Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Kennedy responds *** Biss: “I can get away with really offending state employees because I don’t represent that many of them”
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*** UPDATED x1 - Kennedy responds *** Biss: “I can get away with really offending state employees because I don’t represent that many of them”

Wednesday, Mar 7, 2018

* The tweet below has a typo. Biss doesn’t say this about teachers, he says it about state employees. “As a matter of politics, I can get away with really offending state employees because I don’t represent that many of them.” He said all legislators have lots of teachers in their districts, so that makes for a heavier lift on pension reform…



Oops.

*** UPDATE *** Kennedy campaign…

Illinois voters never know which Daniel Biss they’re going to get on any given day. The Daniel Biss who claims to be the middle class governor or the Daniel Biss who tried to rip pensions away from hard-working retirees.

Daniel Biss led pension reform, an effort funded by JB Pritzker. The two of them ignored the state’s legal obligation to fund teacher and state employee pensions, in favor of their own political interests.

Daniel Biss and JB Pritzker cannot operate with the integrity and the independence needed to fix the broken system in Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

127 Comments
  1. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:31 am:

    Darn videos, they really hurt sometimes. Biss will be like a fish out of water on this one, flip floppin around.


  2. - Responsa - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:33 am:

    ooooh, the “crass” word again.


  3. - Gallatin County - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:33 am:

    I’m losing track of Biss’s self-made mistakes, between this and Boycott Divest Sanctions CR-R.


  4. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:34 am:

    So he only cares about representing large groups, not individuals? Substitute ‘special interests’ for large groups. Does that give you a warm fuzzy feeling? I’m supposed to believe that every citizen is important to him?


  5. - Responsa - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:36 am:

    Also interesting to note for those who were on the case last week, Biss’ pausy/hesitation speech affect when talking extemporaneously is obviously nothing new.


  6. - RIJ - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:37 am:

    Good thing there aren’t enough state employees to harm you, Danny Boy, ‘cause you aren’t going to receive votes from many of them. Oh, and don’t forget all the state employee retirees. We aren’t fond of you, either.


  7. - Hiawatha - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:38 am:

    No doubt Biss would be vulnerable in the general election.


  8. - Nishi - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:38 am:

    I’m still undecided and had been leaning toward Biss the past couple of weeks. I find myself moving back toward JB at this point. It’s a weird feeling to be an undecided voter.


  9. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    Wow, I like him a bit more now. Too late though, voted for Kennedy.


  10. - Roman - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:42 am:

    Reminds me of Michael Kinsley’s political definition of the word “gaffe:”

    “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth - some obvious truth he isn’t supposed to say.”


  11. - former southerner - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    Biss is what he has always been to those who had their eyes open and it isn’t a pretty sight. He has always been an opportunist though not necessarily a skilled one.


  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    Biss will never ever be able to explain his way out of this one.

    To deliberately set out to financially hurt a select (and small) group of people? Not usually the Democrat way is it?


  13. - Retired Educator - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    He has that old divide and conquer mentality. I will screw this group, because it can’t hurt me as much. Pension Thief Biss is a charlatan. He will say and do whatever helps him, and he doesn’t care if he hurts people who have earned their benefits. Well he accomplished his goal, I was a state employee, and he offends the hell out of me.


  14. - BozoBucket - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    Daniel played progressive purity last year. Now it’s Tom Elliot’s job to figure out how to make Daniel’s purity vote stick with him when his record is exposed…Fracking, Blair Hull, Charter Schools, Pensions. Scream billionaire!!!

    Daniel Emanuel is a good hashtag, no?


  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:45 am:

    Confusing to the honesty.

    While the math may be true for the Senate seat he occupies, he’s running statewide in a diverse state with unionized workers and retirees already none too pleased.

    The rule is so your first race first, and Biss already has written off (it appears?) labor voters, why continue with confused honesty that, welp, it is what it is where I’m from?

    You’re trying to win and not alienate those in your party you will need later if you win.

    Confusing to the honesty.


  16. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    Biss touts himself as the middle class choice. Who doesn’t at election time? Enough to get votes, then back to the same old, same old.

