Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Quinn puts off “grassroots” campaign, confronted by AFSCME again
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Quinn puts off “grassroots” campaign, confronted by AFSCME again

Wednesday, Aug 22, 2012

* Gov. Quinn won’t talk about how he intends to “activate” the grassroots on pension reform, leading me to strongly suspect that he made up the “plan” at the spur of the moment Friday when pension reform efforts collapsed

Gov. Pat Quinn said Tuesday that he’ll wait until next month to debut his so-called grassroots campaign raising awareness about Illinois’ pension problem, a move that comes days after lawmakers failed to come up with a plan to overhaul the massively underfunded system. […]

Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has vowed to push forward and “activate the public,” but he said Tuesday that he won’t release a plan until the middle of September. He said he wants to wait until several key events have passed: the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa, Fla., the Democratic National Convention the week after in Charlotte, N.C., and the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

He declined to say what his plan will specifically include, aside from hinting that it’ll involve technology and likely social networking.

“I’ll wait to announce our plan … but it will be a good plan. It will involve everyday people. It will use the powerful electronic democracy to wake up legislators that we’re not going to give up on our children. That’s what pension reform is all about,” Quinn said. “I don’t want to be competing with the national conventions when all of America will be watching.”

Quinn has been blaming Republicans for the failure to pass legislation that kills off future legislative pensions and reforms the General Assembly’s pension system. But a whole lot of Quinn’s fellow Democrats voted against that bill, including some of his closest legislative allies, and he ought to be pressed on that topic.

* Raw audio…

* Meanwhile, the governor was confronted by some AFSCME members yesterday in Milan

About 30 American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees wearing green T-shirts criticizing Gov. Quinn sought a word with him. Many said they will lose their jobs with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services because of the governor’s proposed cuts.

Gov. Quinn talked to the group before leaving for an event in Peoria.

“I thank you for what you’re doing,” he told them. “You’re on the front lines for our children.”

His next sentence, however, was interrupted by DCFS child welfare advocate Terra Fairburn who held up a sheet of paper in front of Gov. Quinn.

“The children are going to suffer,” said Ms. Fairburn. “Here’s my layoff notice.”

Noise grew as the governor said, “I know,” and tried to defend himself, saying the General Assembly cut the DCFS budget by $50 million.

“My budget did not include that,” Gov. Quinn said.

“But you hired the director, sir,” Ms. Fairburn responded. “And the director (Richard Calica) is doing all this stuff, and he doesn’t even know what he’s doing.”

* Photo


* Other stuff…

* Gov. Quinn signs new law expected to combat whooping cough

* Governor Signs Stronger DUI, Social Hosting Laws At Police Chiefs Conference

* Chicago to pay $450,000 to 2 drivers over false DUI charges

* Quinn signs Rezin-sponsored legislation on the EPA into law

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 10:56 am:



    Governor Quinn wishes his staff had moved the event to an unnamed secret corn field

  2. - Spliff - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:00 am:

    But I’m SOY BOY!

  3. - dang - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    Well. At least he didn’t run from them. It would not be a fun time to be Governor of this state right now.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    “I’m not attacking your Union … THIS is what it looks like when I attack something…”

  5. - If Wishes Were Fishes - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:08 am:

    What part of “the State is broke” do you not understand?

  6. - Crime Fighter - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:09 am:

    “But you hired the director, sir,” Ms. Fairburn responded. “And the director (Richard Calica) is doing all this stuff, and he doesn’t even know what he’s doing.”

    There’s mounting evidence that Quinn and Cullerton and Radogno have really damaged the state by placing directors that are beyond inept.
    Quinn and Blago have nominated questionable candidates time and time again and the Senate continues to give its unqualified support and confirmation. The direct and indirect costs of this dysfunction have to be considerable, but no one but the rank file workers seem to care.

  7. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t have the clip, but what always comes to mind when I see AFSCME protesting everything is the scene in PCU when the pre-frosh starts yelling, “We’re not gonna protest!”

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:21 am:

    He gets points for standing and talking with them. That’s life in the NFL.

  9. - Kinda of Funny - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    Children suffering for loss in services and people losing jobs is not funny but the unions outrage is. I do believe the unions were the key factor in electing Quinn. They believed his lies and false promises and then donated over 500k to his campaign. Now they are shocked at what he is doing? It was not hard to see he could not deliver on what he promised. Props to quinn for kinda trying to make the necessary cuts but they elected him so have fun with that and hunting him down at his secret events.

  10. - Deep South - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    “Under my budget, funding for DCFS was thiiiisssss big.”

  11. - state worker - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    This should be an easy answer. He should reiterate that he is closing prisons to save their jobs.

