* Bloomberg has an interesting piece about last week’s pension reform bill vote which focuses on opposition by southern Illinois Republicans…
“I wasn’t going to ask them to walk the plank politically,” [House Republican Leader Jim Durkin] said. “I erased them from the equation. They have a lot of Republican union members down in those districts.”
Thirty-three of those 54 counties south of Interstate 72 lost population in the last census. In some legislative districts in the region, government jobs represent 20 percent of the employment, according to Rob Paral and Associates, a Chicago-based research group that analyzes census data.
“In some of those districts, the state is the major employer,” Durkin said. “That’s part of the problem.”
In the region, 50 of the counties went for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.
Illinois isn’t unique in this regard. In fact, counties with higher proportions of local and state government workers as a share of their total workforce skewed toward Romney last year, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Among the roughly nine in 10 counties where data was available, local and state workers represented 14.2 percent of workers on average. Romney won 81 percent of the counties above that level.
* And here’s a related and very interesting nugget from Greg Hinz…
I think Mr. Rauner’s would-be peers in Springfield learned something about his style last week—particularly when, after pretty much accusing the GOP leadership of selling out to unions with “an insider deal crafted behind closed doors,” he showed up at Mr. Durkin’s fundraiser as if nothing had happened. Just bidness, I guess.
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* Tom Cross: Why I voted against pension reform bill
* Erickson: Different perspectives on pension reform votes
* Finke: Illinois pension reform ain’t over yet
* Brady pleased with media reaction to his pension reform vote