Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Letter to an Illinois Legislator by Jane Artabasy

Representative May:

So... is it true? Really? Illinois legislators seem irreversibly poised to give us the proverbial shaft on our teacher pensions. Are you kidding me? May I suggest another option? Instead of sabotaging the security of retired public servants, how about some of you going to jail for decades of pathetic, outrageous fiscal mismanagement? Can you all seriously look in the mirror each day without shame? Ethically speaking, where have you been? How do you explain your collective, blatant neglect of our contract with you? Do you honestly think this putrid pension "reform" represents some version of public service? Some noble, time-to-bite-the bullet strategy? Do any of you actually understand the true meaning of "public trust?"

I am disgusted, dismayed (no pun intended) and, frankly, depressed by the fraud being perpetrated against a segment of our population that deserves so much better from you. Teachers have committed no sin against the body politic. We serve your children, with our whole hearts and minds, while those of you in Springfield have done our state almost irreparable harm. Our legislative culture of expediency and cowardice spans decades and has offered nothing but a history of self-serving, craven law-making. Apparently, our only hope now is in the courts. After accomplishing the pension theft that you are in the process of committing, I can only imagine the rounds of celebratory "power melds" with the only people who ever seem to get Springfield's attention: the Fahner's, the Msall’s, the Rauner's, the Pritzker's, and all the other callous plutocrats whose libeling of us has been shamelessly portrayed as "civic interest."

It appears the die is cast in terms of this repulsive pension "plan." The smug, back-room, bill-belching cabal in our capital (including your north shore colleague Rep. Nekritz) has demonstrated nothing but disdain toward us and our concerns. Her body language during open forums has been unmistakable, and her "let-them-eat-cake" mentality seems to be an epidemic among our Illinois legislative contingent.

You probably will all go ahead and pick us "low-hanging fruit" on the budgetary tree, but everyone with an I.Q. in triple digits understands that goring our ox will not serve the economic interest of the people of Illinois, nor will it solve the state's money problems. People--and businesses--need to accept the reality that we citizens need to pay for the services we expect from government. Illinois needs a 21st century revenue policy, not straw men and red herrings. Public opinion is fickle. Ultimately, misdirection is no direction. You know it, and we know it.

Counting on the stupidity and gullibility of your constituents won't work forever. In the meantime, thank you so much for standing by while media and millionaires portray US as the problem. Shame on all of you for perpetrating this mess!

Jane Artabasy

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