They had to be the oddest of couples — Andy Dillon, the contemplative, straight-as-an-arrow scion of a Wayne County judge, and Jerry Rubin, the shaggy, larger-than-life member of the Chicago Seven.
But there they were, “running tables” together in New York City nightclubs in 1985. The 23-year-old Notre Dame grad was working as a financial analyst for W.R. Grace when he happened to be invited to Rubin’s house for a party. He hit it off with the founder of the Yippie movement, almost a quarter-century his senior, and the two began a “brief business venture,” as Dillon now describes it. After a few months, he quit, since he had already committed to work as an aide in Washington for then-U.S. Sen. Bill Bradley, the Ivy League Democrat from New Jersey.
“But I made more money than I did at W.R. Grace,” the now-Democratic speaker of the Michigan House reveals with a chuckle. “I didn’t know the whole story until it had taken off.”
The whole story, of course, is how Rubin, along with other ’60s radicals like Abbie Hoffman and Michigan’s Tom Hayden, were arrested after the bloody Democratic National Convention riots in 1968. After a theatrical trial (during which Rubin gave the judge a Nazi salute and shouted, “Heil, Hitler!”) he was acquitted of all charges. Rubin had since become a successful entrepreneur, but he maintained that outlaw persona.
“That’s not on my résumé,” Dillon adds, shooting a grin at Dan Farough, his media coordinator, during an interview this month. “There. That’s something no one knows about me.”
Farough’s face blanched slightly. “And now everyone will know in the pages of [Dome],” he murmurs with halting joviality, while moving to quickly wrap things up.