Governor Pat Quinn has finally unveiled his long-awaited pension plan. It’s meant to bring attention to Illinois’ 95 billion dollar pension debt. Amanda Vinicky explores if it’s good for a laugh, or something more:
Legislators, unions, and advocacy groups welcome a new player in the pension debate: Squeezy the Pension Python.
[Video: Narrator: ‘The problem is “the squeeze’ … ]
When legislators failed to pass a pension overhaul in August, Quinn promised a grassroots campaign. Three months later, he came out with a twitter account, Facebook page, and a web video. Squeezy has a cameo, he’s a hissing cartoon snake. Senator Mike Jacobs, a Quad Cities Democrat, embraces the mascot.
JACOBS: “A python, it makes some sense for the pension mascot, in that it does squeeze the life out of everything else. You can’t miss that we’re paying more now in pensions than we are to educate our children.”
But online, where Quinn wants to prompt discussion about Illinois’ pensions, the campaign has largely been derided as amateur. Squeezy and his creator are the butt of a lot of jokes. But critics say they’re serious in their frustration. Quinn’s effort includes NO specifics or solutions about what Illinois can do to solve the pension problem.