Public Policy Polling, the North Carolina-based pollster, is conducting a push on Amendment 49, the referendum on whether to require a three-fifths vote to increase pension benefits for public employees. Your Ward Room Blogger got an automated call this morning. After asking about the presidential election in Illinois, the recorded voice read eight statements -- obviously scripted by an opponent of Amendment 49 -- then asked if they had made me more or less likely to vote for the measure.
Here’s a transcript:
"Some people say the amendment does not solve the state's budget problems."
"Some people say the amendment is an attempt by politicians to blame others for the mess they created."
"Some people say the amendment is a power grab by politicians in Springfield. They say the politicians are trying to take rights away from voters, city councils and school boards."
"The Illinois League of Women Voters said the amendment is undemocratic and that it will make government less accountable."
"Some people say the amendment to the state constitution is poorly written, and will cost the state millions of dollars in court battles."
"Some people say the amendment unfairly punishes teachers, police officers and other public employees for a problem they didn't create."
"Opponents also say the amendment would weaken the rights of workers, and further undermine retirement security for middle-class families."
"Some people say the amendment is backed by a bunch of millionaires and billionaires who are trying to avoid paying their fair share."
"Given everything you've heard in this poll, I'll ask you again, 'If the election were today, would you vote yes or no on this amendment?’"
I left a message with Public Policy Polling, asking who had commissioned the poll. I haven’t heard back, but the statements sound similar to union talking points. Like it or don’t like it, the push poll is more evidence that Amendment 49’s opponents are more organized and more motivated than its proponents, who don’t seem convinced it will solve the state’s pension crisis. Even the Liberty Justice Center called it a “Do Nothing Amendment.”