Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Question of the day
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Monday, Mar 30, 2009

* A post at NCSL’s blog reminded me that March is Women’s History Month.

Yeah, the month is almost over, but there’s still time to squeeze in a question.

* The Question: In your opinion, who is the most influential woman in Illinois political history? Please explain your answer fully. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:17 am:

    elected: Congresswoman Cardiss Collins
    unelected: Jane Addams

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:21 am:

    Explain, please.

  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:30 am:

    Jane Addams. Legendary progressive who developed and advocated ways to raise American cities out of the muck and to provide health, education and dignity to the great American Melting Pot. Nobel Peace Prize.

  4. - Dan S, a Voter, Taxpayer and Cubs Fan - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:30 am:

    Adeline Geo-Karis, for her nononsense approach to being a female leader in what was the nmostly a “mans” world of politics. Geo was one of a kind.

  5. - Speaking at Will - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:36 am:

    Judy Barr Topinka.

    She lost to Rod in 2006.

  6. - Anonymous45 - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    That’s easy…Hillary Rodham Clinton, Yale educated attorney, Childrens Defense Fund employee/advocate, First Lady, First Woman to run a credible Presidential campaign, and now Secretary of State…

  7. - lake county democrat - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    Sheila Simon, because her well-timed endorsement of Barack Obama made him the Dem nominee in 2004 for the U.S. senate.

  8. - The Horse - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:41 am:

    Although Jane Addams has to be at the top of the list, no top 10 should be without Ruth Rothstein. Long time healthcare leader @ Mt. Sinai and Cook County (most prominent over her distinguished career)

  9. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:44 am:

    Myra Bradwell, the first woman to be admitted to the bar and practice law in Illinois, 20 or 30 years after the Illinois and US Supreme Courts said she could be admitted.

  10. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:45 am:

    Sorry, I meant after those courts said she could NOT be admitted.

  11. - OneMan - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    Dawn Clark-Netsch Both for her work on the state consitution as well as her time in the state senate and her time as comptroller.

    However her current role as the go-to person (at least for the media) on state constitutional matters seals the deal.

  12. - Bill - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:51 am:

    Margaret Blackshere, who became the first woman president of the Il-AFL-CIO and was a strong advocate for the rights of working women and men in Illinois.

  13. - Rich Miller - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 11:53 am:

    People, I don’t have time today to monitor this post for snark. I’ve already deleted one comment. Try to take this seriously. Thanks.

  14. - Been There - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    Mayor Jane Byrne. I hate to say it because I can’t stand her. Then and now. But it was a huge win. Influential because it showed that women would rally around their own. Bad choice by them but at least she only lasted one term. Even though she was only a mayor the effect of her win was felt throughout Illinois and national politics.

  15. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:12 pm:

    Nancy Hanks Lincoln was a mother. I can’t imagine a more important job than mothering our greatest Illinoian.

  16. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:13 pm:

    Mother Jones seems like she should be on the short list of candidates to discuss.

  17. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:21 pm:

    My grandmother…and all the women who worked behind the scenes for years to build up their local (and state) parties.

    When I think politics, I think of my grandmother. My grandmother was a Republican county chairwoman, and I remember helping her prepare for the Lincoln Day Dinner. She met with local office holders, talked with friends and neighbors, and did all those little things that make the parties work. I’m politically involved today because of the example set by my mother and grandmother, and I have no doubt many readers feel the same way.

    The grassroots efforts of women in both parties has had deep and long-lasting influence on the State as had their influence on their children and grandchildren.

  18. - Amy - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:24 pm:

    rich, thanks for this question! i’m thinking and trying to keep the focus on your mandate of political history, which means
    women in politics or trying to influence the political process.

  19. - jerry 101 - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:33 pm:

    Not sure who the most influential or most important would be.