  12. - carbaby - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 11:49 am:

    When you put someone in charge of a large Child Welfare organization that does not have real child welfare experience(sorry I don’t count JPA as being that kind of experience), nor a grasp for systems and organization, alas this is what you get. The Director also fails miserably at real communication across levels and systems within the Department. He has no real understanding of how the departments operate and how intertwined/dependent upon each other for the same data/information as well as for their functionality. We had thought that was why he had Jess McDonald and some of his old staff to assist but that has been limited in its effectiveness.
    The new reorganization now has more levels of manangement than the previous organizational chart- which I find ironic considering the Director stated he planned to streamline operations. There are now people put in charge of very critical areas that have no experience in those areas and are expected to function in those capacities statewide. To make matters worse, staff that have those specific expertise have received lay off notices.
    In addition, given the budget deficit, it is hard not to be upset with the addition of high paid new staff, high paid contract staff/consultants at the same time you are cutting contracts left and right in addition to sending out layoff notices to several hundred staff. Everyone who has access to the DCFS D-net page has access to everyone who received a layoff notice and their seniority date. There appeared to be no rhyme or reason as to who received notices as there were many people on the list who had over 20 years with DCFS- some had over 35 years.
    The current climate is very tense. There are people who are actually going up to co-workers and telling them they want their position and plan to bump them out. This is not going away anytime soon.

  13. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 12:08 pm:

    Gov. Quinn reminds me of Dr. Frankenstein. He was part of the culture of corruption which created the now unsustainable Illinois state and local government pension monster. And now it is turning on him.

  14. - cassandra - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 12:11 pm:

    Are any DCFS workers actually going to be laid off in the sense that they will lose employment at DCFS. In the articles that I have read on the subject, Calica’s plan is one which increases direct service staff and their immediate supervisors and reduces the number of employees in desk jobs and those in some middle management positions. Those being displaced (who are, technically, “layoffs,”) can select frontline positions–that’s the bumping process. More frontline, less middle management. What’s not to like? This is the 21st century. Middle management is shrinking. Should state government be an exception.

    As to the possibility that some employees may actually have no jobs as a result of this reorganization, that seems to be up to Quinn and the legislature. My guess is, they’ll restore the monies necessary to prevent actual job loss at DCFS. But the restructuring, hopefully, will stand, and DCFS will move into the 21st as a flatter organization and one with lower caseloads and more frontline employees. Hopefully, other state agencies will follow. Let’s start with DHS.

  15. - MrJM - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 12:26 pm:

    Thought balloon: “Of all the days to forget my magic purple tie!

    – MrJM

  16. - Way Way Down Here - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    As others have said, at least he’s talking with them. Blago would have been hiding in the can.

  17. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 12:41 pm:

    I thought this was the most interesting part of the story:

    “I think he wants to do the right thing,” Ms. Fairburn said. “I think he’s been getting information that’s probably not correct.”

    Ms. Erno said she was glad the governor briefly talked to them.

    “We want to let him know how these cuts affect local offices,” she said.

    “Sometimes, you’re so far removed,” she said. “You really don’t understand, when that filters down to Rock Island County, Illinois, what is that going to mean to a little kid who is not safe in their home.

    “And we won’t be able to help them anymore.”

  18. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    Are any DCFS workers actually going to be laid off in the sense that they will lose employment at DCFS. In the articles that I have read on the subject, Calica’s plan is one which increases direct service staff

    There are about 600 layoffs but only 200-250 new caseworker positions. The difference between the numbers is 350-375 people, frontline workers all, who may hit the street as a result of the threatened elimination of the DCFS intact-family services program. This is a preventive program that supports families and protects at-risk kids before abuse occurs. Eliminate it, as Calica/Quinn propose, and more kids get hurt, more families get pulled apart, and more tax dollars get spent in the end.

  19. - StayFree75 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:05 pm:

    Give me a break. Intact family services hasn’t no interest in keeping families intact. They are interested in controlling families through threats and involuntary service plans and forcing them into unnecessary “services” for as long as intact family services says they are necessary. Forget due process with these folks. There are intact family services caseworkers who have gone out of there way to make allegations to DCFS against families regarding children they’ve never seen, met, or spoken to. Stay tuned to a lawsuit brewing near you with involvement of faculty from a major university. Someone in the media is also being informed of what is taking place in this case, just waiting to see if DCFS and the intact family caseworker choose to violate any other due process rights.

  20. - carbaby - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:05 pm:

    Actually 100% of Intact family services are in transition to be serviced by the POS agencies that currently have Intact contracts. This has been in the works since April/May. It was originally going to be a gradual increase over a 3 year period, but after the budget, they decided to go to the 100% transition. So the reality of what was communicated was mostly bunk. All they did was tranfer from DCFS to POS to service those families. Of course that’s where the cost savings are because the POS agencies receive a flat monthly rate per family(no matter how many kids) and it’s not really that much money to be honest to provide the level of service dictated by the contract.
    A good chunk of the layoffs are those Intact workers, many whom do not have enough seniority to bump anyone. Most of the ones I saw have less than 10 years and won’t have a prayer to bump into anything except maybe DCP.

  21. - StayFree75 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:05 pm:

    Sorry about that . . .

    “doesn’t have any interest in”

  22. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    100% of Intact family services are in transition to be serviced by the POS agencies

    False. Eligibility for intact services has been sharply curtailed. The private providers will be serving nowhere near all the 14,000 kids a year now helped by DCFS intact services. Under the new rules many families will no longer be eligible.