    Middle class working folks don’t ever get a break. If they did, who’d pay all the bills


  17. - Anon E. Moose - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:50 am:

    He appears to acknowledge that what he’s saying is unpopular but can’t help himself.


  18. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:52 am:

    To deliberately set out to financially hurt a select (and small) group of people? Not usually the Democrat way is it?

    I’m a Democrat, and this is absolutely false. We like progressive taxation which seeks to hurt the rich financially.


  19. - Nick - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:53 am:

    Just when I was starting to like him

    Back to Kennedy …..


  20. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    The vast majority of working middle class folks don’t work for the state.


  21. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:54 am:

    It’s the cold political calculation here that really bothers me.


  22. - DuPage Middle - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    No Bernie, no Biss.


  23. - Betty - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:56 am:

    Pssst
    Arsenal. They all do that


  24. - ILDemVoter - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:58 am:

    Urgh, I wish Biss had stuck with pension reform throughout the campaign instead of apologizing/walking back. I would have been more likely to vote for him instead of Kennedy because there are many of us that do believe the pension system is a HUGE problem + liability for the state- ideally, the Governor is someone who is willing to take the issue head on, not run around and pretend we can keep sustaining the system or take it away entirety.


  25. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    Why must a state with over 12,000,000 people be held hostage by a tiny minority?


  26. - Radically Honest - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    Dan Biss doesn’t care about working people.


  27. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:00 am:

    Biss really didn’t think that one through.

    Let’s just ignore the retirees and their families and friends, and think about current State employees. If Biss were to become Governor (not likely at this point), Biss would need those some ~40K employees to implement his policies and priorities.

    After insulting them, how hard do you think those employees are going to work to help him?

    I can just see union employees deciding to “work to rule”. The State will grind to a halt faster than anything Rauner did with his two year budget impasse.


  28. - Maximus - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    I think this is his way of saying “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”


  29. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    Um, state workers barely make up “working” people. What are they 1% of the workforce?


  30. - Anonish - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    I’m sure this was taken out of context. Right? Right? Oh.


  31. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    ==Pssst
    Arsenal. They all do that==

    And doesn’t that bother you?

    Anyway, they don’t all deliberately do it in public and then turn around and run a Holier-Than-Thou campaign.


  32. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    How many state employees are there?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:04 am:

    - Ron -

    The pesky constitution.

    This isn’t me feeding you. This is one sentence showing your ignorance.


  34. - FTR - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    That’s the Biss I like best. Pragmatic, problem solving, and politically savvy enough to know no solution is doable without 60 and 30 in the General Assembly.

    Too bad there’s no room for that kind of intellectual honesty in a statewide primary.


  35. - Betty - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    Of course it bothers me. But what can we do about it
    Nothing


  36. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    OW, fine, just stop with the silliness about state workers being the middle class. How many state workers are there?


  37. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    OW, and the state constitution is a travesty.


  38. - produce amn - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    Can the Kennedy campaign explain what a hard-working retiree is? Isn’t that the crux of the problem - State government overpromised benefits to itself which it cannot support and the only way for Illinois to get out of it - given its fundamentally flawed constitution which Quinn helped write - is to declare bankruptcy.


  39. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    Illinois is being destroyed by a terrible constitution and some of the worst pols in the nation.


  40. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    produce, Rauners plan to have local government pay pension of local teachers is a fantastic idea. Local governments can be allowed to declare BK.


  41. - Frankly - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:13 am:

    Biss was the only candidate even trying to solve this problem. Except arguably for Pritzker, who was also trying to defund pensions by doing what he always does, throwing money at the problem.

    The pension crisis wasn’t going to get solved by Chris Kennedy building luxury high-rise housing, was it?


  42. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Toast. I’m so glad I didn’t vote for this guy.

    “Why must a state with over 12,000,000 people be held hostage by a tiny minority?”

    Exactly. Rauner shouldn’t have held the entire state hostage.


  43. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Too bad Biss is walking away from what made him attractive.


  44. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Isn’t he really saying his colleagues are being politically calculated, not him?


