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Squeezy ain’t exactly in good company

Monday, Nov 26, 2012

* “Pensions and Investments” writes about Squeezy the Pension Python

“It’s designed to be edgy and bring attention to the pension squeeze,” Brooke Anderson, spokeswoman for the governor, said of the video. “It’s designed to provide information about how Illinois found itself in the pension squeeze and what’s at stake.”

State Rep. Darlene Senger, a member of the state House Personnel and Pensions Committee, said the grass-roots campaign will not accomplish anything in the next few days, and the governor did not do voters justice in his method of explaining the problem.

The pension issue is “complicated the way it is and not something I find to be cartoonish,” said Ms. Senger. “It’s a serious business … and to make fun of it or dumb it down … I don’t think it’s appropriate.”

* And the Rockford Register Star rewrites history

One of the few things former governor and current convict Rod Blagojevich got right was warning that the pension situation was a catastrophe waiting to happen. He said he would “fight like hell” to ensure pension reform.

A few months after he made that declaration, lawmakers voted to skip that year’s pension payment. Blagojevich didn’t put up enough of a fight.

Um, Rod loved that idea. He took all the credit for it.

* But all the talk about Squeezy got me to thinking before the Thanksgiving break about some other goofy, dumbed-down, patronizing and ultimately failed ad campaigns. For instance, who could forget the Andy McKenna “hair” ads?

* And then there was the IL GOP’s “Madiganville” push

That campaign was retooled to a “Fire Madigan” message

Which, like with the Squeezy push, also included a mascot

* Adam Andrzejewski rolled out a Lincoln super hero to little affect

* Ty Fahner’s “Illinois is Broke” campaign used a different version of Abe

* And no such list would be complete without the infamous Jim Oberweis helicopter ad

* These campaigns all share a single attribute: They oversimplified issues to the point where people wouldn’t take them seriously. The governor’s office says that since people are talking about Squeezy, their mission is accomplished. And, indeed, it has prompted a few editorials about pension reform, but those don’t mean much in all the clutter.

The governor enters the veto session and the lame duck session desperately needing to appear like a serious leader. This just doesn’t help…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    I wonder …

    Andy McKenna - the Best ILGOP Chair. Ever. No one used the Chaimanship to their own advantage better …except for the losing the primary part …

    Are they going to update that Madiganville website? It’s pretty cute… for a 1 trick pony … it’s cute… and if it worked… then …

    Where are my “Irrelevent Leaders” posters and coffee mugs? Is there a back-order on “Golf, Tom, Golf” Golf shirts?

    “Are you sure ALL the interns are going to be the leprechan? You know my (insert family status) is (insert clout here)”

    Lincoln is either “broke” or a “superhero”… have you ever MET a broke superhero? Think about THAT… I give you Spider-Man … discuss.

    When Senator-Elect Oberweis used that helicopter, was it Adam’s? Will the Senator-Elect be in the GA long enough to hang pictures on the wall before campaigning again, as a “real” elected official? I have my Oberweis/McSweeney ‘14 Yard Sign at the ready …

    I was hoping to hear if “Sonny the Sock” or Paulie the Pizza” whould get a call from the Bull Pen. Nothing. “Danjo the File Folder” still makes me sigh.

    And still … I wonder…

  2. - siriusly - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    I am refraining from making any more Squeezy jokes. I’m starting to like the scaly little guy. I’m really hoping the concession stand in the Capitol sells some Squeezy plush toys.

  3. - RetiredStateEmployee - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    Maybe some bobble heads…

  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    –“It’s designed to be edgy and bring attention to the pension squeeze,”–

    Juvenile is not “edgy.”

  5. - J - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    So, maybe the Governor made Squeezy ridiculous on purpose.

    He’s going to solve our pension problems through merchandising.

  6. - State Worker - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    How about a new mascot “Sleazy the Pension stealing Politician”

  7. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:03 pm:

    Retired, you get those bobble heads going, and AA is in for 2.

  8. - 47th Ward - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:10 pm:

    It ain’t easy being Squeezy.

  9. - OneMan - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:13 pm:

    Bobble heads might be a challenge…

    This is doable

  10. - Fan of the Game - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:29 pm:

    Easy Peasy Pension Squeazy

  11. - freezeup - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    The image of the capitol house being squeezed seems inaccurate somehow.

  12. - Lil Squeezy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    770 likes so far. They should have a squeezy tracker, like weather anchors have for Santa Claus. Squeezy could travel the state squeezing everything from schools to parks.

  13. - shore - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:33 pm:

    Oswego, McKenna invested a lot of family money and time into his campaigns for not much. I’m not sure what he got out of it other than a place on a Bush admin defense-science advisory board and some stories for his kids to tell mckenna’s in 2050. I also don’t think he ever won a general election nomination.

    Some of these do work. George Allen used football in pretty much everything he did and it got him all the way to what looked like a presidential bid until his maccaca mouth derailed him. This is a vintage dana milbank column on it.

