Democratic Party strategist David Ormsby: Our union pension fight is “a grubby little fight over money for its members.”


Democratic Party political strategist David Ormsby.

David Ormsby is a hired gun. He is sometimes called a political strategist.

He has done public relations and press work for Richard Daley, Michael Madigan and other Democrats.

He has sent me nice notes over the years.

But not today.

Responding to my Black Tuesday post this morning, Ormsby commented on Facebook:

Fred, lawmakers are not eager to cut pension benefits of retirees. In fact, they have avoided cutting a single dime of benefits for current employees while they have cut, bled, dismantled every other part of state government over the last four years and raised the income tax. Yes, the Speaker will nudge some reluctant yes votes, but many Democrats will vote for it because they have reached their limit of cutting money for schools, mental health, child abuse protection, etc. And many will vote no because of IEA and IFT campaign cash. There are few pure souls whose strings go unpulled. The issue isn’t black and white. It’s more grey and green.

What baloney.

I commented back:

This is a feeble defense not worthy of you. The House HAS voted to cut pensions just this year, only to be stopped by the Senate. Nobody is looking for pure souls. We are looking for Democrats who believe in the rule of law. Perhaps that is fruitless. As long as they choose to function under the paradigm of which group of poor, working and middle class citizens should we screw while leaving the rich and the corporations protected from appropriate taxation – as long as they vote to leave Illinois among the lowest spending, lowest taxing states in the US, there is nowhere else to go but pension destruction. Defend it anyway you like, but there are times when right is right and wrong is wrong. This is the time.

Back came Ormsby:

Setting aside the phony piousness about the rule of law, it’s about preserving union COLAs in retiree paychecks. That’s what unions do. I get it. But gussying up the union fight as something more noble than what it is – a grubby little fight over money for its members – by whacking opposing lawmakers who don’t take $10,000 IEA, IFT, AFSCME checks as “craven sycophants” of Madigan is unworthy of you, Fred.

Phony piousness!?

My piousness is entirely sincere.

But let us deconstruct Ormsby’s response.

It’s not about “preserving COLAs in retiree paychecks.” Retirees don’t get paychecks because, well, we’re retired. This is not a matter of picking nits. COLAs are a contractual and constitutional guaranteed benefit that is part of our pension. It’s not a grubby little fight over money. It is a fight over an attempt to violate a provision of the Illinois Constitution.

By the way. Fights over the refusal to pay someone else’s compensation may be grubby to David. However he might proclaim it a matter of principal if a Democratic Party client refused to pay his billable hours.

It’s only grubby when it is someone else’s money.

And, for the record, my main whacks have been directed at those who do take our checks and then stab us in the backs. Not at those who don’t.

As I said to Ormsby:

The Democrats don’t waste their money on you. I was wrong. You are worthy.

14 thoughts on “Democratic Party strategist David Ormsby: Our union pension fight is “a grubby little fight over money for its members.”

  1. What’s grubby is not fighting the state for what it promised, or even breaking their oath of office to uphold the constitution, what’s grubby is trying to cover up the criminal behavior of the very people that are engineering the deal. They are the ones that diverted the funds and they are still in office.

  2. They’ve cut every part of the state budget extra the massive graft and corporate welfare.

    That’d be a good place to look before as Slick Rick said, “Robbing old folks and making the dash”.

  3. Fred, Thank you for standing up for us pensioners. It is amazing how politicians can speak out of both sides of their mouth and still try to sound reasonable. It gets tiring to be stabbed in the back by those who have power.

    It is a problem across the country that many corporations are making huge profits, don’t pay taxes and are not hiring. The few workers who do get jobs are seeing their salaries cut while CEO’s have ever increasing outrageous salaries and bonuses.

    Why shouldn’t the wealthy pay more in taxes? How many millions does a person need each year? But, if Congress sees fit to cut food stamps, cut funding for Meals on Wheels and cut money for early childhood, what can we expect for the future?

  4. Democratic party strategist?

    Those are not the observations and comments of a Democrat or a strategist.

    Worse, sadly it looks like some Democratic “leaders” from Connecticut have infiltrated illinois.

    That “same” attitude has managed to ensure our “Democratic” Governor can’t poll more than 42% on his best days…..

    These thugs wouldn’t know the meaning of the Democratic Party and their stupidity and incompetence every day,


    My ass – they are an embarrassment .

    1. The Democrats sign Ormsby’s (grubby) check. But there is only one political party in Illinois. The Anti-Pension Party.

  5. For decades only the new teachers had decent raises Teachers with more than five years were told they would be compensated with the constitution protected pension and the automatic annual increase. It was not a COLA

  6. This is truly sickening. I am so tired of faux-libs who think paying working people what they are owed is “grubby.”

    David, when trust-fund babies like James Crown and repulsive robber barons like Bruce Rauner finally start paying their fair share in taxes, we can have a talk about cutting COLAs for middle-class retired teachers who had to pay into the pension for years BY LAW.

    Until that happy day comes, however, don’t even start with the “We’re all in this together!” crap. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a war on. Choose sides or get the hell out of the way.

  7. They have answers for everything. Teachers will not go down easily as the Park District did. This will go to court. Teachers vote and this hired gun will be looking for other candidates for his mercenary work.

  8. If legislators are so concerned about the state of Illinois’ economy, then why don’t they offer to ‘reform’ their pensions? Nothing is ever mentioned or suggested about the costs they cause.
    What’s good for the goose…oh–sorry! I forgot–it’s unconstitutional! And they are our American Royalty! Can’t touch their salaries, pensions, benefits or expense accounts. So tired of this…

    1. They did have a proposal last year to ABOLISH the GA pension system. Cross and Rodogno jumped up and said, NOOOO! not OUR pensions! They then proceeded to kill the proposed legislation.

    1. Example, if a teacher takes a leave of absence to take a position as a full time representative in the IEA or IFT where the salary is no longer paid by a school district. The person then pays the same amount in they would have if they had remained in the teaching position. This was put in the law so teachers would not lose their pension for having taken a job representing the teachers.

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