  45. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Some supporters of a graduated income tax will be unhappy to know that those pesky state employees and teachers will get alot more money in their pockets if there were to be a new income tax.

    Believing they make the outrageous amounts that the news reports about rare outlier salaries, it makes as much sense as believing that every office employee makes an executive salary. You’d think us dumb to believe that but………….


  46. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    Oh dear. Like the Illinois government affects the vast majority of us other than the outrageous taxes it collects to support the kleptocracy.


  47. - Frankly - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    ===Isn’t he really saying his colleagues are being politically calculated, not him?===

    That was my interpretation too.


  48. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    ==Isn’t he really saying his colleagues are being politically calculated, not him?==

    No, he’s saying his political calculation is different because he has a different district.


  49. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    oh brother is Biss problematic. here’s hoping we don’t by some weird chance get stuck with him because he is just all over the map. intellectual arrogance.


  50. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:27 am:

    ==Of course it bothers me. But what can we do about it
    Nothing==

    I didn’t advocate anything, I just stated an opinion. One you happen to share.


  51. - m - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    =He will say and do whatever helps him, and he doesn’t care if he hurts people who have earned their benefits. Well he accomplished his goal, I was a state employee, and he offends the hell out of me.=

    Just like Pritzker who was throwing money at lawmakers to pass pension reform. They had the same position on the issue at the same time (although the group JB was helping fund wanted to take even more from you.)

    =He will say and do whatever helps him=

    But this part I agree with.


  52. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:44 am:

    The commenters on this blog have the perceived notion that all state workers and teachers are democrats and all private sector works are Republicans. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I do not think this is as bad as the comments make it out to be.

    The only problem is Rauner has lumped public sector workers and teachers together and one wonders if teachers see this as being an attack on them.

    There are a lot of democrats who supported pension reform, but from this small section of the internet you would never know it.


  53. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:51 am:

    It is a problem that teachers and state workers are lumped together. The fact that the state manages the pension funds of state workers and teachers (and judges, and legislators) apparently makes them one and the same, which is, of course, untrue.

    But, you bet. Teachers absolutely do see this as an attack. How would it not be?


  54. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Oops………..left out university employees in the 5 state pension funds.


  55. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:54 am:

    Almost, you are correct. I am a private sector working Democrat. I just hate being owned by the public sector and pols in this state.


  56. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    ==The commenters on this blog have the perceived notion that all state workers and teachers are democrats and all private sector works are Republicans.==

    No, we just think that attacking public sector workers’ pensions is folly.

    We tried it, it failed, and we lost the Governor’s mansion. Message received, right? Look at how many of the GA Dems who voted for pension reform have recanted. One of them is in the video at the top of this post.


  57. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    Pols should not get pensions, nor judges.


  58. - Dude Abides - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    Biss is already finished. Pritzger is focused on Kennedy now. In general, most politicians take positions on issues based on what’s safer politically, not on the merits. It’s just a case of too many folks in politics lacking integrity and unwilling to take political risk to do the right thing. Biss apparently is one of those guys.


  59. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    =There are a lot of democrats who supported pension reform, but from this small section of the internet you would never know it.=

    Ask Pat Quinn how that worked out for him.


  60. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:57 am:

    At least Quinn tried.


  61. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    This isn’t going to help Biss at all, and will probably lose him votes he would have otherwise gotten. I’m sure some folks took his pension vote explanation at face value, but this is going to give them second thoughts. While state workers and retirees don’t make up a huge portion of the dem primary electorate, they and their family members are a large enough group to make a difference in a very tight race in Champaign and especially Sangamon county. Along with that, there are quite a few members of trades, teachers and service worker unions that consider union membership to be one big collective group and vote accordingly even if a specific vote or remark doesn’t directly effect them. I don’t know that there are a lot of anti-union dems, and the few that I do know wouldnt consider voting for Biss anyway because of other issues. This whole issue may lose him a few percentage points worth of votes overall.


  62. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    Arsenal at 1055am.

    Your argument is incredibly broad. Republican state workers voted for Rauner, afscme failed to inform their rank and file.

