Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Sale of Thomson prison to the feds covers just 13 days of Illinois' pension shortfall

Mississippi River a few miles south of Thomson
Governor Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin are pounding their chests over the sale of the mostly-empty Thomson prison in northwestern Illinois to the federal government for $165 million.

At one time it was envisioned at a 'Gitmo North' for War on Terror jihadists, which Durbin called "a dream come true." Of course in countless ways Durbin's dreams are my nightmares.

It may seem like a lot of money, but $165 million isn't that much when you consider that the massive state worker pension shortfall grows by $12.6 million every day. The Thomson sale covers just 13 days of failure by state leaders, although Quinn plans to utilize the Thomson cash to pay off the bonds on the prison and chip into Illinois' enormous backlog of unpaid bills.

As for 'Gitmo North,' federal law prevents any transfer of any terrorists from Guantanamo Bay to Thomson. However, President Obama, an abuser of his executive order powers, may yet try to fulfill Durbin's dream. Remember, this is a president who made three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not in recess.

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OldSouth said...

And, if I understand correctly: If Gitmo detainees were to be transferred to Illinois, then it would be open litigation season, as all civil rights of citizenship would likely attach to each of these persons.

Undoubtedly, some judge somewhere would order plaintiffs released, and I'm not so sure the Supremes would find the spine to overturn such folly.

John Ruberry said...

On the other hand, if Obama wins another term, he'll probably get to nominate a couple of more Supreme Court justices. Kennedy and Scalia are in their 70s.

Anonymous said...

It's actually even fewer days, because the state loses $18 million per day in interest as a result of the pension funding shortfall.