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Bill Lipinski
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2005
Preceded by Marty Russo
Succeeded by Dan Lipinski
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Preceded by John G. Fary
Succeeded by Dan Rostenkowski
Personal details
Born William Oliver Lipinski
December 22, 1937(1937-12-22) (age 83)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Rose Lipinski
Children 3, including Dan

William Oliver Lipinski (born December 22, 1937) is an American politician who was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1983 to 2005, representing a district in Chicago.

Life and career[edit | edit source]

Pre-congressional career[edit | edit source]

He was born in Chicago, and was educated at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Lipinski served in the United States Army Reserve, and he was a public administrator with the Chicago Park District of the city of Chicago. In 1975, Mayor Richard J. Daley named him as the Democratic committeeman for Chicago's 23rd Ward, in the southwestern portion of the city—a post he still holds. In the same year, Lipinski was elected to the Chicago City Council as the alderman for the 23rd Ward.

Congressional career[edit | edit source]

In 1982, he challenged incumbent Democrat John G. Fary in the primary for Illinois's 5th congressional district, which included most of southwestern Chicago. He won largely by running up the totals in his city council district, and was handily elected in November.

Lipinski became the mentor of future City Clerk of Chicago, James Laski, who by 1988 had become chief-of-staff of the joint Democrat Service Office for the city's southwest side, and acted as a personal aid to Lipinski.[1]

Lipinski was reelected four times from the 5th Congressional District with almost no difficulty. After the 1990 census, however, his district was merged with the 3rd district, represented by a longtime friend, Marty Russo. Lipinski defeated Russo in the 1992 Democratic primary, mainly by running up his margins in the Chicago portion of the district—which is virtually coextensive with the 23rd Ward. This all but assured him of a sixth term. He was reelected five more times from this district, facing serious opposition only once, in 1994.

While in the House, Lipinski served on the Transportation Committee; his district included Midway Airport and also had more railroad crossings than any other district.[2]

Lipinski was conservative by national Democratic standards. He strongly opposed abortion,[3] and described himself as a staunch conservative on foreign policy.[4] He was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition of moderate and conservative congressional Democrats.

Lipinski endorsed Bill Bradley for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2000.[5]

During the 2004 election cycle, Lipinski initially placed his name on the ballot and easily won the primary election, which practically assured him of a 12th term in Congress. On August 13, 2004, however, Lipinski withdrew his name from the November 2 general election ballot, announcing that he would retire at the end of his 11th term, which expired on January 3, 2005. As the 23rd Ward committeeman, he was able to persuade state Democratic party leaders named his son, Dan Lipinski, a University of Tennessee professor, to replace him on the ballot. The district is so heavily Democratic that this move effectively handed the seat to the younger Lipinski, who still holds the seat today.

Lobbying career[edit | edit source]

In 2007, after leaving the House of Representatives, Lipinski opened a one-man lobbying firm.[6] In its first eight years, the firm was paid $4 million by clients with business before the House Transportation Committee: the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, BNSF Railway, and the Association of American Railroads.[6] Lipinski was an influential member of the Transportation Committee, and his son serves on the committee.[6] This was described as concerning by Public Citizen; the younger Lipinski says that his father has not lobbied him and has pledged not to do so.[6]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cut From Ward, Laski Sets Out On His Own; Davis, Robert; February 28, 1993; article; Chicago Tribune; retrieved October 2016'
  2. Barone, Michael; Richard E. Cohen; Charles E. Cook, Jr. (2001). The Almanac of American Politics 2002. Washington, D.C.: National Journal Group. pp. 511–513. ISBN 0-89234-099-1. 
  3. "Statement on abortion from archive of Lipinski's congressional site". Archived from the original on January 6, 2004. https://web.archive.org/web/20040106053724/http://www.house.gov/lipinski/abortion.htm. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  4. "Bio page from Lipinski's congressional site". Archived from the original on December 24, 2003. https://web.archive.org/web/20031224230936/http://www.house.gov/lipinski/biography.htm. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  5. Dao, James (1999-09-22) Moynihan to Endorse Bradley, Favoring Friend Over the Vice President, The New York Times
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Ex. Rep. Lipinski making millions from clients who go before son’s House committee, Chicago Sun-Times (October 25, 2015).

External links[edit | edit source]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John G. Fary
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th congressional district

January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1993
Succeeded by
Dan Rostenkowski
Preceded by
Marty Russo
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2005
Succeeded by
Dan Lipinski

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