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*** UPDATED x3 *** The best stuff is at the bottom - AFSCME, Brady respond

Wednesday, Jul 7, 2010

* Most Illinois news outlets don’t appear to have run the full Associated Press story on the pay raises handed out by Gov. Pat Quinn to his staff. Some led with Bill Brady’s response

The Republican candidate for Illinois governor says the pay raises Gov. Pat Quinn gave his staff show the Democrat is incapable of solving the state’s budget problems.

Some led with Quinn’s own defense

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is defending pay raises given to his staff even though the state is awash in debt.

* But drill down into the full AP story, and you’ll see that most of Quinn’s explanations don’t hold up. For instance

Quinn also claimed he’d reduced staff by 10 positions in the governor’s office. […]

[But] payroll records show 124 employees in the governor’s office and budget office in May, compared to 125 in July 2009 and 122 in February 2009, just after Quinn took office.

Yesterday, Quinn said he’d cut his budget by 25 percent…

“…the overall budget of the governor’s office is 25 percent lower than it was when I was sworn in.”


Quinn’s proposed spending plan had a 10 percent increase in the budget office this year, documents show.

And what about total payroll? The AP found something quite different than what Quinn was claiming…

The overall payroll for the governor’s staff and his budget office was slightly lower in May than last July - $123,000 less, or just under 2 percent, according to state payroll records.

And, of course, there’s the traditional hiding of payroll in other agencies….

But other records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that dozens of employees reporting to the governor’s office are paid by other agencies under Quinn’s control.

So, we really don’t know yet whether this was an actual cut or an increase. Since the AP’s crack reporter John O’Conner is on the case, I’m assuming there will be at least one follow-up.

* Meanwhile, Fox Chicago reporter Mike Flannery is outraged over AFSCME’s union contract

More than 40,000 unionized state workers got a pay raise last Thursday, bringing to 7 percent the amount they’re gotten since last year. These same state employees are in line for another 7 percent by next July 1st, all at a cost of a half-billion tax dollars a year.

It’s more than the virtually bankrupt state can afford, and some Republican lawmakers say the raises need to be rolled back.

“I’m outraged,” said State Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno. “It’s very difficult to buy this rhetoric that, ‘We need to borrow, we need increased revenue,’ when these kind of poor management decisions are going on.”

Governor Pat Quinn points out that the got the union members to defer 2 pecent of their scheduled raises temporarily until 2011, and the union also agreed to help the state find $70 million in health care savings.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Gov. Quinn was on Chicago Tonight last night to explain his raises and his budget. Watch

*** UPDATE 2 *** AFSCME responds to the Fox Chicago report…

As informed watchers of state government, Capitol Fax blog readers know that last night’s Fox News report was incomplete, misleading and disingenuous. It lumped together nearly four years of pay increases for frontline state workers, but failed to provide that context.

The cost of those increases over four years is about 2 tenths of 1 percent of all state spending–that is, 2 pennies on every 100 dollars the state spends. And even that is an overstatement, since Fox also failed to note that state employees are paying more for health insurance over the same period, and that thousands are taking unpaid furlough days to help the state save money.

Finally, Fox neglected to mention that Illinois has the nation’s fewest state employees per capita. Manufactured controversies like this misinform the public and insult the men and women of state government who care for the disabled, aid the unemployed, prevent child abuse, analyze crime-scene evidence, keep our prisons safe, and perform all the other essential services Illinois residents rely on every day.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From Bill Brady…

“This morning, working families in Illinois woke up to learn that Governor Quinn is doling out massive pay raises as high as 24 thousand dollars to political cronies on his own staff, while the rest of us are tightening our belts, struggling just to get by.

I believe pay hikes for state government executives during a fiscal crisis is outrageous, but Governor Quinn? He defends his executive pay hikes, telling viewers on Chicago Tonight, “…that’s how it works.”

Well Governor, feathering the nests of your own political cronies while working families are just scraping by is NOT how government should work. If Pat Quinn is serious about controlling state spending, he should immediately enact a wage freeze on state government payroll, and reverse his pay hikes for his executive staff today.”

