Saturday, December 7, 2013

12-7-13 Fred Klonsky | Running for our pensions. | VOTE 4 Fred Klonsky.

Fred Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher who is just looking at the data.

Fred Klonsky | Running for our pensions. | VOTE 4 Fred Klonsky.

Can somebody please explain Senator Iris Martinez to me. She is my State Senator.
  Chicago Democratic State Senator Iris Martinez. She’s my State Senator. But I don’t understand her. On Tuesday she voted for SB1. She is a pension thief. But on Friday she sent a email to me and her other constituents which said she voted for SB1 because she was against it. I have heard versions of this story from other Representatives and Senators who I have talked with these past view weeks.

What will the courts do?
I will say that I don’t think people should make much of (House) Speaker (Michael) Madigan’s comments that he believes the law will be upheld. What else is he going to say? In interviews with News Bureau Business & Law Editor Phil Ciciora, two University of Illinois law professors discuss the constitutionality of pension reform bill passed by the Illinois Legislature and signed into law Dec.
George Schmidt. “First they came for…”
George Schmidt publishes Substance News. The voting on SB1 showed how the Democrat leadership will try to play this from now on. First “downstate” — then Chicago. No sooner had SB1 passed than Rahm Emanuel’s talking points (and distortions) were being blared as “news” in the Tribune, Sun Times, and TV. But this time around, it’s going to be different, starting with the governor’s race. It’s sad th

Keeping retirement weird.
  Ron Antonelli for The New York Times. From left, Mark Kerr, Dorothy Kerr, Chrystal McArthur and Richard White, who were longtime administrators at Rutgers. This was a tough week for Illinois geezers like me. Oops. This is where my retired friends text me about calling ourselves geezers. But I say we should embrace the term. Turn an insult into a proud self-description. I keep saying that we are

 mark as read

Update on North Carolina Moral Monday. Twelve more convictions.
  CONVICTED FOR THEIR CONVICTIONS! In Raleigh, NC, the next group of “Moral Monday” are now convicted for civil disobedience: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Rev. Curtis Gatewood, Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, Rev. Nelson Johnson, Maria Teresa Palmer, Rev. Larry Reid, Sr., John (Bob) Zellner, Perri Morgan, O’Linda Gillis, Margaretta Belin, Dr. Timothy Tyson, and Barbara Zelter.
The in box. COLA in their stockings.
  FRED, Since I don’t have a blog, yet ,maybe you can share this idea for me. I think I have killed any chance of getting a holiday card from either DCCC or any of a myriad of Democrat groups that have contacted me since Black Tuesday. I respond to each with a message informing them that the Democrat leadership of my State has turned its back on labor and retirees. As a result I cannot predict whether Illinois will be a Blue state or a Red state because it is currently a coal state for every politician who supported the theft of my pension. In fact, being the season of giv
Eric Zorn on pensions is so Eric Zornish.
  Glen Brown. When it comes to lazy and dishonest local journalists, its hard to beat the Tribune’s Eric Zorn. Here’s a case in point. On his blog today Zorn addresses the constitutionality of Senate Bill 1. He makes reference to the Arizona case that is very similar to Illinois. A bill to cut public employee pension benefits was tossed out by the Arizona courts. The vast weight of case law in Illinois supports the position that the constitution forbids exactly what the General Assembly has just done — something underscored most muscularly in the extensively researched  writing on the topic b


