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GOP Leaders are “Nay” to Obama library

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014

Posted by Barton Lorimor (@bartonlorimor)

* Leaders Durkin and Radogno both are against the Speaker’s $100 million grant for the presidential library…

Durkin said now is not the time to be using public money on a presidential library.

“The state of Illinois is beyond broke. We can’t pay our bills. We’re $7 billion behind paying state vendors. We have pension systems that are barely afloat. Who in the world thinks that the state of Illinois can afford that right now?” he said. “To say that we are going to put $100 million aside in the hope that Illinois – and, specifically, Chicago – will be the recipient, or will be the designation of the Obama library, I believe it’s inappropriate for that type of discussion at this time.”

* You will recall the “Leave” controversy that got the bill out of a subject matter hearing. Steve Brown…

But Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said Monday the matter would go again before the House Executive Committee on April 30 to silence criticisms.

* Although one media outlet reported he is staying out of it, Fox Chicago says Gov. Quinn has given the proposal a thumbs up…

The state is grappling with budget woes, but Quinn said Saturday the spending would be “an important investment.”

He pointed to the state’s financial support for the Lincoln library in Springfield, saying “it’s paid tremendous dividends in terms of tourism.”

Related…

* Editorial: It’s politics before prestige in Obama library bid

* Lee: No state funds for Obama library

- Posted by Barton Lorimor        


156 Comments
  1. - Geronimo - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 7:50 am:

    Brainstorms like this should explain to everyone exactly WHY we are $7 billion behind paying vendors and a pension system that is barely afloat. Who represents citizens who actually work for a living and pay those taxes for the bling like this?


  2. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 7:50 am:

    I am shocked that Quinn is coming out behind this. There has to be a Democrat that can come out and say something for their constituents. Both parties bankrupted this state. You can’t say the sky is falling one day, and the next set aside $100 mil. If they make this as partisan as it is apearing, I again call for any “Union Boss” to come out and oppose vigorusly. That is when you will become a Union Leader. Otherwise, Rauner is absolutley correct to couch that. All rank and file members need to remember…Were broke when it comes to what you have been promised,but a library sure! How about paying some of the backlogged bills? The deafness on this truly shows how dumb the electorate really is… All of us. Otherwise, they would not consider continuing. It’s not about the shady way it passed. It’s we are broke.


  3. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 7:54 am:

    Wait. The republicans said No? There’s a shocker.


  4. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:01 am:

    How many people wouldn’t invest 1 dollar to make 10? Even if the state in is the process of correcting a structual deficit, it doesn’t mean timely investment should stop. And Mitty, we’ll use the argument that the state isn’t truly broke as they claim anyway, including this push whether it passes or not, so don’t spend those pension-saving dollars yet…


  5. - Retired - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:03 am:

    I thought most presidential libraries were privately financed and then turned over to the feds to operated. The Lincoln Library and Museum in Springfield, however, is operated by the State of Illinois.


  6. - Wally - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:04 am:

    The Lincoln Library in Springfield was built during robust times. We are in the Quinn/Obama economy now, much, much different.

    Use private funds like they did for Bush and Clinton. Glad Quinn is backing this, one more item for Rauner to use against him.


  7. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:09 am:

    You mean we’re in the Bush/Cheney economy of unfunded wars and unregulated Wall Street bogus derivatives and con-men that bankrupted much of the American economy, and that continues to do so to this day.


  8. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:10 am:

    Public…The issue is credibility. How many of the electorate believe that the government in Illinois is believeable if it was a good investment? The timing and optics alone can’t make this anything but a thumb your nose at us proposition.


  9. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:18 am:

    Mitty, you wouldn’t believe anything that government does, ever did, or will do is credible according to your ideology, even if it were run by Mother Theresa, Gandhi, and the Pope. The optics you decry could have been avoided if the Republicans just showed up. They didn’t and the Dems taught them a lesson. As for the optics, the dems are going to revote. That will just bring it to the floor where it can be debated, your feigned outrage not withstanding. The bottom line, as you’re so fond of pointing out when the situation favors your ideology, is that if the state can snag the presidential library it will be a financial boon to Illinois, whether we have to invest $100 million, whether the funds can be raised privately, or a combination of both.


  10. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:21 am:

    Here comes the party of ‘No’…


  11. - Wally - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:29 am:

    Public, are the optics the obvious lack of judgment on the part of the dems? Why would the state pay for this library when it could be easily funded privately? Please answer. Is this similar to Obamacare will insure all the uninsured cheaply and replace all those crappy health plans????


  12. - Walker - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:31 am:

    The way I read Judy’s reports and graphs, we have been steadily paying down overdue bills from around $8Billion to $4.4Billion. That’s where any operating surplus in the annual budget is being applied.

    If we apply timeliness standards for financial management used in large corporations, like American Express, General Electric, Intel, and many others, our goal for payables would put us around $2-3Billion. As long as we get and stay at those levels, our vendors can manage well.

    Rauner should know this. I doubt his own company would aim to exceed these cash management standards.

    And Durkin shouldn’t gloss over the numbers or progress we have been making.


  13. - Stones - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:31 am:

    I understand the argument about money in a state that has more than it’s fare share of budget problems. That being said, like him or not, Obama’s Presidency is historic. This is an investment that will pay dividends for years after all of us are long gone. I think it is something worth investing in. You don’t get a crack at a Presidential library every 4 years and certainly not one for groundbreaking political figure.


  14. - Befuddled - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:34 am:

    I, for one, wish the Democrats would have said No more often over the last 10 years. We’d be in much better shape.

    No is not a bad thing. Many know that Yes can get you into trouble - as it has here in Illinois.


  15. - Wally - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:35 am:

    Walker, I believe the payables almost always drop around this time due to income tax receipts. Then, they start going back up and up and up….


  16. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:39 am:

    Public… I am in one of the broken pension systems. We can agree on more than disagree I am certain of that. I can care less about the vote or how it was taken. If I were a Democrat I would be furious at making this an issue at this point. Independent voters will determine as always. I would not want to be the party of supermajority saying we are broke one day, and need money for a library the next. You can see the issue of that I am sure. If we had the money, who would not want the library? Private funds built the last 2… I think it says more about Obama than anything else if it was built anywhere but Chicago. The most succesfull fundraiser in recent memory could host 3 dinners and pay for it.


  17. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:41 am:

    Wally please tell me from whom those private funds would come? And while you’re at it, tell me what actual information you’re privy to that convinces you that “it could be easily funded privately”?

    And, yes, just as the ACA has bent the insurance cost curve, enrolled millions of Americans who didn’t have health insurance before, and saved countless others from the sham, con-job “plans” they had before, so will obtaining the Obama Presidential Library be a boon to Illinois. But I tire of talking national politics with you on an Illinois-specific form, and I’m pretty sure that Barton, Rich or both will soon reiterate that to you.


  18. - Walker - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:41 am:

    Wally: Thanks

    Yes, there certainly is seasonality. But if you look at the trends thru the full year period, we are gaining substantial ground. That’s also why I would aim at a range of $2-3B rather than a given number.


  19. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:45 am:

    Heh, it’s like a reflex with the GOP, blindly oppose anything related to President Obama. I think the leaders just walked into a trap.

    You’re telling me they won’t get behind building a library to a favorite son? The nation’s first black president? That this is a luxury we can’t afford?

    By the time the Democrats finish explaining this, Bruce Rauner will be lucky if he gets more than a handful of black votes.

