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Quinn: No pension reform, no ADM tax break

Friday, Oct 4, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

Gov. Pat Quinn said he will veto any legislation with special tax incentives to get Archer Daniels Midland Co. to keep its global headquarters in Illinois until legislators approve a fix for the state’s nearly $100 billion pension crisis.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, the Chicago Democrat said he won’t consider tax breaks for any corporation until a pension deal is on his desk. He also said ADM’s efforts would be better focused on lobbying lawmakers to address the nation’s worst-funded public-employee retirement system when they meet in Springfield later this month.

“The best way to help jobs in Illinois is to do pension reform,” Quinn said. “To distract legislators in any way from this issue of a lifetime is just plain wrong.”

* From the IFT’s Facebook page

So, Governor Quinn said he won’t give a multi-million dollar tax break to this one corporation until we take away one-third of the life savings of hundreds of thousands of teachers, emergency responders, and public workers?! Talk about a lose-lose situation. (Quinn does not support SB2404.)

The teachers have a point.


  1. - RNUG - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 9:50 am:

    If that is the criteria he’s going to use to approve anything, Quinn might as well shut down the State and go home.

  2. - Taxpayer - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 9:55 am:

    I thought he already was at home most of his time as governor.

  3. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    So we have to take, take, take in a probably unconstitutional way from workers, some elderly retirees so we can feed a huge corporation. Did someone call him a grass roots governor?

  4. - OneMan - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    So out of curiosity what is on his approve list vs his don’t approve list while pension stuff is being worked on…

    Might make a good QOD, snark encouraged… I will offer a couple

    Good To Approve
    – Anything Complementing The Mighty Mississippi
    – Movement to require police officers to address all residents of the state as citizens good and true

  5. - Wensicia - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    “To distract legislators in any way from this issue of a lifetime is just plain wrong.”

    I’d call continuing to try to hold back their pay a big distraction.

  6. - Reality Check - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:08 am:

    ADM annual revenue 2012 - $88.9 billion

    State of Illinois GRF - $35 billion

  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    I’m sure ADM is thrilled that their relatively measly $1.2 million EDGE credit is linked on every front page in the state to the red-hot pension issue.

    You can’t buy that kind of p.r. Certainly not for $1.2 million.

  8. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    So if the House passes gay marriage in veto session, but the GA hasn’t passed pension reform yet, will Quinn veto it if they don’t give him pension reform first?

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    ===“The best way to help jobs in Illinois is to do pension reform,” Quinn said. ===

    What is Quinn’s basis for saying this? The pension issue aside, this shows that Quinn has absolutely no idea how complex the issue of job creation is or what it takes to create jobs. Just another example of a simple-minded governor.

  10. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:16 am:

    Things that I won’t approve until pension reduction is on my desk:

    - Casino for Chicago
    - New roads
    - …

    Things I won’t do until pension reduction is on my desk:

    - Eat ice cream
    - Use deodorant
    - Wash my clothes
    - Brush my teeth

    AND, I will grow a beard until I get pension reduction on my desk.

  11. - Cassandra - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    How smart is this. Big companies are sensitive to public relations issues and being linked,however weakly, to the gutting of elders’ modest pensions does not make for good corporate press, especially in the wake of the great recession.

  12. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:22 am:

    @wordslinger - With all due respect as someone I usually agree with, I highly doubt ADM is worried about PR. The pricefixing scandal and Andreas family member getting sent to prison didn’t faze ADMs growth and the subsequent Matt Damon movie about that scandal didn’t faze ADMs growth why would a few bad newspaper articles and angry taxpayers with less collective economic power than ADM as a global company faze them?

    The amount of money ADMs stock price goes up when it shows Wall Street how masterfully it can manipulate and exploit the state of Illinois will more than make up for any bad PR. Besides taxpayers have no way to punish ADM directly at the marketplace and the entities that ADM does business with that could punish ADM likely see ADMs actions as rational and prudent business moves and don’t lose any esteem for ADM in engaging in this shakedown.

    Until federal antitrust laws mean something, Illinois is just going to have to put up with monopolies like ADM (or Caterpillar or CME, etc.) and figure out how to keep them *our* monopolies.

  13. - AFSCME Steward - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    Did Quinn just join the Tea Party ? Nothing gets done until you do what I say.

  14. - Sparky - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:27 am:

    I don’t know why this suprises anyone.

    This comes from a man who says he was “put on earth to reform the pension system”.

  15. - Jechislo - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Wow, this “saves” almost as much money as when Quinn canceled the circuit breaker program which, I might add, is costing the elderly of this State a huge amount of money.

