* Gov. Pat Quinn brought out the biggest gun of all yesterday…
Mayor Richard Daley stood with Quinn to talk up tourism’s importance to Chicago after Comptroller Dan Hynes last week said that he was suspending payments on more than $40 million in state and lottery tourism advertising contracts.
You’ll recall that last week Hynes refused to process about $50+ million of state bills, including $16 million for tourism. Mayor Daley expressed his displeasure…
“You just can’t sit back and say, ‘They’re gonna come to the city of Chicago.’ It doesn’t work that way. Gov. Quinn has realized that — that you have to do more marketing outside of Illinois. You have to do more marketing outside the United States. Then, you have to really work to get the conventions here because other cities are working trying to get conventions to their cities.”
Asked how he felt about Hynes’ threat to cut off the financial spigot, Daley said, “If you start cutting money off — say if we had a major, major layoff in that industry — you’re talking about a couple hundred thousand people. Where are they gonna go to work?”
Warning that Chicago’s unemployment rate would double without conventions and tourism, the mayor said, “From the Greyhound to the railroads to the airport to the cabs to the buses, rental cars, limousines, all these restaurants — that’s an enormous amount of money. You just can’t cut it off.”
* Hynes wants Quinn to resubmit his funding request…
“Does [Quinn] want to spend $53 million on consultant and marketing contracts, or does he want to spend it on education and health care? If the governor believes that tourism contracts are a priority, then he should resubmit them and they will be paid” [Hynes spokeswoman Carol Knowles said in a statement].
Quinn says nyet…
“My view is follow the law, follow the constitution, do your job,” Quinn said. “He doesn’t need direction from anyone other than his conscience to do his job.”
The Tribune’s print edition barely covered the ruckus. TV also mostly ignored it.
* Top 2 CTA board officers to step down: “I’m not being as effective anymore.”
* Press release and video: Tourism Generates Big Economic Impact for Illinois, Chicago - Retains More Than 303,500 Statewide Jobs
* Raw audio
* Chicago 2016: Mayor Daley trumpets upsides of Olympics
* Quinn to Travel to Denmark for Olympics Announcement
* Chicago lured 45M tourists who dropped $11.8B last year