Topinka Defends Lavish Gov. Pensions as She Rakes in the Dough

CHICAGO–Illinois State Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka “has reached new heights of hypocrisy,” charged the president of Illinois’ largest taxpayer organization, who criticized her today for defending the lavish, gold-plated pensions of retired government employees while she enriches herself from these same pensions.

“Topinka is a lifetime politician who milks the system and richly profits from it,” said Jim Tobin, President of National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI). “At the recent Sangamon County GOP’s Lincoln Day Luncheon, Topinka told the bureaucrats in the audience, ‘I’m kind of tired of state employees taking a bad rap…most state employees work hard, and they don’t make all that much money….’ Well, a lot of them do get a lot of money, including Topinka.”

“Topinka receives the second-highest pension for an Illinois state legislator, second only to the infamous Arthur “Tax Increase Amendment” Berman. She currently receives a yearly pension of $145,727; $12,144 a month. She already has pocketed $402,229 in pension payments since her last day in the General Assembly, in 1995. And, as the recently elected Illinois Comptroller, it appears she’s not intent on actually retiring anytime soon.”

“Topinka has one of the biggest state pensions. Her current yearly pension isn’t based on her final salary of $115,235, but on a salary of $130,324, the salary that had been set for the state treasurer’s post at that time.”

“This month Topinka sent a letter to Lamar Smith, Chair., House Committee on the Judiciary, opposing the possibility of allowing states to declare bankruptcy. Obviously, she’s worried that her own multiple pensions would be null and void under an Illinois bankruptcy.”

“At the Sangamon County luncheon, Topinka also spoke of furnishing her Springfield residence, and thanked ‘all the people who have died’ and contributed to estate sales where she’s getting appliances. That Judy Baar Topinka…she’s all heart.”

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1 Response

  1. Joe Cory says:

    I appreciate your comments about why Ms. Topinka opposes substantial pension reforms and a possible state bankruptcy. One suspects that many Republican lawmakers have the same views and that this is a reason why the Republican pension-reform proposals are half-measures at best.
    It’s easy to see why the concept of allowing state bankruptcies has gained little traction — it is opposed by politicians of both parties who want their hefty pensions and benefits, by unions, and by rich bondholders. The only people to benefit would be the taxpayers.

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