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Sen. Mark Kirk sides with Rauner on pension bill

Monday, Dec 2, 2013

* As I told you before, one of US Sen. Mark Kirk’s top guys is now working for Bruce Rauner’s campaign. Keep that in mind when reading this hot off the presses statement from Sen. Kirk…

“The Illinois General Assembly shouldn’t pass a bill that neither lawmakers nor the voters have had time to read. What we do know is that this legislation relies heavily on accounting gimmicks, fails to prevent a permanent income tax hike, and falls short of finding the savings needed to solve Illinois’ fiscal crisis. There will be no federal bailout for the state of Illinois, so legislators must get this right.”

Almost nothing would ever provide “enough savings” for that faction. It’s just one more argument for delay.

But Kirk has some real sway within the GOP, so this is a fascinating development.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


30 Comments
  1. - WhoKnew - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    I thought the standard rule of thought was “We need to pass this Bill, so we can see what’s in it!!


  2. - PublicServant - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:30 am:

    Thanks Mark, for making my decision to vote for whoever is running against you so easy.


  3. - Demoralized - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    ==What we do know is that this legislation relies heavily on accounting gimmicks==

    So they are saying that the actuaries are wrong? Do they have something to back up that claim?


  4. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    I love the “time to read” dodge. To believe in that fantasy, you have to convince yourself that legislators read bills and not just the cheat sheets provided by staff.

    So Kirk’s on board with Rauner — too bad. Probably doesn’t want to get sideways with the GOP big-money boys who are on the Rauner train.

    Still, I imagine Sen. Kirk has enough to do carrying the water for the Likud Party in the Senate to get too involved with Illinois pensions.


  5. - Nonplussed - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:32 am:

    Hah. How many bills do GA members vote on that they have actually read? How many bills does the average voter read?

    I can’t wait until Rahm or Lisa take Kirk’s job.


  6. - walkinfool - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    Not much of a statement, in that all four claims are wrong in some way.

    What “accounting gimmicks?” Who claimed that this would prevent extending the current tax rates? The savings are substantial, but by definition never enough for some. Kirk’s constant refrain that “there will be no Federal bailout” is getting tiresome. Who’s asking for one?

    Pure political posturing.


  7. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    This whole episode just shows how little the Republican Party cares about the pension issue aside from its utility as a political weapon against Democrats.

    I mean I always suspected it was the case from a hypocrite like Rauner who got rich off public pensions and campaigns on eliminating them, but when you see the full Illinois GOP establishment apparatus joining in to prop up Rauner’s position it’s just so much more stark.


  8. - Wowser - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    Kirk must be losing his mind. People love to call him a “statesman”, what a joke. Pathetic. Go shill for Rauner and the super rich somewhere else, others are trying to fix this State.


  9. - Bobbysox - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 10:53 am:

    Kirk a moderate? My backside!


  10. - Third Reading - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 11:02 am:

    Representative Mark Kirk voted FOR the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 — the bailout of the big banks, General Motors, AIG, Fannie/Freddie, yada, yada.
    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/110-2008/h681

    Today, Senator Mark Kirk reaffirms: “There will be no federal bailout of Illinois.”

    Uh-huh.

    Be a handmaiden to the Big Money types who trashed our economy, and trash-talk the state you represent.

    Any inconsistency there, Senator?

    I’m outta here.


  11. - Mugwump - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Kirk also voted for Paul Ryan’s phony budget.


  12. - Belle - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 11:38 am:

    Maybe this is his way of announcing his retirement from gov’t and desire to become a lobbyist?


  13. - too obvious - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 11:46 am:

    Same question for Mark Kirk and Bruce Rauner, where is your bill?

    Obviously that’s a rhetorical question. They don’t have one. Only complaints.


  14. - Ahoy! - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    Maybe Kirk needs to focus his efforts in Washington since he’s a US Senator, it’s not like their going gang busters out there on solving problems.


  15. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 12:57 pm:

    As a US Senator that represents all of Illinois. Agree or not, I applaud the comment. Where’s his colleague that has the Super Majority in this state and 2/3 rd’s of Washington? Leadership ain’t easy…


  16. - Ahoy! - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 1:17 pm:

    Walter, being a sounding board for your billionaire buddy running for governor doesn’t necessarily constitute as leadership.


