Goodbye Elaine Nekritz. What about Dan Biss?

My 2014 cartoon of State Representative and pension thief Elaine Nekritz.

I have been in this fight against pension thievery for a long time. It goes back long before I was a retired teacher myself.

As my friend and fellow blogger Glen Brown always says, public employee pensions are a moral and legal obligation of the state.

And when the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of the pension protection clause, they made another important point: If the state can take away the promised pensions of state workers based on a crisis that they themselves created, what rights and property of the people are safe from future thievery.

The two leading legislative proponents of pension theft – although not the only ones, for sure – were Representative Elaine Nekritz in the House chamber and State Senator Dan Biss in the Senate chamber.

I debated both these folks over the course of our successful defense of our pensions.

Here I am outside Dan Biss’ Skokie district office in 2013.

And here I am challenging Elaine Nekritz at a forum that same year at East Aurora High School.

There has been a lot of water under that pension bridge since then.

Most importantly, the highest court in the state has ruled in favor of the pension rights of current retirees, and I believe in favor of current employees.

Where are Biss and Nekritz?

Dan Biss is running for governor of Illinois as a Progressive. On many issues he certainly qualifies.

I have asked him directly about his current position on pension protection and pension reform proposals.

I’m not going to vote for anything I don’t think would be upheld by the courts,” he told me.

I find this to be a fairly careful and nuanced statement.

As my friend, Glen Brown put it, the pension promise was a moral as well as a legal obligation of the state.

Maybe it is too much to expect a politician to speak in terms of moral obligations.

As for Nekrtiz, she announced today she is not running for state representative again.

At one time Nekritz was seen as a possible successor to Speaker Michael Madigan.

But she never said she was wrong about pension theft.

I believe her reputation as a pension thief put an end to her political aspirations. Just as Pat Quinn’s defeat by Bruce Rauner can be laid at the feet of his views on pension reform and his signature on an unconstitutional bill.

Good riddance to Elaine Nekritz.

As to State Senator Dan Biss, I think he will have trouble with state retired workers and their families.

I think his change of mind about voting for unconstitutional laws is progress.

I think he needs to say more.

We asked him to come on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers to talk about it. His people said maybe they could find time in September.

8 Replies to “Goodbye Elaine Nekritz. What about Dan Biss?”

  1. A bunch of folks at Capitol Fax were waxing poetic about how much Nekritz was going to be missed.

    I disagreed.

    One of the things that bothered me the most about the pension thieves was that many, especially the drivers, were lawyers. Madigan, Cullerton, Nekritz, Drury…

    Yet they apparently coul not understand the clear and plain language in the Constitution.

    Then it occured to me that the DID understand it- they just didn’t care.

    They are scam artists…Con men…snake oil salesmen…

    Their actions demonstrate that they have NO respect for the law- they certainly do not hold it sacred…the law is a confidence game to them. The law is something mutable and something to be manipulated.

    Imagine working in your chosen profession for decades and having CONTEMPT for its underlying principles.

    What horribly cold and shallow lives they must lead.

  2. The people at that website are the problem. I saw Guzzardi backed Biss. I am not. Rauner just go and I will have to vote for someone and I will probably join the unions. I think it will be easier to pass the progressive tax with a super rich person to fight the other super rich.I would love a progressive superman but there isn’t one so I will go with the limosine liberal.

  3. I just checked that site and the comments were…I can’t even describe them. She accomplished nothing of substance and it is that non accomplishment that leads to the Rauners and Trump. But that site is so myopic they think voters are going to even think of Springfield in the middle of the Trumpstorm

  4. She will be returning her AAI ?She voted allow otter killing too. She apppeared on a defunct cable network with somebody named Fred. Can anyone add to this list of great accomplishments?

  5. Ah! The Memories:

    “…There are no absolutes in the state constitution or the U.S. Constitution,” Elaine Nekritz said. “The state constitution says that the state has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education, but the Illinois Supreme Court ruled it doesn’t… No law is absolute, and there are any number of cases that make this clear,” Nekritz said. “I believe the Illinois Supreme Court will ultimately realize this one area is no different than any other constitutional provision…” (Chicago Tribune, Feb. 4, 2015).

    I won’t bother to comment on Nekritz’s faulty analogies from the rest of the Tribune article. We have often read commentaries that have used misleading analogies and other deliberate misinformation to either argue fallaciously or foment envy and anger for public employees who have earned constitutionally-guaranteed pension benefit rights. We know there are several antedated court cases that have upheld the Illinois State Constitution.

    I have stated often that to challenge the “Pension Clause” is to defy common understanding of its legal and moral principles and to believe that every word in the State and U.S. Constitutions might also be interpreted into an infinite, fabricated regression.

    Most people know the “Pension Clause” is a valid agreement because it is understood to be a contractual right and guarantee that public employees have earned. Most people also know Illinois legislators are not dealing with a threat to the “public’s safety, health, and morals as well as peace, well-being and order of the state”; nor are they dealing with an economic emergency of such magnitude that they are compelled to invoke powers to protect the state’s citizens and, thus, serve a reasonable public purpose or need. Consider the plethora of corporate welfare given out in Illinois, the state’s unfair flat tax, the decades of underfunding the pension systems, and the flawed “Pension Ramp.”

    Most people know pension reform is an egregious attack on public employees’ rights to a constitutionally-guaranteed, earned compensation. An unconscionable constitutional challenge of those rights and earned benefits generates a serious threat to their secure sense of worth as citizens and creates the unfair possibility for an economic disadvantage for a particular group of people and their families. This can never be legally or morally justified.

    “The power of changing the relative situation of debtor and creditor, of interfering with contracts, a power which comes home to every man, touches the interest of all, and controls the conduct of every individual in those things which he supposes to be proper for his own exclusive management, had been used to such an excess by the state legislatures, as to break in upon the ordinary intercourse of society, and destroy all confidence between man and man.

    “This mischief had become so great, so alarming, as not only to impair commercial intercourse and threaten the existence of credit, but to sap the morals of the people and destroy the sanctity of private faith. To guard against the continuance of the evil was an object of deep interest with all the truly wise, as well as the virtuous, of this great community, and was one of the important benefits expected from a reform of the government” (Chief Justice Marshall).

    What Illinois citizens can accurately predict about future contracts with state legislators, like Nekritz, who believe they have the “power to interfere with the obligations of contracts [that are] specifically denied to the states [in Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution]” is that if Illinois legislators “can declare an emergency to exist and abrogate one provision of [both State and U.S. Constitutions]…, ‘this decision serves notice upon [every citizen of Illinois], who heretofore had trusted in the constitutions for protection and believed in the sanctity of a contract, that the constitutions are no longer a guarantee nor security against the abrogation of a proper and legal contract’” (Fliter, John A. and Derek S. Hoff. Fighting Foreclosure: The Blaisdell Case, the Contract Clause, and the Great Depression).

  6. Do these billionaire geniuses realize that the same logic could be used to take all of their stuff? It rhetorical see Rauner Trump……the billionaire class today are not the robber barons that actually built things. Its mostly a collection of financial grifters….see Forbes….white house….statehouse…..Still have not thought of any great achievement……I guess she and her fans might think her quotes Glen quotes are….maybe that is what counts as something these days…not exactly the Interstate highway system ….or even the supplemental freeway system

  7. Elaine, you were unethical, immoral, and unconstitutional! The worst of it is that you knew it the whole time. Great move! Get out of Dodge! Good-bye and good riddance!

    P.S. If only a few others like you would follow your lead…

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