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McCann wants to “undo” state money for Obama Presidential Library

Tuesday, Jul 24, 2018

* Press release…

Last Friday, Illinois Senator and Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate Sam McCann filed legislation to undo a $180 million grant from Illinois’ Road Fund supporting the Obama Presidential Library, committing the money instead to road and bridge repairs in downstate Illinois. The grant was part of the budget reached in June.

McCann issued the following statement:

Today, I am calling on my fellow legislators to join me in making the fiscally responsible decision to put this $180 million back in our Road Fund.

Illinois hasn’t had a comprehensive capital bill since 2010 and the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our roads a “D” grade last year. If we cannot provide Central and Southern Illinois with safe and efficient roads, we cannot afford to pump money into high-profile luxury projects.

Citizens in Central and Southern Illinois are counting on us to make sure that their tax dollars make a positive difference in their lives, and that is what this bill will do. It also sends an important message that we will support economic development efforts throughout the entire State of Illinois.

* Greg Hinz

Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker aren’t commenting on the move. But Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office had plenty to say, asserting that the state is doing for Chicago only what it did for Springfield when it helped the Lincoln Library with more than $220 million in subsidies—so far.

“The Illinois Legislature recognizes the significant benefits created by presidential centers,” said a city spokeswoman. “This expenditure is critical to the development of the Obama Presidential Center, and we consider it to be a settled matter.”

Did I mention that McCann’s district happens to include Springfield?

Anyhow, McCann has been far downstate and unavailable for comment today on questions like whether a Lincoln Library is better than an Obama Center.

This isn’t a bad move for McCann, politically speaking. The governor signed the budget and agreed to the Obama expenditure. The House and Senate Republican leaders also agreed to spending that state money.

So, McCann gets a free shot at Obama-hating Republicans. But, it’s just a press release. Not many will really read or hear about it unless he can raise enough money to tout his position on the airwaves.

But we can still chat about it.

* And while we’re at it, this is from WICS TV

The Executive Director at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Alan Lowe, joins us in the studio to talk about the ALPLM’s backpack drive.

The District 186 Backpack Drive started July 1st and will end July 31st and is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Free museum admission is included with every donation.

There are a few ways you can donate.

First, by dropping them off at the museum, off of Sixth Street, or at the Real Estate Group on Wabash, or right here at our WICS/FOX station.

On July 27, we’ll be hosting a live grab-n-go backpack drop-off right in front of the museum.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - Dues Paying Member - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    This guy really is the operating engineers 150 lapdog


  2. - Juice - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    Rich, it’s probably difficult for McCann to get the bill drafted at LRB and filed since his staff was all taken away. /s

    But in all seriousness, House version was introduced yesterday. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=5934&GAID=14&DocTypeID=HB&LegID=113070&SessionID=91


  3. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:25 pm:

    I will not fund it with back packs,
    I will not fund it with that tax.

    Oh, that Sam I Am.


  4. - Nieva - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    The rural roads are in terrible shape in Southern Illinois. We for sure would rather see money for roads instead of another building in Chicago.


  5. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:27 pm:

    Senate bills do not show up on ILGA until they are read in. That is probably why you cannot it listed under McCann’s name.


  6. - Highland, IL - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:28 pm:

    === The rural roads are in terrible shape in Southern Illinois. ===

    When you don’t pass a budget for 2 years things suffer.


  7. - Juice - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    Nieva, don’t disagree on more money for roads. But the Obama Center is a public good that will have a lasting impact.

    Take it from the $500 million for the Governor’s vanity project along the river instead.


  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:30 pm:

    ===money for roads instead of another building===

    The money is for roads.


  9. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:53 pm:

    Sam, how many backpacks can they put ya down for? 150?


  10. - Nieva - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:54 pm:

    So the funds were originally road funds and moved to the library?


  11. - OneMan - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 4:04 pm:

    I think at this point many of us have the same question…

    Is Tim Nieukirk running again, because if he was, he could do well against this field.


  12. - SAP - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 4:19 pm:

    The road funds were directed toward road projects at the proposed museum campus.


  13. - anon - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 4:55 pm:

    Just a reminder, it is not a Presidential Library being built.


  14. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 5:13 pm:

    Wow.
    This is sad all around, but it makes good politics.

    So, it’s uber-sad.


  15. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 5:43 pm:

    ==- Nieva - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 3:54 pm:==

    Are you dense? Unable to click links? The money is for roadwork related to the presidential center, but maybe it should be for reading comprehension programs instead.


  16. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 5:54 pm:

    ==Not many will really read or hear about it unless he can raise enough money to tout his position on the airwaves.==

    I don’t know, Illinois conservatives have a pretty strong social networking game. This was the worry with Ives, that she wouldn’t be able to get her message out - but she ended up a whole lot closer than anyone thought she would. McCann can probably reach a lot more people than anyone would like think.


  17. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 7:13 pm:

    Good luck with that


  18. - cc - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 8:45 pm:

    Totally against any state dollars spent on library. Let all the people as Oprah and all the Hollywood crowd do this.
    We need money downstate for roads and schools to offset all the $ funneled to rich northern companies and individuals.


  19. - The Dude Abides - Tuesday, Jul 24, 18 @ 9:55 pm:

    @cc Just an FYI. It would be more accurate to say that Chicago tax money is being funneled downstate to keep the rest of the state floating. Most of our downstate counties get about $2 back for every dollar in taxes they pay. The local downstate GOP doesn’t want you to know that though. They enjoy the anti Chicago narrative too much.
    Back to the topic, many of the Ives supporters will be enthusiastic about Sam’s idea here. Rauner needs to get as many of those Ives supporters supporting him as he can. Sam is sticking it to Rauner.


  20. - Ahoy! - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 8:47 am:

    It will be interesting to see if the JB/Madigan money funds McCann’s Obama bashing. It would not surprise me, but it would still be weird.


  21. - SuburbanRepublican - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 8:51 am:

    This is another example of the distinguished Senator from the 50th district trying to have it both ways. He voted for the budget in May which everyone knew included funding for roads around the Obama Center and now is trying to oppose it to gin up conservative support. Last year, he voted against the tax increase but voted for the spending that went along with it. Senator McCann is the worst kind of politician. I wonder what position he would get in a potential Pritzker Administration.


  22. - Annoyance - Wednesday, Jul 25, 18 @ 9:38 am:

    Stop bashing Chicago, this library and the roads to it will be another reason to come to the State. It should be an honor to acknowledge a President from our state especially when the project is for an underserved community.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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