  17. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 1:35 pm:

    Ahoy… To be honest, I see your point. I applaud the stance. I actually am glad they are getting the ball rolling… The title actually should be agrees with Rauner and Rutherford… Again, I just applaud the leadership. Taking a stand. I am not surprised the “other” Senator is silent.. He’s probably signing up for healthcare… I am 20 years in.. I am the guy that they need to diminish… I didn’t make this mess..But I would rather know now…and not in 10 years…


  18. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 1:39 pm:

    And where does Senator Durbin stand on this?


  19. - Walter Mitty - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    Furthermore… I think I am leaning Rutherford… If he stops tweeting…But certainly, there is plenty to be hashed out…


  20. - anonymouse - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 2:20 pm:

    High Fives to Ahoy @ 12:04PM


  21. - 47th Ward - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    ===And where does Senator Durbin stand on this?===

    I’m pretty sure Durbin has decided that this issue is too important to be used to pander to one side or the other, especially since he won’t be called to vote on it. Kirk, on the other hand, is shamelessly inserting himself into this issue to pander to the plutocrats who bankroll his campaigns and the Tribune editorial board, which has become a satellite press office for him.


  22. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 4:01 pm:

    === I’m pretty sure Durbin has decided that this issue is too important to be used to pander to one side or the other ===

    Weighing in on an issue of this magnitude is hardly “pandering”. You are either going to upset a sizable contingent of voters no matter which side you come down on with this one.

    In reality, a Senator failing to weigh in on something this vital displays weak leadership and a lack of conviction, if anything.

    Otherwise, I look forward to him not “pandering” on the tax increase expiration, the state budget, state immigration policies, or virtually any other issue of consequence on the state level.

    After all, we wouldn’t want him “pandering” on hot topics.


  23. - 47th Ward - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 4:22 pm:

    ===Weighing in on an issue of this magnitude is hardly “pandering”.===

    But “weighing in” is not what Kirk is doing, is it? Isn’t he, as one of the leaders of his party, asking, nay urging, a no vote in the General Assembly? But why would any Republican, much less a Republican backed by Bruce Rauner and Eden Martin and other Commercial Clubbies, want to oppose the most meaningful, expansive and confiscatory pension reform bill ever to see the light of day in Springfield?

    That’s the pandering part. But you knew that already.


  24. - Anonymous - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 4:42 pm:

    So is the plan now to position Rutherford as the man of the People? Why does it seem that each time Mr. Kirk does something, it helps Mr. Rutherford?


  25. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 8:34 pm:

    === That’s the pandering part. But you knew that already. ===

    Hardly. It seems we are coming from different perspectives on this.

    Kirk has developed a reputation as a moderate, rational person on most issues. I approached this with the mentality that Kirk was stating what he believed on this issue.

    Important debates like this benefit from more voices, not fewer. Thus my belief that Kirk, Durbin and everybody else with an opinion or idea should express their take on this.

    Your view on this one seems equally possible, @47th Ward. Perhaps even more so. If this is indeed nothing more than crass pandering on the part of Senator Kirk, it would be most disappointing.


  26. - 47th Ward - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 8:45 pm:

    FKA, Kirk hitched his wagon to Bruce Rauner and John Tillman for reasons he alone knows. Now that the real GOP moderates have weighed in (see Big Biz post above), It’s clear to me that Kirk jumped in before he knew which way the winds were blowing. Look for him to walk back his full-throated opposition to this bill and then you’ll understand what I am talking about.


  27. - wordslinger - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 9:46 pm:

    I’m with 47. Kirk stepped on his johnson here. No way he wanted to get sideways with the business groups backing this. I suspect some staff people jumped the gun.


  28. - Think About It - Monday, Dec 2, 13 @ 9:51 pm:

    Senator Kirk has more than one staffer on leave and working for Rauner. It’s all about the money. Everyone wants a piece of it, and Rauner is happy to pass it out.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    @47th, @wordslinger, @Think About It

    I just want to say thanks for your feedback. You make very good points.

    Perhaps I am not cynical enough yet to see some things for what they really are from the beginning.


  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 3, 13 @ 4:13 pm:

    You might not be “cynical enough yet” Formerly Known As, but your 8:34 is some of the best Doublespeak I’ve read in a while.


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