Drawing on his work as an aide in Governor Richard Ogilvie’s administration and as California Congressman George Miller’s first campaign manager, Phil O’Connor joined Gov. Jim Thompson's administration in 1977, soon working as his director of insurance. In 1982, O'Connor oversaw Thompson’s campaign against Adlai Stevenson III, helping to turn around the campaign. He then served as the chair of the Illinois Commerce Commission, where he strongly promoted deregulation of the utility industry before leaving the administration in 1985 for a career in the private sector.
First Political Act
Interview Session 01 (Audio)
California roots and learning the ropes in Illinois and California politics.
Interview Session 02 (Audio)
Governor Ogilvie’s 1972 campaign and assessing Gov. Thompson as a candidate.
Interview Session 03 (Audio)
Thompson’s 1982 campaign and the 1983 Chicago mayoral election.
Interview Session 04 (Audio)
Spreading the gospel of competition: O’Connor’s work at the Dept. of Insurance and IL Commerce Commission.