteem by both political parties and considered the highest qualifiers for elected office. His 1992 Democratic primary loss was a signal that political moderation was a disqualifier, even for a seasoned political veteran. Alan J. Dixon is today, admired for what we no longer see in our elected officials today.


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Genuinely a nice guy. Here’s to a full life.


  5. - One of Al's Pals - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    He was one of the best political figures of last 100 years in Illinois. He had the gift of working out problems in the General Assembly. He would had made a great Governor. He was one of the last old timers in the system when it worked. It was great to see him one last time at Boone’s signing his book. He had same flare and longing for the political game.
    We miss you Al cause we always thought of you as not only a political leader but your friend and pal.


  6. - William j Kelly - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    My wife Laura and I both had the great honor of serving as interns in sen. Dixon’s office. He was an example of everything that is right about public service, he will be truly missed.


  7. - Sir Reel - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    Old school. I wish today’s Congress had more like him.


  8. - ... - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    VanillaMan, as he does often, summed it up very well.


  9. - Regnad Kcin - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    VanillaMan and Stones are right on point. Hard to find people like him still in the business in either party because they get knocked off in the primary for not being “pure”.


  10. - LisleMike - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:28 am:

    My father served as his press secretary and aide during his years in Treasurer’s office and Secretary of state. My father died the week before Alan went to Washington, but Alan made sure to come to the funeral none the less. He was a gentleman and always spotted me in whatever crowd he was adressing and no matter the size, he made his way over to me and wish me well. He was one of a kind!


  11. - Adam Smith - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    1984. Late on election night. A handful of Chuck Percy’s campaign staffers are drowning their sorrows at the bar at the Hyatt Regency after losing to Paul Simon. They see a solitary figure making his way across the lobby towards the exit. Upon recognizing him as Senator Dixon, one of the senior staffers who is acquainted with him waves. Dixon immediately recognizes him, walks over, graciously greets everyone, including the lowly intern (me), offers to buy a round and has a drink with us. He had privately, without any staff, just visited Sen. Percy to express his condolences on his loss. He then spent about 45 minutes with the staff telling stories and assuring everyone that their world had not just ended.

    Absolute class.


  12. - Interested Observer - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    Nicest and most thoughtful Democrat I ever met in politics. The Democratic Party dumping him for Carol Mosely Braun opened a whole new era in nasty partisan politics in Illinois.


  13. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:50 pm:

    One of the best public servants in Illinois who truly enjoyed support from both sides of the aisle. He was a conservative Democrat who could pull Republican votes. Since his upset in the primary (when will Illinois wise up and approve run-off primaries?) has result in musical chairs in the US Senate since his departure.


  14. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Sorry for the typos!


  15. - DuPage Dave - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    It would be great if people stuck to the positive today and leave the partisanship for another day.

    Thanks to Al Dixon for his service and condolences to his family.


  16. - Tom Joad - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Senator Dixon was the greatest public speaker of the last 50 years. He could get a crowd wound up and hooting and hollering every time he gave a speech. People looked forward to hearing him speak. When it came to helping the Democratic ticket he was always willing to cut radio ads and make appearances for all the candidates on the ticket.
    Every office he held he improved.


  17. - CirularFiringSquad - Monday, Jul 7, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    One can only wonder if Dixon would have pushed back against Richard J. and ran for Governor. He would have faced Big Jim. There would have been no Howlett or Sun Steel and probably no Thompson. Certainly no Edgar.
    Alan Dixon was a very good public official and a better pol. He voted his personal view on a mope,Clarence Thomas, and got caught in a three way primary. Hofeld spent the $$$ CMB smiled and then literally held on to defeat Rich Williamson.
    Then he did yeoman’s work on the base closing commission — a semi thankless job that needed to be done.
    Job Well Done. R.I.P. and a prayer of comfort for your family.


