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Southern Illinoisan hands the spin to Plummer

Wednesday, Oct 31, 2012

* As I told you late yesterday, Jason Plummer’s campaign held a press conference yesterday to “expose” his Democratic opponent Bill Enyart for being on the public pension dole. But, as it turns out, Enyart is not receiving any pensions. His wife, a retired judge, is. And while Plummer claimed that Enyart and his wife were receiving seven pensions, Enyart’s wife was receiving three, two of which are quite small.

But you wouldn’t really know that by reading the Southern Illinoisans’ coverage, entitled “Plummer questions Enyart’s, wife’s pensions”

Jason Plummer accused Bill Enyart and his family of living large off public pensions Tuesday, a claim Enyart rebutted in the latest fight between the two candidates for Illinois’ 12th congressional district.

Plummer, the Republican candidate, claimed Democrat Enyart and his wife, retired Judge Annette Eckert, collect more than $156,000 annually from among three public pension systems. Plummer also claimed Enyart was in line to get at least three more pensions but didn’t produce any documents to prove it.

The substance of Plummer’s accusations Tuesday focused on three of Eckert’s pensions collected from employment as a Cook County assistant public defender in the 1970s, from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, and from her judicial pension. Plummer said he obtained the information through various Freedom of Information Act requests. […]

Plummer said what he found on Enyart is indicative of the type of pension abuse “well-connected people” perpetrate in Illinois.

Nowhere does the article point out that Plummer more than doubled the number of pensions Eckert actually receives. And nowhere does the paper make clear that Plummer’s own research shows that Enyart himself isn’t receiving a pension.

Instead, we just get your basic he-said, he-said crud.

* Enyart is planning a press conference this afternoon, so The Southern will have an opportunity to redeem itself.

This attack by Plummer, coming on the heels of his campaign’s public insults directed at Enyart’s son, is the most poorly executed and untruthful “planned” earned media attack of any Illinois congressional race this fall. And that’s really saying something, considering.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


63 Comments
  1. - You're Surprised? - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    What did you expect from Lee News?


  2. - langhorne - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    i have known annete eckert since college. she is a classy, principled lady. if plummer wants to complain about pension abuse he should get his facts straight. the newspaper is derelict in its duty to inform the public about what the truth is.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:44 am:

    ===Nowhere does the article point out that Plummer more than doubled the number of pensions Eckert actually receives. And nowhere does the paper make clear that Plummer’s own research shows that Enyart himself isn’t receiving a pension.===

    You can white-wash the 1st press release. Jason Plummer weasel-y way of not knowing how to add the number of pensions (yeah, ok) … and trying to smear the wife … WIFE … and the son… SON… of your opponent reeks of a rich kids “hail Mary” pass of a fading campaign.

    We will see how the press goes and … how its covered.


  4. - Madison - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:45 am:

    A tantrum from someone who ran in a district that really could not support a Republican anyway, who believes that politics begins at the top and works down for candidates under 30. Go figure. His 15 minutes is up.


  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Are folks in Southern Illinois down on people collecting the pensions they earned for public service? Somehow, I doubt it.

    I’m quite certain the folks in Southern Illinois know how to count, too.


  6. - Madison - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    Are up.


  7. - James the Intolerant - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:51 am:

    I always read the Daily Egyptian in my Carbondale years.


  8. - Ready To Get Out - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 10:59 am:

    Rich….someone just commented on the Southern web site story saying Plummer was “blatantly lying” and said if they want an accurate report to check the CapFax link he posted.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:00 am:

    Did Jason Plummer … “Happen” … to send out a 2nd release with “corrected” information .. . would love to hear/see how Deb Detmers fixed this, if she did …


  10. - geronimo - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:03 am:

    Typical of much reporting these days. You’d think every single person who gets a pension from anywhere is raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars at a minimum. Gotta whip up the outrage any which way you can. Because….? If readers only knew half the truth they’d be ashamed they read much of anything some papers report, like the Trib.


  11. - unreliable sources - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    The Southern has to keep bolstering its case for endorsing Plummer, after all. The best argument they had Sunday was Shimkus should just get to vote twice.


  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:07 am:

    “Dad, I want to yell and scream and stuff… can I just get on TV and then you can punch him in the nose and I can … just jump up and down and say, ‘This is my seat, my Dad promised’ … what do you think, Deb?”

