Bill Text: IL HR0350 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Mourns the passing of former Illinois State Representative and State Senator Don Totten.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Passed) 2019-05-07 - Resolution Adopted [HR0350 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-HR0350-Introduced.html

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2 WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of former
4Illinois State Representative and State Senator Don Totten, who
5passed away on April 2, 2019 at the age of 86; and
6 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten was born in Brooklyn, New York on
7April 30, 1945 and grew up in New Jersey; he earned a
8bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the
9University of Notre Dame; and
10 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten married his high school sweetheart
11Joyce Anderson, his wife of 63 years who preceded him in death
12last June; they began a life together that produced four
13children and grew to include seven grandchildren and one
14great-grandchild; and
15 WHEREAS, Their first daughter, Donna, died of leukemia at
16the age of 7; a longtime friend said this defining moment
17created Sen. Totten's remarkable affinity for people and his
18understanding of human suffering; and
19 WHEREAS, After he graduated from Notre Dame, Sen. Totten
20spent several years working as an engineer, but politics,
21informed by a love of the world's greatest thinkers stretching

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1back to Ancient Greece, soon became central in his life; and
2 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten began his political career as a
3Schaumburg Township Republican Committeeman; in 1972, he was
4elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, where he
5served eight years; he then served two years in the Illinois
6Senate; and
7 WHEREAS, During his tenure, Sen. Totten served on the
8Appropriations, Transportation, and Revenue Committees, and
9was the chief sponsor of the Taxpayers Rights Amendment, a
10constitutional amendment to limit state taxes; and
11 WHEREAS, In 1976, Sen. Totten was the Illinois and Midwest
12campaign director for then-presidential candidate Ronald
13Reagan, trying to unseat incumbent Republican President Gerald
14Ford as part of the grassroots army that thought the Nixon-Ford
15Administration had strayed too far into big government and too
16close to the Soviet Union; and
17 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten remained loyal to Ronald Reagan, and,
18in 1980, after serving again as presidential candidate Reagan's
19Illinois and Midwest campaign director, Reagan won the
20Republican nomination and eventually the White House; Sen.
21Totten's dedication led him all the way to President-elect
22Ronald Reagan's transition team; he was later appointed by

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1President Reagan to the International Joint Commission, a body
2that handles United States and Canadian affairs; and
3 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten was also chairman of the Cook County
4Republican Party; in 1982, he ran unsuccessfully, on the
5Republican side, for lieutenant governor, losing to the
6eventual governor, George Ryan; and
7 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten later founded and served as the
8national chairman for the American Legislative Exchange
9Council, a Washington-based organization of state lawmakers
10dedicated to the principles of limited government, free
11markets, and federalism; and
12 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten was also a member of the board of
13directors of the Illinois Conservative Union, former
14vice-chairman of the National Council of State Legislators,
15vice-president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, and
16chairman of the Illinois Tax Limitation Committee; and
17 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten also served as assistant to the
18director of the Department of Transportation for the State of
19Illinois and as president of a firm specializing in government
20relations, management, and political consulting; and
21 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten suffered for much of his life from

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1Bell's palsy, a condition that made the left side of his face
2droop, and while he was not known as a natural public speaker,
3he was one of the greatest listeners in politics, always eager
4to hear other's stories; and
5 WHEREAS, Sen. Totten was a strong believer in America and
6welcoming newcomers to this country, helping to inculcate them
7in the principles of the American Declaration of Independence
8and the United States Constitution; he took great pleasure in
9helping people navigate the immigration and citizenship
10process; therefore, be it
13we mourn the passing of former Illinois State Representative
14and State Senator Don Totten and extend our sincere condolences
15to his family, friends, and all who knew and loved him; and be
16it further
17 RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
18presented to his sister, Barbara Hellenack, and his children,
19Kathy Weber, Diane Faldstein, and Robert Totten.