Michael Patrick Flanagan
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|Michael Patrick Flanagan|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 5th district
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997
|Preceded by||Dan Rostenkowski|
|Succeeded by||Rod Blagojevich|
November 9, 1962|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Alma mater||Loyola University Chicago (B.A., J.D.)|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||
Flanagan is best known for his victory over eighteen-term Congressman Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Rostenkowski in the 1994 United States midterm elections. His was one of fifty-four Republican victories in the House of Representatives that allowed the party to take control of both houses of Congress, as part of the Republican Revolution.
Early life and education
Flanagan was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 9, 1962, the second of five sons in a family of Irish-descent. He graduated from Lane Technical High School, and he earned a B.A. from Loyola University in 1984 and a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law in 1988. He served in the United States Army as a field artillery officer from 1984 to 1988 ( ), and 1991 to 1992 (during the Gulf War), achieving the rank of captain.
Flanagan was elected to represent the fifth district of Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994, defeating 18-term Congressman and former Ways and Means Committee chairman Dan Rostenkowski, becoming the first Republican to represent a significant portion of Chicago since 1975. Rostenkowski was under indictment during the election.
The election result was a considerable upset, considering that Flanagan was, according to the Chicago Tribune, "a political neophyte who was underfunded, understaffed and unknown." Due to his victory, Flanagan earned the nicknames of "the accidental congressman" and "the Rosty-slayer."
While a member of Congress, Flanagan served on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Government Reform Committee, and the Joint Committee on Telecommunications. He had a conservative record in the House, opposing abortion and gun control, while supporting the death penalty. He also condemned then-President Clinton's national healthcare plan for its government takeover of the healthcare system.
While the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune both endorsed Flanagan for reelection in 1996, he was regarded as a heavy underdog against the Democratic challenger, State Representative Rod Blagojevich. As expected, the district reverted to form; Blagojevich soundly defeated Flanagan, and Bill Clinton easily carried the district. Flanagan's loss was one of the 12 seats first-term Republican candidates lost in the 1996 election. Proving just how Democratic this district was and still is, no Republican has tallied more than 35 percent of the vote since Flanagan left office.
|1994||U.S. House||Michael Flanagan||Republican||54%||Dan Rostenkowski (inc.)||Democrat||46%|
|1996||U.S. House||Rod Blagojevich||Democrat||64%||Michael Flanagan (inc.)||Republican||36%|
Flanagan moved to Washington D.C. in 1999 and is currently the president of Flanagan Consulting LLC. He has been active in Illinois Boys State since 1979. Flanagan worked in Iraq for two years for the U.S. State Department, as part of team sent to help set up democratic institutions in the country.
This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.
- Schmich, Mary (November 9, 2014). "20 Years Later, a Talk With Chicago's 'Accidental Congressman'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- "FLANAGAN, Michael P". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved May 26, 2016.
- Langer, Adam (October 27, 1994). "Running Against Rosty". Chicago Reader. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
- GOP Targets Dem 'Scandal Babies', by Will Schultz, Time.com, July 8, 2008. Accessed August 30, 2008.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 17, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
- Flanagan Consulting, LLC: Michael P. Flanagan Archived 2007-07-03 at the Wayback Machine., Flanagan Consulting LLP. Accessed August 30, 2008.
- 2008 Illinois Boys State Yearbook
- United States Congress. "Michael Patrick Flanagan (id: F000187)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Michael P. Flanagan at Flanagan Consulting LLC
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 5th congressional district
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1997