* One of the problems with some Republican opposition to House Speaker Michael Madigan’s bill to appropriate $100 million to help fund the construction of an Obama presidential library was that the GOPs set a rhetorical trap for themselves. For instance…
“We’re not opposed to the library, but we have lots of other needs,” [Republican Rep. Ed Sullivan] said, citing, for example, Emanuel’s push to outfit more city schools with air-conditioning.
“Do you want to pay for air conditioning in schools or a library? Do you want to pay for cops on the streets to stop the killing or do you want to pay for a library?” Sullivan said.
Statements like that made it appear that they could support big, new spending for Chicago.
* Sen. Bill Brady’s idea to allow Illinois taxpayers to contribute via income tax checkoff is much better…
“We absolutely want future presidential libraries to be built in Illinois. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library has proven to be a major tourist destination, bringing people from around the country and world to visit Springfield,” Brady said. “However, simply put, Illinois doesn’t have $100 million to spend on a presidential library. State funds are already spread too thin to pay off our debt, make upgrades to our roads and provide essential services.”
If approved, the tax check-off would appear on tax returns in 2015 with any proceeds going toward the construction of the library. If less than $100,000 is collected, the check-off would be eliminated.
* Even Madigan’s mouthpiece couldn’t say a whole lot in response…
Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said contributions to tax check-offs have been “spotty.” But he said the speaker welcomed the additional fundraising option.
“We thank Senator Brady for his endorsement,” Brown said.