    A few very notable women -
    Elizabeth Woods (First CHA Executive Secretary - butted heads with Daley for years before being forced out, at which point CHA went downhill…fast)
    Jane Addams - from the Encyclopedia of Chicago:
    …Hull-House residents initiated and lobbied for protective legislation for women and children, child labor laws, occupational safety and health provisions, compulsory education, protection of immigrants, and Illinois’ pioneer mothers’ pension law. On the federal level, Hull House residents joined with settlement house leaders and reformers nationwide to fight for national child labor laws, women’s suffrage, the establishment of a Children’s Bureau, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, and the many other reforms…
    Hillary Clinton
    Carol Mosely Braun
    Dawn Clark Netsch
    Jane Byrne
    Frances Willard (Women’s Suffrage leader and *unfortunately* temperance/prohibition advocate - head of the Women’s Christian Temperence Union at one point)
    Ida B. Wells (journalist and anti-lynching advocate)
    Betty Friedan
    Lucy Parsons
    Mother Jones

    Seems to me that Jane Addams and Frances Willard were probably the most influential, due to the far reaching effects of Hull House (Addams), and being a driving force behind 2 Constitutional Amendments (Willard).

  20. - Mrs. Gregor - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    Mary Lee Leahy. She’s the patron saint of state workers, among other things.

    She won a landmark Supreme Court case that made it illegal to hire or fire a teacher from school over their politics. She won the Rutan case, which applied the same rules to state workers. She was a delegate with Netch at the last Con-Con. She worked hard to pass the ERA in Illinois. She was a director of DCFS and pushed boundaries there for compassionate care of wards of the state. And she will probably be testifying against Blago in his upcoming federal trial.

    Canonize her already.

  21. - Amy - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:46 pm:

    The chief leader of the Illinois suffrage campaign of 1910 - 1913, Mrs. Grace Wilbur Trout.

    After the failure of a referendum on suffrage, Mrs. Trout and others led a series of suffrage tours and a suffrage train to springfield to lobby legislation to approve suffrage. Grace was not only the president of the Chicago Political Equality League and the leader of the effort, but
    literally put her body in the fray for suffrage. as the key vote was held, and legislators in favor were moving out of the chamber,
    and opposition not in elected office moving in, Grace refused the order of the doorkeeper and the leader of the opposition to leave the opening of the only door to the chamber and go to the gallery. She kept lobbying and “As a consequence no one entered the House that day who was not legally entitled to do so.” The vote passed 83 to 58, with 6 votes to spare.

    she got it so women in Illinois could vote, nearly 50 years after all men in the U.S. received the right to vote.

    Thanks for making us think and leading me to my copy of
    The Concise History of Woman Suffrage, Rich!

  22. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 12:50 pm:

    Lisa Madigan:

    For her work on brining government into the light by application of FOIA and the Open meetings act. For her adovcay on behalf of consumers, the elderly and women. For working with law enforcement to create anti-drug laws, limiting purchase of drugs needed to manufacture meth, which are working. For her work on monitoring and enforcing laws designed to keep predators away from kids.

  23. - Third Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 1:29 pm:

    Earlean Collins Cook County Commissioner, making women look more intelligent every day, she speaks up against things that everyone (CC Board) agrees with if there are some issues with the issue. She is the voice of intelligence and reason on the Cook County Board. In many meetings even if Peraica is off on his tangent, if it is something she feels that he is right on she will say, we need to discuss this etc., even when other board members are trying to cut him off. She knows what is important, and what needs more discussion, investigating, etc.

  24. - North of I-80 - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 1:47 pm:

    Lisa Madigan - thought she was an empty suit, daughter-of but has been proving herself w/support for cops K-9 searches w/supreme court; kids support, on-line kiddy crime as well as FOIA, expungement stuff.

    Future: Judy Baar Topinka if she runs for Gov again on an I-told-you-so theme.

  25. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 1:59 pm:

    Rich’s question is about influence, not about “fame” or “being the first”.

    Hillary Clinton, who has plenty of both, made the most of the “star power” provided by being her husband’s spouse, and as mentioned before, being elected a US Senator and appointed a Secretary of State. Her “influence” as the first credible woman US Presidential candidate is evident in the large group of followers she still has from that effort, and paving the way for the inevitable first woman US President, whomever that may be.

