The pork kabobs and ribeye steaks weren’t the only things grilled at yesterday’s Illinois State Fair during Governor’s Day. Governor Pat Quinn was of many politicians who were greeted with boos and the wrath of protestors at the fair. A large group of union workers upset about pension reform plans that could sharply reduce their retirement income shouted at the Quinn before, during and after his speech at Governor’s Day.
Quinn made it clear that he will try to enlist public opinion against the unions and their push to keep a pension system Quinn suggested is too generous. He says he will ask the public which is more important—public education or lavish public pensions.
The jeers continued though the rally which was cut short as the crowd drowned out most of the speakers. Union workers also demonstrated outside the fairgrounds, distributing carboard fans and pom-poms printed with anit-Quinn slogans. State police stopped many people from bringing the fans onto the fairgrounds, citing a fair policy against displaying signs on the grounds. But that didn’t’ stop an airplane from flying over the rally, trailing a banner that read “Governor Quinn, unfair to workers.”
The hostile reception has become commonplace for politicians this year as candidates from governors to presidents in both parties are hearing from a frustrated electorate.
Governor Quinn did make a monumental gaffe during his speech yesterday, declaring President Obama was dead and gone. He meant to say Osama, and amid confusion from the crowd, Quinn corrected himself to say that Osama bin Laden is dead.