    What is it about Obama that makes the GOP so irrational?


  20. - Wally - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:54 am:

    Public, just read Walter’s post, it answers your question nicely.

    47th, the better question is—Obama’s irrational decision making and judgment drives the GOP crazy how many times a week? They are not blindly opposing this project. They are saying don’t spend money needlessly when the state is beyond broke. Seems prudent to most.


  21. - Tough Guy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:59 am:

    Wow, the Republicans didn’t show up for a house committee meeting and they are against an idea by the Democrats? This is news?


  22. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 8:59 am:

    Pats contention that the Lincoln Library in Springfield has paid “tremendous dividends” is dubious.

    First it’s one among many Lincoln attractions in the area. It’s contribution is incremental.

    Second it’s the Lincoln Museum, not the Lincoln Library, that’s the bigger attraction. The $100 million is for an Obama Library which won’t draw like a museum.

    This is about bragging rights not economics.


  23. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:01 am:

    To the Post,

    First. You don’t show up, and something “happens”, you have to own at least part of it. What, not one GOP member couldn’t show up. “Without objection…”, means only one GOP Mushroom could have held it off. Showing up is half the battle.

    That said, the GOP “cover” to vote no, or be a “no” has a significant foundation to base the “no” vote on, but where My Party might fail, is the optics of partisan grudges, versus fiscal restraint, and wrapped in the optics is the idea Illinois’ favorite son, who is not only alive, but still occupying the White House, can’t muster support from the legislature that begat him.

    If those in My Party, and they know who they are, decide to do the Fox News - Rush Limbaugh parrot points and base a “no” on any number of conspiracies, $100 million or not, it will set My Party back.

    I want the Library, but I want Private Funding to not only have the foundation, figuratively and actually. Show me $60 million, actual not pledged, them you have my attention to discuss State intervention at a significantly lower commitment, but a commitment all the same.

    The political to all this is going to dictate far more than the financial if Dopey Mushrooms make it so.

    If you show up once and awhile, you rarely chase bad optics.


  24. - Scott Cohen - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:07 am:

    Will there be a wing dedicated to Emil Jones Jr?


  25. - countyline - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    -Wally please tell me from whom those private funds would come?-

    Please dispense with the willful ignorance, there are many wealthy democrats that would happily throw money at this project. Why should the BROKE state of Illinois pay for this when private funds are traditionally used for these things ?


  26. - Geronimo - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:11 am:

    As someone on a previous day commented on this, if we have funds for DePaul’s new stadium and funds for Obama’s library…..that’s just fodder for the courts in support of how UN broke we are to refund the pension systems.


  27. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    “they won’t get behind building a library to a favorite son?”

    When did it become difficult to raise money for a Presidential library? Isn’t BO strong enough to do what Bush and Clinton and many others have done before him? A silly proposition. The President’s team can raise the cash in a heartbeat.

    If there is 100 mil available, throw it in the pension pot and make the system a touch more solvent. Diverting scarce monies from pensions, public safety and infrastructure is simply bad public policy.


  28. - Earl Shumaker - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    Scott,

    I liked your Emil Jones, Jr. Since Emil Jones, Jr. was Obama’s “political godfather” in Springfield, I would think that Obama would push for such a wing. Lol.


  29. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    I thought most presidential libraries were privately financed and then turned over to the feds to operated.

    Yep, according to the wikipedia these are not built with federal government funds (and now even have to had an endowment)

    Regardless of the historical value of his presidency or whatever, the question is if it really needs state money to come here.

    If the difference maker in if it goes here vs New York or Hawaii is $100 million in state money, might I suggest we shouldn’t really be the home anyway. I don’t recall any other President using a financial incentive as the reason for locating a library.


  30. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:18 am:

    ==What is it about Obama that makes the GOP so irrational?==

    It’s irrational to argue that a facility that has been privately funded for two other recent living Presidents shoul be privately funded by a President who has raised more money for his elections than anyone in history?

    What is it about Democrats in this State whose first thought to any idea is “Let’s have the State pay for it!”?


  31. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    This is an easy fix. The state can pledge seed money to get the ball rolling, but the library committee pledges to pay it back. Private fundraising for recent presidential libraries hasn’t been a problem (if you don’t mind Middle Eastern oil sheiks paying the freight, as they did for the Bushes and Clinton).

    I’m thinking 47 might be on to something. This could be a trick bag for Rauner. He’s trying to make inroads into the Chicago black community. He needs to be careful not to get caught up in the irrational and hysterical anti-Obama rhetoric that some in the GOP love to indulge themselves in.


  32. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:21 am:

    Someone should ask Rauner if he will donate the money to build the library. Pocket change for him. Or maybe the Commercial Club of Chicago members could donate the money?

    In all seriousness, there are plenty of potential wealthy donors in Illinois and elsewhere who could donate the money. The President should pick where he wants the library to be - and then the Democratic National Party or some specially formed group could start a fund raising drive.


  33. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:22 am:

    I’m honestly surprised anyone, Republican or Democrat, is taking seriously the idea the state should do this. I really thought the line of thinking re: state financed stadiums/attractions/olympics/etc had been thoroughly debunked by economists.


  34. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:25 am:

    PublicServant

    Wally please tell me from whom those private funds would come? And while you’re at it, tell me what actual information you’re privy to that convinces you that “it could be easily funded privately”?

    Oh that’s easy man…

    Clinton raised $165 million

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/14/AR2007121402124.html

    The GW Bush library raised $500 from 300,000 donors…

    http://www.dallasnews.com/news/george-w-bush-presidential-center/presidential-center-headlines/20130420-bush-library-funded-by-500-million-in-private-donations.ece

    As NBC news points out they are built with private dollars

    http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/25/17900372-mix-of-tax-dollars-undisclosed-private-financing-raises-questions-about-presidential-libraries?lite

    Hell even Jimmy Carter raised the money privately…

    http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/library/libhist.phtml

    You really think Obama can’t raise at least as much as Clinton or Bush II or are you saying he can’t raise what Carter was able to do?

    Give me a break…


  35. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    Wally, I think you missed a couple of rote responses from the Church of Perpetual Obama Derangement catechism.

    Try harder.


  36. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:30 am:

    I borrowed very liberally from - 47th Ward - in my earlier comment, I should tip my cap for a well said comment, I just was waiting for the Rauner position on the Library to appear.

    Rauner’s Crew will probably say something like, “this matter is something for this current General Assembly to consider and weigh very diligently. The expiration date on a decision is probably more important to those involved than outside influences that have no impact now.”

    Hang it on Durkin and Radogno on the premise of an expiration date and “due diligence”. Nothing gained for either Rauner supporting or opposing.


  37. - In the Middle - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:34 am:

    I don’t mind the state chipping in to honor the President. Most of Illinois probably wouldn’t mind the idea, either.

    My first problem is just the staggering figure. Is $100 million really necessary to honor the President? C’mon, people.

    Secondly, all Presidential Libraries bring in revenue. Does anyone anticipate diminishing returns at some point? Call my crazy but let’s throw $1 billion in this thing and REALLY generate some revenue!


  38. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    I for one who is not a supporter of the President, would be more than happy to check, “$10 donation to the Presidential Library on my tax return.” He is OUR president and do not confuse the great opportunity with a broke state. You can’t say we are broke and give $100 mil… Only in Illinois could this even be suggested. I wonder what the Bond ratings think of this idea?