  26. - Songbird - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 2:02 pm:

    I agree with Hillary Clinton, but I would also put Michelle Obama and Mary Todd Lincoln on the list. Anyone who thinks spouses aren’t close advisors to the most powerful office doesn’t understand how marriages work.

  27. - Captain America - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 2:28 pm:

    Jane Adams would be the most effective non-elected progressive reform advocate in Illinois/national history.

    Phyllis Scahfley would be the most effective conservative female activist in Illinois history.

    Jan S would get my vote as the most effective Congresswoman in Illinois history.

    Dawn Clark Netsch has to get the nod as a real groundbreaker as the first woman to be elected to Statewide constitutional office. I imagine Dawn’s legacy will be surpassed by the first woman elected as ILlinois governor.

  28. - Mars - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 2:39 pm:

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
    First Ladies Michelle Obama and Mary Todd Lincoln
    Dawn Clark-Netsch and Lisa Madigan
    and who could forget Carol Mosely Braun

  29. - Some Guy - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 2:47 pm:

    Anita Hill.

    Huh? ? She’s not a politician or even an Illinois resident. How can she be my pick. Well, first the Q says “who the most influential woman in Illinois political history” and while she’s not an Illinoisan or politician, she left a huge mark on Illinois politics.

    Because of her, Alan Dixon lost his 1992 primary to Carol Moseley Braun, the first black female senator in US history. (Still only one). More importantly, in the long run, it set up a chain of events that kept that seat in flux until 2004 when Obama ran for it.

    If not for Anita Hill, who knows what happens to that seat. Braun certainly doesn’t get it. I don’t see Fitzgerald getting it either. He only won because he went up against a widely unpopular incumbent. (I know he has his defenders, but he’s the most conservative person elected to that high profile a job in the state in the last 40 years).

    My hunch is that Dixon retires in 1998, and the Dem insiders decide on their choice for a replacement. Obama was still too green. They likely would’ve gone with someone else - who? I have no idea, but it doesn’t matter much. By 2004, Obama wouldn’t run to take out a Dem incumbent in the primary (especially not after what happened when he took on Rush). So he doesn’t becoem senator, then he doesn’t become president.

    Also, if Fitzgerald never gets elected, we don’t have the other Fitzgerald cracking down on are far-too-many corrupt pols.

    Anita Hill ain’t from Illinois and has never been involved in its politics, but she left quite a mark.

  30. - Anonymous45 - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 2:54 pm:

    She passed too soon, but Penny Severns was a gifted IL politician…

  31. - Lee County - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 3:38 pm:

    Anita Hill. Not an Illinois resident, but without Alan Dixon’s vote on Clarence Thomas, Carol Mosely Braun would not have been elected Senator; Peter Fitzgerald would not have run and defeated her; Peter Fitzgerald would not have appointed Patrick Fitzgerald; Patrick Fitzgerald would not have issued his indictments; Peter Fitzgerald would not have lost the support necessary to run for re-election; and Barack Obama might not have run for Senator and President.

  32. - Six Degrees of Separation - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 3:54 pm:

    Lee County-

    That last post qualifies as a Rube Goldberg device.

  33. - Justice - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 4:10 pm:

    Please don’t forget Josephine Oblinger. The old days of the Paul Findley trailrides. I miss them.

  34. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 4:49 pm:

    –Lee County-

    That last post qualifies as a Rube Goldberg device.–

    That’s a surprising comment from someone whose handle is Six Degrees of Separation!

  35. - Carl Nyberg - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 4:53 pm:

    Maybe Rich should do a March madness bracket of Illinois women?

