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How’s that grassroots thing going, Governor?

Friday, Oct 12, 2012

* August 20, 2012

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to start a campaign to boost support for changes to state pension systems. Quinn has been in campaign mode for months, repeatedly bringing up to the media and legislators the importance of tackling the state’s massively underfunded pension system. […]

“We’ve gotta, I think, activate the taxpayers,” Quinn told reporters Friday.

Quinn said he’s starting a grassroots campaign, which will put pressure on lawmakers in a way that hasn’t been used yet.

“If they can’t do it on their own, we’re gonna help them do it with the people of Illinois,” Quinn said.

* August 22, 2012

Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday that he’ll wait until next month to debut his so-called grassroots campaign raising awareness about Illinois’ pension problem, a move that comes days after lawmakers failed to come up with a plan to overhaul the massively underfunded system.

* September 8, 2012

The governor shed some light on his so-called grassroots campaign to reform the state’s pension system at a Saturday morning stop in Decatur that was unrelated to his visit to unveil “The Portrait of a Soldier” exhibit at the Decatur Public Library.

While details remain vague, Quinn said he hopes to use the Internet and social media to inform people on the issue and to rally people to contact their lawmakers. […]

Quinn said he will be meeting with legislative leaders within the next two weeks to lay groundwork for pension reform before he moves on with the campaign.

That meeting never happened, by the way.

* September 11, 2012

Anyone wondering what Gov. Pat Quinn might do to rally support for an overhaul of the state’s pension systems need look no further than the governor’s own website.

Quinn, who says he is planning to launch an Internet-based grassroots pension lobbying effort in the coming weeks, already has a web page dedicated to the cause.

* September 12, 2012

[Quinn’s] spokesperson, however, said the page has been up since the spring session, so, no, this is not part of the new plan.

* Yesterday, October 11th, Gov. Quinn was asked about his pledge to activate the grassroots on pension reform. His response…

“Well, we, uh, we’re working on a very good program, I think, that will involve the people of Illinois in this mission.”

* Quinn then went on one of his classic rambles…

“Because the real issue is we want to have proper resources for the education of these little boys and girls who are just in pre-school, and now they’re in grammar school, they’re going to be going to middle school and then to high school and ultimately to college, community college and a four-year university…”

Whew. Get all that?

* Quinn never again mentioned his grassroots activation plan, but he did say this…

“We’ve talked to a lot of legislators. I think we’re going to do pretty well once the election comes and goes.”

Talking to legislators is smart. Lay some groundwork for a change. Promising a “grassroots” campaign you can’t deliver? Not so good.

* Raw audio of the question and the governor’s answer…

- Posted by Rich Miller        


24 Comments
  1. - Newsclown - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:14 am:

    Perhaps Quinn will recruit the Anonymous kids from 4chan to haxxorz the legislature?


  2. - OneMan - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:17 am:

    We are working on a very good program….

    Yep gonna have a facebook page and everything…


  3. - Fight for the JRTC - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    I hear that the Governor’s grassroots campaign even has its own twitter hashtag, #RememberThe26%.


  4. - geronimo - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    Maybe he’s been smoking the grass


  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    Oh Ye of little faith………….


  6. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    OneMan, don’t forget the Twitter component as well.


  7. - Anon - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 11:30 am:

    I think he is going to use the result of the vote for Constitutional Amendment 49 as his grass roots campaign. He doesn’t have to do much and he can spin it as the will of the people wanting the legislature to do something about pension reform.


  8. - Leatherneck - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:20 pm:

    Maybe the drought has something to do with the lack of the “grass-roots” plan.


  9. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    Do we know what election PQ is referring to? 2020 maybe?


  10. - Emily Booth - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    If Quinn truly wants to be “grassroots”, he should walk the state of Illinois like Dan Walker.


  11. - Crime Fighter - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    Maybe he could get the rich folks lawn service people to wage his “grass roots” campaign against the group of lower-middle class workers that he employes.


  12. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    What are the grassroots supposed to do, anyway? Tell their legislators…. what? Is there some agreed-upon game plan?

    Am I to understand that teachers, cops, firefighters, etc., are not invited to the grassroots party? Because they might have some ideas of their own.


  13. - Michelle Flaherty - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Kelly can’t leave to run the Sox stadium until she gets the grassroots thingy done.


  14. - truthteller - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 12:59 pm:

    Given Quinn’s poll numbers, the more noise he makes about cutting pensions, the safer pensions will be. Teachers and state workers should pay for a state tour for Quinn. Remember when George Bush campaigned to cut social security at the beginning of his second term? The more he campaigned, the less popular his program became.


  15. - Skeptic Tank - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    I always thought grassroots really means either enthusiastic young people rallying around a fresh new face or union workers who are voluntold to show up for something. Gov. Quinn has neither.


  16. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 2:09 pm:

    Maybe he will hire Dick Ingram.


  17. - state worker - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    Do you ever get tired of Quinn’s choice of words? It’s like he’s speaking to a group of 1st graders.


  18. - soccermom - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Skeptic — I never heard “voluntold” before. (I don’t get out much.) Nice. Useful.


  19. - Judgment Day - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 2:33 pm:

    Maybe we should start sending Pat Quinn small baggies full of grass seed. Hey, we’re just trying to help jumpstart your ‘grassroots’ movement.

    Nah, better not. They’d probably call in the Postal Inspectors over the sending ‘hazardous materials’ through the US mail. Those people got no sense of humor.

    I GOT IT! How about sending chunks of sod to the Governor’s office to encourage them with their ‘grassroots’ movement. If we send enough, they could probably setup a small putting green in the Governor’s office.

    This could work….


  20. - Siobhan Sharpe - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    Judgment Day — I oppose your “sod the governor” campaign.


  21. - Judgment Day - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    At least he’d be trending toward going ‘Green’…..


  22. - zatoichi - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 3:36 pm:

    Grassroots - playing the Budweiser tent next State Fair. ‘In my midnight confessions
    When I tell all the world that I love you…’


  23. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 3:49 pm:

    Don’t activate the taxpayer too often, Pat.

    You can go blind.


  24. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 12, 12 @ 4:35 pm:

    –Don’t activate the taxpayer too often, Pat.

    You can go blind.–

    LOL, and the priests and nuns told my Catholic pals that it was activating something different.

    And you could get warts, too.


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