Here is why Chris Kennedy will not get the Democratic nomination to run against Bruce Rauner.
Well, maybe not the only reason.
But one reason.
He is one of these guys who has all kinds of ideas about what to do with the teachers’ retirement pension except how to pay the damn bill the state owes us.
Teachers hate that.
Before he got in trouble for sending inappropriate emails to female lobbyists, his idea was to punish by excluding them from state pension investments any companies that signed on to BDS, a campaign of divestment and economic boycott of Israel.
It passed unanimously in the Illinois legislature. The same legislature that for 70 years underfunded the pension system.
But Ira Silverstein had an issue with BDS. So he used our retirement savings to pursue it.
Democratic governor candidate Chris Kennedy on Tuesday called for state pension funds to pull investments in gun and ammunition companies, and he criticized primary rival state Sen. Daniel Biss for not raising the idea first.
I’m thinking Senator Daniel Biss didn’t think of the idea first because the last time Senator Daniel Biss came up with an idea about state pensions it was stupid and unconstitutional.
I have moved on but – and trust me on this – I have teacher friends who will never vote for Daniel Biss for anything because of his self-admitted pension mistake.
Coming up with an idea first doesn’t make the idea a good one.
Chris Kennedy can’t pull state pensions from anywhere because it’s not his money. Not now. Not ever.
That money is ours – the retired public employees of the state. The investment of that money is directed by a board of trustees, some of whom are elected by the retirees and the active employees.
As in the case of BDS and Ira Silverstein before he got caught harassing women, the legislature can direct the trustees. But why should they? How would this not turn our pension system into a political football for everyone with an issue to go after.
Here’s what I say: Invest our retirement savings wisely.
Some state pension systems have come up with a socially conscious code of ethics for investment. I’m good with that.
But cherry picking issues?
Do it with your own money.
And why aren’t they talking about paying the hundred billion dollar liability the state is in arrears to TRS and the pension systems? Isn’t that the pension issue Chris Kennedy should be talking about?
Incredibly, Biss responded to Kennedy with the wrong answer.
Biss campaign spokesman Tom Elliott dismissed the critique as “just another ridiculous political stunt by the Kennedy campaign.”
But he said Biss would support the divestment from gun and ammunition makers, “just like he supports divesting the pension funds from dirty energy.”
What the hell happened to the idea of elected officials passing laws and regulations about guns and dirty energy?
The legislature seemed to have a problem even passing an anti-bumpstock law.
But political opportunism and micro-managing our pensions comes easy when you’re running for office.
Big Tobacco. Big Oil. Casinos. The largest defense contractor in the world. And the developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Those are just some of the hundreds of investment portfolio areas Democrats J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy list as part of paperwork they were required to file to run for governor.
Hey, Chris Kennedy. And JB. You know what matches up really well with the evils of gun manufacturing?
Personally investing in the largest defense contractor in the world.
Why didn’t you come up with the idea of divesting your personal inheritance in that stuff first?