This book describes a history of scandal and accomplishment. Although serious scandal erupted in Illinois governor Richard Ogilvie's administration - eight hundred thousand dollars mysteriously turning up in secretary of state Paul Powell's hotel room closet, the downfall of two supreme court justices for questionable stock dealings, corruption surrounding the Illinois State Fair - Ogilvie's accomplishments, as Taylor Pensoneau demonstrates, rank him among the best governors in Illinois history. Perhaps the most important of Ogilvie's accomplishments during his single term in office (1969-73) was the passage of the state's first income tax in 1969. Supporting the income tax took political courage on the part of the new governor, but in doing so he saved the financially crippled state from economic disaster. He also looked far into the future; at a time when few people expressed concern with the environment, Ogilvie created an exemplary and hard-hitting antipollution program. He was in office during the Illinois Constitutional Convention in 1970 and was instrumental in the widespread restructuring of Illinois government. Viewing Ogilvie as a pivotal figure in Illinois politics during a time of great social and political turmoil, Pensoneau provides a complete political biography. He sheds light on Ogilvie's military heroics, his political career, and the Illinois elections of 1968, 1970, and 1972.
Taylor Pensoneau, retired president of the Illinois Coal Association, spent twelve years as the Illinois political correspondent for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. During this time, he covered the administrations of five governors, including that of Richard Ogilvie. Pensoneau has written several books on Illinois politics and history.