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Fairgrounds Foundation chairman blames fund sweeps, mansion renovation for horrible fundraising

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018

* As we discussed yesterday, the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is basically a joke - raising just $32,000 last year after promising to raise millions. AP

People have raised concerns about whether the money could be put other uses, [Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation Chairman John Slayton] said. Lawmakers have taken funds out of special state funds to balance the budget. But the foundation money is separate from those state accounts and cannot be swept by lawmakers.

“You have to walk them through the process,” said Slayton.

He said that some donors, including companies like John Deere, Caterpillar and State Farm, already contributed to the governor’s mansion.

“So the well’s kind of dry there for a few years,” said Slayton. “I think we’ll have to wait. That’s fine because they both had to be renovated.”

Sigh.

By the way, Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) told the AP that Gov. Rauner himself should ante up.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

40 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    The well is dry? Has this guy seen the corporate profit reports?


  2. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 10:52 am:

    So it wasn’t those nasty union work rules — the same ones in place for the mansion rehab — as some deep-thinker posited yesterday?

    The governor had his priority — he chose to put the arm on for the mansion, not the fairgrounds.

    Bizarro Churchill: “Never has so much been given by so many for the benefit of so few.”


  3. - flea - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 10:58 am:

    John Slayton is a well meaning person whose years of fundraising for the sale of champions and other fairgrounds related causes should be commended. He’s one of the good guys.


  4. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 10:59 am:

    The fund sweeps would be a concern IF there were no protections for returning funds needed for committed project …BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP. Wrong answer Mr. Slayton, Slayton. Every fund sweep effort has included a return clause. You needed to get project going and like every other aspect of GovJunk Nation you failed. Another example of P3 concept expoused by GovJunk that did not work.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:05 am:

    ===By the way, Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) told the AP that Gov. Rauner himself should ante up.===

    LOL

    Your caucus was running on fumes some days ago.

    Rauner will listen to you.

    Honest.


  6. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    ==Another example of P3 concept expoused by GovJunk that did not work.==

    I think you may be a little harsh there Annonin’, I mean Intersect just got a new website.


  7. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:09 am:

    Tim you just caused Rauner to put an asterisk by your name


  8. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:12 am:

    well they are trying ….”The Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation’s immediate goal will be to develop strategies to reduce that amount”


  9. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    So it wasn’t those nasty union work rules — the same ones in place for the mansion rehab — as some deep-thinker posited yesterday?

    “Last month, my family and I spent a week showing cattle at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

    We stalled in a well-ventilated, well-maintained barn. We showed in a historic pavilion that was renovated and air conditioned about 10 years ago, thanks to an $800,000 donation from the Prairie Meadows Racetrack. On the way to tie-outs, we walked past a construction site, where workers renovated the Oman Family Youth Inn, thanks to a $1 million donation from the Oman family. We exercised cattle in the “Bob & Deb Pulver Outdoor Arena,” built in 2003, thanks to another donation.

    We drove past well-manicured landscapes, where workers trimmed and mowed and mulched. We noted the HyVee Fun Forest, Pella Plaza, and buildings remodeled with help from Farm Bureau and Vermeer Manufacturing.

    On the first night we were on the grounds, their fairgrounds’ Blue Ribbon Foundation hosted a corn dog fundraiser, bringing in more than $600,000.

    That’s more than a half million dollars. With corn dogs.

    Meanwhile, back in Illinois, we can’t even pass a bill to set up a foundation. A foundation that would, incidentally, let us collect free money to maintain our fairgrounds. A foundation that would make our fair less reliant on state dollars, holding money separate from the state treasury.

    Oh, but we’ve tried.

    Last year, then-representative Raymond Poe, now Director of Agriculture, introduced legislation to create a fairgrounds foundation; it passed the Senate, but Speaker Madigan never called it for a vote in the House. This spring, a bipartisan group of legislators tried again. In the final days of the session, Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, tacked on an amendment that would both re-open the Illinois State Museum and remove the procurement code exemption from the Foundation.

    What’s that mean? In a nutshell, the original bill said that privately-funded projects should be exempt from the state procurement process – a system that can drive projects to union labor and, according to IDOA, can double or triple the cost of a project.

    Manar wanted that language out. Madigan likely agreed. The bill lost support from IDOA and IDNR and died a quiet death.

    Finances and pastures

    And so here we sit, with a fairgrounds in need of $180 million worth of back maintenance. And next door, they can raise more than a half million dollars with corn dogs.”

    https://www.wallacesfarmer.com/blogs-lets-compare-iowa-illinois-fairgroundsand-foundations-11215

    Deep thinker indeed.


  10. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:27 am:

    How about raising money with naming rights to every building. The State Farm Grandstand. The John Deere Coliseum. The Boeing Skyride. The Rita Crundwell Horse Barn. Sorry, the last one was snark.


  11. - A guy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    Now the mansion is done and done nicely, the competition is not there anymore.

    Restart the effort dude. Both were worthy project and the fairgrounds remains one. Get to it. Chop. Chop.


  12. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:37 am:

    At the current rate of $32,000 per year, it’ll take the foundation only 62,000 years to raise the $185,000,000.

    Folly


  13. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:44 am:

    Perhaps try to duplicate the moderate, reasonable and very successful Iowa State Fair model?

    https://www.wallacesfarmer.com/blogs-lets-compare-iowa-illinois-fairgroundsand-foundations-11215

    Or we could just take the “I am not a change person” Speaker Madigan approach and expect different results.