  39. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    Walter Mitty

    “I again call for any “Union Boss” to come out and oppose vigorusly”

    Please explain how this has anything to do with unions or union bosses.


  40. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:40 am:

    AFSCME… Whose pensions are being told we have no money? If this is not offensive to a public union leader, what is? Would $100 mil help the unfunded liabilities? I am one in a underfunded fund, I say yes.


  41. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    People very rarely get an opportunity to vote for a candidate for President who they personally know, and for me it’s easy to be proud when a president is elected from my home state. I passed up what were (for me) two very attractive opportunities to vote for a Presidential candidate from my home state, a very decent man who I knew and thought highly of. I voted for John McCain and Mitt Romney instead, with no regrets other than they lost.

    Having said that, I am shocked at any efforts by anyone to make this question a D-R issue, and it’s clear that many of you are. It shouldn’t be. President Obama served in the Illinois General Assembly, he served as US Senator from Illinois, and was elected President from Illinois. I am proud of that, and I am proud of him for his accomplishments, even though I certainly don’t always agree with him.

    This is a construction cost, therefor bondable, so it would cost us a little more that $7 million per year to set this money aside to see if this project can be brought to Illinois. If not, then the money could be re-programmed for some other legitimate construction cost.

    I have a great deal of personal regard and respect for Jim Durkin and Chris Radogno, but they are simple wrong about this. I would think a better approach would be to say “let’s do this and let’s see if we can’t do something to honor Ulysses Grant, and something for Ronald Reagan also.” $23 million a year to honor three Presidents from Illinois wouldn’t break our back, even in tough times.


  42. - RMWStanford - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    Has anyone done a realistic estimate of how much additional tourist revenue this will acutual geneate for the state of Illinois? In partiuclar will it generate new tourist dollars or just shift tourist dollars around from one area of the state, or one attraction in the state, to a another


  43. - Upon Further Review - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:48 am:

    The entire effort seems to be another gimmick for Madigan to rally Democratic voters to the polls in November when the public is apathetic and depressed about voting. Maybe he should rework his laundry lists of constitutional amendments to include funding for the Obama Library.


  44. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Perhaps the Obama library can be located in the old Solyndra building. We all already paid for that one.


  45. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    I’m not opposed to it, but $100 million does seem steep. Although iff the language has a matching requirement from private donations it could make a lot of sense.


  46. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    1. I too question how much the Lincoln museum was a good investment.
    2. I doubt a $100 million investment in an Obama library will pay off.
    3. While I don’t have anything against Obama, Obama is not Lincoln.
    4. There was no system in place to build presidential libraries in Lincoln’s day.. there is now.
    5. Is it even much of a worry that the Obama library won’t be built in Chicago? Is Hawaii or New York even a real possibility? Why do we even need to sweeten the pot?


  47. - Stones - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    * Steve Schnorf - well said sir! *

    Presidential Libraries didn’t exist during the Lincoln’s time and he was a polarizing but historical figure back in his day too. Can you imagine how short sided passing the opportunity to obtain materials from his presidency would have been? Also, now that we do have the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield I think people would be hard pressed to say that it has not become a tourist attraction.


  48. - Sarge - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    I have never been an Obama fan. He was a cordial enough fellow in the State Senate, but he’s become something different, and worse, I believe, on the national stage. That being said, I think as others have said that the President should pick where he wants his library. If he picks Illinois, we all should be thankful and get solidly behind the effort. He’s a president and an historic figure. What a coup for the State of Illinois to house two significant presidential libraries: one for the Great Emancipator and one for the nation’s first African-American president. We could (and should) all be proud of that.


  49. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    –4. There was no system in place to build presidential libraries in Lincoln’s day.. there is now.–

    Lincoln certainly didn’t help in fundraising at all.

    In regards to the Lincoln Library, didn’t Sen. Fitzgerald take the floor of the U.S. Senate for a two-day filibuster where he hinted at all sorts of sinister motivations of Gov. Ryan, Speaker Hastert and other big shots in the Illinois GOP?


  50. - Bill White - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    = $23 million a year to honor three Presidents from Illinois wouldn’t break our back, even in tough times. =

    Especially with the potential for a 4th - Hillary Clinton - in the on deck circle.


  51. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:06 am:

    I’m reading that the President is looking for folks to pardon. So it looks like he is using the Clinton method of building that presidential library anyway.

    What is Mark Rich doing today? Maybe he needs another pardoning. That should cover that $100,000,000.


  52. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:07 am:

    Walter Mitty

    “AFSCME… Whose pensions are being told we have no money? If this is not offensive to a public union leader, what is? Would $100 mil help the unfunded liabilities? I am one in a underfunded fund, I say yes.”

    Again I ask, what does this have to do with unions or union leaders ? You do understand that the Illinois pension systems have been seriously underfunded for at least 60 years, long before unions ever represented state employees ? Perhaps I’ve missed something, but I am not aware of any union leader being involved in any fashion with this issue. I know you don’t like unions, but trying to tie this issue to unions is absurd.


  53. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    ===2. I doubt a $100 million investment in an Obama library will pay off.===

    Based on? Where is your doubt based on figures to support it?

    ===3. While I don’t have anything against Obama, Obama is not Lincoln.===

    What president IS Lincoln? Yet, Presidential Libraries are still built for former presidents. If Lincoln or “Washington”, lets add, are the only measurement for worthiness of a presidential library, it’s possible none would have been built or will be built in the future.


  54. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    –I’m reading that the President is looking for folks to pardon. So it looks like he is using the Clinton method of building that presidential library anyway–

    Yeah, that’s what’s going on, hater. Non-violent drug offenders rotting in prison, money burning holes in their pockets.

    Why haven’t you brought up Benghazi yet? You’re slipping.


  55. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:22 am:

    Yet, Presidential Libraries are still built for former presidents.

    Whoa. Right. There.
    Presidential libraries are built BY former presidents - they are not built for them. The only exception has been Lincoln.

    And that is the problem!

    Obama, like every other president since Hoover is to build his own library - not us. No other president gets $100,000,000 to do this. That is why this whole thing is absolutely nuts.


  56. - Downstate Illinois - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    All modern presidential libraries have been built with private funds. Bush 44 raised $500 million for his. Obama raised more funds than any other presidential candidate in history. The idea that he couldn’t raise the money is ridiculous.

    Let Madigan and Quinn push this through. They couldn’t come up with a better plan to stimulate downstate voters. Lying and cheating leads to great television ads.

    Quinn and his allies have spent the last two weeks identifying everything that would be cut because of the income tax hike expiring, now they’re proposing to make it permanent so they can build a memorial to Obama. Perfect. Thank you.


  57. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Just Observing

    “1. I too question how much the Lincoln museum was a good investment.
    2. I doubt a $100 million investment in an Obama library will pay off.
    3. While I don’t have anything against Obama, Obama is not Lincoln.
    4. There was no system in place to build presidential libraries in Lincoln’s day.. there is now.
    5. Is it even much of a worry that the Obama library won’t be built in Chicago? Is Hawaii or New York even a real possibility? Why do we even need to sweeten the pot?”

    I tend to agree with you on all of your points. Presidential libraries are not big tourist draws because they are intended to be scholarly in nature. I have heard that the Obama Library might also include a museum, which may be a bigger draw. However, these ventures have historically been privately funded, and should remain so. Presidents are very skillfull in raising funds. I think Obama will have no trouble raising the necessary revenue to build his library/museum after his term is over. He is certainly an historical figure and his status as the first African-American President will enhance his fund raising ability.


