Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teacher pension grab bill killed -- for now

How do we know? Ty Fahner told us so

Under pressure from hundreds of thousands of people (including me) who made phone calls and sent emails, IL legislators pulled the plug on a bill that would have increased the amount current public employees would have to pay for their pensions. The great lesson in all this is that if you don't hit it, it won't fall. This was a victory for the grass roots forces inside and outside the teacher and public employee unions against a vicious assault on teachers and public schools.

I am glad that the forces of darkness revealed themselves this time, in a statement announcing the withdrawal of SB 512 signed by none other than House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Tom Cross, and Ty Fahner, the president of the anti-union Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, saying the issue is dead until the legislature’s fall veto session.Why would Ty Fahner be signed on to such a statement, you may ask? Who elected Ty Fahner and the Civic Committee to speak for the state legislature, you may ask? Exactly!

As things turned out, even some self-respecting Republican legislators were put off by Civic Committee bullying.

Rep. Jim Watson, R-Jacksonville, a member of the House Republican leadership, said some GOP members were told by leaders in the Civic Committee, a group of chief executives from Chicago’s largest corporations, that they would face primary challenges for re-election, if they didn’t vote for the bill. 
"Hopefully they learned something from this, that if you do want help implement change, top down may not be the best model,” Watson said. “Calling caucus members and threatening them — that doesn’t play well -- Springfield State Journal

1 comment:

  1. Notice something about Watson's statement: In order for the threats from Civic Committee to have been heard by legislators, they must have taken the calls. I don't know about you Mike, but none of my calls were taken. Heck, sometimes I didn't even get to leave a message. I did get a form letter as a response to one of my emails though! One of them only.

    But apparently GOP members had no problem taking calls from these corporate CEOs.


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