Phil Rock's new book proves Illinois' big issues just stay the same

December 12, 2011

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(Getty/Whitney Curtis)
Illinois Senate chambers, during the impeachment trial of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich

A casino for Chicago, private school vouchers, mounting deficits and doomsday budgets. Those are big topics in the Illinois legislature these days. And they were just as big almost two decades ago when Philip J. Rock was president of the state Senate.

The Democrat from Chicago – and later Oak Park – is out with a new book. Now 74 years old, Rock wrote Nobody Calls Just to Say Hello with Ed Wojcicki, an assistant chancellor at the University of Illinois in Springfield and former publisher of Illinois Issues magazine.

WBEZ’s Sam Hudzik talked with Wojcicki about Rock's relationships with former Gov. Jim Thompson, former state senator and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, House Speaker Mike Madigan and the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon. First, they talked about what kind of leader Rock was when he ruled the Illinois Senate, from 1979 to 1993.

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