A true story about the pension thief Senator Dan Kotowski.
  Park Ridge Democratic Senator Dan Kotowski greets Park Ridge teachers. Photo: Fred Klonsky The phone rang at about 10:30 on a Friday night. This was a couple of years ago. I was an active teacher and President of the Park Ridge Education Association. Teaching kindergarten through fifth graders when you’re in your 60s is tough work. Trust me. When Friday rolls around, I am deep into my dreams by
Breaking: La Casita “trespassers” found not-guilty.
  Sun-Times: Nine protesters charged with trespassing after they tried to save a beloved Pilsen school fieldhouse were found not guilty Friday by a Cook County judge. The nine protesters — among them community activists and Chicago Public Schools teachers — were charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass to state-supported land after they camped out in August in a failed attempt to save the Whit
Pension thieves.
  Dan Kotowski is a Democratic State Senator from the 28th District representing Park Ridge. He targets older people, retired police, fire fighters, public service workers, public school teachers and state university employees. Approach with care. He should be considered a Republican and dangerous.
Scott Walker and the Chicago Tribune. Dogs in heat.
  What could be worse than the Chicago Tribune printing the vile cartoon that depicted the public employees of the state of Illinois portrayed as dogs – dogs that had been fixed as a result of the unconstitutional pension bill passed on Tuesday and signed into law in a private ceremony by Squeezy? The Tribune tried to outdo themselves today. They published an op-ed piece by Scott Walker, Tea Part

DEC 05

Bob Zellner. Moral Mondays in North Carolina.
  Julian Bond and Bob Zellner. Bob Zellner is a long-time social justice organizer and veteran of SNCC and the Southern Civil Rights Movement. From North Carolina: Report on the trial of the dirty dozen. The practice of law, like organizing, consists of large swaths of boredom punctuated by periods of exhilaration. Our trial yesterday in Raleigh, NC for the crime of witnessing at the state legisl
Quinn signs pension theft bill. What he was put on this earth to do. Now he can leave.
  Squeezy signed the bill in a private location this afternoon. Union and retiree lawyers head for court. WGN: “Illinois is moving forward,” Governor Quinn said in a statement. “This is a serious solution to address the most dire fiscal challenge of our time.” State lawmakers passed the major overhaul to pension legislation in a history-making vote at the state capitol on Tuesday. The worst-funde
I discuss pensions with Ken Davis and journalists on Chicago Newsroom.
. Ken Davis is joined by Marcus Gilmer, Chicago Sun-Times, Mark Konkol, DNAInfo Chicago and blogger Fred Klonsky. They discuss Tuesday’s landmark legislation to cut public employee pensions and how the juvenile justice system adjudicates gun crimes. This program was produced by Chicago Access Network TV. It will be broadcast tonight, Thursday for those with have Chicago cable.
Pension thieves.

DEC 04

Rahm wants to go after us geezers. Get in the friggin’ line.
The Reader’s Ben Joravsky The state’s lawmakers had passed a pension bill for all of about ten minutes—socking it to little old retirees from Cairo to Waukegan—when Mayor Emanuel issued a statement to the press. “The pension crisis is not truly solved until relief is brought to Chicago and all of the other local governments across our state that are standing on the brink of a fiscal cliff because
What it will cost a retiree.
The Center for Tax and Budget Accountability has developed a formula to calculate estimated changes in retirement income over the years, based on the best information available right now, pension specialist Amanda Kass said. Here are three scenarios: Employee 1 Retired teacher, 30 years of service Initial annual benefit: $67,000 Annual pension benefit after 20 years of retirement: $121,009 a year
Planning on giving money to Dick Durbin? Don’t.
I got a letter from Illinois Senator Dick Durbin: I have some important news I want to share with you: I am officially running for re-election to the United States Senate! I’ve filed my petitions to get on the ballot — with signatures from each of Illinois’ 102 counties — and yesterday the race officially began. But I need your help to get our campaign off to a fast start. Will you help me k
The in box. The new COLA formula and rates for Tier 1 retirees.
From the Illinois Retired Teachers Association: For clarification purposes the IRTA plans to file a lawsuit after the Governor signs the bill into law. It is anticipated that the Governor will sign the legistion in the next 10 days. You will receive your 3% compounded COLA in January, as scheduled. The following comparison explains how the new legislation affects your future increases. This inform
The vile Chicago Tribune cartoon.
Having reposted the vile Chicago Tribune cartoon that compares the states public service workers – police, janitors, secretaries, teachers, professors and others to a dog with it’s sex organs removed, my blood pressure has not yet returned to normal. Earlier today I posted how this fight was never just about pensions. It was always about the future of working families at a time when the countries
It’s the Democrats, stupid. And the Republicans, if they mattered.
  Democrat Kelly Cassidy was for it before she was against it before she was for it. Democrat Toni Berrios was for it before she got primaried and voted against it.   Will Guzzardi’s primary challenge is the reason Berrios flipped. There was never any doubt about the outcome. We made bets on when. Would Democratic party boss Michael Madigan get his way back in May. Or the first week in December

