Saturday, March 15, 2014

3-15-14 Fred All Week Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher

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

Fred All Week Klonsky | Daily posts from a retired public school teacher

Keeping retirement weird. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
  Bernadette Devlin in 1969. Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I know. Officially it is on Monday. But they are dyeing the Chicago River green today. And the Chicago downtown parade is today. And the kids will be falling down drunk in Wrigleyville tonight. Which reminds me of Bernadette Devlin. No, no. Not the drunk part. St. Patricks Day. Devlin, elected in 1969, was and remains the youngest person ever

Ken Previti. Dillardrauner vs Raunerdillard: The strategy of fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD).
- Ken Previti is a retired Illinois teacher now living in Florida. He blogs at Reclaim Reform. The teachers in Illinois, and elsewhere, are facing a FUD moment. (FUD is the acronym for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. This is the vile marketing-propaganda strategy for causing confusion and harm to competitors.) When two or three identical products or candidates use FUD to damage competitors and peop
The latest on pension thief, Elgin’s Representative Keith Farnhum.
  Following the General Assembly’s vote on pension theft I ran a few mug shots of some of the pension thieves. One was Representative Keith Farnhum of Elgin. Will there soon be an actual mug shot? Today’s Trib: Federal agents executed search warrants Thursday at state Rep. Keith Farnham’s home and district office in Elgin and Homeland Security asked state authorities to help secure the lawmaker’s
It’s not just about the endorsement. It’s also about the right to dissent.
  Glen Brown In the discussion over the IEA, the IFT and the AFSCME endorsement of ALEC’s Kirk Dillard, what has emerged is not so much the issue of who we should vote for. It’s also about the right to dissent from arbitrary, top-down decisions by the union leadership. And their vision of what our unions stand for. What seems to upset former IEA Presidents Haisman and Swanson is not so much the s
Did union members’ PAC donations go to this crap?
  It is reported that a number of our unions, including the Chicago Federation of Labor, have given money to the pro-Dillard PAC that is attacking Bruce Rauner for not being against against women’s reproductive rights enough. Protect the unborn says the mailer paid for with union members’ donations. Who asked us if this was okay?
Daley’s stipend for sitting in on Coke board meetings would pay the pension of five city workers.
When Richie Daley, facing polling number in the single digits, announced he was leaving the 5th floor to Rahm Emanuel, he was offered a job by Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent. It should be noted that Coke CEO Kent was paid $29,115,573 in 2011 and $30,460,186 in 2012. Richie was given a job on the Coke Board of Directors. The job required Daley attend a few meetings a year for which he receives compensa

MAR 13

Ken Swanson. The former IEA President who was responsible for our Senate Bill 7. “Don’t ask questions. Do what your told.”
Well don’t that beat all? Former IEA President Bob Haisman has recruited another ex-IEA President to join the attack on un-named members of the blagosphere who refuse to go along quietly with the leadership’s Dillard endorsement. That  former IEA President would be Ken Swanson. I am dismayed by those loud voices in the blogosphere who would rather rant and rave about what should have been done ra
Ten minute drawing. Changing the landscape.
  And I support Aaron Goldstein in the 40th District State Representative race.  
Illinois in financial trouble. Too many old people.
  The Civic Federation’s Larry Msall Every time the Illinois General Assembly assembles, which isn’t all that often, there will likely be a story about how Larry Msall of the Civic Federation says that the state’s financial collapse is near. And that retirees are the reason. Larry Msall will inevitably be described as head of a tax watchdog group. First of all, beware of groups claiming to be wat

MAR 12

Rauner and Dillard are cut from the same piece of cloth. Union money goes to hate ads.
You can take the boy out of ALEC (for the moment) but you can’t take ALEC out of the boy. I was driving home yesterday and a radio ad comes on for Kirk Dillard. It’s all about how Rauner is a phony Republican. He’s pro-choice. Pro-gay marriage. Y’know. The ad was hitting all the right-wing red meat talking points. But it’s a Dilliard ad. The guy the IEA endorsed for Governor. When I got home I tri
My local race is about more than the racist Sun-Times headline.
Dan Mihalopoulos is a good reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. His investigative reporting on UNO and charter schools has been great. And reporters don’t write their headlines. But the Sun-Times headline writer’s hipster versus Hispanic spin on the contest between Will Guzzardi and Toni Berrios is racist, tired and false. Yes, yes. We all know that Logan Square has baristas and hipster bars. But t
Election messages were more mixed than assorted nuts in a can of Planters.
Union election messages got more mixed yesterday than a assorted nuts in a can of Planters. Early in the day Crain’s Greg Hinz and Capitolfax’s Rich Miller reported that the state’s union leadership were folding up their Freedom Illinois Political Action Committee tent. The PAC had raised and spent over $3 million supporting Kirk Dillard’s campaign against Bruce Rauner. The implication that Hinz,
In New York, what happened to mayoral control of the schools?
I want an elected school board in Chicago. It is crazy that when I voted early in the current election (Watch out Machine Dems, by the way. I’m poll watching for Will Guzzardi next Tuesday) I could vote for who sits on the Water Reclamation District, but not for the members of the board of education. Chicago is the only school district in our state where we don’t get to elect our school board. Ne

