By Becky Hogan
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s decision to hold hostage lawmakers’ paychecks until pension reform is passed in the state seems like it should be a slam dunk among voters.
Moody’s has already rated Illinois’ state debt the riskiest in the nation and estimates of the state debt are upwards of $100 billion.
But many claim that Quinn’s pension reform efforts are a ploy to help him in his re-election efforts next year. And state legislators responded this week by filing a lawsuit asking a court to issue their paychecks. House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton filed the suit in response to Quinn.
However, Quinn’s social data is proof that his plan isn’t gaining a lot of traction:
Comparing gains made in June, before Quinn’s pension threat was creating much buzz, to July when he officially line-item-vetoed legislative pay, he saw very little movement in Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers.
Quinn has made pension reform his main focus for nearly two years, and said last month that he wanted to spur lawmakers into action since this is an issue that affects taxpayers.
Interestingly, the Illinois Governor isn’t going unnoticed. Compare Quinn’s minimal ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’ to his Facebook Talked Abouts, and the results are telling. In July, Facebook users were talking about the governor 88 more times than the previous month!
And Quinn was getting a lot of mentions on Facebook in mid-July, right after he suspended legislator pay:
Compared to other governors around the county this month, Quinn’s social data is lagging. Quinn’s popularity among voters could be a problem as he heads into re-election next year. He faces a tough primary against Democrat Bill Daley.
Perhaps Illinoisans are waiting for state lawmakers to make real reforms on pensions instead of coercive measures? Check back here to see how Quinn’s platforms resonate on social media.