TrackBack URI

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition: McKinney, cable TV buys, polling report, new TV ad
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Good morning!
* Oberweis now for gay marriage
* The patented Pat Quinn close has begun
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Foxconn Looking to Build $5.7 Billion iPhone Display Factory to Win Apple Orders
        * LG Odin SoC resurfaces in leaked specs for LG F490L Liger
        * GT Advanced Technologies To End Sapphire Business And Settle Debt With Apple
        * Google Inbox Invite Hits eBay
        * Papers, Please creator's new game invokes Mac Plus era
        * Yahoo updates Mail app with travel, event notifications
        * Is your Lumia your better half?

        * Gizmodo Why You Definitely Shouldn't Drink Your Own Pee | io9 You Probably Never Realized How Marble
        * Focus on the First $10,000 When You Start Saving Money
        * Upgrade Your Network with Today's Amazon Gold Box
        * Desktop Sintratec SLS 3D Printer Unveiled For $3,999
        * Apple Removing Support For SSL 3.0 On Push Notifications
        * Etsy Introduces Credit Card Reader to Go Beyond the Web
        * OverDrive Review: A Free E-Book Lending Service That Requires Some Patience

        * Nori Aoki: The White Sox Killer of 2014
        * World Series Game 2: Notes and discussion
        * 23 potential MLB free agents as SkyMall items
        * World Series Game 1: Notes and discussion
        * The e-gus off-season plan
        * Reading Room: A wild card of a World Series
        * Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * State of Illinois sets up Ebola task force..
        * Chicago Sun-Times Reporter Resigns, Slams Paper.....
        * Reporter quits Chicago newspaper, saying govern.....
        * Sun-Times' Springfield bureau chief quits, says.....
        * Biden: ‘A Lot Of People’s Lives Depend On This .....
        * Cowra Jockey Club names former local trainer Vi.....
        * Reporter quits Sun-Times, cites ‘chilling effec.....
        * Democrat Pat Quinn Dealt Ethics Blow by Court..
        * Illinois Republican Governor Candidate Visits M.....
        * Union shells out big bucks to defeat Rauner..


        * Grafton gives fish plant 30 days to stop smells
        * State of Illinois sets up Ebola task force
        * Chicago jail escapee sentenced to 36 years
        * Durbin, Oberweis face off in 1st US Senate debate
        * Biden in Illinois: Each vote for Democrats crucial
        * Indiana killings case prompts Illinois searches
        * Reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Illinois adding press-box medical staffer
        * VP says Democrats working to protect middle class
        * Former Illini coaches speak at McClain's funeral

        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Minimum wage hike supporters urge early voting
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant
        * Bill Clinton campaigns for Quinn, Durbin
        * Quinn, Rauner spar over jobs, taxes
        * Election 2014: Learn about all the candidates
        * What to watch for in third governor debate tonight
        * U of I sees turning point as election nears

        *
        * Major convention bolting Chicago in hotel room rate dispute
        * Major convention bolting Chicago in room rate dispute
        * The cool chemistry of flame-resistant clothing
        * 10 Things to Do


        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state already has said 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85
        * Scandal or not, Bring on that  federal monitor
        * ‘Narcissistic’ bank robber and jail breaker sentenced to 36 years
        * New archbishop chooses modest rectory over traditional mansion
        * Federal monitor will oversee hiring at Illinois Department of Transportation
        * Critics on Emanuel’s choice for city treasurer: Good person, flawed process
        * CPS wants to delay new standardized test, even though state says 'no'
        * Father Bob Botthof, teacher who became priest after losing wife, dies at 85


        * Skokie school remains closed as police continue threat investigation
        * Sun-Times reporter Dave McKinney quits, cites possible retaliation over Rauner article
        * Tribune poll: Rauner, Quinn in dead heat
        * West Town man killed, another wounded in Richton Park shooting
        * Jefferson Park woman reported missing
        * Woman, 33, shot in East Garfield Park
        * Durbin, Oberweis clash on immigration, health care in debate
        * Aldermen question speed cameras
        * Man charged with arson in Logan Square fire
        * 17-year-old charged in West Side man's slaying