* Related and a roundup…

* Quinn responds to ABC7 report on state money

* Fair warning

* Quinn gives staff big raises

* Governor Gives Staff Salary Raises

* Judge: Ousted IDOT workers filed suit too late

* DuPage schools keeping eye on strike

* Landmark Law Requires All Rape Kits to be Tested

* New law requires police to have rape kits analyzed

* Quinn signs law on sex-crime evidence

* Don’t Buzz Me: Illinois cracks down on driving too close to cyclists

* Our View: New bike law makes sense

* Minimum wage hike good for workers

* Southern Illinoisan: In Illinois, we ‘go to the hat’ too often

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:40 am:

    Not to worry, Quinn says he always does everything right, so nobody has to look too closely.

  2. - George - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    Just curious…

    Wouldn’t the proper comparison be to the end of November 2009? You know… before the arrests and resignations of top staff?

    And was the February 2009 number from before or after he came in and fired a bunch of staffers?

  3. - Joe from Joliet - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:44 am:

    “Just say anything and voters will believe.”

    Quinn is simply following the Blagojevich mantra. If it worked for that idiot it can work for Quinn, too.

  4. - Whitney democrat - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:46 am:

    The budget staff has been lecturing agencies about the need for shared sacrifice. How will they be able to keep up the show. Not only have they made sure to take care of themselves but thier so called cuts do nothing to manage the real deficeit.

  5. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:47 am:

    The Union and the state both signed the contract calling for the raises. The Union allowed for the deferrment of 2 1% raises, it all comes due July 1, 2011. Once again the state just put off later rather than paying their current bills.

    The state needs to STOP agreeing to contracts if they cannot pay for them. But 7% is still MUCH less than the 20% the Gov gave to his staff.

    By the way…..What Percentage raise did the Legislature get this year? And Next?

  6. - Reality Is - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    The raises will amount to 7% over a two year period. This averages out to 3.5% a year. I am not sure if that is something ot be outraged about.

  7. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:50 am:

    The problem is not with AFSCME, it is with the state government people who negociate contracts with AFSCME. These are contracts that are open ended until signed. There was nothing the State of Illinois couldn’t do within reason during contract talks. The problem was that the State failed to negociate a good contract for Illinois taxpayers.

    This moaning by critics isn’t very adult. Many of them have five year loans on the cars they drive. When they made their decision regarding financing of the car they selected, they agreed to how much they would pay. Would they be empathetic to those who complain about their monthly car payments? Would they be empathetic if they discover that the complainer contacted the bank and renegociated with it in order to get helped out, and are now complaining once again? Of course they wouldn’t!

    We have a long history of contract laws that effect a lot of what we do daily. We negociate contracts on our homes, cars, roads, group purchases, supplies, and much more, including labor.

    These are contracts. These are deals. If the State of Illinois told AFSCME during the next contract talks that they will offer no raises that would be an option for them to negociate. If the State told AFSCME during the next contract talks that they will offer pay cuts for the currently employed, they may do so at that time.

    Both parties had to use a crystal ball to determine what our economy was going to do and be able to support over the life of each contract. The current contract sucks for Illinois taxpayers. It is the fault of the State of Illinois, not AFSCME.

    I expect someone with half a brain representing the State of Illinois during the next AFSCME union contract talks ensuring that the State contract reflect our economic reality. Until that time, we need to stop seeing public servants and their unions as scapegoats to hold up everytime we get in a fiscal jam.

  8. - George - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:54 am:

    Additionally, how much of this was raises vs. how much of this was promotions?

    It seems like the article lumps everything into one concept as a raise (one article about a significant raise for an individual that actually sounded to me like a promotion).

    It seems like there has been a lot of turnover, and we know Quinn’s preference for elevating his own staffers to high positions, so it would seem proper reporting would distinguish.

  9. - George - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    Wouldn’t the proper comparison be to the end of November 2009? You know… before the arrests and resignations of top staff?

    Obviously…. I meant November 2008. Haha

  10. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:56 am:

    - we really don’t know yet whether this was an actual cut or an increase. -

    If it turns out to be a cut, are people still going to whine because they hear the word raise? Probably.

