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Kid… Have you rehabilitated yourself?

Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014

* The effort by House Speaker Michael Madigan to rehabilitate his public image after years of negative media coverage appears to be continuing. From a press release…

Hoping to secure a second presidential library for Illinois, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and State Rep. Monique D. Davis on Monday introduced legislation to devote $100 million in state capital funding toward the presidential library and museum of President Barack Obama.

“Illinois has a long and proud tradition as the birthplace or home of some of our country’s most influential commanders-in-chief, from Lincoln and Grant to Reagan and Obama,” Madigan said. “We hope President Obama selects his adopted home state of Illinois to be the location of his presidential library, which will be a lasting testament to his contributions and leadership as an Illinois state senator, U.S. senator and president of the United States. It’s important that we make a strong financial commitment to honor the legacy of one of Illinois’ favorite sons and the first African-American president of the United States.”

According to the National Archives, the president selects the location of his presidential library with advice from the Archivist of the United States. A number of proposals may be submitted by various interested locations.

According to Politico, among the interested locations are the University of Chicago, which is close to Obama’s Hyde Park home and where he taught constitutional law; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Chicago State University; Columbia University in New York City, where Obama received his undergraduate degree in 1983; and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where Obama’s parents met. While three Illinois sites are seeking to land the presidential library and museum, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief-of-staff, said in January that he wants the city to make a single proposal for one location.

“Chicago is a world-class city and the ideal location to build a lasting tribute to President Obama’s achievements,” Madigan said. “Chicago is where the president got his start in public service as a community organizer and as a state senator. Housing his library and museum in the city and state where his impressive career took root is the right thing to do.”

The reported target date for selecting the site of President Obama’s library and museum is early 2015.

If you’ll recall, Madigan derisively referred to Obama as “The Messiah” several years ago.

* Leader Durkin isn’t ready to sign on

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin says if Illinois could get back to rosier budget days, he’d give the idea consideration.

Durkin says it’s a question of priorities. He also says the proposal is premature, given that other states — like Hawaii, where Obama was born — are still in the running.

Madigan’s plan gives no indication of where Illinois would get the money.

* So, what about the money?

Steve Brown, a spokesman for the speaker, said a time frame on how the money would be appropriated has not been set, noting the state “will need a new capital plan to accommodate programs like this one.”

The last capital construction program, passed by the Legislature in 2009, funded $31 billion in projects around the state, through approving video gambling and taxing liquor, soft drinks and candy, and increasing driver’s license fees.

Headline is explained here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:32 am:

    You don’t have to guess what voice I heard that headline in….

  2. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:35 am:

    Also when asked to respond Governor Quinn…

    talked for Forty-five minutes and nobody understood a word that he said….

  3. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Just find that $50,000,000 that Quinn lost and you are halfway there Mr. Speaker!

    Just claim that you need the $100,000,000 to help fight violent crime in the vicinity of the next presidential library!

  4. - Mr. Big Trouble - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Madigan’s plan gives no indication of where Illinois would get the money.

    Unfortuntately, statements such as this are typical and indicative of the mess our enlightened pols have made of this state. This is the last thing anyone should be worried about at this point.

  5. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    OneMan, your Quinn quote is the highlight of my week!

  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    You can get anything you want in the General Assembly.

    You can get anything you want in the Gen-e-ral Assembly.

    Walk right in its around the back.

    Just a half a mile from the Springfield Amtrak.

    You can get anything you want in the General Assembly.

  7. - prisoner of cook - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    It’s always the best plan to use taxpayer money to make yourself look good. Maybe he could get the real estate barons he has saved millions in property tax to donate the $100 mil.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Zeke always called MJM “kid.”

    The kid was lucky to have a goombah like the man from Rockford.

  9. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    “a lasting testament to his contributions and leadership as an Illinois state senator, U.S. senator and president of the United States.”

    Did April Fool’s Day come early this year?

    I know people who actually served with Obama in the General Assembly and he did not compile much of a record of accomplishment there. His brief career as a U.S. Senator was notable only for his using the post as a launching pad for his presidential run — he did not do much in Congress. As for his presidency — the jury is still out.

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  10. - Howard - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    He could always “borrow” the money from the pension systems. Its sort of his money anyway. Go pound sand!!