  36. - Wumpus - Monday, Mar 30, 09 @ 5:45 pm:

    Lisa Madigan- She has broken down barrier of father to son nepotism. Mikey has handed little lisa an office or two. She is smart, but was no way experienced to win on her own without daddy’s last name. I mean, perhaps she should have done the normal thing, taken her hubbie’s last name and see how that election thing turned out.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Madigan tells audience he rejected a 2015 deal proposed by Rauner
* Today's number: 11 Illinois women in 200 years
* Mark Brown and Eric Zorn on Chris Kennedy
* Citizen Action backs Pritzker, Evanston backs Biss, Kennedy to unveil property tax reform plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Campaign updates
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






* Madigan greeted warmly at Ottawa labor summit -.....
* Automatic voter registration 'smooth sailing' s.....
* Northern Illinois utility says customers can ge.....

* Sangamon County Jail increases inmate mental health services
* Truck driver charged in fatal accident in West Virginia
* U of I's capital plan will focus on facilities
* Bald eagle takes flight at Litchfield lake after rehab
* Bill would give rural Illinois schools high-speed internet
* Northern Illinois utility says customers can get assistance
* EXCHANGE: Basketball bookends Vietnam veteran's story
* EXCHANGE: Brown's Chicken murders changed business forever
* Thousands protest Trump at Illinois women's marches
* $1.9M in Mellon Foundation grants aid UIC humanities studies

* New session will bring new efforts at pension reform
* Rauner order bars lawmakers from property-tax appeals
* Outdoor sports participants hoping for larger cut in farm bill
* U of I trustees approve 4th-straight tuition freeze
* Rauner to air extended ad of Pritzker, Blagojevich on wiretap
* Mendoza to keynote Women's March Saturday in Springfield
* Chicago mayor vows to step up Amazon second headquarters bid
* Under the Dome Podcast: More Blago-Pritzker talk, Rauner confirms Duke is racist
* U of I withdrew 35 job offers after background checks
* Frerichs: Can't get tax break for using college savings plan on private K-12 tuition

* Gutierrez' 'support' for Trump's wall not quite what it seems
* Gutierrez's 'support' for Trump's wall not quite what it seems
* How important is job flexibility? Our survey wants to know.
* Like our roundup? Share it around.
* What you need to know about the L.A. Times 'frat-boy executive' scandal

* Dear Abby: Losing out on job left me humiliated
* Patriots’ defense key to another postseason comeback
* Super Bowl LII preview: The Patriots and Eagles will square off for title
* Loyola peels away from Valparaiso for 70-54 win
* Horoscope for Jan. 22, 2018
* Man, 27, reported missing from Rogers Park
* Patriots in record 10th Super Bowl; Eagles in search of first Super Bowl win
* Patriots open as favorite over Eagles in Super Bowl LII
* Eagles rout Vikings for first Super Bowl berth since 2004 season
* Woman, 18, critically wounded in Bridgeport shooting

* Woman shot in Bridgeport among 2 wounded in Sunday shootings
* 2 IEDs detonated inside Florida mall, no injuries: police
* Senate fails to reach deal to end government shutdown, pushes vote to Monday
* 'The Chi' Episode 3 recap: 'Ghosts' shows characters haunted by past
* First-year Golden Knights win again, now have best record in NHL
* 'Three Billboards' sweeps female-focused and led SAG Awards
* Patriots open as favorite over Eagles in Super Bowl
* Stephen Miller, immigration agitator and White House survivor, is at the center of the fight over ‘Dreamers’
* Aly Raisman's mom rips into Michigan State coach Tom Izzo: 'Are you a moron?'
* Much as White House might try to soften blow, government shutdowns are costly and cumbersome

» Hundreds Of Thousands Gathered For Women's March In Chicago
» Chicago Schools Chief: Cost A Driver In Special Ed Overhaul
» One Year Later, Women’s March Demands More Than Attendance
» State Week: Education Funding, Pritzker-Blagojevich, Rauner-Duke
» Sheriff Offers To Help Review Police Shootings In Suburban Cook County
» A Prescription For Fruits And Veggies: One Solution To Food Insecurity in Illinois
» A Call For Transparency
» 2 Illinois Governor Candidates Spend $26M In Last 3 Months
» State Board of Education: Double School Funding Now
» Lawmakers Demand Fast Internet For Rural Schools

