More Memories on McHenry County’s State Rep. Tom Hanahan

This time from former State Rep. Penny Pullen (R-Park Ridge).

The Chicago Tribune obituary concentrated on the opposition of former State Representative Tom Hanahan (D-Johnsburg) to the Equal Rights Amendment.

I asked, Penny Pullen, the Republican leader of the opposition to the ERA, to jot down a few thoughts and here they are,

“When Illinois was besieged by the radical feminists, demanding that the Illinois House vote over and over again (something like 13 times!) on the so-called Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution, it was Rep. Tom Hanahan who marshaled the votes on the Democrat side.  

“Though we had little else in common — he being a union Democrat and I being a pro-business Republican — we did share the cause of protecting the family, the Constitution and the sovereignty of the states in our opposition to the ERA.

“We used to meet clandestinely in a little-traveled corner on the south side of the second floor of the state capitol to swap ERA vote counts on our respective sides of the partisan aisle. 

“Tom had very little use for radical feminist types (like the female legislators who sponsored ERA and by the very fact that they had attained positions of leadership in government proved that ERA was unnecessary for the fulfillment of women!).  

“It was he who circulated on the House floor a hilarious color poster showing a woman lined up with the men at a public restroom’s urinals; the radical fems were flabbergasted. 

“It was also he who referred to their pals in the sisterhood (also known as the ERA lobby) as ‘brain-less, bra-less broads,’ in House debate, no less! 

“Flamboyant, cheerful, funny and thoroughly settled in his beliefs, Tom Hanahan was one of a kind and literally contributed to the history not only of Illinois but of this country.”

My memories are here and here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.