    They vote republican no matter what, look how many backed Dillard in the 2014 primary and went right back to Rauner. Sangamon County vote totals explain this perfectly.

    And AFSCME hasn’t even endorsed in the primary.


  63. - TKMH - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:03 am:

    I actually miss Daniel Biss the pension hawk, the guy who stood outside his district office door and argued toe-to-toe with Fred Klonsky. Sadly, he’s abandoned being that wonky pragmatist who didn’t cater to talking points.


  64. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:04 am:

    - m - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 10:33 am:

    Lying Biss broke his Constitutional oath

    Pritzker took no oath

    This has been said many times Biss but you don’t listen


  65. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    The IL Constitution is a travesty against fairness.


  66. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    Owning people was once constitutional


  67. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:08 am:

    Drinking a beer was once against the constitution


  68. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    == They vote republican no matter what, ==

    Not all of us … last time I voted for Quinn as the better of two bad choices


  69. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    Almost the Weekend, I’m not sure we disagree on anything.


  70. - Anonish - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    Given how much Pritzker has given his own campaign and even others in past years, the description that his $20K was “throwing money at” the pension problem is funny.


  71. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    I agree with RNUG. I did the same.


  72. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    I did the opposite. I voted for Rauner. The first and only Republican I have voted for in my life.


  73. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:14 am:

    It’s probably fair to say that people, no matter where they work, vote on issues. If your party is promoting something that will hurt you and your family badly, loyalty be damned. Give folks credit for brain activity.


  74. - Big Joe - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    Ron,
    Many have tried, but that pesky Constitution and the ISC ruling always gets in the way. We have to pay what’s owed, and that’s the plain truth.


  75. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:21 am:

    We’ll see. Constitutions don’t pay bills.


  76. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    Illinois is losing people at an alarming rate. Doesn’t help our tax base at all.


  77. - ILDemVoter - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:23 am:

    - TKMH -

    Sigh,agree wholeheartedly. Side note, was labor even overwhelmingly supporting Biss to begin with? Also…can we all agree that if Kwame wins the AG nomination, the pension bill was nothing but a racket of targeted negat? He was the Senate Sponsor after all…


  78. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Illinois has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation right. And we still can’t pay for the pensions.


  79. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    == The IL Constitution is a travesty against fairness. ==

    Interesting.

    The delegates to the 1970 Con-Con were probably some of the more progressive people in the State at the time. People like teachers, good government advocates, civil rights advocates, etc.

    The 1970 Illinois Convention was viewed as very progressive at the time it was enacted. The flat tax was thought to he fair. The Illinois Bill of Rights was thought to be fair. Even guaranteeing the pensions was seen as being fair since the State had not lived up to previous funding promises.


  80. - Anon0091 - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    The Biss problem from day one has been that he’s trying to run as something he’s not. And while I love the Biss defenders explaining how much he has learned, it sure looks far more like opportunism than education is driving him.


  81. - m - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    =Lying Biss broke his Constitutional oath
    Pritzker took no oath
    This has been said many times Biss but you don’t listen=

    Gotcha. So it’s not about taking pension benefits, it’s about breaking an oath. Keep telling yourself that.

    Biss and JB both wanted to take away your pensions. One had a vote and used it, one had money and spent it. One has since apologized and at least claims to be of a different mind (Biss). But you go right ahead and tell yourself JB somehow has the higher ground on this.

    You want to go and vote for Madigan’s guy, go right ahead. You can do that without lying to yourself about the difference.

    Or you could vote for someone who wasn’t trying to take your pension. There are other choices here.


  82. - Red fish blue fish - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    And this is why you don’t reinvent yourself in politics.
    Voters recognize and appreciate authenticity. This is one of the key differences between Kenndy and Biss.
    Kennedy sticks to his principals even if they’re not politically concurrent. Biss on the other hand makes a point to espouse all the policies in line with contemporary the current progressive platform. Unfortunately this required running away from his greatest legislative effort: HB1. The bill may not be politically beneficial at the moment but his retreat creates serious questions as to the integrity of his principals.