  11. - Interesting... - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    Given this, and other spending, I am not sure how they can claim the pension bill was due to a fiscal emergency.

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 9:59 am:

    It’s a curious move, and probably unnecessary.

    W paid for his library with $500 million in private donations. Clinton raised $165 million in private dough.

  13. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    I have no clue as to what that “unsubscribe” message is with the post. Sorry.

    I agree that private donations ought to pay for a library. Chicago State? Seriously?

  14. - PERPLEXED - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    How about converting the old Cook County Hospital over to a library? A Jones Lang LaSalle reuse study puts the cost of reusing the building between $103.9 million and $120 million depending on its use. That could be reduced by as much as $50 million through the use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds from the Central West district, the study says. So we are down to about $53.9 million to $70 million tops.

    Any additional funding could come from taking additional “Pension Holidays”!

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    The timing is great. Classic Madigan.

    Christian Mitchell can spend two weeks trumpeting the idea and Bruce Rauner can spend two weeks dodging the question.

    And I cannot imagine anywhere but University of Chicago for the presidential library and museum.

  16. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    I can’t find my wallet. I think I saw it on I90. I, I, I think it grew legs and is hightailing it for South Dakota.

  17. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Hey, howsabout the old Post Office over the Congress expressway? It would get my stamp of approval.

  18. - Loop Lady - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:20 am:

    I’m betting they put it at the old Michael Reese
    Hospital site just south of McCormick Place…

  19. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:21 am:

    That said, this is no phony move by Madigan.

    Madigan fought hard to pass legislation to require videotaping of police homicide interrogations. Sponsored in the Senate by Obama.

    Madigan fought hard to pass legislation to put an end to racial profiling. Sponsored in the Senate by Obama.

    And Madigan sponsored the legislation renaming the Illinois State Library to honor Gwendolyn Brooks, the first black American to win the Pulitzer Prize.

  20. - Just Me - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Anyone else notice that Davis filed the bill and then sponsorship changed?

  21. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    @wordslinger is 100% correct.

    Presidential libraries are traditionally built through private donations before being handed over to the federal government for permanent maintenance and upkeep.

    If we were running a surplus right now, this would be a nice idea. Until then, the money can certainly be raised through private donations. Especially on behalf of our president who has broken fundraising records.

    Meanwhile, it is fairly certain that U of I, many of our local cities or any number of other state entities could desperately use some of that $100 million. We will probably need $100 billion just to patch all the pot holes that spring up once the weather finally warms, lol

  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    === Presidential libraries are traditionally built through private donations ===

    Pretty sure the state kicked in $50 mil for the Lincoln prez library.

  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    –Pretty sure the state kicked in $50 mil for the Lincoln prez library.–

    Yeah, Lincoln didn’t make any funder calls, lol.

  24. - Jeff Trigg - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    $100 million for a library. What’s Madigan’s proposal to help tornado ravaged towns like Washington, IL? Steve Brown might want to consider moving to Dunlap if they spend this money without helping the people of Washington more. Twisted priorities.

    Statues at the library should be securely bolted down, because Monique Davis.

  25. - Tequila Mockingbird - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    What are they going to display in this library? His college transcripts? Birth Certificate? Itemized vacation expenses? Let Hawaii have it.

  26. - A guy... - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    === Presidential libraries are traditionally built through private donations ===

    ===Pretty sure the state kicked in $50 mil for the Lincoln prez library.====
    After that Theatre incident, Abe just didn’t raise money like he used to. I know the public helps with these, but the living guys do have a fund-raising advantage to help out. lol

  27. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    lol, you mean he didn’t reach out from beyond to make a few calls?

    I’m just going off what NARA and CRS indicates, which is that presidential libraries are typically and predominantly funded via private donations.

    To be fair, Honest Abe’s circle of friends were a bit long in tooth by the time his library opened in April 2005.

  28. - Logic not emotion - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    I agree with “under…” and “tequila…”. If Madigan can’t find higher priorities for $100,000,000 of taxpayer funds, I’d be happy to help.

  29. - Norseman - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Maybe da Mayor can ask his bud, the Baron, to. Kick in the money.

