Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Yesterday, I talked about pension rip-offs in Illinois and the particularly outrageous case of a lobbyist who spiked his pension benefits by perhaps a million dollars over the course of his lifetime by working as a substitute teacher for . . . one . . . single . . . day.

Steven Preckwinkle, the political director of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, earned only $93 in actual pay for that day’s work, but was able to snag a more lucrative lifetime teacher’s pension, yet based on his pay as a lobbyist, which would make it twice as generous as the average teacher’s take.

All this through a luxurious loophole in legislation Preckwinkle lobbied the legislature to enact.

Come to find out that Preckwinkle’s pension play isn’t the only way he’s cashed in on state taxpayers. Illinois has a controversial program whereby legislators get to personally hand out a couple of college scholarships to constituents each year.

You guessed it. Two of Preckwinkle’s children — and a nephew — were awarded money to cover their college cost.

Perhaps it’s all a coincidence, eh?

Surely State Rep. Mike Curran (D-Springfield) didn’t allow the contributions he received from Preckwinkle and his union, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, to influence his decision. When Curran left the legislature, he went to work for the Preckwinkle’s union as a consultant.

Can’t friends help friends? On the taxpayers’ tab?

They can in the Land of Larceny.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. EDGAR says:


  2. What a deal that if I am a “Democrat” I may pass laws that make criminal activity “legal” for me, cohorts and cronies — and other laws and/or regulations (like Jamie Gorelick’s and Osama bin Laden’s September 11 2001 Wall – eg) that shield me from law enforcement activity and from criminal prosecution.

  3. Drik says:

    Illinois is on course to be one of the first states to bankrupt. Remains to be seen how the lib/progs intend to put the rest of the US on the hook for the bill.

  4. Paul jacob says:

    Drik — How remains to be seen, but that they will look for the rest of us to bail them out is a sure thing!

  5. Tough Love says:

    Why not take a “shot across the bow” to put an end to this ….. by bringing up Rep. Mike Curran on charges for accepting bribes ?

    A long shot indeed, but the politicians need to know the Taxpayers are fed-up, are watching, and aren’t going to stand for this any longer.

  6. J.M. Grandone says:

    Since this pension crisis began about thirty or so years ago, lets tick off the Governors who were in office when the state decided to let the next one fix the problem:
    Thompson – Republican 1977 -1991
    Edgar- Republican – 1991-1999
    Ryan – Republican – 1999-2003
    Had these governors pushed in their budget proposals full funding of pension programs back then, we would not be dealing with this crisis under a Democratic governor now.

  7. Linda says:

    it has never been as bad as it is now NEVER

  8. Mark Read Pickens says:

    You’re always so negative, Paul. For once in your life, look on the bright side. What if Steven Preckwinkle had been a substitute teacher for an entire year?

    Illinois taxpayers could be on the hook for billions.

  9. MoreFreedom says:

    Just another example of people in government, using government to enrich themselves at taxpayers’ expense.

    Instead of protecting our liberties, government has become the means by which people legally steal from others. It’s time to limit government to dealing with crimes against individuals and foreign enemies. The rest just invites graft.

  10. Steve White says:

    It’s unfortunate that we as taxpayers can’t use qui tam suits to bring this nonsense to an end. A defense contractor who takes advantage of the government can be sued. A union hack? He’s home-free.

  11. Jukin says:

    The best part is now that the most corrupt democrat party city, in the most democrat controlled state is in charge of the federal government.

  12. Terry De Pew says:

    I may have typed out these words before in these august spaces, but I believe they are worth sending out again: Louisiana politicians are embarassed by the arrogance & corroption of thier counterparts in Illinois, the land of my birth, by the way…..

  13. Terry De Pew says:

    (By the way, I’m not a bad speller,
    just a bad typre [typist?].]

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