  58. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    @Oswego -

    1. My doubts that a $100 million investment will pay off is based primarily on the fact that government has a strong track record of over-estimating returns for pet projects, and many times those “investments” result in losses. You ask for figures to support my contention… where are the figures that this is a sound investment?

    2. Agreed, most presidents are not Lincoln, but modern presidents typically are not using taxpayer dollars for prez libraries. My point is that taxpayer dollars may be worthy for Lincoln, but not Obama. I do desire to see the Obama library in Illinois, but just funded privately.


  59. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    OW- It’s not apples to apples, but the economist Robert Baade has written pretty extensively on why public financing for stadiums/sports teams is a fools errand. (One example, The Impact of Stadium and Professional Sports on Metropolitan Area Development from the peer reviewed Growth and Change)

    Now, obviously he hasn’t written about public financing for presidential libraries (as I’m not sure anyone has) but I think it’s reasonable to assume the conclusions would be, at the very least, similar.


  60. - PES - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    “but Quinn said Saturday the spending would be “an important investment.”

    What about our public education? THAT IS AN IMPORTANT INVESTMENT!!!!! Use the money where it will really be an investment in the future!


  61. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:28 am:

    I am astonished at Steve Schnorf, with whom I generally agree and hold in high regard.

    Is anyone really going to pretend that the first candidate for President of the United States who raised $1 BILLION dollars needs assistance building his library? Ridiculous.

    Every living President has raised the money to build his library. Suddenly, the State of Illinois has to step in because Barack Obama cannot? It just boggles the mind.

    I suspect this is really about where the Democrats will get to spend that $100 million for their constituencies and “here you go” contracts for their donors and supporters.


  62. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    ===Presidential libraries are built BY former presidents - they are not built for them.===

    When a former president 100% funds his own library, personally, then use the word “by”. Otherwise, committees and organizations build the Library.

    ===On the other hand, if you want to look petty, small and juvenile, mimic VanillaMan.===

    - 47th Ward -, your entire Comment was important and - steve schnorf - always reminds me to look to my better self and I am glad you made the point to acknowledge his statesmanship.

    - VanillaMan - also make your Comment ring too on the other end. Even after your comment, “the hits just keep on coming”.


  63. - Frustrated Voter - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    This whole idea is completely laughable to spend (borrow) $100mil in public funds to fund a presidential library that can and will easily be funded with private funds. Shame on everyone who supports this.
    -Signed,
    The Murray Center, Unpaid nursing homes, underfunded public schools and pensions


  64. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Rauner wants a referendum to decide on the library, including using non union labor, and exempting it from prevailing wages. Lets do the same for roads while we are at it


  65. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    As far as I can tell, the Obama library committee has not yet started to raise money.

    That might have something to do with the criticism that W and Clinton received when their committees were raising money while they were still in office. Some of that money came from Saudi and Kuwait.

    I don’t see a problem getting the Obama committee to commit to paying back any state funds used for construction.

    Anyone still have a problem, if that happens?


  66. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    === You ask for figures to support my contention… where are the figures that this is a sound investment?===

    With respect, I never made it about the investment, you did, and I asked you to back your argument. The burden is on you making it one of your “points”, I didn’t make it a “point” either way, you did. You want to make a fiscal point, make it.

    === My point is that taxpayer dollars may be worthy for Lincoln, but not Obama. I do desire to see the Obama library in Illinois, but just funded privately.===

    If you read my Comment, you would gather that I too would prefer a private funds solution. After $60 million is raised in real money, if the state would secure the $40 million, to be paid back, to complete the structure, I can see that as viable. I want the library, it’s important for Illinois. Good faith is needed in $60 million in funds to begin that faith.


  67. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    –Unpaid nursing homes,–

    Medicare isn’t paying nursing homes? Sounds like a federal problem.


  68. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    ===Now, obviously he hasn’t written about public financing for presidential libraries (as I’m not sure anyone has) but I think it’s reasonable to assume the conclusions would be, at the very least, similar.===

    So, your “example” is not Apple to Apple, but I need to consider a report based on … stadiums… that you acknowledge is not the same, and I have yet to see a museum look like US Cellular in marketing and stature or status, so I need to rethink, based on something you want me to conclude as reasonable to “different similarities”?

    Thanks. But, when you undercut, than rehabilitate your own argument with the word “assume”, I’ll stick with my side of the argument.


  69. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    The whole “we need $100,000,000″ doesn’t pass the smell test and the way it was handled by the Illinois Democrats, makes it stink even more.

    If I was the President I would ensure that someone representing me, step in and stop it before it stinks up the library further.

    Our first Billion Dollar President can easily raise enough for his library. Why is anyone thinking we need to come up with $100,000,000 at all?

    Sorry Mr. President - I’m sure you will understand that we just don’t have an extra $100,000,000 laying around to “seed” your future Chicago presidential library.

    Ask one of your sugar daddies - they should be more than delighted to put their name on a plaque somewhere, or add their face to an historical painting like in the Lincoln Library.

    And that is not being petty. We would really like another presidential library - but use the usual route, please.


  70. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    The other thing that strikes me about this is the idea of the public paying for what is in part an “I Love Me Wall”. I’m not against the President having a library to trumpet his accomplishments just as Clinton and Bush did. However it seems somehow wrong to use public funds to trumpet your accomplishments. Will the General Assembly get some control over content?


  71. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:47 am:

    I’m already on record that we should push for the library. I was reticent about the amount, but appreciate the insight offered by Schnorf.

    What I find to be the problem with the GOP leaders’ response is the total lack of strategic thinking. Such thinking would have led them to come up with alternative plan to provide seed money for the library so their response didn’t look like a petty issue. Of course, we have discussed on this blog ad infinitum the refusal of the GA GOP to offer alternatives.


  72. - Birdseed - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:49 am:

    == With respect, I never made it about the investment, you did ==

    Actually, Quinn did in the original post. “Important investment..” “Tremendous dividends..”

    I doubt it too.


  73. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Oops, Anonymous 10:47 am was me.


  74. - Investor - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    the answer is really quite simple. Merely get the funding from the state employees pension fund.


  75. - Responsa - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    I’d love to see the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago. It would be a tourist attraction. There may even be some land available that is left over from the 2016 Olympics push. But yes, absolutely this needs to be privately funded. Good lord, why are we even arguing about this part of it?


  76. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    - Birdseed -,

    Good catch. I will defer to the governor. If he believes it, and wants to go fiscal, then we all may need to see that.

    My position on the Library is still not swayed, but if the votes are there for the “Schnorf Plan” including Grant and Reagan also in a package, bonded and financed as Schnorf sees it with real or realized ROI, I like that pride as a jump point too.


  77. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    I see this move by the Speaker to publicly fund Obama’s library as pure politics in an election year.


  78. - RMWStanford - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    While staduims and convention centers are not the same as Presidental libraries, it does give a reason starting point. It would be nice if someone used the same basic model to examine how much net economic benefit a Presidental Library provides to area. I see no reason to assume a priori that Presidental libraries provide a great net economic benefit for each dollar invested than staduims or convention centers. In partiuclar when it comes to the city of Chicago, which already has a large number of tourist attractions, musems, ect.


