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.