    This moment from Plummer Campaign Headquarters is brought to you by Happy Kids Pre-School and Day Care - Located near RP Lumber, just west of Jason’s “Office”


  13. - Jerome Horwitz - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:08 am:

    This is about selling newspapers. Newspapers need advertisers to support their business. If it bleeds, it leads. This is a fine example of how low the media has stooped to support this type of mudslinging in order to increase their bottom line.


  14. - East Sider - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:08 am:

    There should be a limit on how many public pensions one person can collect.


  15. - just sayin' - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    More good work by Rich Miller. Fox News and MSNBC could use you to restore some sanity. Just sayin’.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:11 am:

    “Dad, EYE want a Golden Congression Seat, get it for me!”

    “Yes Veruc .. um, Jason… right away …”

    Is this what this race has come to? Jason’s Dad doing all he can to get HIS son relevency, while Jason’s Dad and Jason attack Enyart’s SON and WIFE?

    Pretty clear picture is developing…


  17. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    ==There should be a limit on how many public pensions one person can collect.==

    Why? It’s no different than any other job. If you work for multiple employers during your lifetime and have paid into pensions at each employer you are going to get something from all of them when you retire. Pointing out legitimate pension abuses is fine. This isn’t one of them.


  18. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    Honestly asking a question here. How big of a deal is the Southern Illinoisan in this district? Wouldn’t the P-D/Metro East papers be dominant?


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:15 am:

    ===There should be a limit on how many public pensions one person can collect.===

    Well, if you count a spouses Mother … DYING … a pension … then maybe 2 might be ok … since Enyart’s Wife’s Mom dying is a pension and all …


  20. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    ===How big of a deal is the Southern Illinoisan in this district? Wouldn’t the P-D/Metro East papers be dominant? ===

    That part of the district is crucial in a general election.


  21. - SO IL M - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    Another example of why even Republicans down here have trouble supporting the Illinois Republican Party. Fielding candidates like Plummer is actually embarrassing and impossible to defend.


  22. - East Sider - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:22 am:

    ==Why? It’s no different than any other job. If you work for multiple employers during your lifetime and have paid into pensions at each employer you are going to get something from all of them when you retire. Pointing out legitimate pension abuses is fine. This isn’t one of them.==

    Because there’s a difference between public and private sector pensions. And Illinois ranks 50th in underfunded pensions. In the Metro East here, the pension abuse is rampant and people are sick of it. Senator Bill Haine collects a $137k/year pension from Madison County after working for 12 years as the state’s attorney and some part-time years as a county board member, while he collects his state senate salary, and has a state pension on the way.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:23 am:

    “Jason is Great, I think he is Top-Notch, says @FakePatBradyILGOP”

    Sometimes I feel the need to apologize for the ILGOP, inbetween raling on them …

    But I think the “Plummer-crazy” is just left up to Jason and Jason’s Dad …Veruca and Her Dad, I think, are the only ones who understand …


  24. - Deep South - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    The Southern reads a lot like Fox News these days.


  25. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    ===In the Metro East here, the pension abuse is rampant and people are sick of it. Senator Bill Haine===

    All polls from both sides have Haine leading by huge margins, so I’m not quite sure where you get your data.


  26. - Sideliner - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    If the ILGOP can’t find better candidates, they deserve the election losses that are coming. To think, Plummer was the LG candidate two years ago.

    Sheesh.


  27. - NIref - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    Further proof that the Southern Illusion has earned its nickname.


  28. - Deep South - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:26 am:

    ===Honestly asking a question here. How big of a deal is the Southern Illinoisan in this district? Wouldn’t the P-D/Metro East papers be dominant?===

    The P-D/Metro East papers are two to two-and-a- half hours away….on a good day. But yes, the bulk of the district’s population is in that area.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:32 am:

    === ===In the Metro East here, the pension abuse is rampant and people are sick of it. Senator Bill Haine===

    All polls from both sides have Haine leading by huge margins, so I’m not quite sure where you get your data.===

    “Data provided from ‘Jason Plummer Talking Points’, a Jason Plummer run company, owned by Robert Plummer, but claimed by Jason Plummer”

    I think the next thing they say is … Haine’s pension is funneled to the Enyart family.


