* Joe Cahill is furious that Gov. Rauner is also giving some support to St. Louis’ Amazon HQ2 bid…
Any material assistance to Missouri would be a stunning betrayal, undermining Illinois’ only realistic contender for one of the biggest economic development prizes in a generation. […]
Rauner is kidding himself if he thinks Missouri would let Illinois share the bounty of an Amazon base in St. Louis. Sure, some Illinois residents would land jobs across the Mississippi River. But don’t expect Amazon to open offices in East St. Louis or Alton. Missouri lawmakers shelling out tax subsidies to Amazon would want every last dollar invested in their state.
Most important, Rauner would weaken Chicago’s bid if he strengthens St. Louis.’ Chicago has Amazon’s wish list pretty well covered, but so do other cities. To win against tough competition, Illinois needs to speak with one voice on behalf of Chicago.
What will Amazon’s decision-makers think if Illinois officials stumping for Chicago simultaneously talk up St. Louis? Most likely, they’ll start to doubt Chicago’s sales pitch.
Suburban St. Louis is built out so far west that lots of people have decided to go east to Illinois. We’d definitely benefit. I just think a backup plan is always a good option.
* And then he tosses in this…
Perhaps Rauner is so invested in his Illinois-as-basketcase narrative—and his personal animosity toward Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and House Speaker Michael Madigan—that an economic coup for Chicago would feel like a defeat. Maybe he worries that an Amazon move to Chicago would undercut his argument that Illinois has become so unattractive to business that only deep reforms will save the state’s economy.
I just cannot make myself believe that.