  23. - StayFree75 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:11 pm:

    carbaby, that’s too bad. Its the older DCFS employees that really represent the fat that needs to be cut. These folks by and large are on some crazy power trip when they really have very little real authority and don’t deserve their salaries. They feel like they must be doing a good job since they are making $90K+/year, when in reality, the only reason they have those salaries is because of their union. Take for example a DCFS ATTORNEY I had the “pleasure” of meeting in May. This attorney was unable to log in to a computer because the letters on the keyboard were worn off from heavy use. Since this individual couldn’t read the keys, they were unable to type in their log in ID and password. And that attorney makes $98K/year. This is the kind of waste taxpayers are having to pay for at DCFS, an attorney that can’t even type.

  24. - Anonymice - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    “We’ve got lumps of it ’round the back.” [keeps doing Monty Python until they get exasperated and walk away]


    “I’d like to help, but I left my campaign fund checkbook back at the Mansion.”

  25. - carbaby - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:21 pm:

    I’m aware of the curtailed eligibility. I participated in the development of the initial draft of eligibility criteria. They slammed through the final version with only one week to comment- intentionally. I wholeheartedly agree that this is very flawed.
    I’m also aware that many families were inappropriately serviced under Intact that realy were placement cases. There are many practice issues out in the field that need to be addressed. I see the results of that on a daily basis.

  26. - WazUp - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    “You know I once swallowed a tablespoon of cinnamon without choking or coughing?”

  27. - zatoichi - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:45 pm:

    Finally, in extreme exasperation, the Gov lets fly : “We are in huge debt. Not enough money to pay all the bills and everything I try to solve the problem gets ripped apart as worthless, but no one steps up with a real, workable solution. Everyone has the #1 problem and wants to cut someone else. You wanna know how old it gets hearing the same stuff everyday?”

  28. - Reality Check - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    Caption: Pat Quinn demonstrates the size of the tax breaks he gave to big corporations that dwarf the $27 million needed to prevent DCFS layoffs.

  29. - Anonymice - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==You wanna know how old it gets hearing the same stuff everyday?==

    Fairburn: Trust me, governor, I know it better than you do.

  30. - lincolnlover - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 2:40 pm:

    Stay Free - You see an attorney that can’t type. I see a need for new computers.

  31. - StayFree75 - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    lincolnlover, you didn’t see this same attorney literally stand up and scream their entire closing remarks in a case for 20 minutes in the face of the other side and make remarks like, “that ain’t nothin’” before storming out of the room after getting their tailed whipped and face rubbed in DCFS negligence for four days straight(making an indicated finding against someone while admitting under oath to never speaking to the alleged victim, never seeing (or attempting to see) the home where the incident was alleged to have occurred, not attending the victim sensitive interview, and not even watching the DVD of the victim sensitive interview, then being caught lying under oath saying a doctor told them something when the doctor themself testified they never spoke to that individual).

    No lincolnlover, I clearly saw an inept attorney who is a clear waste of taxpayer money. All they are doing is trying to cover up DCFS mistakes. They must be very, very busy.

  32. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 3:35 pm:

    So, PQ is going to use “powerful electronic technology” to mount this grassroots campaign.
    Gee Whiz, I wonder what kind of new-fangled gizmos he’s got up his sleeve.
    Pretty sure the arsenal won’t include Twitter, as Soy Boy uses more than 140 characters to say “Hello.”

  33. - Strobby - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 4:41 pm:

    Run Forest Run

  34. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 5:27 pm:

    No, A.A., he’ll create another special website with a new logo to go with the ton he already has on

    The new logo to read, SOS: Grassroots Attack.

  35. - western illinois - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 6:13 pm:

    He claimed on WMBD Peoria he was going to mount a referendum -he referenced the cutback amendment-and his expertise at doing so.
    The Illinois Constitutaion allows very few binding refs. Did he find something else new in it?
    I know the legislature can put them on but he specifically said he would mount a petition drive.

  36. - RNUG - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 8:26 pm:

    How about we all mount a petition drive on state campaign funding that says you can’t carry political funding over from one year / race to the next, you can’t give political funds donated to you to anyone else, and all left over funds, except maybe $12K per year of your elected term to pay some office expenses, has to be either returned pro-rated to the donors or contributed to a legitimate 501(c)3 charity that has zero ties to the politican?

  37. - western illinois - Wednesday, Aug 22, 12 @ 9:50 pm:

    I like it RNUG. I would like ref in Illinois and on this I agree with Pat Quinn(I agree with him about desecrating the muslim graves too)
    Sadly I think that ref would run up against Citizens United

  38. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 7:23 am:

    western united,

    Would it?

    We’re not saying the candidate can’t use his own personal money to donate to another political we’re just saying he couldn’t use money donated for his run.

    And we’re not saying the candidate can’t raise / spend unlimited funds; we’re just requiring the money be spent for the ’stated’ purpose of electing that person … and the money has to be refunded if not used.

  39. - Leatherneck - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 7:43 am:


    I would prefer that any unused campaign funding be transferred to the state’s General Revenue fund.

  40. - RNUG - Thursday, Aug 23, 12 @ 8:44 am:


    we can alwys fine tune the details … that’s what a smart bunch like here is for!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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