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Pressure builds on Rauner to help Lincoln library foundation

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

* AP yesterday

The foundation that supports the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is selling a black dress once owned by movie star Marilyn Monroe to raise funds to repay a loan used to buy artifacts relating to the 16th president.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation is putting nine items up for auction in Las Vegas June 23, including photos of the 1950s movie icon. Julien’s Auctions says the wool dress could sell for more than $60,000.

The foundation owes about $10 million on a 2007 loan it used to buy items purportedly belonging to Lincoln, including a stovepipe hat, bloodstained gloves and an 1824 book.

* From a Tribune op-ed by Carla Knorowski, the chief executive officer of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

There is a burgeoning threat to President Abraham Lincoln’s legacy.

As the Tribune has reported, his presidential seal, stovepipe hat, locks of his hair, gloves he carried with him the night of the assassination — stained with the very blood he spilled that this nation might have a new birth of freedom — could regrettably be moving closer to the auction block. […]

If a single Lincoln artifact goes to auction, taken from the public realm, then we, as a nation are collectively diminished and must look ourselves in the mirror and take responsibility. It is not any one individual’s or group’s responsibility to bear; it is all of ours to bear.

What would Lincoln do if faced with this problem? He would solve it and not let us down. In that same vein, we must solve it and not let him down. We should, posthaste, set our hearts, minds and yes, money to the task we have before us.

* Gov. Rauner was asked about the issue yesterday

Gov. Rauner said the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum foundation that’s considering unloading prized Abraham Lincoln artifacts to pay down debt shouldn’t do “any panicked selling.”

The governor on Tuesday didn’t say whether taxpayer money would be used to try to keep the Land of Lincoln’s Lincoln stuff off the auction block. […]

“The loan that they used to buy that material is not due (until October 2019). That’s a long time. So, move slowly,” Rauner said. “Certainly let’s not have any panicked selling or action or whatever.”

“And obviously we, as the state government — it’s separate from that foundation,” he said. “They’re separate, we have to keep them separate, we have to make sure we manage our taxpayer funds very prudently.”


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - For Pete's Sake - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:30 am:

    The governor just announced a $600,000 gift to preserve the legacy of Mario Puzo.

    That is the context.

  2. - Show Me The Money - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:35 am:

    I thought the governor had told us that private foundations were the way to fund things like museums because so many well-heeled people were just itching to donate their cash. Guess he was wrong, huh?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:37 am:

    Rauner on donating the Puzo Papers for the prestige to be an alum of Ol’ Dartmouth abd the “Look at me, fellow alums” framing…

    ===“We are thrilled to place the Puzo collection at Dartmouth, where it will be available to the worldwide scholarly community and integrated into the curriculum to create immediate and lasting benefits for students,” says Diana Rauner.

    “We love the fact that Puzo’s papers document the creation of Dartmouth’s most famous fictional alumnus, Michael Corleone, and that they will live for centuries to come with the papers of so many prominent, and real, alumni” says Bruce Rauner, who is the governor of Illinois.===

    Rauner is willing to sell Lincoln Artifacts… but is willing to save Puzo’s writings… for centuries… as long as the Rauner name is attached… for centuries too?

    Rauner is a phony. I don’t need the Puzo Papers to frame the Lincoln artifacts to show that… put it’s too easy to see.

  4. - Retired Educator - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:40 am:

    It has always been my understanding that our state nickname is “The Land of Lincoln”. What could be more important then maintaining the items that support his legacy? They can find money for almost anything they want. Pork projects, worthless spending, new doors, etc. Someone needs to get the funding approved.

  5. - Saluki - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:47 am:

    If Quinn were still governor he would be “working day and night to solve the problem because our veterans deserve better, especially in the land of Lincoln where people can always call the Citizens Utility Board…..”

  6. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:55 am:

    Maybe if we called it the Bruce and Diane Rauner Lincoln Museum he’d pony up some of his own money for it.

  7. - Ron Burgundy - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 9:59 am:

    Yes, do something to prevent the sale of the Lincoln items before the loan comes due. Go ahead and sell the non-Lincoln items. Not sure why they have them in the first place.

  8. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:01 am:

    The dress, it used to belong to Marilyn Monroe. She had small shoulders. Most people don’t know that…

  9. - SSL - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    Maybe the Kennedy Library would like to have the Marilyn Monroe dress. They could pay top dollar I’m sure.

  10. - Juvenal - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:09 am:

    Cheryl -

    See Oswego Willy’s comments. The Rauners seem more interested in putting their names on stuff their friends will see, and I am guessing their friends have mostly not been to the Lincoln Museum.

