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Jim Nowlan - Legislators Project

Jim Nowlan began his career as a very young member of the Illinois legislature representing a conservative district in central Illinois from 1967 through January of 1973. His time in the legislature corresponded with the tumultuous events of 1968, the adoption of a state income tax and the state's acceptance of a new constitution. He left that world behind in 1973, returning in the late 1970s to help with several campaigns. For the rest of Nowlan's career, however, he has been thinking, teaching and writing about Illinois's politics, for which there is an inexhaustible supply of important topics to discuss. From 1995 to 2013 he was the Senior Fellow at the UIUC Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and since 2014 he has been a columnist, with his columns regularly appearing in many Illinois newspapers.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Touhy and Income Tax

Abstract

Interview Session 1 - Audio

Early life and years in the Illinois legislature from 1969-1973

Interview Session 2 - Audio

Thompson admin, Percy & John Anderson campaigns and teaching career

Interview Session 3 - Audio

Taxpayer Federation and Institute of Govt. and Public Affairs years

Interview Session 4 - Audio

Nowlan’s books and discussion on pensions, corruption, and redistricting

Interview Session 5 - Audio

Illinois’s economic decline, demographic and journalistic changes


Photos

Caption

A young Jim Nowlan sits at the linotype machine working on his father’s newspaper in Toulon.

Where:

Toulon, Illinois

When:

1960s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

A student of Bill Campbell, Jim’s friend and former 82nd Airborne Ranger, drew this cherished picture of Jim.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Nowlan is shown here campaigning in a Latinx neighborhood in Rock Island during the 1972 campaign of Ogilvie-Nowlan for governor and lieutenant governor.

Where:

Rock Island, Illinois

When:

1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

While in the last year of Edgar’s administration, Gov. Jim Edgar signed this photo of himself with Jim during a private dinner. Following Edgar’s time as governor, they worked together at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1998

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

This photo appeared in the the Peoria Journal-Star on April 13, 2003.  The caption read “Political guru Jim Nowlan peers out of the blinds from inside the Start County News, where he serves as editor and publisher in his boyhood home of Toulan.” 

Where:

Toulan, Illinois

When:

2003

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Jim holds up a portrait of Abraham Lincoln during an event at the county courtroom in Toulon.

Where:

Toulon, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Jim Nowlan makes a point during a meeting of a Stark County board meeting help in the county courthouse.

Where:

Toulon, Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

A photo of Jim Nowlan at the time he was publishing a local newspaper, the Stark County News.

Where:

Toulon, Illinois

When:

2010s

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.



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