  11. - CircularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:57 am:

    Quinn got the union to defer most of the raise
    Have Flannery and the Senate Minority Leader been snoozin for the last six months or what??
    Let’s check with NoTaxRushmore and Daddy’s Little Deduction
    BTW is looked for bills to cancel the contract sponsored by StateWideTom and The Senate Minority leader…zip sero nada

  12. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:58 am:

    - and we know Quinn’s preference for elevating his own staffers to high positions -

    As opposed to what? Do you think previous governors picked their high level people from a hat or something?

  13. - George - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    As opposed to what? Do you think previous governors picked their high level people from a hat or something?

    Might have been better than what Blago’s strategy apparently was…

  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 10:59 am:

    “I am not sure if that is something ot be outraged about”

    So the state is broke but employees still get raises! Also tell that to the merit comp employees who got nothing.

  15. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:01 am:

    In a thread from yesterday, I posted this sobering analysis of the costs of public employee compensation, and the effects unions have on those costs. Fascinating reading:

  16. - Reality Is - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:07 am:

    Anonymous, there arent that many merit comp employees left. Besides they knew what to expect when they accepted merit comp positions. Now that SPSA’s have started to unionize that number will get even smaller.

  17. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    Cincinnatus - If I agree to believe everything the Cato institute publishes, will you agree to believe everything the Sierra Club publishes?

  18. - LOL - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    –As opposed to what? Do you think previous governors picked their high level people from a hat or something?–

  19. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:10 am:

    - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:08 am:

    “Cincinnatus - If I agree to believe everything the Cato institute publishes, will you agree to believe everything the Sierra Club publishes?”

    Was your comment made before or after you read the article. I’d be interested to hear your analysis of where the author of the report makes an assumption with which you disagree.

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:18 am:

    So Quinn flat out lies about cutting staff and then gives his staff 20% raises. No state media pays any attention and people wonder why the state is broke and we have scandals like blago.

  21. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    - I’d be interested to hear your analysis of where the author of the report makes an assumption with which you disagree. -

    Ok, you read a scientific study about climate change and then we’ll each debate assumptions we disagree with. Deal?

  22. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:34 am:

    As a guy who will probably walk a precinct in November, upon reading this my primary thought is THANKFULLY the GOP nominated Brady. If it was anybody else, I might just as well stay home that day.

  23. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:37 am:

    The obvious flaw in Cato’s, um, “analysis” is its failure to control for job title, years of experience or educational attainment when comparing the public and private sectors.

    Luckily for us, an academic study (the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee) has just looked at this same question, using such appropriate controls:

    What did they find? Here’s a summary from “State and local workers earn less than their private sector counterparts and the pay gap is widening, according to a report released Wednesday.
    Public workers earn 11% to 12% less than workers in private companies. …
    The report, which analyzed 20 years of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, also found that the pay gap has generally widened over the last two decades, as private compensation moved higher while earnings for state and local workers fell.

  24. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:38 am:

    One of the big problems with unconscionable labor contracts agreed upon in “back rooms” is that there’s virtually no transparency or access to proposed contracts before they’re approved.

    At that point, it’s too late for public outrage to have an effect on the outcome.

    I’ve recently proposed to my school board that they release to the public all labor contract proposals made to or from the district, and put any labor contract proposals requiring board action (agreement in principle, final ratification, etc.) available to the public at least 21 days before any board action, and that a public hearing on the contract take place at least 7 days prior to board voting to approve the contract.

    Perhaps school boards having to look parents straight in the eye and tell them why they’re handing out 7% raises and paying 95% of health insurance costs for employees while programs are being cut, young teachers are being laid off, and parents are being gouged for hundreds of dollars in fees every year while these raises are being given will make them behave more responsibly.

    Are there ANY public bodies in Illinois that allow for public comment prior to governing board approval of labor contracts, and opportunity for public comment?

    Illinois FOIA allows governments to refuse requests for these documents, but there’s nothing PREVENTING them from making this information public, either.

  25. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:42 am:

    - is its failure to control for job title, years of experience or educational attainment when comparing the public and private sectors. -

    Awwww, c’mon, you mean you can’t lump computer programmers and fast food employees in the same pile and expect to get an accurate result? That sounds like liberal propaganda to me…

  26. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:43 am:

    - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:23 am:

    - I’d be interested to hear your analysis of where the author of the report makes an assumption with which you disagree. -

    “Ok, you read a scientific study about climate change and then we’ll each debate assumptions we disagree with. Deal?”