  30. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:36 am:

    ENYART FAMILY GETS HAINE’S PENSION, REPORTS SHOW


  31. - Eilean left - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:37 am:

    Sen.Haine earned his pension and paid into the IMRF just like all other local public officials do. He was eligible to collect his pension as granted by the Ill. constitution. BTW nobody complained when Sen. Bowels collected her pension and was a state Sen.and she was loved by many people in Madison county.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:44 am:

    “Jason Plummer, how did you come up with 6 pensions … or how many was it?”

    “Yeah, um good question … I had about 6 or 7 Oreos left from ‘Snack Time’ and then Dad got all smile-”y” … then Deb just typed a buch of stuff that didn’t look like any fun on the computer, the paper came out with some words, and then I know exactly how many … cookies I had …what was the question?”


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    @FakeJasonPlummer - I know what pensions are, ‘pension’ was a spelling word! #JasonAcesSpelling


  34. - MrJM - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:47 am:

    Jim Oberweis > Jason Plummer

    – MrJM


  35. - Harry Wasko - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:53 am:

    I guess with my five hunderd dollar a month state pension I am on the dole too. Next thing I will have to say I`m sorry for serving in the Army in the Viet Nam war too. Jason Plummer and his kind can go to hell.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:54 am:

    @FakeOberweisForSenate - @FakeJasonPlummer, THANK YOU FOR RUNNING AGAIN!!! Thank you, thank you, tahnk you! #JasonIsTheBestDistractionToMe


  37. - train111 - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:56 am:

    Oswego Willy

    Some of us are about to get stuck with the real Oberweis as our Senator–not a laughing matter.

    train111


  38. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:00 pm:

    - train111 -,

    Being out that way as well … Tom Cross might have a Dem Senator, and a Dem sharing the senate district …

    I feel your pain!


  39. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    East Sider, if you don’t like the pension situation in Illinois, move to Missouri. You will find plenty of kindred souls over there.
    But first, recognize that more studies than I can count all show that it’s the failure to fund, not the size of the pensions, that caused the funding problem.
    From the way you write, you may have a size problem of your own.


  40. - East Sider - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    ==All polls from both sides have Haine leading by huge margins, so I’m not quite sure where you get your data. ==

    Senator Haine has been in the fight of his life in this race, in a safe district where he was supposedly a legend, against a political novice. He’s had to spend over $1mil to defend his seat.


  41. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===Senator Haine has been in the fight of his life in this race, in a safe district where he was supposedly a legend, against a political novice.===

    I am confused … that ‘Data’ or ‘Opinion’ … I think I am getting ‘Jason-itis’, next thing I know, i will be wanting a Power Ranger Birthday party and when the phone rings I will be ‘telethoning’

    But is it ‘Data’ or ‘Opinion’?


  42. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:23 pm:

    ===He’s had to spend over $1mil to defend his seat. ===

    He’s raised a million. Not sure he’s spent it all. But, yeah, lots of people, including me, thought he was in for a really tough race. Didn’t turn out that way.


  43. - Eileen left - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:25 pm:

    East side are you complaining because Senator Haine is spending money to get reelected? If it weren’t for the the RSSCC and the IRP Senator Haines opponent wouldn’t raise enough money locally to fund a walk piece. Stop your whining .


  44. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:28 pm:

    ===If it weren’t for the the RSSCC and the IRP ===

    Actually, most of the challenger’s money is coming via independent expenditures these days.


  45. - Old and In the Way - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    East Sider….

    You must be getting your election info the same place you are getting your pension info. You aren’t even close on either. Fox News and the Southern Illusion are not “real” news sources FYI.

    For a reality check you may want to check out the results of the election ( after next week) versus your fantasy polling data. There are indeed close races but this has never been one of them……


  46. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:49 pm:

    Jason is a worthy exponent of the current GOP policy of de-emphasizing math in campaigns.


