For years, it was R. Eden Martin leading the charge. Martin is a partner in the corporate law firm of Sidley and Austin and was president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
When you wanted to hear what those who wanted to destroy public service unions had to say, you went to R. Eden Martin. If you wanted to know the plan the corporate tycoons of Chicago had for destroying public employee pensions, R. Eden Martin was the go-to guy.
As happens to us all, Martin has gotten on in years. He’s handed his scepter over to his bastard child, Ty Fahner.
Fahner is a partner in the other monster corporate law firm in town, Meyer Brown.
And Fahner is no Tea Party guy. He wouldn’t be caught dead with such rabble. No. Fahner was mentored by the so-called moderate leaders of the Republican Party. Leaders like former governors Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar. Both Thompson and Edgar keep their distance from the ideological right. Their only concern is keeping business happy. They care about three things: money, money and money.
So when the head lawyer for the Democrats in Springfield wrote a long well-researched paper saying that any change to the state’s pension system would be illegal and unconstitutional, Fahner, former state attorney general, had to reply.
There are bills in both the House and Senate that provide that current public employees be given a choice to either maintain benefits at their current levels but contribute more toward the high cost of them, accept higher retirement ages and other reasonable modifications to future benefits in exchange for pension contributions close to what is currently required or opt into a defined-contribution plan similar to a 401(k). These bills are not constitutionally prohibited, no matter how often the issue is raised to obscure responsibility.
Here is the corporate plan, paid for by Ty Fahner and the Civic Committee. Since we can’t constitutionally end public employee pensions, make them so expensive and worthless to the employees that they will leave it and opt for a defined contribution system.
Devlish and evil. Worthy of the bastard child of R. Eden Martin.