Illinois anti-tax group attacks state public pensions

EDWARDSVILLE — An anti-tax group that often criticizes pensions paid to government employees in Illinois brought its message to the metro-east Thursday, and its leader named names.

Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, released lists of the top pensioners from city and county governments and public schools in Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties.

"These outrageous government-employee pensions are bankrupting the state," Tobin said at a news conference in Edwardsville.

But representatives of the pensions systems said Tobin distorts facts and gives an incomplete picture.

"He goes around the state and compares the highest pensions that have been given to people who have worked a long time or worked in management positions," said Dave Urbanek, spokesman for the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System. "He's like a snake-oil salesman."

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