Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Self-Righteous, Delusional Billionaire Is Throwing His Money at Organizing Voters on Gun Control

















“Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ramped up his efforts to fight gun violence on Wednesday with a plan to spend $50 million on a grassroots network to organize voters on gun control… Bloomberg's group, called Every Town for Gun Safety, will focus on state and local lawmakers, ‘corporate boards, and state and federal elections - fields of play formerly occupied almost solely by the gun lobby,’ according to a statement” (Former New York Mayor Bloomberg to spend $50 million in anti-gun drive).  

Imagine if anti-gun billionaire Bloomberg spent $50 million to focus on the causes of urban crime, such as mental illness, poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy. Moreover, imagine “focusing action on crime and anti-social behavior hotspots, repeat victims, and prolific or high volume offenders” instead of lobbying prodigiously with affluence for more gun control for law-abiding citizens who own legal guns (Debating Gun Control and Illinois Conceal Carry). 

A righteous, delusional billionaire is throwing his money at organizing voters on gun control. But why?

It appears that Bloomberg believes regulation of nonviolent citizens, who are proficient in handling a weapon, will reduce urban crime, even though depriving upstanding citizens’ constitutional right of self-defense against felons will not prevent violent crimes (The Folly of More Restrictions...). 

Seemingly, Bloomberg also believes that exorbitantly funding the control of guns, aimed at peaceable citizens, will diminish criminal behaviors, even though channeling millions of dollars for gun control legislation will not deter criminals or deranged terrorists from obtaining and using illegal weapons (A Letter to a Friend about Gun Control). 

“Bloomberg detailed his plans in an interview with the New York Times published Monday — in which he predicted his crusades against guns, smoking, and obesity would serve him well in the afterlife” (Business Insider).

“In his own words: ‘I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I’m not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It’s not even close’” (Michael Bloomberg Is Starting a Gun Control Organization to take on the NRA). 

Oddly reminiscent of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s grandiose delusion: “I know that I was put on earth to get [pension reform] done”; evidently, Bloomberg thinks he can buy his way into a “heaven” that confusingly depends upon a belief in a monotheistic “God” and, of course, that perplexing pre-interview at the porthole of the so-called “pearly gates.” 

I once heard “It [was] easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19. 24). However, that's a different issue of control, isn't it?


Illinois Senate Bill 1: Current Lawsuits Opposed to Breaking a Constitutional Contract with Public Employees (Updated April 14, 2014)















Illinois Retired Teachers Association
Illinois Association of School Administrators
Filed: December 27, 2013
Location: Cook County

Plaintiffs:
2 TRS annuitant teachers
1 TRS annuitant administrator
5 TRS active administrators
—Seek to represent class of TRS actives and annuitants who are not currently IEA or IFT members

Defendants:
Governor
Comptroller
TRS

Primary Claims:
COLA, minimum retirement age, and pensionable salary cap: changes violate Pension Clause of Illinois Constitution

Remedies:
Declaration law is unconstitutional
Injunction stopping its implementation
Monetary damages
Preliminary injunction temporarily stopping implementation (protecting status quo)


Illinois State Employees Association Retirees (ISEAR)
Filed: January 2, 2014
Location: Sangamon County

Plaintiffs:
ISEAR
2 SERS annuitant members
1 GARS annuitant member
1 TRS annuitant member
1 SURS annuitant member
—Seek  to represent class of all SERS, GARS, TRS and SURS annuitants and subclass of State 2002 ERI annuitants with 20 years of service and “not subject to a CBA”

Defendants:
Comptroller
Treasurer
SERS, GARS, TRS and SURS


Primary Claims:
COLA changes violate Pension, Contract and Equal Protection (by not including judges’ retirement system (JRS)) Clauses of Illinois Constitution 

Remedies:
Declaration law is unconstitutional
Injunction stopping its implementation
Injunction reinstating prior law
Escrow of difference between COLA calculations, pending resolution of lawsuit


Retired State Employees Association (RSEA)
Filed: January 2, 2014
Location: Sangamon County

Plaintiffs:
RSEA (on behalf of all its members)
4 SERS annuitant members
—Seek  to represent class of all SERS annuitants, survivors and inactive employees not yet receiving benefits and subclass of State ERI annuitants

Defendants:
Governor
Comptroller o Treasurer
SERS

Primary Claims:
COLA changes violate Pension and Contract Clauses of Illinois Constitution

Remedies:
Declaration law is unconstitutional
Injunction stopping its implementation
Escrow of difference between COLA calculations, pending resolution of lawsuit


We Are One Illinois Coalition (WAOI)
Filed: January 28, 2014
Location: Sangamon County

Plaintiffs:
WAOI
5 TRS active teachers
3 TRS annuitant teachers
3 SURS active members
3 SURS annuitant members
9 SERS active members
2 SERS annuitant members
—Seek to represent class of actives and annuitants from TRS

SURS and SERS Defendants:
Governor
Comptroller
Treasurer
TRS, SURS and SERS

Primary Claims:
COLA, minimum retirement age, and pensionable salary cap changes violate Pension, Contract and Takings Clauses of Illinois Constitution; failure to fund pension benefits provided under prior law violates Takings Clause of Illinois Constitution

Remedies:
Declaration law is unconstitutional
Declaration State must fund pension systems
Injunction stopping its implementation
Preliminary injunction protecting status quo (temporarily stopping implementation)


State Universities Annuitants Association (SUAA)
Filed: March 6, 2014
Location: Champaign County

Plaintiffs:
SUAA (on behalf of all its members)
6 SURS active members
3 SURS annuitant members
1 SURS deceased annuitant member spouse

Defendants:
Governor
Comptroller 
Treasurer
SURS

Primary Claims:
COLA, minimum retirement age, pensionable salary cap and interest rate for portable plan changes violate Pension, Contract and Takings Clauses of Illinois Constitution

Remedies:
Declaration law is unconstitutional
Injunction stopping its implementation o Injunction restoring prior benefits


On March 3, 2014, the Illinois Supreme Court consolidated the first four lawsuits for proceedings in Sangamon County Circuit Court. On April 8, 2014, the fifth lawsuit, filed by the State Universities Annuitants Association on March 6, 2014, was consolidated with the other four.


A Commentary (and One of Many): Click Here.