  83. - Iron Lady - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    Ron sounds like a Republican bot, maybe a troll. If you don’t want to pay your bills,just file bankruptcy. It worked for trump
    So, if we pass the pensions to the corresponding municipalities and they start filing bankruptcy left and right you will see the largest mass exodus. There would be no such thing as an Illinois teacher. Think these things through, please.


  84. - Son-in-law - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    My 82 year old mother-in-law, with her $6000 IMRF pension doesn’t think Biss is middle class.


  85. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    According to Governing Magazine, there are 260,000 state and local government employees in Illinois:

    http://www.governing.com/gov-data/public-workforce-salaries/states-most-government-workers-public-employees-by-job-type.html

    Hardly a pittance.

    Because of historic discrimination, state and local government jobs are part of the bedrock of middle class employment for the African American and to a lesser degree Latino communities.

    Because of strong public policy which gives preferential hiring, state and local government is a top employer of our military veterans.

    An attack on the rights of state employees is not only an attack on all public employees, but an assault on the black and brown middle class and our veterans.

    Biss was a fool to believe he could go after state workers’ pensions and think the teachers, police and firefighters in his district and across Illinois were not smart enough to realize they were next.

    He knew it was a false choice in 2013, this is not some recent epiphany. He just chose to be on the side of the Chicago Tribune editorial board.


  86. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    If the Kennedy Crew had the wherewithal to go after the rank and file Labor voters and articulately state and plead a case about what it has meant to Labor familes not labor unions, that’s a discussion that coulda been a big difference…

    8 or 9 weeks ago.

    Daylight’s a-burnin’. These were never new things.

    This whole issue is the Dem campaign in a nutshell.

    Pritzker is ripping days off the calendar so fast, hoping the next morning comes by 2 pm

    Biss is bobbing and weaving between concerts with progressive musicians while facing GOTV challenges and a lil Oppo too.

    Kennedy has always been “there”… close enough here, should be the right one there… but can’t close one full thought, idea, or campaign fundamental… until these past 10 days. Kennedy wants and needs people paying attention to a thematic campaign in these last 3 weeks, while others are trying to point to substantive differences, some that ironically could help Kennedy too.

    One crazy race.


  87. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    Juvenal, according to that website. Illinois has 63K state employees. That’s less than 1% of all non farm payroll jobs in the state.


  88. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:55 am:

    Sorry, it’s 1.04% of all non farm payroll jobs.


  89. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:58 am:

    according to that website. Illinois has 264K state and local government employees. That’s 4.36% of all non farm payroll jobs in the state.


  90. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    Being on the side of the middle class workers as apparently Biss was, was smart. Now he’s a kleptocrat like most of the state.


  91. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 12:06 pm:

    Illinois has one of the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation, thought the cost of living is exactly at the national average.

    Where does all that money go?


  92. - Anon324 - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    Fyi to Ron and Juvenal,

    The table with the 264k number you are both quoting contains this disclaimer: “Figures represent aggregate totals for noneducation public employees.”

    A table further down the page provides all state and local government employees as of March 2014, including those in education (elementary-secondary and higher). That chart states there were 628,231 state and local government employees in Illinois.


  93. - City Zen - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 12:24 pm:

    ==The 1970 Illinois Convention was viewed as very progressive at the time it was enacted…Even guaranteeing the pensions was seen as being fair since the State had not lived up to previous funding promises.==

    A true progressive solution would have created a second tier of pension benefits at that time. If they indeed had ample proof “the State had not lived up to previous funding promises” as you said, seems like it would’ve been a perfect time to rethink those promises for new employees going forward.


  94. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 12:33 pm:

    So where does our tax money go?


  95. - Retired Educator - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    Some of the people who have now joined this blog are showing a real lack of political savvy. It appears comments are being made to just get a rise out of others. There are other blogs for that type of activity. Generally the posters on here have political knowledge that goes beyond silly comments. Please go find some other site to vent the nonsense. This is for enlightenment, not just to argue with no real knowledge. Some of you make me tired.