DEC 03

Unions promise court fight.
Statement of We Are One, the coalition of state public employee unions. UNION COALITION STATEMENT ON PENSION-CUTTING BILL Following passage of the pension-cutting Senate Bill 1, the We Are One Illinois coalition of unions representing more than 1 million Illinois public employees and retirees issued this statement: “This is no victory for Illinois, but a dark day for its citizens and public servan
The House Black List.
  Dec 03, 2013 62 YEAS 53 NAYS Y Acevedo Y Andrade Y Anthony Y Arroyo N Beiser Y Bellock N Bost Y Bradley N Brady N Brauer N Brown N Rosenthal Y Sandack N Scherer Y Schmitz Y Senger Y Sente N Sims N Smiddy N Smith N Sommer N Sosnowski Y Soto N Stewart Y Thapedi Y Tracy N Tryon Y Turner N Unes Y
The Senate Black List.
State of Illinois 98th General Assembly Senate Vote ___________________________________________________________________ Dec 03, 2013 30 YEAS First Special Session Senate Bill No. 1 ADOPT CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT #1 CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORT THIRD READING 24 N
The #pension theft now goes to court.
Minutes ago the Illinois House and Senate, like synchronized swimmers, passed SB1. The General Assembly #pension theft is now complete. The lawyers retirement will be sweet.
Representative Manley’s Joliet office yesterday.
Fred, Here are pictures from the pension rally at Representative Manley’s office in Joliet yesterday. Sorry that some of them are dark. We had somewhere between 30 and 50 folks in attendance. (My guess, not being a crowd expert.) Paul Dr. Paul J. Mikulcik A National Distinguished Principal, Retired      
Park Ridge Senator Dan Kotowski “inclined” to vote for #pension theft. Call him.
  I am hearing that Park Ridge Democratic Senator Dan Kotowski is calling people and telling them he is inclined to vote for #pension theft. Call him. Springfield Office: Senator 33rd District M118 Capitol Building Springfield, IL   62706 (217) 782-3875 (217) 782-2115 FAX District Office: 350 S. Northwest Hwy. Suite 300 Park Ridge, IL  60068 (847) 656-5414 (847)
#Pension theft. Protest at Marion district office of John Bradley.
Read the entire story in The Southern. “Our pension didn’t cause the problem and stealing will not fix it,” said Alan Latoza, President of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) IL Retirees Subchapter 93. “The average salary for a retired employee is around $32,000, but in Representative Bradley’s district it is much lower,” Latoza said. “Over 75 percent of retirees
#Pension theft. Taking names. Michelle Mussman.
Smart money says that if SB1 is going to be stopped today it will be stopped in the Illinois Senate. Senate President John Cullerton is on board and is said to be working the bill, but the Senate has a more independent streak. Democratic Speaker MIchael Madigan heads a group of craven sycophants. Democrats run as progressives. They take money from our unions (which are often too easy a mark). And
Urgent this AM. Oppose #pension theft. Create a witness slip.
One thing that teachers and employees can do is officially register their opposition to SB1 with the pension committee that will be meeting in the Illinois Senate today at 8:30 a.m. Step 1 - Click on this link:
Street heat putting on the pressure. Schakowsky opposes pension theft.
When Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky met with our Skokie Organization of Retired Educators (S.O.R.E) IEA Retired chapter, we let her know that we expected her to speak against pension theft sponsored by those in her party, particularly those state legislators in her district. Sun Times: U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is joining a growing chorus of lawmakers and elected officials who oppose Illinoi
More coverage of Biss office action by teachers and retirees.
Read the entire report at the Evanston Review: The last time teachers — both those retired and those now working — protested proposed pension reform in front of State Sen. Daniel Biss’ Skokie office, they feared what could be coming. At that time, proposed legislation on pension reform was still amorphous and did not take the shape of a specific bill. When Biss came outside in October to talk to t