    Sure. Maybe my B.S. and M.S in Engineering from UIUC may come in handy… I would especially like to debate the assumptions and boundary conditions used for the modeling of the “hockey stick.”

    I don’t understand why you all are afraid to read the link and comment, instead of just commenting…

  27. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:46 am:

    Hey, I got a B.S. in engineering there too!

  28. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:54 am:

    Well, I’m outraged Fox Chicago exists. So I guess “reporter” Mike Flannery and I are even, anyway.

  29. - Louis Howe - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 11:59 am:

    Reality Check…Here’s a reality check. A DOC correctional guard [RC-006-09] starting on July 1, 2004 for $2,881 a month will earn $5,108 on July 1 2011 that’s a 77.3% increase over 7 years. Where are you going to find that kind of opportunity in the private sector?

  30. - lincolnlover - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:00 pm:

    Cincinnatus - We aren’t afraid. We just know it will be more conservative mis-information, just like the Civic League of Chicago’s “unbiased” report. Try reading the study quoted by Reality Check. It is balanced and based on actual statistics. A guy with your education should be able to understand it.

  31. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:23 pm:


    Several things stand out in the Wisconsin survey:

    First, they cherry-pick several states instead of using all of the nation. At least I think so since they mix state and national data in their report. It is not immediately obvious if we are comparing apples-to-oranges. There are analyses that show that some right-to-work states have lower compensation package costs than unionized states. I think that part of the analysis Wisconsin did has a couple included in their results instead of using all of the states in general. I need to go deeper into their analysis to understand the dataset.

    Second, and more importantly, the Wisconsin study does not include a correction for the average number of hours worked in the public (1850 hr.) versus the private sector (2080 hrs.).

    The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about compensation:

    I will forward the Wisconsin link to the guy that wrote the Cato article and see what he sees.

    But one more point to consider when looking at educational “requirements” of working in state government are the reasons for needing more education (and the cost benefits to the taxpayers of this “requirement”). For instance, why has the Master’s degree (and its increased cost in compensation to those having it) become routine in education, and has the increased education paid a benefit to the students whose achievement rates are declining? A subject for another debate, wot?

  32. - lincolnlover - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    I do agree with your final question. As the mother (and tuition provider) of 3 college graduates, one does need to question why a retail manager at the mall needs a bachelors degree. It sometimes seems that the academic world has discovered a way to perpetuate their employment at our expense. But, as you say, this is a subject for another day.

  33. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    - Mr. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Richwine is a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. -

    Wow Cinci, you go right from the Cato Institute to two other major conservative think tanks, and a conservative newspaper. And in this article they don’t even explain their methods. You’re on a roll Mr. Scientific Method.

  34. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    As always the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

    The more “liberal” analysts are right to point out that public sector employees in general are not “overcompensated” when the level of education and skills required in their chosen fields are taken into account. Public employees appear to be overpaid not because they are (in general) earning all that much more, but because private sector employees (in general) are earning less. The disappearance of middle-class unionized manufacturing jobs from the private sector is probably the biggest reason for this.

    The more conservative analysts, however, are right to point out that regardless of who is to blame for pension underfunding, something MUST be done about it before the unfunded obligations devour entire state and municipal budgets and leave nothing for anyone else. Whatever is done is bound to “unfairly” affect public employees who were not themselves responsible for the situation; but, life ain’t always fair.

  35. - Plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    The WSJ article proposes a 12% bonus for Federal workers when balanced for education and experience.

    I know in my area the towns seem to want Masters degrees for positions like Communications or Assistant Administrator. A great way to ‘justify’ higher salaries.

  36. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    - Mr. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Richwine is a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation. -

    “Wow Cinci, you go right from the Cato Institute to two other major conservative think tanks, and a conservative newspaper. And in this article they don’t even explain their methods. You’re on a roll Mr. Scientific Method.”

    I could counter with an argument that Wisconsin is among the most liberal schools in the US, but I’m sure you know this already.

  37. - Dr Kilovolt - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    I am glad to see at least one editorial in favor of the new bicycle law. The comments to the signing story on the Trib and Daily Herald websites were rife with people who seem to think that bicyclists are a lower form of life than used car salesmen. But seriously, does anyone really think that motorists or anyone else, ought to be able to crowd, hit, or throw things at bicyclists with impunity?