    If you want to understand Rauner’s philanthropic side, remember how he cut funding for a homeless shelter after appearing in a photo op at their soup kitchen on Thnksgiving. Remember how he cut funding for autism on World Autism Day. Remember how he spent the last three years trying to “Squeeze the Beast.” Remember how he gave to the CPS foundation only after his daughter was clouted in, and never since.

    For Rauner, everything is transactional, and he is always looking for the better end of the deal.

  11. - don the legend - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    We all want to save the items and keep them at the museum.

    It’s easy to say give them the money but it’s difficult to have the discussion if it’s the right and appropriate use of public funds.

    I think Davey Crockett as a Tennessee congressman offered one side of the argument succinctly when he said, “We have the right as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

  12. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    Thought the loan / purchase was a mistake in the first place, given the questions about provenance, both at the time and recently.

    But we’re here and need to pay the loan. Selling the non-Lincoln stuff may pay the interest for a year, but it won’t solve the problem.

    Time to ask the board members who approved the purchase and loan to pony up. They need to tap all their friends and raise the needed funds. If they are lucky, they will find a wealthy angel or two to donate most of what is needed.

    Or just “sell” the darned things with an agreement the buyer will put the items on permanent loan to the museum. I’m sure that is the kind of public / private cooperation Rauner would like.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    Davey Crockett was full of it if he really said that. The government takes in money from the people and spends it as it sees fit.

  14. - Ambrose Chase - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    OW - the gun was just a lighter, huh?

  15. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    - Ambrose Chase -

    I’ll have to ask Vernon Hardapple

  16. - Sue - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:39 am:

    How’s about Bruce and JB each kick in a few million. Better yet since JB seems somewhat stingy when it comes to sending his money on anything not involving him or his special interests- Rauner can set up a dollar for dollar challenge at like 5 million

  17. - confused downstate voter - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Maybe the Republican and Democratic candidates for
    should donated their millions they would have spent on campaign ads to pay off the Library’s debt.Thus saving the Lincoln collection and saving all of us those horrible tv and radio ads.

  18. - Steve Rogers - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    Rauner’s response is actually spot on here. The loan isn’t due for another 17 months. Why the hurry to sell? If the Foundation is hurting cashflow-wise now, then maybe cut back on salaries, staffing, or other programs. Maybe look at how the Foundation can be better stewards of donated money?

  19. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    Carla the collection was overpriced, and this is the public’s problem why? Ten years is plenty of time for the philanthropic marketplace to assess this project’s value. Your hectoring op ed sounds desperate rather than inspiring. Improve your message. That’s your best hope at this late hour. .

  20. - RNUG - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 11:46 am:

    == since JB seems somewhat stingy when it comes to sending his money on anything not involving him or his special interests- ==

    And Rauner isn’t? Seems like Rauner only spends his money on things with his name on it … or his hobby, union busting.

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 11:51 am:

    Haven’t the Rauner’s given millions to charities? Based on their tax return. Before you criticize, maybe make sure your percentage of donations / income, match or exceed theirs.

  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 12:00 pm:

    ===Better yet since JB seems somewhat stingy when it comes to sending his money on anything not involving him or his special interests===

    Oh - Sue -

    Ask Diana Rauner.

    It was the Pritzker family, their foundations, and that includes JB, that bailed out The Ounce with that $5 million.


    ===”More than three decades of experience have led us to identify some big bets that have the potential to transform early learning. We are so grateful to the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation for sharing our belief in these innovations,” said Diana Rauner, president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund. “By developing strong leaders and programs, empowering parents and strengthening early learning systems, together we can change lives for children and families.”===


  23. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 12:03 pm:

    To the Post,

    While I am dinging the RaunerS for the Puzo Papers then putting a bow on what is going on with the Lincoln artifacts, the reality for me is I don’t want Bruce or JB to spend monies themselves to correct this, rather, I’d like to see the governor engaged in process to help, or see Pritzker engaged in looking to how the process could be better served to correct this, not to make political points.

    This whole fiasco is embarrassing to the state.

  24. - Anon221 - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    Sue- The Pritzkers already contribute a lot monetarily to the Foundation. Google the annual report. The Rauners, as I stated when this first came up on CapFax, unless they are contributing anonymously, are not donors if any amount. As others have stated, unless there’s namin’ rights involved, Bruce and Diana seem less interested than most.

  25. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 16, 18 @ 7:16 pm:

    The Foundation’s mission is to support the ALPLM, not for the ALPLM, taxpayers, and the State of Illinois to support the Foundation.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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