  96. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 1:01 pm:

    I’m liking Kennedy more and more. If he’d only embrace legalizing marijuana.

    Cali Gov. Jerry Brown points the way toward fiscal health, with a $6 billion dollar surplus. He later said on “60 Minutes” that the surplus was $7 billion. Yes I know it’s a massive obstacle to overcome, the state constitution, for a progressive income tax, but it’s very necessary—far more important in my opinion than term limits. This is before the legal marijuana revenue really starts rolling in, in Cali.

    The article is behind a paywall, but here it is.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/jerry-browns-legacy-a-6-1-billion-budget-surplus-in-california-1515624022


  97. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 1:08 pm:

    ==to rethink those promises for new employees going forward==

    The state can do that any time it wants for new employees. And they have twice now.


  98. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 1:10 pm:

    I think someone needs to turn off Ron’s spamming privileges.


  99. - former southerner - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    One of my old running routes had a yard with several little “yip yap” dogs that constantly ran around yipping and yapping and peeing on themselves. You quickly get used to ignoring them and sometimes they do provide a little comic relief. The same works for posters who constantly yip yap about their obsessions.


  100. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 1:40 pm:

    The unions are going to have to have a come to Jesus moment if Biss happens to be the nominee. Are they really going to sit out the election and risk Rauner winning a second term? They may dislike Biss due to the pension bill (and now this ludicrous comment) but I’ll guarantee you that Biss would be the anti-Rauner when it comes to union issues.


  101. - Nick - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:10 pm:

    I suspect the unions will vote for anyone thats not Rauner regardless of what may have been said or done in the past
    They know exactly what they’ll get with rauner and it’s not good


  102. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:13 pm:

    The problem is that Biss did a 180 degree turn so there is a lack of trust.

    Rauner has done the same.

    Any way to have these people sign a sworn affidavit that what they run on is what they will (at least attempt to) deliver?


  103. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    == seems like it would’ve been a perfect time to rethink those promises for new employees going forward. ==

    They thought there would be plenty if money from the new income tax in the 1970 Constitution.

    They were wrong. The GA managed to spend all of it in just 4 short years. Then Walker proposed a FY 75 budget shorting the pension funds … and we ended up with the 1975 IFT court ruling allowing the GA to get away with it … and the rest is history.

    I was just going over this sequence for someone a lunch time.


  104. - Al - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    I gess Ron must be a paid lobbyist for the heavily taxpayer subsidized Liquor and Casino monopoly license holders who are making a fortune. $$$


  105. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    - m - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 11:34 am:

    Lying Biss you did not gotta anybody

    Biss broke an Oath his Constitutional Oath, Period.

    Stop making up things, you will never by Governor

    Pritzker never broke a Constitutional Oath and that is important

    Pritzker doesn’t pretend to be the smartest person in the room and then claim that he was clueless


  106. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:26 pm:

    == if we pass the pensions to the corresponding municipalities and they start filing bankruptcy left and right you will see the largest mass exodus. There would be no such thing as an Illinois teacher. Think these things through, please. ==

    Definitely need to think through the unintended consequences of letting school districts take bankruptcy.

    I’m going to ignore the fact that is not currently legal in Illinois (except with GA permission) … and just address the ramifications. Bankruptcy law requires you to throw pretty much the all assets and all debt into the bucket. If a local district tried BK, I’m not sure how much of the pension debt that will include since the majority of the current debt is owed by the State, not the district.

    But there is debt the district does owe: bonds for capital projects like buildings and repairs, and bank loans for operating funds since the district hasn’t been able to rely on State funds the past several years. Assets would be things like vacant property and current buildings.

    So what might happen? Maybe a bit of real estate gets sold off. More likely the banks and bond owners will take a haircut. And the result of that is it will be harder / more costly for the school district to borrow money or issue bonds the next time. And the existing TRS pension debt will still be owed.

    Therefore, any BK solution would have to be at the Federal level to allow states to go bankrupt. The Feds didn’t allow Arkansas to go under during the Great Depression. They didn’t allow Illinois’ Unemployment Fund to go under when it was insolvent; they loaned the State money. I just don’t see the Feds allowing it.