  14. - Anon - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:50 am:

    Rauner shook up springfield. Shook it so haRd the fairgrounds looked like an earthquake went through it


  15. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:56 am:

    have they tried the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association? They seem to have lots of cash.


  16. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    ==Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) told the AP that Gov. Rauner himself should ante up.==

    AFSCME Local 31 and IEA are based in Springfield. What’s preventing them from ponying up some cash? Aren’t they vested in the local community?

    Local 150 reported $131M in net assets last year. What’s the reluctance on their part? Besides, wouldn’t it be their members doing the renovation work anyway?

    These multi-million dollar orgs are tax exempt, so maybe they don’t need the write-off. But it seems like it would be a good marketing move on their part.


  17. - Sonny - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    ““Last month, my family and I spent a week showing cattle at the Iowa State Fairgrounds…”

    Your cowboy governor couldn’t lead a show pony at a kids party and sure he had four years to develop a plan, build consensus and start to get it done, but it’s everyone else’s fault.


  18. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    ==What’s preventing them from ponying up some cash? ==

    That would be great. The AFSCME Coliseum. The Governor would be thrilled.


  19. - Blocked 4x today - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 12:56 pm:

    = He’s one of the good guys. = If Slayton de-prioritizing his own charitable mission is what passes for “good” these days, lord help us all.

    Rauner has been successful at everything he’s ever done, just ask him.


  20. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 1:12 pm:

    @LP- Of course Iowa can pay for a lot of nice things with a graduated income tax. Heck they even have a state-wide 1% sales tax to finance beautiful public school buildings (Iowa thanks you for your donation by the way).


  21. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 1:26 pm:

    ==Of course Iowa can pay for a lot of nice things with a graduated income tax.==

    Indeed, a graduated income tax on retirement income.


  22. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 1:28 pm:

    The AFSCME Coliseum

    I like it.


  23. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    ==The AFSCME Coliseum==

    The AFSCME Fairsharegrounds


  24. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 1:50 pm:

    ==The AFSCME Fairsharegrounds==

    Hilarious.


  25. - Lucky Pierre - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 2:00 pm:

    JS Mill

    Maybe you missed the entire point, the successful Iowa fairgrounds are paid for with private money and their state government does mandate how the donors spend their own money.

    The results are spectacular. We do the exact opposite and the results speak for themselves.

    Somehow we expect the same approach on any number of issues to produce different results.


  26. - KG - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 2:11 pm:

    Ken Griffin just gave $20M to Florida’s Norton Musuem of Art. Maybe Rauner could ask him for a little cash.


  27. - Texas Red - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    AFSCME AG Tent !


  28. - Give Me A Break - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    IMO, we have reached the point state gvt needs to either plow millions of dollars in repairs, upgrades and new infrastructure to the fair grounds or decide to go the private sector route for running the fair and the grounds.

    For too long the fair has been the playground of local Springfield political hacks and area lawmakers. It has been understaffed, underfunded and ran like an afterthought for too long.


  29. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    ==Iowa fairgrounds are paid for with private money ==

    Perhaps you failed to comprehend the post. Nobody is donating money. So, I suppose we could be like Iowa . . . if you can get anyone to donate.


  30. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 3:01 pm:

    =Maybe you missed the entire point, the successful Iowa fairgrounds are paid for with private money=

    No, I didn’t miss the point. You did though. Because Iowa taxes at a level to pay for services and facilities that are needed, donors can focus on the value added.

    =and their state government does mandate how the donors spend their own money.=

    Really? Interesting central planning that you seem to favor comrade. Illinois let’s donors spend their money however they want.


  31. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    =Indeed, a graduated income tax on retirement income.=

    Yep. Income is income. Raunie will take you off his xmas card list if you keep saying that though.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===Or we could just take the “I am not a change person” Speaker Madigan approach and expect different results.===

    Nah.

    Rauner says he’s not in charge, but is trying to get to be in charge.

    Why would anyone think Rauner, who is not in charge, would be in charge of this?

    The mansion? That’s legacy building, totally up Bruce and Diana’s ego.

    Dartmouth knows… library, dormitory, scholarships, professors… even donating the Puzo Papers… that’s important to the RaunerS… “for centuries”, as the quote goes.

    Bruce isn’t in charge. The fairgrounds will have to suffer.


  33. - City Zen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 3:59 pm:

    ==Dartmouth knows…==

    Did it tell Northwestern?


  34. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    ===Did it tell Northwestern?===

    Tell it what?


  35. - I Miss Bentohs - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 4:25 pm:

    LP, why are you pushing this so hard? Rauner does not want this to succeed … and he is correct in my opinion.


  36. - BlueDogDem - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    LP. Apparently this is important to you. Don’t be silenced. Stay engaged. Make a difference. It’s how the two party system can be neutralized.


  37. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 4:45 pm:

    Let’s remember GovJunk, NoTaxBill and Durkie all demanded the procurement loopholes stay in the bill. We don’t think that was the case with the Mansion.
    This is just another fumble by GovJunk on his continuing exit interview tour


  38. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 11:55 pm:

    LP you discovered the google to post obfuscation and have the endorsement of the lonely old troll BDD.

    But, so how did the mansion get $15 million for renovations under union work rules and the fairgrounds got nothing?

    You’re not so good, comrade.


  39. - BlueDogDem - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 6:10 am:

    LP. Don’t let mean old OW rain on your fair. Keep pushing the issue. Actions. Actions. Not words.


  40. - BlueDogDem - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 6:47 am:

    Sorry OW. I meant crusty old Word.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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