Rep. Biggins Votes for Illinois Pension Bailout, Should he be Thrown out of GOP Caucus?

-By Warner Todd Huston

State Representative Bob Biggins (R, Elmhurst) was one of two Republicans to vote yes on a bill to borrow $3.7 billion to shore up state pension funds this week. The vote caused tongues to wag that the retiring representative was offered a job or some other goodies by the Illinois Democrats through Governor Quinn’s offices to change his previous vote to side with Quinn.

It isn’t that Biggins sided with Democrats and against the Republican leadership, but that he ducked a meeting with his own caucus in order to hide away in Governor Quinn’s office with chief of staff Jerry Stemer raises eyebrows.

For his part Biggins claims he was offered no incentive to change his “no” vote to a “yes.”

Some Republicans and folks on GOP Minority Leader Tom Cross’ team have proposed expelling Biggins from the GOP caucus over his apostasy.

Of course, if Biggins really did vote his conscience and received no special personal deals from Quinn, then there isn’t any real sense to attempting to expel him from the party. One vote, as idiotic as that vote was, is not grounds to expulsion.

However, if it can be proven that Biggins sold his vote for personal gain, then expel away. That sort of unprincipled behavior needs to be exposed and punished. Still, proof is the key to such a move. We need to see firm evidence that Biggins sold his vote. While it’s easy to have suspicions raised that Biggins did, indeed, sell his vote due to his own squirrely behavior, suspicion is not enough to act upon.

Whatever the case, this whole pension borrowing scheme is bad, bad policy It is rewarding the over stuffed, over generous compensations packages that state workers receive and making NO provision to cut them back and put the whole plan into the black sensibly.

We still have an utter failure to address the Illinois pension mess, regardless.

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