Ask Teri: Mike Madigan and His Democrat Cabal Try to Pull Another Fast One, The Proposed Illinois Constitutional Amendment

Recently, I received a note from one of our SL’s (Smart Listener), who is also a subscriber to the Teri O’Brien Show. It read:

Do you know anything about this proposed Amendment to the IL Constitution?  Do you know where I can find out the conservative view on it?  On the surface it looks like something I’d support.  But Mike Madigan sponsored it so that concerns me.  I just don’t see how something like this that appears to be fiscally conservative could get through in IL.  I don’t trust them!

First, let me say how much I appreciate this SL’s support of the show. It helps us keep the lights on. If you value the information you get here, and on the Teri O’Brien Show, please consider subscribing. As little as $5/month, makes a huge difference here. You can click on the yellow buttons on the right side of the top of the page to either subscribe, or make a one-time contribution. Thanks so much!

SL, your intelligence is showing, not only because you like the show, but because you view anything sponsored by current Illinois Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Illinois State Democrat Party Mike Madigan with suspicion. For readers who don’t know much about Mike Madigan, and why his involvement in any legislation raises a red flag, please check out this column from the Chicago Tribune’s always insightful John Kass. Mike Madigan runs the IL democrat party, and under its fine stewardship, this state his been run into the ground. It has $85 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and $8 billion in other unpaid bills. Businesses and productive citizens are fleeing the high taxes. Madigan accepts no responsibility for any of it. 

So what does the amendment say and what would it do? To put it simply, as the folks at BallotPedia state “If passed, the measure would require a three-fifths approval by the General Assembly, city councils, and school districts that wish to increase the pension benefits of their employees.” Here’s the text, from the official Illinois General Assembly website. It would take effect on January 9, 2013.

This amendment is exactly what I would expect from the sleazy pols who run this state, with Madigan at the top of the garbage heap. It is a cynical attempt to allow him to pretend that he and his party, which runs this state, are doing something about the fiscal mess, when in fact it would do nothing to fix the real problem; specifically, that Illinois has spent billions it doesn’t have and has borrowed billions to keep spending.

So, is it good idea to require supermajorities to increase spending even more? As we say about chicken soup, it couldn’t hurt, but as a practical matter, it’s not going to fix anything, and voters shouldn’t be fooled into thinking it will. Does that mean we should vote against it? In my opinion, no. In theory, it’s a good thing. Public employee unions oppose it because they oppose anything that makes it harder to spend more on public employee goodies. One thing we need to do is pass some actual pension legislation that will shore up the system by requiring bigger employee contributions, higher retirement ages, and reduction in the amounts paid to cronies to manage the pension funds. This amendment doesn’t touch any of those things. The Illinois Policy Institute calls it a “do nothing” amendment, and they are correct. I will probably vote in favor of it anyway because I don’t want to send a message to the clowns in Springfield that I’m not concerned about their profligate spending. I also understand those who say not to vote on it either way, precisely because it’s a ridiculous charade.

The real solution to Illinois’ fiscal woes is to get rid of one-party control, and for people to stop voting for the democrats who have destroyed this state.





  1. This will be the third time in the ten, give or take, years I’ve known you, that I disagree. It’s a complete smokescreen. Madigan doesn’t care either way on this Amendment. If it fails, he’ll blame the voters for the pension mess- if it passes they have the votes to raise any pension. So what, really, is the point? I suspect the answer lies in the “emolument increase”. This Amendment restricts pension raises (except COLA) and who can be included in a pension plan, EXCEPT those mandated by a court. Who do you think is going to litigate a pension lawsuit in the near future?

    David Orr said: “Marriage equality is long overdue in Illinois, I support it in no uncertain terms.”

    they want to expand the class of citizen covered by these pensions to include “Civil Unions”, which they hope to some day legitimize. Once a court rules these unions are covered by a pension, which politician do you know that will stand up and oppose it?

    The Conservative response to this idiocy, should be an objection to COLA. The Cost of Living Allowance is increased by the the interference on business by government- something that a government employee benefits from. I not be a part of government employees’ gross laziness and downright interference skyrocketing the COLA to raise their pensions.

    Nothing in this Amendment prevents a raise in salary that would raise the pension, anyway.

    No! Amendments should be hard for a reason. If they can’t say no to a union then they can own it.

    When the last business leaves Illinois, let them pay for the pensions themselves. It’ll be like a big circle…

  2. Mensa, I’m not sure I see how we disagree. As I mentioned, Madigan is trying to con everyone into believing he’s actually trying to fix the fiscal problem with this silly charade. And if you’re saying we should vote “no” because it is a stupid charade, I can see you point. I completely agree that the actual issues, like the COLA, the retirement age, etc., should be addressed, which this faux reform does not do. We agree: this amendment does NOTHING to address Illinois’ problems.

    • This Amendment is a farce, like you said. Amendments are hard for a reason. I don’t want to give these cretins any idea that passing an Amendment is easy. Yeah, we are going to get the blame for not passing this garbage, but it doesn’t solve anything, heck, it doesn’t do anything they can’t already do.

      It is like voting for judges- you can vote against them but they get appointed anyway because there is always a need for more judges. Screw that, I vote no on judges just so they have to appoint them.

      Similarly, on this, I’ll be voting NO. I hope you will reconsider.

  3. Princess, I commend to your attention:

    “The real source of Illinois’ problem is pensions. In fact Illinois “has the worst unfunded pension liability of any state.” The solution to the problem is simple enough, “some type of reduction in pension benefits appears inevitable.” But no one in Illinois’ leadership has been able to make the change. It’s easy to sell expanded programs. It’s hard to explain cuts or increased taxes.”

    This Amendment doesn’t even stem the flow. It is a distraction.

    • Hi Mensa,
      I had actually seen that report referenced in the Breitbart piece, and as I said before, we don’t disagree. This amendment is a lame and pointless distraction, and I think most people see through it. I also think that all of us productive people will be sad, but relieved, when we watch Illinois implode from Indiana, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, or whichever state we go when we flee.

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