    Text of the law is here:

  38. - A.B. - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    As high as Quinn’s negatives are, he can’t afford issues like this one. This race might not be as close as we expected…and that’s surprising with how conservative Brady is.

  39. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    Cincinnatus - Do you have trouble reading to the point that you don’t even realize it wasn’t me who posted that link? And also, a university that is “among the most liberal schools in the US” according to you is hardly the same as a three think tanks with the sole purpose of promoting conservative ideas. And last but not least, I’m pretty sure CNNMoney (also referenced by Reality Check above) isn’t considered a major liberal news source.

  40. - Son of Ben - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:38 pm:

    Of course not Kilovolt, but are there not already laws against battery and assault?

    This law is vague to the point where it can’t be determined what is prohibited. What’s the mental state? Does negligence make you guilty of the felony?

    First, the whole idea of carving out chunks of existing motorists lanes for bicyclists has proven a bit hair-raising for the average motorist traversing the narrow and heavily-bike-trafficked-streets of the northside of Chicago. It’s compounded when you throw into the equation the aggressive cyclist, you know, the guy who’s attitude screams “Oh yeah, you got a vehicle, so do I! This is my vehicle!” as he veers dangerously toward the center, then ignores the rules of the road by blowing through stop signs and street lights.

    Does the car not then ‘crowd’ the biker merely by driving legally in it’s lane?

    Back to my original point, the law is fine, if this added protection for bikers reflects an intentional or at least conscious appreciation of the risks posed by the vehiclist (word?) to the biker.

    Further, I will grant you that if you are out in the burbs or a rural area and somehow find yourself ‘crowding’ a biker, then you have some splaining to do.

  41. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:38 pm:

    All of you are idiots!

  42. - Ghost - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:42 pm:

    I have to agree with VM again /sigh

  43. - Son of Ben - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    Oops, saw “reckless” in the law. So it’s between negligence and intentional.

    I still think this law will be open to a variety of interpretation and keep the criminal defense bar happy.

  44. - jonbtuba - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 1:58 pm:

    Really, Brady? I find it hard to believe he’s tightening his belt when he didn’t have to pay taxes the last two years.

  45. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:09 pm:

    It would be a waste of time effort and resources to try to re-negotiate the AFSCME contract at this time. I say that not as a state employee (of which I am one) but as a citizen who recognizes that what VM says here is spot on. The state would lose any lawsuit that AFSCME would file (and, count on it folks, they will) to overturn any unilateral attempt to deny the contractual pay increases. The contract was negotiated during “better” times and, like a car loan and you are stuck with the terms for the life of the loan. Better to accept reality and work on what we can change rather than waste time declaring that a union contract bears the mark of the beast.

  46. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:18 pm:

    dupage dan,

    We need a new Chapter of the U.S. Bankruptcy codes, similar to Chapter 9, that allows for state government reorganization. As things stand now, only municipal governments (along with individuals and corporations) can reorganize.

  47. - shore - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:31 pm:

    “I inherited this deficit, I didn’t create it”. Alex, lying for 500 please.

  48. - I vote no.... - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:33 pm:

    I am a merit comp state worker…. I am currently assigned job responsibilites…that previously were handled by two others…. to make a long story short….I have had two raises in 7 years…and to date observed 24 unpaid furlough days. If health insurance premiums increase…I will be looking for a second job. I have suffered enough…but I am happy to still have a job…but if Quinn were standing infront of me right now… I would spit on him…for his unequitable treatment and discrimination towards the merit comp state workers. Oh yeah…. I will be observing 12 more furlough days this fiscal year as well….not a problem…but lets be fair acroos the board. AFSCME furlogh days….have benefits attached….and AFSCME workers with minimal duties assigned…make more money than the folks that carry the bulk of responsibilities. We can all Point fingers….make excuses….provide logic…and solutions..but the reality is…this state is in crisis…and nobody has seems to have the ability to lead it.

  49. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:36 pm:

    That’s a pretty radical idea Cinci.

    Are you familiar with the concept of state sovereignty? Illinois has the power to pay its bills and the means to do so. Do you really want a federal judge to re-write our state constitution?

