ANDY MARTIN Executive EditorContrarianCommentary.com
"Factually Correct, Not Politically Correct"
ILLINOIS IS TRULY THE GREAT CESSPOOL OF AMERICAN POLITICS. ILLINOIS PUBLIC OFFICIALS ARE A DEN OF THIEVES PREYING ON A HELPLESS PUBLIC. THE PUBLIC KLEPTOCRACY IN ILLINOIS CONTINUES TO LOOT A PROSTRATE STATE. THERE IS NO “PENSION PAIN” FOR PART-TIME POLITICIANS IN BARACK OBAMA’S BACK YARD.
(CHICAGO)(May 27, 2008) It’s always embarrassing to say you are from Illinois. The cronies in the Illinois senate continue to loot a prostrate state. Over the slow news Memorial Day weekend the Chicago Sun-Times reported a story that is perhaps the most disgraceful example of shameless looting by one of Obama’s former colleagues and current “volunteers.” State Senator Carol Ronen served with Obama.
At a time when Illinois taxpayers are facing a financial abyss because of the deteriorating national economy, and when the state has been bankrupted by political greed, incompetence, and lavish public employee pensions, the Sun-Times story disclosing Ronen’s financial shenanigans took greed and corruption to a new level of contempt for the public.
Illinois government has become a kleptocracy where part-time public officials scheme and maneuver to loot the public treasury, and to impose an endlessly escalating financial burden on working families and business in the state. Carol Ronen took honest graft to a higher plateau, although it is likely she is not alone in her quest for public cash.
The Sun-Times reported that merely by being on Governor Blagojevich’s payroll for a little over a month, Ronen was able to fatten her lifetime public pension benefits by over one million dollars. Yes. $1 million. One month/one million.
Ronen has become perhaps the highest paid public official in history, and a poster girl for legislative greed in Springfield.
How did Ronen work her scam? Simple. It’s "legal." The cesspool of Illinois politics is structured to allow part-time public officials such as state legislators to loot the bankrupt public treasury for “retirement benefits.”
As a part-time legislator, Ronen accrued an annual retirement benefit of $64,000 annually. Simply by being listed on the governor’s payroll for over 30 days—and there is no showing that Ronen actually did anything during that period—she jumped her lifetime pension from $64,000 to $102,000.
This scam is morally and legally outrageous. For someone to collect $1 million in lifetime benefits for being listed as a ghost employee for a month is nothing less than stealing from the taxpayers.
Ronen is now volunteering for Barack Obama and, no doubt, planning new scams to enrich herself.
And they wonder why Americans think of Illinois as a bottomless cesspool of political greed and contempt for the citizens of this state.
I will have more to say about this naked theft in the days ahead. Ronen should not be allowed to get away with this theft of public property, which is now being paid for by Illinois’ impoverished taxpayers.
America: meet the corrupt politicians of Illinois. A den of thieves, pirates and crass opportunists who have looted Illinois and are praying for the opportunity to loot the United States of America. America: meet Caron Ronen, a new “volunteer” for Barack Obama. Just the way she volunteered to serve the People of Illinois, and ended up becoming the highest paid public official in American history. One month/$1 million dollars in lifetime benefits.