  79. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    It’s a privilege to have a President from our State?? Good Lord, how much of this hooey are we forced to listen to? What privilege. Everything Barack Obama has achieved is because of the people of Illinois, not the other way around. I’m not sure he even asked to have a cool 100 mil set aside for this. He can certainly stop it. And should. We have a pattern in this state of making very poor spending decisions. Individually they may not break our backs, but collectively we’re over 100 Billion in debt. People’s lives are being altered seriously because of this series of missteps that is now going into it’s third decade. When I see Steve Schnorf rationalize this for the rest of the class, it strikes me beyond hypocritically. It’s only 7 million in bonding- seriously???

    Every person on here who has complained bitterly about Pension Reform and is supporting this completely unnecessary expense should print this page to read to yourselves later. This is precisely the kind of goofy stuff that got us into this colossal mess. Barack Obama should put an end to this now and simply advise the Leaders that he’ll raise the money himself. Not all of us hold him in the same regard. That being said, he’s our President. Build whatever kind of facility you want to honor your time as President. Pay for it yourself with all the friends who’ve given you billions before. I’m sure there’s no shortage out there. This is nuts that it’s even being considered and then rationalized by people who are trying to get what they are promised from the same pot. Ugh!


  80. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    wordslinger 10:37

    I would still have a problem with a loan to be repaid coming from State Funds. It still strikes me as best if any aspect of Gov. is left out of this. I honestly can’t see how Chicago doesn’t get the library. I also can’t see how the Library committee will need any money from the state. I personally think requiring former presidents of any party and of any caliber to raise their own funds for their own libraries is a wonderful idea.


  81. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    –It’s a privilege to have a President from our –State?? Good Lord, how much of this hooey are we forced to listen to? –

    Another victim heard from. No one’s forcing you to listen to anything.

    Try the decaf.


  82. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Wensicia: It is only a political trap if Republicans walk straight into it. Which, they are apparently willing to do.

    I agree with others. Republicans are playing this poorly.

    Politics is a lot like chess: a game of mistakes, where Grandmasters have noted the key to victory is creating opportunities for your opponents to make mistakes. Which Madigan is great at.

    But it is also a bit like poker. And as The Gambler says, “You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em.”


  83. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Mason, the way I think it works, once a presidential library is built the National Archives takes over administration and operations funding.

    I don’t have a problem with a loan to get the ball rolling. I’d rather have the government of Illinois involved rather than the governments of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, like happened with the Bushes and Clinton libraries.

    I’m surprised the GOP leaders didn’t propose a loan agreement as an alternative. Still could, I guess.


  84. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    Word

    I am aware the Archives take it over and I’m fine with that. That being said if Clinton and Bush who both had some rather vocal critics could get it done without a loan from the Gov. then i am sure the President will manage without a loan.

    I do like your idea for smaller community type libraries. Take the 100 mil. and use it as a loan for small community libraries make more sense.

    As for the GOP is it any surprise that the IL GOP can’t manage to say “We would love to see the library here in Il, However the state cannot afford to donate 100 mil without taking that money from social programs and schools.”


  85. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    How about they just give him an honorary street name on the street which will be home to his privately funded library.


  86. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    - wordslinger -, I get where you are at on this, and sometimes getting that ball rolling is where the difficulties start in many aspects of a project like this.

    Also, between the funding of Clinton’s and W’s Libraries, I can understand how the “who” in the funding strikes a nerve with many. Both valid points.

    I would like to see $60 million dollars, not pledges, raised. The additional $40 million is loaned money, to be paid back on a schedule that allows the Library to reach completion, allows the Library itself to meet a timetable, and reimburses the state every dollar, and shows commitment, a want of the Library, and lowers real liability by 60%.

    The number $40 million is not negotiable. Overruns are paid with additional donations, while the schedule of repayment is solid, irregardless or overruns or falling behind schedule.

    It is not perfect, and it’s not my perfect ideal funding of the Library, but it takes away the idea that My Party is perceived to be “so anti-Obama”, My Party is the roadblock to a Library, also while not even allowing 50% of the budgeted monies be State monies. A starting point, nothing more.


  87. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:00 pm:

    Does anybody think private donors ponied up and bought the former Air Force One that is a centerpiece of the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Library? Or the Marine One on display right next to it?

    Isn’t George HW Bush’s Library part of Texas A&M?

    Yes, President Obama should finance his library “the usual way.”

    I couldn’t agree more.


  88. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    It might be worth your time to read what wikipedia has to say about the libraries…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_library


  89. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:03 pm:

    Also I really think this is two questions….

    Should the state give money to it?

    and

    Does the state need to give money to it?

    Just because it might be worthwhile to give it money, does it really need state money?


  90. - W - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    Illinois Republicans showing they can be just as small minded and petty as their counterparts in Congress. Embarrassing.


  91. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:06 pm:

    ===wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    –It’s a privilege to have a President from our –State?? Good Lord, how much of this hooey are we forced to listen to? –

    Another victim heard from. No one’s forcing you to listen to anything.

    Try the decaf.===

    Please dude. Go ahead and keep and rationalizing. You should hope that it’s Kuwait and Saudi Arabia who are “sometime allies”. He doesn’t need a loan. I would be wholeheartedly “against” competing for the location. Having it here would be a privilege and good business. It’s always a little surprising and sometimes “unseemly” where monies come from for these things. I hope he builds it entirely privately here. My own prediction is that he won’t live here after his time in DC is up. That remains to be seen. Having it at the U of C would be prestigious for both parties IMO. It might even motivate him to visit occasionally. You don’t see much of Bill Clinton in Hot Springs or Hope, do you? Say what you want about the Bush’s, but they do reside in Texas. Worry not, all the Presidential Eggheads will have a place to go without public money. BTW, this is me on Decaf.


  92. - Geronimo - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    My mortgage is under water, credit card debt out the whazoo, cars don’t run, can’t afford to get them fixed, but ………….let’s just take the kids on a month long trip to Europe! It’ll pay dividends in their future. That’s about as logical as the thinking of a big check for a library for a state that had big time monied folks buying billboards screaming that Illinois is BROKE. Are we or are we not? Is it only on certain days or certain issues that we have no money?


  93. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:26 pm:

    Nothing in the RFQ says anything about looking for local government funding.

    http://www.obamapresidentialfoundation.org/pdf/rfq.pdf

    In the Architectural and Design Standard for Presidential Libraries…

    http://www.obamapresidentialfoundation.org/pdf/appendix.pdf

    Does reference state and local governments and university may help with construction by providing land, money, and infrastructure improvements for the library…

    The timeline in the RFQ seems to indicate they should be close to site selection by December.

    Again go read them both.


  94. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    –Democrats hold a slim advantage on the Madigan-controlled House Executive Committee, which approved the $100 million proposal last week with no Republicans in attendance. A committee member, Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Mundelein Republican, had planned to challenge that vote as a violation of House rules.–

    Next time, show up for work, and you have no problem.


  95. - Barton Lorimor - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    About to finish up my lunch break. Before you comment, make sure you go back and read through these comments. Some were held in moderation, but are now posted.

    Also, let’s keep the discussion about the issue and not personal. K thnx


  96. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    How can Quinn (and especially Madigan) be blind to the optics on this? Repayable seed money, sure that makes all kinds of sense. Loan guarantees or bonding authority to get private funding efforts off the ground, maybe. Making it part of an urban renewal project makes sense too. Carving out $100 million of fresh, new debt, for what will undoubtedly end up being a very expansive and expensive building or complex? That is making a pinata of yourself, and daring Rauner not to whack it, from now until November.