    And all this time I had you pegged as a conservative. Your comment makes you sound like a federalist more than a republican.

  50. - dave - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:41 pm:

    The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about compensation:

    And we already pointed out that this is jus for federal workers, an in turn has no relevance for IL’s situation or IL’s state workers.

    And that Cato study is a joke. It doesn’t control for any meaningful factors that would impact compensation.

  51. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 2:51 pm:

    47th Ward,

    Yup, I have a passing familiarity with state’s rights. Bankruptcy would allow for reorganization of the state contracts, especially in labor, to take account of the financial facts on the ground. Illinois is insolvent, and the legislature ignores the state constitution anyways (balanced budget any one?). Might as well at least take some steps to get us on the right path, even if the government is put in receivership.

  52. - Remember Carol Adams? - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 3:06 pm:

    Pat’s explanation is downright dubious!

    How does Pat explain his plan last year to appoint Carol Adams to represent Illinois in South Africa, with a pay increase of $30,000 over the person who previously held the position?

    Additionally, under Pat, Adams was poised to get additional monies to cover her living expenses while in South Africa. Pat has handed out money to his staffers like candy is handed out during Halloween.

    Not only was Adams a Rod holdover, she was widely criticized for being a lazy loafer while she was Secretary of Human Services. Nevertheless Pat wanted to give her a nice hefty pay raise with generous perks i.e. living expense.

    The media ought to keep digging because it’s likely that the pay increases that his staffers have gotten have little to do with their new jobs or responsibilities. Again, how does he explain Carol Adams’ $30,000 pay increase? Based on that alone, the AP story, as written, had the ring of truth and was right to have a suspicious tone. Shame on the news media outlets that allowed themselves to be duped into believing Pat has cut just because he says that he has or by the amounts he claims he has.

    Fortunately for Illinois taxpayers Adams elected not to take the position in South Africa. But that doesn’t change the fact that Pat wanted to give her that position with a $30,000 bump in pay from what the person who held it previously got, in the first place.

    Eddie Aruza let Pat ramble and campaign way too much in that interview.

  53. - steve schnorf - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    C, I don’t really favor having Illinois follow the corporate model of walking away from contractual obligations such as labor contracts and pension plans by simply filing bankruptcy. I consider it more immoral that corporations do that than anything I have seen anyone in Illinois government do, ever. Corporate immoral behavior is no model for the State to follow.

    And, at least, we don’t have to pay our leaders $25 million salaries and bonuses to f__k things up.

  54. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 3:14 pm:

    So Cincy, as a “conservative,” you like the idea of the state running through bankruptcy court and walking away from its current obligations?

    Why, you must be one of those guys who think the state should be run like a business — if that business is UAL or others who gamed the courts to shed their pension obligations.

  55. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 3:21 pm:

    ===Illinois is insolvent===

    No, it isn’t. There is a reason states are not allowed to access federal bankruptcy protection and it has nothing to do with states’ rights.

    We made this financial mess all by ourselves. We also have all of the tools and resources needed to get us out of this mess.

    Blaming state employee unions for the mess is pathetic. Find another bogeyman Cinci.

  56. - Berkeley Bear - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 3:42 pm:

    I believe in the union movement. I’ve been an at-will employee most of my career and appreciate the good unionization generally did for the American middle class. However, AFSCME has gotten away with a ridiculous amount of stuff given the financial situation of the state - like first not giving any furloughs, and then making their furloughs more privileged than non-unionized workers. And getting a raise while the vast majority of people in merit comp get squat. Plus the basic problem that it is almost impossible to weed out the bad apples in many agencies - like service workers who abuse patients but cover it up and intimidate others.

    Here’s what little I know about public/private comps on salary - I know an MPA with years of experience and a resposibility for over a billion dollars who makes 100k running a division for the state, and could make 2-3 times that in the private sector with similar responsibilities. At the same time, that director makes less than the number 2 in the division (by tens of thousands of dollars) because the number 2 worked for a lot longer at this lesser level - something that doesn’t happen much in private business.

    Oh, and PhD’s at UIS in most divisions start at 50k a year - while legal secretaries in Chicago make the same or more. Location and industry matters a lot.

