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Quinn's 'Juvenile' Attempt At Educating Illinois On Pension Reform May Be The Adult Thing To Do

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 19, 2012 8:45PM

In August Gov. Pat Quinn said he would start a grassroots campaign for pension reform after the Illinois General Assembly’s special session resulted in expelling indicted Rep. Derrick Smith from Springfield and nothing else.

Here’s Quinn’s first attempt in becoming a populist for pension reform:

If anything, it shows that Quinn's cornpone sensibility isn't an act. The site, the kids in the video, Squeezy the Pension Python, and the lack of a plan for pension reform are being savaged by the Tribune, labor unions, and other politicians. Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) called the initiative "juvenile."

"This has to be comprehensive reform. It can't be done in a vacuum and it can't be done with slogans and it certainly can't be done with cartoon characters," Franks said. "It's going to take some hard work."

Well it hasn't been done for decades by Illinois' lawmakers, either, so at lease Quinn is doing something in trying to explain the pension morass in language the average voter can understand. And it wasn't Quinn who tried to add what many thought was a backdoor to eliminating pension protections on the ballot because the State Legislature cant—won't—get something done.

So when Jack Franks and others say Quinn "should talk to the people directly," maybe they should take a step back and see that's what Quinn's doing here. Quinn has been the only one talking directly to Illinoisans about pension reform, which makes him the perfect whipping boy for politicians on both sides of the aisle as they kick the can further down the road.

In related news, Quinn announced the state's unfunded pension liabilities now stand at $96 billion. Maybe Jack Franks and others should stop calling Pat Quinn "juvenile" and recognize he may be one of the few adults in the room addressing the subject.