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Former U.S. Sen. Dixon Recounts Days in Washington, Gives Advice to Current Lawmakers
Former U.S. Sen. Dixon Recounts Days in Washington, Gives Advice to Current Lawmakers

A former Illinois. U.S. Senator says the government is missing bipartisanship.

Former Sen. Alan Dixon’s (D-Ill.) new book, The Gentleman from Illinois, documents his time as a politician. He recalls a time when he was first elected to the U.S. Senate and Bob Dole was the leader of the Republican party and Dan Rostenkowski was head of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“They used to have me runnin’ back and forth between them, making all kinds of arrangements of things they could do to make the government work better,” Dixon said at a book signing in downtown Springfield. “We all talked in those days, we were friends and carried on in a way that was civilized.”

Dixon said lawmakers are not speaking to each other and do not get along today. He believes it’s caused a lot of problems when trying to work out big pieces of legislation.

Meanwhile, although much of his career was in Washington, Dixon still keeps track of the happenings under the dome at Second and Capitol. He said state lawmakers need to sit down and figure out how to fix the state’s $100 billion unfunded pension liability before things get worse.

“Look what’s happening to Detroit right now. That city, when I was a young man in the 50′s in politics, was one of the biggest cities in America. Now it has about 700,000,” said Dixon. “It’s in awful shape. [Illinois lawmakers] have got to work together somehow.”

You can hear an interview between Sen. Dixon and WTAX’s Ted Maguire by clicking play on the audio link below.