    Why would Republicans NOT want this not to be a continuing issue? Are there any big picture guys working for the HRO or SRO anymore?


  97. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    *”Why would Republicans NOT want this to be a continuing issue?”
    Remove double negative. Oops.


  98. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Toure, becasue Rauner wants to make inroads in the Chicago black community.

    A $100 million state investment to land Obama’s presidential library, presumably to be built in the Hyde Park neighborhood, might be viewed favorably on the South and West Sides.

    Kind of like how prisons are viewed positively Downstate.


  99. - RMW Stanford - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    W, how is it petty to questions about whether or not 100 million dollars of tax payers, particular when the state is facing a large and ongoing fiscal problem, should go to an Presidential Library that may not produce much net economic benefit to the state?

    Project like this need to be questioned more often


  100. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Toure’s Latte

    “How can Quinn (and especially Madigan) be blind to the optics on this? Repayable seed money, sure that makes all kinds of sense. Loan guarantees or bonding authority to get private funding efforts off the ground, maybe. Making it part of an urban renewal project makes sense too. Carving out $100 million of fresh, new debt, for what will undoubtedly end up being a very expansive and expensive building or complex? That is making a pinata of yourself, and daring Rauner not to whack it, from now until November.

    Why would Republicans NOT want this not to be a continuing issue? Are there any big picture guys working for the HRO or SRO anymore?”

    Again, maybe I missed something, but who, besides Madigan, has asked for any Illinois revenue funds ? I don’t believe any organization acting on behalf of the Obama Library has asked for any money. I am really mystified why this is even being discussed. Obama is a great fund raiser. He should be able to build his library with private donations. Seed money should only be provided if the taxpayers gain from the loan. This means a profit, not just a repayment.


  101. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    At least this will stop the partisan bickering on this site that the GOP needs to have a budget plan. Seems to me NOT wanting spending $100 mil was a great place to start…I think independent voters would agree. If there is not a poll in the works, I would be shocked.


  102. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    It should be noted no one testified against the proposal at the House Committee meeting.

    Why not? You have to at least show up, GOP.


  103. - Carl Nyberg - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Why aren’t campaign donors and private sources used to fund presidential libraries?

    Obama has done enough for Wall Street that it seems reasonable they pay for his library.


  104. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:04 pm:

    Word… I agree with you 100%…But because it was trickery, it will be brought up again… Not on the process, but the actual issue, Do you really think it’s appropriate at this time to spend this money?


  105. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    Walter, you must be our consultant on budget plans, since we seem to think that saying “no” qualifies as a plan


  106. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:06 pm:

    No Mitty. Whining about a single spending item here or there does not an alternate budget make. Look, you and I, as members of a pension plan, have been abandoned by this state’s democrats. I’m ripe for conversion, and looking around. All I get from Republicans, save for enlightened ones like OW and Steve Schnorf, is the dems are horrible, and we’re not them. That won’t work with me. I need to see your spending priorities. Thus the need for an alternate budget where I can actually see what your priorities are, and have you justify your reasons for your choices. And, really, I don’t think that’s asking for too much. Your party seems to be relying on Fox talking points exclusively. I’m certainly not going to be persuaded with “Shake up Springfield” and “Bring back Illinois”. Where’s the beef?


  107. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    –At least this will stop the partisan bickering on this site that the GOP needs to have a budget plan. Seems to me NOT wanting spending $100 mil was a great place to start…

    LOL, if that’s a start, there’s a long way to go….

    At least the House GOP signs off on a revenue estimate. The 19 GOP members in the Senate can’t wrap their collective mind around that basic task. Makes you wonder what they do, day in, day out.


  108. - Wally - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    Word, you seem to be blaming the bullpen when the offense scored no runs and the starting pitcher gave up 10 runs.

    State is broke, bad judgment on the part of the dems to ask the state to fund it, let private donations pay for it. Pretty straightforward approach.


  109. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    PS… BOTH parties have left us out to dry for many years! I think both parties have good people in them… I am waiting for some of them, on BOTH sides to have a Mr. Smith moment. How does Rahm say he needs the city pension fixed, as for the “Fox Talking Points” I assure you if it were Ronald Reagan proposing this, my comments would be the same, Steve, if I were your consultant, I would say no. The priorties by action (Not words) Education, infrastructure, and services including pensions for those that serve and protect us. We are past the line of wants, needs only.


  110. - Frustrated Voter - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:23 pm:

    == wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    –Unpaid nursing homes,–

    Medicare isn’t paying nursing homes? Sounds like a federal problem.==

    Ummm…no, they’re paid by Medicaid, not Medicare. And yes, it’s the state that is nearly a year behind in paying them.


  111. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:27 pm:

    Walter, it’s not about blame, and it’s not that difficult a concept.

    If you’re in opposition, you propose an alternative to distinguish yourself from the majority. Give people a reason to pay attention to you, and (gasp!) try to persuade them that you have a better idea.

    That is, if you’re serious about ever becoming the majority and governing.

    Ever since Pate lost the Senate, the GOP has been content to remain the minority in the GA as long as they have enough safe seats, office space and staff. It’s a good easy gig with no heavy lifting.


  112. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    It’s always good to hear what professionals think about situations like this:

    == Diane LeBlanc of the National Archives and Records Administration said “100 percent of construction is privately funded” for presidential libraries. Beyond requiring that a library be built with private funds, the Presidential Libraries Act of 1986 mandated that private endowments be established to offset a portion of future maintenance costs, she wrote to us in an email. ==


  113. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    U.S. Grant’s presidential library is already established in Starkville, Mississippi. I just looked it up. Anyone know the story why it didn’t go to Illinois or Ohio or Missouri?


  114. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:34 pm:

    Word… I think undecided voters have now yet another reason to decide we are on the wrong path… The election will decide this. I do think rank and file public union including teachers, will need a much better reason to support Quinn with this fiasco… Average people understand broke better than politicians… Time will tell. Understand, I would be just as a happy if a Democrat would call this a bad idea…. I wonder when some enterprising reporter will ask what any Democrat thinks of this?


  115. - NH Insider - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Wordslinger, a little off topic, but to correct a misconception… The funding problem for nursing homes is Medicaid, not Medicare. Medicaid is a 50/50 match with certain exceptions. It is the state’s 50% that is the problem.


  116. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    NH, you’re correct on the funding. Thanks.


  117. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:40 pm:

    According to Lynn Sweet, Madigan is pushing this abnormal expenditure strictly “out of the blue” and on his own impulse.

    Marty Nesbitt and the Barack Obama Presidential Foundation want nothing to do with this imbroglio.

    Just posted a couple of hours ago at http://politics.suntimes.com/article/chicago/obama-presidential-library-explosive-backlash-over-state-funding/tue-04222014-1122am


  118. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    ===Ever since Pate lost the Senate, the GOP has been content to remain the minority in the GA as long as they have enough safe seats, office space and staff. It’s a good easy gig with no heavy lifting.===

    Spot on. As I recall, there was a movement afoot to proportion funding for both sides as opposed to the usual split brcause the SGOP had been reduced so badly and the Dems were doing so much more lifting(?).

    To - wordslinger -’s point, and bringing this to the Library, of your “safe jobs, safe seats” is ok for those who are… safe… why work to be a partner in governing? The only difference in the SGOP and just waving a white flag, is that the SGOP still shows up, physically, and makes sure seats have fannies in them.

