Documentary Aims to Honor Tip O’Neill and Highlight the Difference with the Do-Nothing Congress

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“Mr. Speaker” co-creators, Tod O’Connor and Dimitri Logothetis, plan to focus on what is lacking in American politics today by telling the life story of legendary politician, Tip O’Neill.

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(Tip O'Neill is) the model of what a representative and a leader of the American people should be.

Believed to be one of the greatest political leaders of the 20th century, Tip O’Neill’s legacy deserves to be remembered. In the upcoming feature documentary, “Mr. Speaker,” co-creators Tod O’Connor and Dimitri Logothetis aim to do just that.

Although he was criticized for being an “old out of touch liberal,” his unwavering loyalty to the working class and his determination to bettering their lives helped him truly make a difference during his political career. Compared to today’s unproductive Congressional leaders, O’Neill’s 30+ years in Congress were some of the most influential and constructive in history.

Unlike the most recent Congresses, O’Neill’s years in Congress were some of the most productive in history. Between 2012 and 2013, the 112th and 113th Congress have passed only 76 laws between them, and are known as the “least productive Congress” since 1947. In O’Neill’s 34 years in Congress, the least amount of laws passed was 145 in 1981, which included President Reagan’s epic budget and tax legislation and the most was 638 in 1956.

The lack of camaraderie and respect among Members of Congress, the paucity of legislation addressing the major issues facing the American people, the tumultuous relationship between political parties highlight the vast difference between the generation of political leaders of O’Neill’s time and those currently serving in Congress today.

During his political career, O’Neill was one of the most outspoken and influential voices in American politics who followed his conscience rather than polls. From voting against the Loyalty oath as a first term member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives to his opposition to the Vietnam War as well as his role in former President Richard Nixon’s Watergate impeachment, O’Neill worked hard to make a difference. His determination and dedication to better the lives of the American people are not found in today’s politics. At the time of O’Neill’s death in 1994, the Speaker of the House at the time, Thomas S. Foley, called O’Neill, “the model of what a representative and a leader of the American people should be.”

The Tip O’Neill documentary, “Mr. Speaker,” could not come at a better time. The film will follow O’Neill through his life, the people and values that shaped his life, and the origin of his famous political philosophies from “All Politics is Local” to “People Like to be Asked." Not only will the documentary tell the story of one of the greatest American political leaders, it will also depict the difference between the generations of politicians and what is lacking today.

In order to make this feature documentary, creators Tod O’Connor and Dimitri Logothetis have brought their film to popular crowdfunding site, Kickstarter. With an initial goal of $44,000, the funds raised through the Kickstarter campaign will go towards the initial production of the documentary. To support the documentary, and help honor the legacy of Tip O’Neill, visit the “Mr. Speaker” Kickstarter page http://bit.ly/TipONeillKS, and share the project with family, friends and fellow Americans on Facebook and Twitter @MrSpeakerDoc.

About “Mr. Speaker”
Founder Tod O’Connor, a former staff member for Tip O’Neill, brought on filmmaker Dimitri Logothetis to co-produce and direct this documentary. Dimitri Logothetis has excelled in all genres ranging from dramas to action and thrillers. His documentary work is world-renowned,with his last documentary “MOMO: The Sam Giancana Story” having recently won the Best Featured Documentary in the Monaco Film Festival. To learn more about “Mr. Speaker,” head to http://bit.ly/TipONeillKS and connect on Facebook and Twitter @MrSpeakerDoc.

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Jessica Chesney
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