  57. - GetOverIt - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 3:58 pm:

    @- Berkeley Bear -

    Well stated. I know attorneys that work for the state, and not for the AG’s office, that make far less than there federal or private sector counterparts, and doing the same work.

  58. - Just sayin - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 4:10 pm:

    Gladyse Taylor deserved her raise, she is doing 3 jobs at Corrections and does it will finesse. She is what Corrections needs right now, an no-nonsense get it done professional. Enough said.

  59. - Secret Square - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 4:22 pm:

    I think we have pretty well established that for professional or mid- or high-level management positions, the state pays less than the private sector.

    However, is not the reverse true for the lower-level positions — for example, if you’re a custodian, receptionist, data inputter, food service worker, nurses aide, etc. you make more working for the state? And perhaps this is where the perception of “overpaid” public employees really comes from?

  60. - So Blue Democrat - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 7:15 pm:

    The real issue is that the conversatives and big business have successfully reduced the middle class in the private sector. They now want to go over the middle class in the public sector. We all should be making minimum wage except for the executives. Wait a minute, they also want to eliminate the minimum wage.

  61. - UHavenoIdea - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 7:23 pm:

    Sorry it comes from it being repeated over and over again when its wrong the number of rank in file state workers has been cut by 30% and they have seen few raises for 10 years. That the state workers make more then many of their private sectors counter parts is just a myth (you can find a few that have worked for 30 years but not many). State worker benefits are no different then what you might find at any other large corporation. State workers have become a whipping boy for both parties so they can steal their Social Security payment that should have went into their pensions removed for politician’s pork Projects. Funds taken by state leaders to insure their reelection because they are too weak to do their jobs and lead to win elections on their own. Only the connected like Quinn’s friends see the big raise’s while the rank in file employees get their pay cut or just plain laid off and lose their homes because the politicians are too afraid to do their jobs.

  62. - Bob - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 9:00 pm:

    Wow, and I had to work for free for 20 days ;)

  63. - rick - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 9:02 pm:


    You cant have it both ways.

    Public sector union contracts are taken out at various points in the economic cycles. No one complains when state employees are being given 3.5% raises during boom times when the private sector is awashed in capital and bonuses are thru the roof. It’s only when state employees still getting 3.5% raises during depressed times that people take notice and whine about.
    It is only fair to let things balance themselves out over the long term.

  64. - Will County Woman - Wednesday, Jul 7, 10 @ 9:25 pm:

    Dan Hynes has issued another dire fiscal outlook for Illinois and agrees to borrowing, according to reports.


    this also lends creedence to the suggestion that he was merely playing politics late last year when he refused to go along with a Quinn borrowing scheme.

    haven’t heard a peep from Judy Baar Topinka about anything. come to think of it she wasn’t very vocal leading up to and during the primary, but still managed to win. hmmm…

    according to some it’s nice that Illinois has recall, but in actuality recall is complicated and therefore more trouble than it is worth. more than any thing Illinois needs staggered time-limits on all constitutional offices, along with a provision that prohibits former and current constitutional officers from running for a state public office ever again after maxing out their time-limits in a previous/current state office.

    could be worse, this could be South Carolina where silly people of poor/questionable character serve as governor, and where people vote for someone they never heard of, with a shady past, and who doesn’t even bother to campaign.

    oh wait

    well… at least the good people of South Carolina can be glad that their state economy isn’t as bad as Greece’s ;)

  65. - dave - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 7:41 am:

    this also lends creedence to the suggestion that he was merely playing politics late last year when he refused to go along with a Quinn borrowing scheme.

    You are just now figuring that out?

  66. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 8:31 am:

    VMan always has a remarkable change in tone and philosophy when it’s his taxpayer funded benefits that are on the line. Others, not so much.

  67. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Jul 8, 10 @ 9:03 am:

    When we see an expressed opinion tie into the personal background of a commentor, we naturally assume that their personal situation makes them some kind of hypocrit. We all do that when we first start commenting here.

    However, most of us reach a point where instead of attacking a CapitolFax Nickname of a regular commentator, we focus on what they write. Instead of attacking the personality we formed in our own heads over time by reading the comments from CapitolFax Nicknames, we pretty much stick to the issue, the arguments they bring to it, and leave the amateur “you’re a hypocrit” kind of stuff out of it.

    Unless we can do nothing else.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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