Illinois’s governor. Keeping my powder dry.


Millions of union members dollars were spent by the IEA to rescue the pension thief, Pat Quinn.

On yesterday morning’s Hitting Left with my brother Mike, we spent a few minutes talking about the 2018 race for for the governor’s mansion.  Right now, that is all the time the issue is worth.

There was no discussion about Rauner. He’s got to go. And if the Democrats don’t screw it up, he will go.

Big if.

We, the Klonsky brothers, both agreed. There are a bunch of candidates who have announced for the Democratic nomination – a bunch claiming to be Progressives – and there may be more to come. There is no rush by us to support any of them.

The Illinois Representative Assembly, the state union’s annual convention is next weekend at the downtown Sheraton Grand.

I imagine that the place will be swarming with candidates for governor. I’m not sure why. The endorsement process in the IEA is fixed just as it was with the endorsement process in the NEA last year when Clinton was endorsed early with no strings.

The IEA’s endorsement process is a hapless one.

At the last local recommendation hearing I attended a few years ago as local leader of an IEA Retired group, the session was run by an IEA  Uniserv staffer who had no idea about the rules to be followed or what the issues were. Endorsement votes were cast by people who presented no evidence that they were empowered to cast a vote. That staffer was later terminated, I heard. But as an “employment related issue” we were legally kept from knowing the circumstances of the termination. But recommendations mean IPACE money is handed out, so it was worrisome to me.

In the lead up to the 2014 race for governor, the political arm of the IEA spent millions of rank and file member dollars.  First it was spent on the head of the Illinois chapter of the pro-business, anti-union  ALEC. Then they spent millions more of IPACE dollars on the pension thief incumbent Pat Quinn.

This electoral strategy was a massive failure, with thousands of union members and retirees voting Democratic but leaving the governor’s line blank.

In 2016 the IEA followed the lead of the NEA and endorsed Clinton over Sanders in the Illinois primary. Clinton entered the state’s primary race with a twenty point lead and with the help of the IEA squandered that lead in the span of a few weeks, barely winning the state by 30,000 votes and splitting the delegates almost evenly with Sanders.

Democratic hopefuls attending the IEA RA next weekend must be there for the chicken lunch because they can’t believe that the IEA leadership can actually produce anything for them.

And the rank and file membership will have little say.

So far, there is nothing about any of the Democrats that distinguishes them from one another. What do they have to say to the thousands of union members in the state? What solutions do they offer for a state that – even if we had a budget – doesn’t have the revenue to pay its bills? Our pensions carry a liability of over $130 billion dollars because of decades of failure to pay what was owed.

What do they have to say to the City of Chicago which continues to lose population, led by a massive exodus of African Americans who have been abandoned by the Democrats who ask for their votes?

I’m on hold and keeping my powder dry.

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