    To that and the Library, just being a “No”, abc constantly a “No” does not make me excited for fif the 1-18 SSM voting SGOP. The narrative is not about solutions, but hoping and wishing voters ignore no solutions and just embrace “No”.

    Ok, Library is “No”, so now what with all the other “No” items you have. At what point do you show leadership.

    Lt. Commander Jo Galloway was a lawyer, but that doesn’t make LTC. Galloway a fine litigator.

    The Library “No” is another example of a lazy Minority Party choosing lazy responses, in hopes someone pays attention and also applauds…but won’t ask the hard questions after.


  119. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    “To that and the Library, just being a “No”, and constantly a “No” does not make me excited for answers from the 1-18 SSM voting SGOP. The narrative is not about solutions, but hoping and wishing voters ignore no solutions and just embrace “No”….”

    Better. Apologies.


  120. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 1:57 pm:

    Plus, Congress has already examined this very issue. Even after decades of discussion, they consistently agree that it is inappropriate to use public funds for the construction of these libraries.

    Anyone interested should read CRS Report R41513 from December 2010 or read House Report 99-125 which accompanies the Presidential Libraries Act amendments of 1986.


  121. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Cheswick

    “U.S. Grant’s presidential library is already established in Starkville, Mississippi. I just looked it up. Anyone know the story why it didn’t go to Illinois”

    Probably because Madigan was around yet to come up with a way for Illinois taxpayers to pay for it.


  122. - AFSCME Steward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 2:09 pm:

    “Probably because Madigan wasn’t around yet to come up with a way for Illinois taxpayers to pay for it.

    Fixed


  123. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    –”U.S. Grant’s presidential library is already established in Starkville, Mississippi. I just looked it up. Anyone know the story why it didn’t go to Illinois”–

    People in Mississippi have real fond memories of Grant and Sherman’s excellent adventure down there in 1863, lol.

    I think someone pointed out last week that an editor of Grant’s papers is on the faculty at Mississippi State. He had been at Carbondale.


  124. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 2:18 pm:

    As Formerly has pointed out this should be a pretty simple NO vote. Point to the Federal Reg say “we can’t do it so why are we voting on it.”


  125. - BigDoggie - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 2:42 pm:

    Obama should fund his own library - there really is no debate to be had here. Perhaps he can get a good deal on the land if Ms. Rezko were to purchase an adjacent parc…..ah, never mind.

    Also, maybe I’m a cynic, but are there really a great number of potential tourists out there champing at the bit to visit Chicago, but they’re just waiting for another LIBRARY to be in place first??


  126. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Hey WS, and S Schnorf, Now that Nesbit has weighed in, are you prepared to abandon this outrageously goofy argument? The first thing we ought to really do is look around and see what else is being moved around while this red-herring completely manufactured by MJM, without anyone from the Obama team asking, has been discussed to death. Loans, bonds, grants, etc. for an Obama library would be condemned by the public, including the African American voters near Hyde Park. How exactly does that improve anything in their lives. Will it do as much as the Lincoln Library did for Springfield African Americans. What a nutty argument. Let Obama’s legacy be that he at the very least paid for one thing; his own library. Honoring. Him. Just like the rest of ‘em who’ve built these things since it’s become chic. You want me and my tax dollars on board, build the Martin Luther King Library or the Thurgood Marshall Library.

    And 47th, those items go to facilities that can house them. Museums all over the country bid for the rights to the Space Shuttles. Part of it was they had to pay the freight to get them there and keep them in good condition. There’s a submarine in Muskegon MI that made a commitment Chicago could not keep. Preservationists are a serious bunch of folks. So are National Archivists. Air Force One and Marine One are in Simi Valley CA because they have the private resources and favorable weather to store them and maintain the upkeep. Kudos to Obama’s team for pointing out that they too will build with private endowment funds.


  127. - Cheswick - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    Wordslinger - Thanks for the info. I remember that, now.


  128. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    –Hey WS, and S Schnorf, Now that Nesbit has weighed in, are you prepared to abandon this outrageously goofy argument?–

    What argument is that? I’m open to a loan, I’m against a grant.

    You’re one of those guys who waits to talk, rather than listen, right?


  129. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:21 pm:

    To be clear, a loan would require Illinois borrowing $100 million, and then re-loaning that $100 million to a third party.

    As CBS quotes == House Speaker Michael Madigan has said the $100 million for an Obama presidential library would not come from the state’s operating funds, but from borrowing used for construction funds. ==

    I encourage more brainstorming like this, but not this particular approach. It’s a bit inefficient for us to borrow the money and then re-loan it to a group who raised over $1 billion.

    They can likely secure a loan of their own at even better rates than the state of Illinois right now, or just raise that money outright with a few phone calls.


  130. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:32 pm:

    ===To be clear, a loan would require Illinois borrowing $100 million, and then re-loaning that $100 million to a third party.===

    The $100 Million is the cost, total cost.

    Who is to say it can’t be far less? Let the Committee raise some of the cash, and with that good faith, talk numbers then?


  131. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    === wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    –Hey WS, and S Schnorf, Now that Nesbit has weighed in, are you prepared to abandon this outrageously goofy argument?–

    What argument is that? I’m open to a loan, I’m against a grant.

    You’re one of those guys who waits to talk, rather than listen, right?===

    Uh, no. I’m one of those guys who reads your posts twice when you propose something quite foolish. No loan, no grant. Listen to Marty Nesbit. This is embarrassing them. Best to make a right at the next light and forget you ever traveled down this crazy road. Take your hitchhikers with you. lol


  132. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:38 pm:

    And, yet again, why is a loan or a grant needed from the taxpayers for the first Presidential candidate to raise a BILLION dollars?!? We have now established that the Obama folks didn’t ask for it. So, please explain how we are all just knee-jerk, reactionary, knuckle-dragging racists because we’re not for giving a GRANT to fund a project that hasn’t asked for it?

    And 47th Ward, for the record. I am a Reagan Library donor, and there was a special fund-raising appeal to buy the de-commissioned plane. And both Bush libraries are completely privately-funded, as is the Carter library.

    This is nothing but a diversion designed to drive up turnout among key constituencies during an off-year election.


  133. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:41 pm:

    Guy, what argument do you want me to abandon, and why? Sometimes your post are less than crystal clear, and this is one of them. And by the way, the Lincoln presidential library was built with a combination of federal, state, and private funds.


  134. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    A Guy, you realize this is not now, nor has it ever been, about the state providing funds for an Obama library, right? Re-read Barton’s headline and note the number of comments on this.

    GOP Says No to Obama Library. That’s the takeaway. That’s what people will remember.

    Quinn’s only hope is to generate 2012 turnout in Chicago. Every time your side has some anti-Obama meltdown, you’re helping Pat Quinn. Everytime you reinforce the GOP’s utter contempt for Obama, you help us get more voters to the polls.

    Madigan is going to keep baiting you with stuff like this as long as it continues to work. And I see no signs of common sense and rational self-interest taking hold of the ILGOP anytime soon.


  135. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:43 pm:

    –This is nothing but a diversion designed to drive up turnout among key constituencies during an off-year election.–

    You say that like it’s a negative thing. Seems to driven some of the Usual Suspects crazy. Too easy.

    And a guy, you do understand the difference between a loan and a grant, don’t you?