MAR 11

Developing story. AFSCME’s Henry Bayer denies Dillard dump.
Earlier today both Greg Hinz at Craine’s and Rich Miller at CapitolFax reported that Illinois Freedom PAC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Illinois public and private sector unions had withdrawn funding for TV ads or the Dillard campaign. I interpreted this change in spending to a recognition on the part of the union leaders that Dillard was a lost cause. I still do. But there has been some dancing s
Breaking: Union PAC dumps Dillard. No more good money after bad.
Crain’s Greg Hinz is reporting: In a critical development in the GOP race for governor, a union-backed group that had spent millions of dollars on TV ads blasting front-runner Bruce Rauner has decided to end its campaign, just as the race enters the crucial last week. Michael Murray, a spokesman for the Illinois Freedom PAC, said the group has spent $3.1 million so far ripping Mr. Rauner but will
Breaking: Pension suit assigned to a judge.
A few days ago the fifth and probably last law suit was filed against Senate Bill 1, Michael Madigan’s pension theft. It was filed by the University of Illinois and Parkland College employees in Champaign County Circuit Court.  It also involves the State Universities Annuitants Association. The four other suits have been ordered consolidated and will be heard in Sangamon County, which is Springfie
Classroom teachers will be heard.
For years leaders of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association have claimed that their members support Common Core State Standards. There never was much evidence provided for the claim. Yet they continued. At last year’s NEA Representative Assembly delegates refrained from resolutions opposing CCSS. But they did vote on ones that condemned the misuse of Common Core
Politics is complicated.
Illinois Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Jim Bachman yesterday. Early voting has already begun and election day is one week away. I received a request to repost the vote on Senate Bill 1. It is down below. My good friend Glen Brown sent a reminder: Unfortunately, many legislators voted “No” because they are political opportunists. It is important to remember that only a few legisl
The Illinois Pension Black List.
Fred, Will you repost how the current incumbents voted on SB1?   In the House: 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 Stewa

MAR 10

Defined benefit versus defined contribution.
  Glen Brown.   Fred, I was thinking that some time ago you did a comparison piece of defined pensions vs. 401K’s. Given what Rauner is saying in the Chicago. Tribune, 401′s are the way he wants to go. To make a short story long, on a FB thread of a friends, one of HIS friends is saying that 401′s are okey dokey with him because he was financially savvy enough to place enough of his money into
Monday morning with pensions on my mind.
J Jay Travis is running for the Illinois House in the 26th District. Daylight savings time means it is dark at 7AM as I head out the door. I won’t be doing much posting today since I will be at the Area II meeting of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association. I’m speaking along with IRTA President Bob Pinkerton, IRTA Executive Director Jim Bachman and Bob Lyons, the Annuitant Trustee of the Teache

MAR 09

Call Monday.
Sunday reads.
  Mayor Preckwinkle? Twelve powerful images of women in the labor movement. PBS is still hiding their cozy financial dealings with the pension thieves. Ex-guerrilla favorite to win El Salvador’s presidential election. Billionaires are bullying teachers in California. Five bad ideas about education. I’ll call this teacher Coffy—in honor of the lead character from that epic Pam Grier flick, which I

MAR 08

Keeping retirement weird. International Women’s Day.
Aunt Mary grabbed the live lake perch out of my hand and said, “You do it like this.” Aunt Mary proceeded to smack the fish’s head against a tree. My brother-in-law and I had been out on Lake Champlain off the Adirondack camp his family owned. We had spent the day of Split Rock fishing. Which, as far as I could tell, was an excuse to go through a case of beer. Or part of a case. I did, however, l

MAR 07

Toni Berrios. This is what she calls being responsive to constituents.
Running for her political life, Toni Berrios is trying to to recreate herself into a progressive. But with a 12 year record to run on, that is hard to do. Twelve years of pension underfunding. Twelve years of voting for pension theft. Twelve years of kowtowing to her patrons, Mike Madigan and Big Daddy Berrios. Back in November my wife Anne wrote Representative concerning SB1342. It was a bill th
DFER want to kick Chicago’s ass.
If you don’t know what DFER is, don’t feel bad. They hide in the shadows, known only to a deep-pocketed charter promoters, bought-off politicians who are recipients of their largesse and education geeks. Like me. A few years back DFER Director Joe Williams wrote that he would kick my ass for writing mean things about them. But he didn’t. Or couldn’t. Or something. Anyway, DFER stand for Democrats
Lee Talley. Bruce Rahmer’s tax return.
- Lee Talley is a retired Illinois school teacher. Fred, After watching the March 5th watching the debate for Republican governor I noticed that candidate Bruce Rauner was stumbling over the question posed about his daughter getting preferential treatment for admittance to Walter Payton Preparatory High School. He stated that the family moved downtown to his wife could be closer to her non-profit