We Are One Illinois created a massive Jan. 3, 2002 rally in the capitol to address the pension crisis created by state representatives. The representatives canceled their scheduled legislative session.
Shakespeare famously wrote, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” The reason for this is simply that Springfield, Illinois had not yet been founded when he wrote the line.
The Illinois Education Association was a major organizer of the teachers who are most harmed by the prospective legislative bill. The teachers and retirees who traveled hundreds of miles in the dead of winter from all over the state arrived at offices abandoned by the representatives who fail to solve the actual problem. Because the state legislature has failed to pay the teachers’ pension money into the pension fund for decades, this legalized pillage has been renamed a Pension Crisis.
Let’s be perfectly clear about this. There is no pension crisis; there is a revenue crisis.
If lawmakers had not made laws that protect lawmakers from this fraud and theft, they would be in jail as people who did this same thing to private pension funds are. Jail. Crooks. Fraud. Theft.
Ask Ty Fahner. As an ex-attorney general in Illinois he explained this to everyone on a PBS interview program. Fahner is currently the president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago as well as the author and driving force of this pillage legislation. Yes, the president of a group of corporate tycoons wrote the present bill and attends legislative committee sessions. For some reason, though not elected, he writes bills and attends sessions which allow elected officials to misuse funds yet go unarrested for their malfeasance.
With a Democratic super-majority in both the senate and the house of representatives, this Republican Tea Party national proposal is being perpetrated on Illinois teachers. Democrapublicans?
Democratic Speaker of the House of Representative Mike Madigan has repeatedly vindicated this present legislature from engaging in these despicable acts. He correctly states that past legislatures were guilty of these acts of skullduggery. The fact that Madigan has been the Speaker of the House for over 27 years makes his hypocritical statement the epitome of political Hypocrisy – with a capital H.
The present Illinois Attorney General is the person to investigate this corrupt tangle of vile misdeeds, however Lisa Madigan is Mike Madigan’s daughter which makes the whole situation even more tangled. The Chicago Tribune (World’s Greatest Newspaper – WGN) doesn’t really bother very much to go into this situation. Of course Sam Zell, the owner of the Tribune and the Cubs, is a member of the Commercial Club tycoons and his bankrupting of the Tribune as his personal wealth thrives is being investigated as the past-governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojovich, remains in jail because of corruption charges involving Zells’ Chicago Cubs ownership. Hmm…
But, we digress. (Or do we?)
Bottom line. Teachers, public workers, and retirees marched on the state capitol demanding justice during a scheduled House of Representatives session, and the representatives have abandoned them all – along with their own their civic responsibilities and human decency. Can our elected officials be rescued and converted to represent and serve the needs of the people of the state and the nation?
Some of my great friends are standing in the empty corridors trying to speak truth to power – even to invisible power.