* Kurt Erickson filed a FOIA request in an attempt to find out who in the governor’s office came up with the Squeezy the Pension Python idea. He had mixed results…
According to a review of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, “Squeezy the Pension Python” first appeared in an email exchange between top Quinn aides in mid-September.
It was kept under wraps for two months until the governor’s office unveiled his so-called “grass roots” education effort in November.
The records don’t show much else, however. The birth of “Squeezy” was apparently so secretive that Quinn’s attorneys blocked out information that might reveal exactly who came up with the concept.
We can tell you this: The first email to mention the name “Squeezy” came from one of Quinn’s longtime sidekicks: Claude Walker.
Walker served with Quinn during his days as state treasurer and rejoined his old boss in 2010 to head a new program designed to promote the state’s waterways. I dubbed Walker the state’s “canoe czar” and the name stuck. […]
Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the creation of “Squeezy” was a team effort.
Anderson then went on to throw former budget director David Vaught under the bus because Vaught used the term “squeeze” to describe the pension impact on the state budget.
* Shifting the cost of teachers’ pensions could lead to cuts
* Illinois’ really big fiscal crisis: infrastructure expenses: If Illinois’ enormous pension costs trouble your sleep, the even bigger tab for fixing the state’s infrastructure will keep you up all night. The crumbling highways, rail lines, bridges and water systems that underpin our economy will need more than $300 billion in repairs over the next 30 years, according to a report released by the Civic Federation of Chicago a few weeks ago. The figure is in line with estimates by other groups that have studied the issue.
* Whitley: Big policy issues facing state in 2013