  14. - TJ - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:44 pm:

    Say you want about either party’s fiscal ideas, graphic designers have to love them because, clearly, there’s plenty of work to go around designing their ridiculous mascots for this nonsense.

  15. - grand old partisan - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    The anti-Madigan campaigns are ineffective for many reasons, not the least of which is that the “call-to-action” is so indirect. 99% of Illinois voters will never see a ballot with Mike Madigan’s name on it. It’s too inside baseball.

    Squeezy is similarly misdirected. The capitol dome is not a symbol that folks identify with – no one cares if a giant cartoon snake crushes it. If anything, the snake should be squeezing an outline of the state, or the wallets of taxpayers.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    ===Oswego, McKenna invested a lot of family money and time into his campaigns for not much. I’m not sure what he got out of it other than a place on a Bush admin defense-science advisory board and some stories for his kids to tell mckenna’s in 2050. I also don’t think he ever won a general election nomination.===

    My point was as Chairman, it appeared after deciding to run, the only reason McKenna wanted to be Chairman was to RUN for Governor, and while the focus was on himself, the ILGOP continued its downward spiral. McKenna never got out of the Guv Primary, so I guess we all got what we deserved, including McKenna

    It’s not about the money of the run, but we in the ILGOP being duped, and then after duping all of us, McKenna STILL couldn’t win the primary.

  17. - geronimo - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    As for Sleazy the Pension Stealing Politician, the character should be Ty Fahner’s Abe Lincoln, with pockets out turned, money by the millions flowing out………or should it just be Ty? By the way, how much did those ads cost him?

  18. - AC - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    Squeezy provided much needed comic relief, and for that I am thankful.

  19. - Dee Lay - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    Hey Rich -
    What’s the line on pension reform actually happening in this veto session versus gaming expansion?

  20. - Dirty Red - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:29 pm:

    Brooke’s next line will be something to the effect of how Capitol Fax has posted Squeezy on its blog more than the photo of Aaron Schock.

    Wow. I guess the guv’nah has lost on two fronts with this campaign now.

  21. - Sgtstu - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 1:56 pm:

    “Sleazy the Pension stealing Politician” Good one State Worker !!! Nothing but the truth.

  22. - Shemp - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 2:40 pm:

    Oversimplification? I think that’s required just for the General Assembly, let alone the “average” citizen.

    How do you debate the use of Entry Age Normal Cost actuarial method vs. Projected Unit Cost? A discussion of smoothing techniques and actuarial value vs. market value? Methodology for projecting rate of return? Proper funding ratios and time to meet them?

    If our own G.A. doesn’t get it, how do you not oversimplify for the masses?

  23. - Anonymour - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    We never did find out from Squeezey just how the State Capitol tasted.

  24. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 3:29 pm:

    Squeezey for Governor!

  25. - Schelookalikamann - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 4:18 pm:

    Did “Pensions and Investments” really interview Darlene Senger about this? My opinion towards Pensions and Investments has seriously taken a dive. Why Cross appointed her the HGOP lead on pension reform shows you how little Leader Cross understands the issue himself.

    Although I think the Squeezy campaign is silly, I don’t know why she is so offended by it. Most taxpayers that think they understand this issue don’t, and even remedial education as provided by the Squeezy campaign is the type of stuff most people don’t get as it relates to this issue. Typically GOP response, nothing the Governor or the legislative Democrats do is ever acceptable in their eyes. Unless, of course that includes the HDEMS preparing questions and answers for republicans (like senger) on bi-partisan legislation so that the HGOP sounds like they have a clue.

  26. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 4:44 pm:

    Dear ILGOP,

    In spite os this lunacy, you’re still going to have to come up with someone not as rightwing as Brady to get my vote.

  27. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 4:55 pm:

    Dear - Cheryl44 -,

    You must not be paying attention.

    We in the ILGOP do not care to court Women or Latinos or our own GOP voters who decide to NOT vote.

    We have Irrelevent Leader Christine (Jo Galloway) Radogno, who believes, although she is NOT saying its because she is a woman, the Irrelevent Leader thinks she, being Irrelevent, should be enough to get YOUR vote, but she is NOT, to be clear, NOT, playing the gender card.

    Leave your phone number and we will call you and 4 million other numbers to change your mind, all the while ignoring issues you may care about or do anything remotely close to a GOTV Election Day.


    Today’s ILGOP.

    p.s. - Remember, the SGOP has a woman as their Irrelevent Leader, so maybe you should think about that. No, seriously, that is the reason, gender, but she not saying that, honest.

  28. - Paul Lyin - Monday, Nov 26, 12 @ 5:54 pm:


    What if I told you we are planning to sit and point fingers, criticize the democrats, offer no realistic solutions, continue to do the bidding of the Tribune Editorial Board and the Commercial Club, empower the wrong type of leadership, continue to alienate the moderates, and demonize public employees. Is that a platform you might be interested in?

  29. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Nov 27, 12 @ 12:06 pm:

    LOL Paul Lyin!

    All true, which makes your comment both truthful and funny..

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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