  107. - m - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:27 pm:

    =The unions are going to have to have a come to Jesus moment if Biss happens to be the nominee.=

    If the unions can fall in line with JB, who was just as pro-pension reform as Biss, then it should be no problem to get behind Biss. Other than the fact that they have been demonizing him to their members…

    If this issue was really that important, they never would have endorsed JB for the previously mentioned reason, or any of the other shady anti-union deals he’s been connected to. They got on board the Pritzker train for the same reason as everyone else, because he was the candidate that had the money to spend on the race. Pension reform in this race is nothing more than an easy way to stop members from considering Biss. If Biss gets the nomination, the unions will have to do a lot of work to get their members excited to vote, and they will own the apathy they created.


  108. - Redraider - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:32 pm:

    Ron is no more a Democrat than Trump was a Republican prior to 2016. We get it, Ron you hate public employees. Not take your medicine and lay down. Nap time


  109. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    - m - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18

    The pension issue is IMPORTANT to every State Employee and their families

    You are not being honest if you say that it is not important.

    I prefer Kennedy but if he doesn’t have a surge with vote for Pritzker to keep Biss out.

    Pension theft Biss has no integrity or intellectual honesty


  110. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    How is liquor subsidized? Have you ever seen the excise taxes they pay?


  111. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:54 pm:

    We should definitely get rid of the silly distribution system. Complete waste of money.


  112. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    Al certainly has his head in the sand.


  113. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 2:57 pm:

    Get back on topic. Now.


  114. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 4:09 pm:

    RNUG, something else that would be thrown out, in theory, if a school district goes BK, is its collective bargaining agreements and employment contracts. That would seem to put all the school stakeholder organizations against any BK proposal.


  115. - A Jack - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 4:12 pm:

    The Ron bot seems to have a programming error. The Ron bot was likely made in China or Russia.


  116. - A Jack - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    Certainly, Biss will have a much harder time negotiating a new state employee contract after making such a comment.

    State employees can make or break a Governor. Just ask the last two and the current Governors whether having bad relationships with state employees helped or hurt their administration.


  117. - Veil of Ignorance - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 4:23 pm:

    An unfortunate choice of words, but it seems he was speaking candidly to the political realities of pension reform. Not necessarily saying he intended on offending state employees, but pointing out the different political pressures legislators face regarding pensions. I’m not sure whether this changes anybody’s mind.


  118. - Ron - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 4:47 pm:

    A Jack, I live in Chicago. I’m not Russian or Chinese. Meet me at the Huettenbar in Lincoln Square. I’ll buy you a beer.


  119. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 5:47 pm:

    -AA- @ 4:09pm

    Good point I overlooked …


  120. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 6:21 pm:

    - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 5:47 pm:

    That is a rarity RNUG. You have so much intellectual honesty and integrity that I always look forward to your post.


  121. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 6:25 pm:

    The Feds havent allowed BK to states because, as the Supreme Court of ILlinois stated in the pension ruling — however unpalatable, there are solutions.


  122. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 6:27 pm:

    == The Ron bot seems to have a programming error. ==

    - A Jack -,

    I’ve decided the Ron bot is the antithesis of Max Headroom


  123. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 6:34 pm:

    == That is a rarity ==

    Not really. I learn something here almost every day. And -AA- and I bring shared experiences but different expertise and perspectives to the table. But we do both like Redneck Rock n Roll …


  124. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 7:31 pm:

    –“As a matter of politics, I can get away with really offending state employees because I don’t represent that many of them.”–

    Congratulations. You’ve succeeded.

    What’s that add up to, professor?


  125. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 7:32 pm:

    == What’s that add up to, professor? ==

    Third place …


  126. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 7:38 pm:

    RNUG, I bet you didn’t have to go to Harvard, MIT or U of C to do that arithmetic.

    Or take your shoes off to count past ten, either.

    Biss is going down hard. Distant third place.


  127. - Generic Drone - Wednesday, Mar 7, 18 @ 8:28 pm:

    Is anyone even considering Bob Daiber?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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