  16. - Anonymous - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    So, Quinn punishes legislators by not paying them and decides that he’ll punish state employees if the legislature doesn’t approve the ADM deal?

    Governor Quinn, we have many fine universities in this state. I would suggest that you go take a class in Introduction to Human Motivation in either the psychology or business department at any one of them. Continual threats of punishment often backfire on the boss and an exceedingly hostile work environment develops. Nobody wins, governor. Nobody.

  17. - dupage dan - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:36 am:

    All Quinn needs now in his administration is a jungle gym, a few slides and a teeter totter and it will be a full fledged grammer school playground. No one likes a whiner.

  18. - Anon. - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    **===“The best way to help jobs in Illinois is to do pension reform,” Quinn said. ===

    What is Quinn’s basis for saying this? **

    Easy — cutting pensions frees up money to give away on pork projects that allow him to announce how many jobs the project is creating.

  19. - mid-level - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:44 am:

    New definition for Threat Management… Management by threats.

  20. - Aldyth - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:44 am:

    Oops. Anonymous 10:29 is me.

  21. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    HGF, those are all good points. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around a giant like ADM going after $1.2 million…..

  22. - walkinfool - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    First thought: ***** *****’ ******! (I don’t even want to put in the first letters.)

    What a way to encourage ADM to throw up their hands and leave this crazy state!

    If Quinn wants a new gimmick, why not just say: “I will veto any bill that arrives on my desk before pension reform,” and be done with it.

  23. - Chefjeff - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 11:45 am:

    State Farm Insurance is ADM’s largest stockholder, owning 8.5% of the company worth nearly 2 Billion dollars. State Farm is also Bloomington’s largest employer. I wonder how they view this issue and what their reaction would be if ADM extracts a million is concession. Just wondering?

  24. - cod - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    So pensioners take a $138 billion cut, or ADM wont get a $1.2 million tax credit?

    Is there a screw loose somewhere?

  25. - Pat Quinn's Brain - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 11:53 am:

    >If Quinn wants a new gimmick, why not just say: “I will veto any bill that arrives on my desk before pension reform,” and be done with it.

    Great idea, @walkinfool. I’m going to do that right after I … oh look, a kitty!

  26. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    I guess Quinn is thinking ADM could put pressure on Repubs to pass pension reform. I guess..

  27. - Realist - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    Wow. PQ has joined the Flea Party. “I’m going to sit in the corner with the ball and pout until the rest of the kids play the way I want to play.”

    I don’t think this is going to play as populist.

  28. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    @ChefJeff - My guess is that the State Farm execs who took big taxpayer incentives to build new offices in Texas and Arizona do not have a philosophical objection to what ADM is doing.

  29. - 4 percent - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    So long as Quinn does not talk about the jobs “he” created at Ford, Navistar, CME, Sears, etc.

  30. - A guy... - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    And yet if it doesn’t get fixed, they’ll lose 3/3 of their retirement. Quinn is taking every opportunity to make a case of how important this is and people are paying attention. To maintain anything resembling what is promised will take a group effort, including the group that will benefit most from the effort. Telling ADM they are not the first priority is communications genius whether you like the Gov or not. He’s keeping it front and center and people respond to that.

  31. - Reformed Public Servant - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    The Show Me State (MIssouri) wishes to thank Gov. Quinn for tipping the balance in favor of relocation to St. Louis.
    As to Chefjeff’s astute point on State Fram, there is a strong concern in Bloomington that they are looking to leave Illinois as well, which this likely exacerbates.

  32. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    –And yet if it doesn’t get fixed, they’ll lose 3/3 of their retirement–

    Based on what? The state not making lawful contributions? The international financial system being wiped out?

  33. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 2:39 pm:

    The teachers not only have a point, they have an #excellent point.

    As to Quinn, well, what else is there to say? He’s picking the wrong example to make his “poster child” on this one.

    While ADM’s decision to ask for this tax credit seems a bit unusual in terms of PR cost-benefit, they aren’t exactly holding the state hostage.

    With the billions in tax break we have recently handed out to corporations, and the sharp rhetoric some of those corporations used while threatening the state, ADM looks like a willing and cooperative partner by comparison.

    ADM could surely get more than a couple million annually from other states. It’s clear they want to stay here and continue in Illinois.

    Making them the “poster child”, as Quinn appears about to do, could backfire horribly and antagonize the big execs to leave.