  47. - train111 - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    Rich
    Are you sure that you’re not mixing up the Haine-Babcock race with the Beiser-Smith race. Most of the independent expenditures (about $50K)in the 56th Senate race seem to be in favor of Haine rather than opposed to him, while in the 111th Assembly race about 40K has been spent almost exclusively against Beiser.
    Perhaps I’m wrong.

    train111


  48. - Downstater - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    On Tuesday, Jason Plummer, Enyart’s Republican opponent, released a statement slamming Enyart on pensions, saying: “Enyart, who served as a political adviser to convicted felon Rod Blagojevich and Governor Quinn, and his wife Annette currently collect three taxpayer-funded pensions that pay more than $156,000 each year. With his household in line to receive at least four more taxpayer-funded pensions, how much more will Enyart collect off the backs of the taxpayers?” This is what was reported online in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Lee Enterprise paper, as released by the Plummer campaign. The St. louis Post is a liberal newspaper. The release doesn’t say currently getting 7 pension, as printed above. =And while Plummer claimed that Enyart and his wife were receiving seven pensions, Enyart’s wife was receiving three, two of which are quite small.= The press release printed in the St. Louis Post may be wrong. Rich, you may want to contact them and tell them their information is incorrect. There was no major misstatement by Plummer campaign.
    .


  49. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    It is entirely possible that Plummer is lying about the number of pensions the Enyart family is receiving, and that the Enyart family really are making themselves into government pension millionaires by taking money from the working poor in Illinois. Only Mississippi taxes poor people at a higher level than Illinois, and these lavish $100,000/year government pensions are a big reason why the poor in Illinois are being punished harshly by the Democrat powers in this state. This is another great example that shows we can not trust either power party if we truly want our economy and society to survive for future generations.


  50. - Eilean left - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    Rich you are right I should have mentioned McCarter’s 40,000,Rauner’s 10,000 annd Roeser 10,000


  51. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    === Are you sure that you’re not mixing up the Haine-Babcock race with the Beiser-Smith race.===

    Yep, I did. Watching a couple dozen races sometimes does that to ya.

    Oops.

    Retracted.


  52. - East Side - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    Good Lord. And people wonder why the state is going broke. My dad worked at McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for over 30 years and his pension is less than $450 a month. I don’t even have one. I understand completely why they don’t want this double dipping to come to light.


  53. - Ns - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    Didn’t the press release state the couple “currently collect three . . . pensions”? Unless Judge Eckert doesn’t share her money with her husband, I assume the couple is taking in over $13,000 per month from the state. The Judge did a great civil service to Illinois, but the state pension system is whack (hence the attempted reformations in the past few years). I don’t see why mentioning her current three pensions is so insulting.

    But whatever. Plummer’s rich too from his dad. And I do agree about not understanding where they get the potential 5 more “pensions” from.


  54. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:16 pm:

    Ns, Enyart doesn’t “collect” any pension. His wife does.


  55. - Ns - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    Okay. Just seems like an argument over conjunction use. Oh well, nothing major.


  56. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    ===an argument over conjunction use===

    Actually, it’s about attacking a spouse, and a son. But Jason wouldn’t know about that.


  57. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 2:36 pm:

    Thank you, Rich, for pointing out the obvious.
    To most of us.
    Now, East Side, about your case of pension envy..


  58. - mongo - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 3:02 pm:

    East Sider, I worked in local government in another state, in the private sector in another state, in local government here, and now in the private sector here. My Mom died after working as a secretary for the federal court system…I got a death benefit then. My goodness I am a penta-dipper once all this dough rolls in.

    Now the facts…$100 a month for the other state system, about $140 for the other state private entity, about $1,100 a month for the Illinois local government work, and maybe (let’s wait and see when I retire) $500 a month for the private sector work. That’s $1,840 a month.

    Methinks Lt (jg) Plummer knew he was at best exaggerating, and at worst distorting the facts, but did so anyway in a desperate attempt to bolster his flagging campaign.


  59. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    Editor Gary Metro jumps critically on anything having to do with pensions or benefits for public employees. He has lost my respect.


  60. - geronimo - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 3:22 pm:

    Is there such a thing as a poor person running for office? Is there such a thing as a poor politician? All the campaigning seems to be about how much money each candidate comes from.


  61. - Madison - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 8:45 pm:

    Tell me something people…why is working honorably in a public sector position, and earning a pension deemed dishonorable by the right wing of the Republican Party? And doing so in the private sector not so? Where I come from that’s called a good choice of careers.


  62. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 8:45 pm:

    If everyone with or in line to get a public pension canceled their Southern Illinoisan subscriptions, there wouldn’t be a person outside that newsroom reading the paper.


  63. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Oct 31, 12 @ 11:31 pm:

    =Now, East Side, about your case of pension envy.. =

    Just out of curiosity, is this the same AA from the “old days”?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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