With guest, Louder Than a Bomb poet Nate Marshall

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rahm's allies duck out on his pension raid

Fred Klonsky art
The word on Clout Street is that Rahm's own allies and machine pals are distancing themselves from the mayor's pension-busting plan. The latest to duck out of the pension raiding party seems to be Ald. Patrick O’Connor who is usually Rahm's ramrod in the City Council. O'Connor basically admitted yesterday, that Rahm's proposed pension cuts and property-tax increases won't produce the revenue needed to pay the required benefits for retiring cops and fire fighters.

Now even Rahm, who last week was boasting how close he was to an agreement with the CTU and other unions (he lied) is ducking for cover and is even denying that his proposal cuts pension benefits. Ludicrous!
Emanuel said his proposal has support from employee unions, but so far they’re not publicly embracing it. The Service Employees International Union, which represents about a third of the current workers who would be affected, is neutral. “We’re not going against it,” said Adam Rosen, spokesman for SEIU Local 73, “but we’re not supporting it, because of the impact on current retirees.”
By Tuesday, he was ducking questions about whether he would seek a delay in Springfield this spring to put off the "police and fire pension problem".

I think what they're really worried about is having to line up behind another pension-busting scheme while SB1 is still in the courts and as election day approaches. Lots of aldermen have cops, fire fighters and teachers living in their wards. Rahm's strategy also plays into the hand of Bruce Rauner in the governor's race and makes Democrats take ownership of anti-union policies. Rauner's opponent, Gov. Quinn, who signed the state's unconstitutional pension busting bill SB1, is already on the shit list of union voters around the state.

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