  136. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    I just saw on the twitter feed that 160 Chicago Public schools do not have libraries.

    imho, building libraries for some those kids would be a much better use of this $100 million.


  137. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:46 pm:

    –So, please explain how we are all just knee-jerk, reactionary, knuckle-dragging racists because we’re not for giving a GRANT to fund a project that hasn’t asked for it?–

    Someone said that? Who needs to explain it?

    Another Victim Heard from.

    Geez, some of you guys just rise to the bait, every time.


  138. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:47 pm:

    ===And I see no signs of common sense and rational self-interest taking hold of the ILGOP anytime soon.===

    Yeah, that is On It.

    ===GOP Says No to Obama Library. That’s the takeaway. That’s what people will remember.===

    That is my #1 fear of all these headlines and chess moves; the prism My Party is seen in some headlines that people will decide on My Party’s worthiness for votes.

    If you go to play poker, and you can’t figure out who the pigeon is …


  139. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    If the GOP were smart, they would immediately propose an amendment that spends this $100 million on school infrastructure instead, including those 160 CPS schools without libraries.

    Then the take-away becomes VERY different and forces the Speaker to own this callous blunder.


  140. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    What the going rate for a used 747 LincolnLounger? How much did the foundation pay for it again? Or did they just pay to move it on-site and set up the exhibit?

    Because I’m pretty sure it was a gift of the federal taxpayers to the Reagan Foundation, which charges visitors an admission fee to see what their tax dollars paid for.


  141. - Bill White - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 3:50 pm:

    = GOP Says No to Obama Library. That’s the takeaway. That’s what people will remember. =

    Yes, exactly. Lynn Sweet’s column says the same thing:

    == “Some of our Republican friends decided to demonstrate their tea party gene because the word Obama was mentioned,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown told me. “So the committee will meet again on the 30th and there will be another vote on the bill.”

    Will the outcome of the April 30 revote be the same?

    “Prior to this little wave of tea party that flushed through Illinois since last week,” said Brown, “I was unaware of any real opposition.” ==


  142. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 4:04 pm:

    Formerly

    “If the GOP were smart, they would immediately propose an amendment that spends this $100 million on school infrastructure instead, including those 160 CPS schools without libraries.”

    Now that is a grand idea as well as a much better use of public funds. Unfortunately you summed up the problem with the “if the GOP were Smart”


  143. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    == Lynn Sweet’s column says the same thing ==

    Not quite. There are many sentences in that column, and focusing only on one misses the overall point.

    The headline, or the “takeaway”, if you will: “Obama presidential library: Explosive backlash over state funding”


  144. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    lol, well said Mason born. Very well said.


  145. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    Not to mention that the Trib, Sun-Times, SJ-R, Crain’s (through Greg Hinz) and a multitude of others have already weighed in against this for very logical, objective reasons.

    That’s company I’d feel comfortable with.


  146. - Walker - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 4:13 pm:

    Rational arguments don’t win elections.

    Emotional image-creating tag lines do.

    “Republicans Block Obama Library” one of many effective tag lines to be engineered by the wily red fox.


  147. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 4:53 pm:

    Formerly, we tend to agree more than disagree, but the building of the Presidential Library will bring in more tourism dollars. That money can be used for other needs. I’m for the library because of this benefit. I’m not for it because I’m a fan of Obama - far from it, but it’s stupid to turn down opportunities to provide new tourist venues in the state.

    I haven’t been a drum beater for Madigan’s plan, but I do believe that we can look at measures to see this library happen. The point of this post was to discuss whether the GOP has properly handled the matter. I think not because they come across as anti-Obama when they simply say no and don’t present any alternatives. The problem is that the GA GOP has gotten out of practice in providing alternatives. Sometimes that is politically expedient and sometimes that is politically tin eared. This is the latter.


  148. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 5:29 pm:

    ===The point of this post was to discuss whether the GOP has properly handled the matter. I think not because they come across as anti-Obama when they simply say no and don’t present any alternatives…===

    As those argue the “merits” of any plan, realizing the perception just seems to go over the heads of those trying to “teach”, and are quick to respond while not reading to what they are responding to.

    ===The problem is that the GA GOP has gotten out of practice in providing alternatives.===

    That problem needs to be solved to have any chance to make inroads in the districts the GOP GA hopes to win. The pint that both Caucuses seem to be out of practice and seem to repeat these errors maker worry more than just being against things, even the Library.


  149. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 6:16 pm:

    Norseman - thanks for your polite and well-reasoned response, as usual. Your name is one I always look for when reading comments.

    This library belongs here, and I sincerely want to see it here. My frustration is also sincere. Using $100 million in state debt to fund this before so many other pressing needs seems backwards, especially when doing so would be highly abnormal based on precedent and federal law. To top things off, the GOP’s inability to communicate something other than “no” is equally frustrating.

    Seeing that tweet about the CPS libraries really tries my patience with both parties, lol.


  150. - Rob Roy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 6:45 pm:

    Hey afscme what does it have to do with afscame? They aren’t funding your memberships pension and trying to cut them you bone head. That’s what, But why would afscame care about their memberships pensions?? Just want the dues right. Let him fund his own damn library and let the state pay it’s bills. Seed money what a laugh.


  151. - Mason born - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 7:33 pm:

    It seems to me there are legitimate reasons for the GOP to oppose this. After all we are talking about 10% of funds for construction this isn’t change Madigan found while moving his couch. The last two libraries were built without any gov funding etc.
    Unfortunately for Il GOP they have to make that case not expect the general public to make it for them. If they don’t make their case MJM will make it for them and it won’t be flattering.


  152. - Southern Illinois Voter - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 7:36 pm:

    Vanilla Man, I’m with you. The whole thing smells rancid. It doesn’t matter whether the President is R or D - even the mention of $100 million for a presidential library considering the shape of Illinois finances is absolutely ludicrous.


  153. - Jeff Trigg - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 7:56 pm:

    Shut down Chicago State University which is rife with constant corruption, horrible leadership, horrendous education levels and graduation rates, and a drain on our education dollars spent.

    Then give Barack Obama Chicago State U for his library. The State doesn’t have to spend a dime, Obama gets a free “library”, b-ball court included, and the state saves bunches of millions each year instead of wasting it on a poor excuse for a university where less than 10% even make it to graduation.


  154. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:47 pm:

    Probably a good idea in the future to have up at least one GOP member show up for committee meetings.

    If you’re not going to have an alternative, at least line up some witnesses to express opposition. No one spoke in opposition to the proposal at the committee meeting.

    Make an effort, for crying out loud. It’s embarrassing to hear the whining after the fact.

    Things get done by the people show sup.


  155. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 9:57 pm:

    The irony is not lost on me.

    Had one…one GOP House member attended, the blowback of all this Library row..it all would have been stopped.

    No one would be beefing, no one would be spinning, no one would be posturing and no one…no one would have to worry about a perceived GOP reaction to the Library.

    But no one made that meeting.

    So here they are, here is this Post, these comments, even the debate of the Library in premise.

    Think details don’t matter? Think being a “present” and vocal Minority doesn’t matter?

    A lesson here. Lesson learned? Dunno. Time will always tell.


  156. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 22, 14 @ 10:57 pm:

    47, I don’t have a dog in this race, but fwiw it was a well-used 707 that went to the Reagan Library. The value-probably Oogats, since the Secret Service wants everything scrapped once taken out of Presidential Service so as not to reveal classified security details.


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