DEC 02

Karen Lewis. “So let me get this straight.”
  So let me get this straight. The General Assembly will cut pensions for people who broke the color and gender barrier in order to work for the State, but will hand over tax breaks to ADM and Home Depot. We are truly living in bizarro world. Call your state legislators. - Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis
Roger Sanders on John Dillon’s blog: “Have we reached a tipping point?”
- Roger Sanders. Read the whole post on John Dillon’s blog. There will be a tipping point.  Perhaps this is it.  As for myself, I have voted in every election for the past 44 years.  I’m a lifelong Illinois resident whose family has been in Illinois for 150 years.  I’ve been an educator in Illinois for 42 years.  My father taught school in Illinois for 53 years.  We have been invested in Illinois
Jerry Mulvihill. A Letter to Representative Hurley.
Hi Fred, Thanks for everything you are doing! Don’t know if you saw this but this is the email response I got from Rep. Fran Hurley after I emailed her the other day. My response to her is below as well. We are working hard in 64 (the Park Ridge Education Association) to keep the calls coming in to legislators. Thanks gain and we will keep hoping for a defeat of this BS!!! -Jerry   Fran, Thank you
Rockford teachers protest pension cuts.
  Hi Fred Just to let you know we’ve been keeping up with CPS via your blog. Here are some of us in front of the Zeke Georgi building in Rockford. - Carolyn Grune – REA teacher & activist.
Representative Robyn Gabel targeted by teachers and other retirees.
From the Evanston Roundtable: Teachers Protest at Rep. Gabel’s office By Larry Gavin Approximately 20 retired and active teachers and state workers met with Matt Trewartha, legislative aide to State Representative Robyn Gabel, in the lobby outside Rep. Gabel’s Evanston office on Dec. 2. They urged that she vote “no” on proposed pension legislation that was scheduled to be cons
Karl Gabbey Democratic Precinct Committeeman, Precinct 56, Bloomingdale Township. Another letter to Representative Mussman.
This is my letter to Michelle Mussman shortly after she voted for Madigan’s SB 1 at the beginning of last last summer. Curiously, she did not respond. Mussman calls herself an “Independent Democrat.” The “Independent Democrat” label was printed on her campaign signs at least during her first “soccer mom” campaign… Karl Dear Michelle, Your “Yea” vote on Madigan’s pension cutting bill(s) just turned
Retiree rebellion. The heat is on.
    At Representative Michelle Mussman’s office in Schaumburg. Photos: Fred Klonsky   Angry retirees and active teachers line Dempster in front of Senator Biss’ office. Photo: Mark Stefanik. I haven’t heard from around the state yet. But, I was up in Schaumburg this afternoon at Representative Michelle Mussman’s office. Along with nearly 100 other union members including active and retired teac
Bob Lyons. Dear Representative Michelle Mussman.
- Bob Lyons is a TRS trustee. Michelle, I can recall a conversation from just a couple of years ago with Representative Elaine Nekritz where she said, “Of course we need to cut your pension benefits, but we can’t because you’re already retired.”   She knew then it was unconstitutional.  But when the legislators looked at how many billions that they felt they need to save they came back to u
Here is what the Illinois House and Senate are voting on this week. It takes 325 pages to describe how they are going to steal our pensions.
Here is a copy of the Senate Bill 1. It takes 325 pages to describe how the state of Illinois will violate the state constitution and steal our pensions. 325 pages. The members of the House and Senate just got copies of it this noon today. They must be speed readers. Thieves of speed.
Pension Emergency Day in Illinois. Reporting in.
  Skokie Organization of Retired Educators (S.O.R.E.) IEA Retired at Representative Laura Fine’s office. Photo: Representative Laura Fine. Ten of us met with north suburban Representative Laura Fine. We could have had thirty or more. But this was a cordial meeting. Not a rally. Fine was one of the good guys who voted against Senate Bill 1 back in May. But will she stick to her principles tomorrow
Ellen Gradman. Pension theft.
  Graphic: Ellen Gradman.
Bev Johns. What does the Illinois Constitution say about cutting pension benefits? Unfortunately, whatever 4 justices on the Illinois Supreme Court decide it says.
. - Bev Johns is a Special Needs and public schools advocate and activist. There is a need for all-out political action before the Illinois House and Senate votes on cutting pensions on Tuesday. What does the Illinois Constitution say about cutting pension benefits? Unfortunately, whatever four justices on the Illinois Supreme Court decide it says. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is confi
. This morning as I head for a round of Illinois legislative district offices I am grieving. I’ve lost a friend. Not a real friend. A Facebook friend. Apparently David Ormsby has defriended me. Unfriended? Disenfriended?  This has happened before and losing a friend, even a virtual friend, isn’t an easy time for me. A few years ago Charlie McBarron, the Director of Communications for the IEA cut

