Nancy's face glared out of the video screen; frozen into a stone-like grimace by far too many Botox injections.
"We did everything we could for you. Now it is pay-back time" her voice as dry and slithery as a sidewinder's belly scraping across wind-polished, Mojave gravel.
She paused letting it sink in.
"We pressured City Halls and State Capitals to give you Election Day off as a paid holiday" she said to the assembled public-sector employees and retirees.
"We said it was so you could exercise your right to vote. But in fact, we did it so you could make sure the right candidates win" Nancy said.
People who were not in-the-know always marveled at how smoothly elections ran. For an event that happened once every two years it was incredibly smoothly orchestrated and everybody seemed to know how to swing with their partner.
It was no accident. Most election workers worked together every working day down at City Hall. Same chain-of-command. Same smoking breaks. Same person went out to Tim Hortons for coffee and donuts. The only difference was the address they showed up at in the morning.
"I shouldn't need to tell you how important THIS election is" Nancy hissed as her dentures hitched forward in her mouth.
"Chicago and Illinois are going to hit-the-wall in the next cycle. Pensions will be nullified if the God-damned Republicans are in the majority."
"Our best estimate is that we will be able to salvage twenty-cents-on-the-dollar because of our strength in the Illinois Statehouse. That means that your $3000 a month pension will become $600 a month. You will not be able to make your house-payments or even be able to pay your property taxes with that" Nancy reminded them.
There was a collective gasp as many of the seniors inhaled.
"It gets worse" Nancy drilled in relentlessly.
"Retirees who retired before age 66 will have to pay their own health insurance premiums. That will be at least $22,000 a year for a couple" Nancy said. Some of the retirees were 48 years-old. They would not be eligible for Medicare for another 18 years.
"Whatever happens to Chicago and to Illinois will be the template. It will be the precedent and everything that happens in Chicago and Illinois will happen to YOU. Maybe not next year. Maybe not in five years. But I guarantee that it will happen to most of you while you are still alive."
"The stakes have never been higher."
Some in the audience started sobbing. They lived in a NICE neighborhood. Their friends lived there too. And they had a house in Florida and they would have to give that up, too.
They knew about Medicaid. They knew that their very good, very UNDERSTANDING doctor did not take Medicaid. They would have to go to clinics and get their medical care from the same doctors that POOR people were forced to go to.
"It is pay-back time" Nancy hammered. "We need to have Democrats win from the top of the ticket to the bottom.
"It is pay-back time. Your job is to make sure the right candidates win. Whatever it takes."