    - If ADM HQ “loses” Illinois by moving out of state for a better deal, they are technically doing their jobs by looking out for the bottom line and best interests of their shareholders. They might take a temporary PR hit, but they can plausibly state that over 4,000 jobs remain in Illinois and that they wanted to stay here by virtue of asking for such a low amount and dropping the utility request.

    If Illinois “loses” ADM because of Quinn and $2 million, they are losing one of the oldest and largest companies in our state’s history. That PR hit just might sting a bit more.

    Quinn picks some weird battles.

  34. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    ADM clearly needs to hire “Lamont Johnson” to run their PR department.

    Then again, Quinn could probably use him as his press secretary.

    Decisions, decisions.

  35. - wordslinger - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 2:44 pm:

    –Quinn picks some weird battles.–

    Yeah, he does. This is one of the weirdest.

    I have no doubt that ADM will get their break with or without a pension bill (Quinn’s been known to change his mind).

    But what was the thought process here, the end game?

    I’ll hold a couple of million in EDGE credits hostage to one of the largest corporations in the world?

    Who does he think will wear the jacket if ADM starts seriously entertaining other offers? Over a couple of million?

  36. - Demoralized - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    This is like Illinois own version of the little ACA fiasco in Washington. “I’m not going to let you use my ball unless you do what I want.”

    We have a bunch of juvenile delinquents running our state and country. My kids could do a better job.

  37. - Norseman - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    === And yet if it doesn’t get fixed, they’ll lose 3/3 of their retirement. ===

    The purpose of Pension reduction is not to “save” public worker pensions. It is to save the state money so that it can be spent on other priorities and to improve the state’s debt outlook in the eyes of the rating agencies.

  38. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 3:24 pm:

    === But what was the thought process here, the end game? ===

    I keep asking myself that since reading Quinn’s position. The logic seems so bizarre on two fronts.

    We must cut pensions so I can then give ADM a couple million?

    We must simultaneously antagonize one of our oldest companies over “peanuts”, especially when ADM isn’t using negative rhetoric and clearly want to stay here?

    Of course.

    Do not push for larger reform of Illinois’ corporate tax system. Do not highlight some of the egregious loopholes we have. Do not focus on the fact that so few companies pay us taxes in the first place, and many of those that do pay so little.

    Never mind the fact that if we had a level playing field we might actually be able to afford funding our pensions instead of trying to cut them.

    No, narrowly focus on cutting pensions and ADM’s $2 million instead. Is he trying to kill this deal?


  39. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 3:29 pm:

    According to the Guv, they (ADM, a PRIvate, Top-International Corporation) should spend their time to go and lobby their legislator(s) about the Public PENsion issue, REAlly?

    Boy, Pat Quinn really IS obsessed over the pension matter!! It’s practically amazing that he’d be willing to deal with/talk about anything ELSE of significance to Ilinois, like maybe helping to ensure that one of our State’s Crown BUSiness Jewels can stay relatively happy (currently ranked #27 on the FORTUNE 500 List) in our own Backyard, and keeps ALL of its’ business, including its’ Global Headquarters right here at Home?! Reminds me of the Movie Title: “Risky Business…!”

    OTHer, arguably far less-worthy Corporations have received Il. tax incentives to stay here and make Illinois look good, after all…!

  40. - Wumpus - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 3:40 pm:

    Yes for a Credit to kidnap Power Construction from Schaumburg to Chicago, though.

  41. - Sue - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 3:49 pm:

    Hey Anon- Before you make any predictions a

  42. - Sue - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 3:53 pm:

    Hey anon- sorry- but what I was going to say is before you make any predictions at to the constitutionality of any proposed pension reform measures have someone get you a copy of the US supreme court decision in Blaisdell at 290 U.S. 398(1934) you will not like what the Court had to say about the State having the right to impair private contracts during a fiscal emergency

  43. - Archimedes - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    More fodder for any court challenge should pension reform be passed. The police power must be used (breaking pension contract) and Quinn directly links it to giving a tax break to a specific corporation.

    Save money by breaking pension contract so we can give money back.

    If anything - I would think Quinn and the GA should be avoiding linking the breaking of the pension contract to any kind of tax relief. It’s hard to argue a fiscal emergency when you are reducing the tax burden.

  44. - Rod - Friday, Oct 4, 13 @ 4:17 pm:

    I suspect Governor Quinn will not be so happy once a pension bill lands on his desk, because it will never contain enough savings to provide the magic fiscal fix he wants. He should be happy that it is delayed because once the actual cost savings are known he will be forced to cut budgets yet again and the Governor will become the bad guy instead of the GA.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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