Taking his case to the people
Gov. Pat Quinn is on the warpath.
Fresh from his disappointing failure to persuade legislators to address Illinois' public pension issues, Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed he'll take the issue to the voters.
Reverting to his role in bygone days as a political rabble-rouser who liked to score points at state legislators' expense, Quinn said this week that he intends to lead a grass-roots campaign to pressure legislators to take action.
Good for him, and it's highly likely that legislators will address the pension issue promptly — in the post-election veto session, just as Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan intended all along.
Quinn's announcement this week drew considerable attention, but an examination of the facts reveals just how hollow a threat it is.
The governor is certainly not likely to call for another special legislative session after the one he called for Aug. 17 turned out to be such a fiasco. If he does, he'd be asking for more rude treatment.
That means the only time legislators now can address the pension issues is after the election. So what is Quinn's effort really about, if anything?
Perhaps he intends to try scoring points points at the expense of legislative Republicans, whom he is blaming for the failure of the House and Senate to act. But it's the Democrats who hold big majorities in both the House and the Senate, not the GOP.
Quinn's problem on the pension issue is not the Republicans, but legislative Democrats who fear alienating traditional Democratic voters like public employees and union members prior to the fall election.
So he can huff and puff all he wants, and he probably will. But the sound and fury signifies nothing but empty political posturing.