        * Artist Profile: Local Troubadour Tom Irwin
        * Real estate and religion: The tale of Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist
        * Suspicion lingers over Ebola treatment
        * Judge Orders Court Appointed Monitor For IDOT Hiring
        * 13th Dist. Candidates Talk NAFTA, Ebola During Springfield Debate
        * Attorneys Due In Court For Quinn Hiring Lawsuit
        * Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change
        * Civic Fed: Lawmakers Once Again Taking Illinois Down Bad Budget Path
        * Cheddar's Leaves Springfield WUIS-SJR Business Report
        * Area Cub Scouts Burned In Explosion


        * Our Opinion: Frerichs has the expertise to be Illinois treasurer
        * Robert Kaestner: Good education policy is good health policy
        * Eugene Robinson: Warren makes the case for a presidential run
        * Bernard Schoenburg: Local Rauner ad leaves out ‘everything Springfield isn’t’ line
        * Minimum wage increase supporters urge early voting
        * George Will: In Kentucky, a constitutional moment
        * Sun-Times political reporter resigns following Rauner complaint
        * Federal judge orders court-appointed monitor for IDOT hiring
        * Our Opinion: Choice for Illinois comptroller comes down to experience
        * Rep. Raymond Poe to undergo stem cell transplant


        * Letter: May Diwali bring light of knowledge
        * Jim Bohannon 10-23-14
        * Men with assault rifles rob, kidnap strip club customers
        * Mace-wielding thieves attack clerk, rob Sports Authority
        * East St. Louis woman charged with possession of gun by a felon
        * Nicor neighbors concerned about coal tar
        * Krannert has big addition for play
        * Tolono firefighters hold prevention festival
        * On the money, Oct. 23, 2014
        * Jim Dey: Fatal shooting moves to trial for damages to family of victim


        * Agency missteps leave motorists In dark on air-bag defects
        * Zuckerberg speaks Chinese; Beijing students cheer
        * HealthCare.gov's EZ form not for legal immigrants
        * Tax settlement boosts Comcast 3rd-quarter results
        * GM 3Q profit nearly doubles, led by North America

        * Patrick Cannon defense strategy rare but n...
        * Feds fine Jesse Jackson Jr.'s campaign com...
        * Ex-Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. faces sen...
        * Representative Jan Schakowsky Sends Letter...
        * Rep. candidate pushes to uphold marriage b...
        * Reps. Schakowsky and Waxman Introduce Bill...
        * Statement by Representative Jan Schakowsky...
        * U.S. House Passes Resolution Condemning An...
        * FAA Rejects Call For New O'Hare Noise Stud...
        * Representatives Quigley, Duckworth, Schako...

        * Ad nauseam...
        * Oberweis now backs same-sex marriage...
        * Ad nauseam...
        * Oberweis now backs same-sex marriage...
        * EXCLUSIVE: Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly ......

        * Marco Rubio, Mark Kirk Warn John Kerry on ......
        * Officials continue push for funds to clean......

        * Why you should care about Hinsdale. Tea Party loses the vote on a new contract.
        * Waukegan gets smacked by a #WaukeganStrong Twitter storm.
        * Beverley Holden Johns: SB 16. Why so hard to change special ed funding?
        * The 84th House Race Kifowit vs. Bansal...
        * Glen Brown. Colorado Supreme Court rules against pension rights. It’s not Illinois.
        * The latest from the Blue State Cowboys: Plutocrat: The Ballad of Bruce Rauner.
        * Guidelines And Tricks To Get You By way of Higher education
        * Mayor Looks To Squeeze Motorists More In 2015 Budget
        * City Clerk Announces New Push To Nab City Sticker Scofflaws
        * Poll: Illinois Governor's Race A 'Statistical Tie'


        * Jewish Newspapers Endorse Rauner for Governor
        * TV Breaking News: Ethics blow for Pat Quinn
        * Federal judge deals Quinn ethics blow on IDOT patronage hiring
        * Rauner Statement on Federal Hiring Monitor at IDOT
        * Governor Quinn Announces Ebola Task Force - Group of Healthcare Experts to Advise State on Ebola Response Efforts




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