Gov. Pat Quinn is trying to look in charge these days, but the more he talks, the more ineffective he looks.
First there was his dog and pony show on concealed carry. He issued an amendatory veto --even though no one except maybe Quinn seriously believed it would stand. Sure enough, the legislature overrode the veto on Tuesday with votes to spare. All Quinn did was generate the ill will of many fellow Democrats for painting them as villains.
If Quinn didn't anger lawmakers with concealed carry, he probably did on Wednesday when he held another press conference to say he was withholding their pay until they passed a pension reform bill.
We agree that lawmakers aren't earning their pay; if they had any decency, they would refuse to accept a paycheck until they fixed the pension problem, the state's No. 1 priority.
But Quinn probably doesn't have the legal authority to withhold lawmakers' paychecks. If lawmakers get paid on Aug. 1 in spite of Quinn's grand gesture, it will be another huge embarrassment for him. If only he were embarrassed by the sad shape Illinois is in.
Quinn's political opponents sense blood in the water. Democrat Bill Daley on Wednesday said Quinn is "long on press conferences, short on results." Republican Bruce Rauner commented, "The pension crisis won't be solved by political stunts."
Local Rep. Charlie Meier jokingly told his colleagues that if Quinn cuts their pay, he'll help them out with food from his garden. Quinn might want to keep Meier's phone number handy just in case he loses his bid for re-election in 2014.