* Their View: Is civics still taught in our schools?
* George Will: Choosing immigration criteria is a Sisyphean task
* New session will bring new efforts at pension reform
* Rauner goes after Madigan's other job
* Madeleine Doubek: May we better value journalism and the journalists
* Our View: Springfield needs more than a cautious plan for Y block
* Statehouse Insider: Rauner goes after Madigan's other job
* UIS Perspectives: Public affairs internships lead to success
* Petty, Davidsmeyer both decry anti-Petty calls
* Ed Rogers: High stakes for Trump at the World Economic Forum

* Parkland student picked as Illinois fair queen
* Two homes damaged during shots-fired incident in Davenport
* Fallen officers honored at I–80 overpass
* Glen Carbon man gets 12 years in prison for stealing marijuana
* Greater Peoria Honor Flight wants more diversity among its vets
* 5 juveniles struck by car in St. Louis; 1 in critical condition
* UI Women's Tennis vs Florida State
* Tazewell, Woodford marriages, divorces: Jan. 21, 2018
* Random Acts of Kindness: Stranger rescues dog in rush hour
* Missing 10-year-old from Missouri found safe

* Trump business ethics pledges left plenty room for profiting
* The Latest: Federer, again, into Australian Open quarters
* Eagles fans take to streets to celebrate after team's win
* Philippine volcano explodes, authorities raise alert level
* Boedker, Thornton lead Sharks in 6-2 rout of Ducks

* Dissident artist Ai Weiwei and US Rep. Ran...
* Our view: End patronage at Algonquin Towns...
* Bipartisan Illinois criticism follows Trum...
* Shutdown Stalemate As Immigration Negotiat...
* Time Magazine's Powerful New Cover Feature...
* Letter: Talk to tax preparer about GOP tax...
* Rep. Hultgren: It is Not Safe for Salvador...
* Hultgren makes strong mark on nation's new...
* US places Pakistan on special watch list f...
* Congressman Randy Hultgren Disagrees with ...

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Dick Durbin & Donald Trump: Males of Their......
* Dick Durbin & Donald Trump: Males of Their......

* This RSS feed URL is deprecated...
* Duckworth Calls Trump '5-Deferment Draft D......
* Sen. Duckworth Slams Trump as '5-Deferment......

* Federal government shutdown shows we really likely are that shallow
* Women's March: The Sequel, or this time we have a destination
* Sketchbook.
* From Bev Johns: The ISBE and legislators turned a blind eye to CPS special education mess.
* Hearing aids print money and executives steal it.
* Sketchbook.
* Observing Epiphany With A Plunge In The Lake
* Michael Pfeiffer, Former Crew Server, Missing
* Don't Get Conned By The Armani Jacket Scam
* Sketchbook.

* Illinois Awarded Funds to Offer Advanced Training on Detecting Impaired Driving
* Illinois EPA Announces Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events
* IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May - Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for people, caregivers
* First Lady Launches Illinois Family Connects
* Governor and Lt. Governor Unveil 2016 Journal of Local Government Shared Service Best Practices

* Will Sony Xperia XZ Pro lose headphone jack? Dongle pictured in FCC docs
* B&H has LG G6+ for 25 percent off at $599.99
* Sprint HTC U11 getting Android Oreo update this week
* Moto X4 kernel on Android Oreo now on GitHub
* After a year of delays, cashier-less Amazon Go store to open Monday
* Lacking iPhone 6 Plus repair stock, iPhone 6s Plus units may be given out
* New Nokia flagship leaks with five camera lenses and Snapdragon 845

* Advocating for retired non-numbers
* Getting ready for Soxfest 2018
* White Sox seeking new flagship radio home
* Engel working to steady barrel in Year 2
* WLS parent company looking to end White Sox radio deal
* Inbox: Who replaces Rodon in the rotation?
* 2018 South Side Sox Hall of Fame Ballot

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
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

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