  30. - Challengerrt - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    Madigan and Davis’ legislation really meant to say they will “divert” $100 million from the pension systems

  31. - OneMan - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Also sadly, the idea of having a touring ensemble do ‘Our American Cousin’ to raise funds didn’t work out as planned.

  32. - Cook County Commoner - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Instead of building a new structure, maybe one of those closed CPS buildings will suffice. Or, the Obama Library could be the first digital presidential library. He could call those folks that set up the ACA website.
    But alas, the construction contracts have been a bit light in Cook County. Nothing like a new, elaborate edifice to stimulate cashflow, licenses, union dues, accommodations to government officials, etc.

  33. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    The more I look out my window today the more I think this library is going to be in Hawaii.

    Seriously, if it was your call, would you rather spend your time in Chicago or in Hawaii? Yeah, me too.


  34. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    I think the Lincoln Library is a notable exception to the general rule. As I understand it, the library business took off following the Hoover Presidency. There is some Federal money provided to launch the libraries and meet annual operating expenses, but after that if the former Presidents want to expand the place and add more exhibits then they need to raise private money.

    There are not libraries for every former American President. The Coolidge Memorial Society prides itself on being totally funded by private donations. I visited once and it was a nice place near the Coolidge birthplace and the family cemetery in rural Vermont.

  35. - plutocrat03 - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:27 am:

    I think the library need to be near a golf course, so the visitors can play a round or 2 with some high holler cut out figures.

    If the modern tradition has been to privately fund, then collect the money and spend it in an area that needs help. I don’t think it needs to be next to an institute of higher learning, so put it in an area that needs revitalization.

    Madigan needs to speak to devastated communities like Washingto and explain why there is money for a vanity project, but not for them.

  36. - MagLyons - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    That Arlo Guthrie reference made my day.

  37. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    What would there be to study in such a library? Will all of the records be impounded and sealed after Obama retires?

    There has not been too much transparency from his secretive administration contrary to his promises as a candidate. Rahm Emanuel’s service on Federal Housing boards are still off limits (according to the Obama administration) and he was a Clinton appointee.

  38. - Hickory - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    President Clinton had Mark Rich make a major contribution to his library. I suggest that Oprah W. build the President Obama library at no cost to the State of Illinois.

  39. - CollegeStudent - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    ===Pretty sure the state kicked in $50 mil for the Lincoln prez library. ===

    NARA doesn’t run the Lincoln library-it was a state of Illinois initiative.

  40. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    === I don’t think it needs to be next to an institute of higher learning, so put it in an area that needs revitalization. ===

    A very good idea, @plutocrat03. Columbia University, UIC and U of C already serve as economic engines for their surrounding areas. This is an opportunity to help one of the less developed areas who are competing.

    The search committee is headed by Marty Nesbitt of Chicago, as well as J. Kevin Poorman of Wilmette and Julianna Smoot from his campaign financing operation. Those odds would seem to favor Chicago as a site location.

    Also, from the official website at
    “Typically, a not-for-profit foundation is established by friends or family of an incumbent president to receive financial contributions for the purpose of selecting a site and constructing a future library. Once completed, the part of the facility which contains public records is turned over, along with an operating endowment, to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).”

  41. - Tequila Mockingbird - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    Maybe a “virtual” online library would suffice for this president. Just don’t contract it out to the Obamacare website developers or it will cost more than bricks and mortar.

  42. - Under Further Review - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    I would never want Monique Davis as a co-sponsor of any bill. Is the Speaker delivering a subtle message that he does not want the library? LOL.

  43. - Macoupin Observer - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 7:34 pm:

    Hey Lincoln had to wait well more than 100 years to get his library and museum and his legacy has proven to be worth it. Let the jury be out on Barry for that long and see if his legacy is worth it. If it has to be in Illinois then definitely put it in Chicago as he is not worthy to have his in Springfield until he pays the money he owes from his inauguration event.

  44. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 7:45 pm:

    Geez, do the Obama haters get green stamps or something? Agree or disagree on policy, it’s demented to get so personal.

  45. - Macoupin Observer - Wednesday, Mar 5, 14 @ 7:50 pm:

    LOL! Nice one, but more accurately I am a Lincoln Liker.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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