DEC 01

The cranky one is publishing the times and locations of tomorrow’s We Are One pension rallies.
Here are the times and locations of tomorrow’s pension rallies at local representatives’ offices: AFSCME • Rockford – Stadelman/Syverson, Jefferson o Start Time: 10 a.m. o Transportation: Self. (Parking is plentiful.) o Meeting Location: All three offices are located in third-floor suites at 200 S. Wyman, Rockford, IL. o Note: The lead local has set a meeting time in a conference room with Sens.

NOV 30

David Ormsby: Klonsky, you self-righteous crank.
David Ormsby: Listen Fred, bother to get your facts straight before you launch your insults. I’ve have not drawn a pay check, contract, etc. from any Madigan state or political account since 1999. My pr work is 99% non-profit human service providers, associations – the groups without PACS. Being a self-righteous crank does not give license to fabricate crap. Self-righteous crank: Okay David.
Randy Fritz. “Pension reform.” He who names it owns it.
- Randy Fritz is a retired teacher. He who names it owns it.  It is true about many things, but particularly of what has become known as “pension reform.” Full disclosure:  I am a retired teacher receiving a TRS (Teachers’ Retirement System) pension.  I’d like to think my opinions, here, would not change if that weren’t so, but in honesty I cannot be sure.  What is being proposed is not “pension r
Mark Stefanik. We are the oysters.
- Johnny Dillon “Oh, Oysters, come and walk with us.” Some thoughts on the eve of the next great pension showdown in Springfield: David Ormsby’s rescue spin for the circled wagons of his Democratic Party employers – that unless pension benefits are cut, the poor, the schools, the mentally disabled, the victims of child abuse, and other helpless entities will suffer – targets teacher savings/pensi
John Dillon on the Nekritz confession.
- John Dillon Well this was an unexpected moment of honesty. On the other hand, Representative Nekritz would warn us all that the General Assembly can enact one law and change (or alter) it in the next hour. This is historically how she has looked at legislation, as she has explained to me. And, honestly, her comments are not political schizophrenia, because she sees clearly that by 2015 Illinois
Bev John’s pension Cliff Notes
- Bev Johns NO ONE, not retired teachers, not current teachers, is better off if the Illinois House and Senate vote YES on Tuesday. A retired teacher now receiving $50,000 in pension benefits (who taught for 30 years) will go from a COLA of $1,500 to $900 (a cut of 40 percent). PLUS no State pension funds could be used to pay for part of healthcare. A current teacher, while contributing one percen
Nekritz: “We’re digging ourselves back in a hole.”
Keeping retirement weird.
h On the road home. I80 through Penssylvania Gearing up for our pension fight on Monday.