Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Rauner foundation donates $100K to Cairo Port project, but lots more needed
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Rauner foundation donates $100K to Cairo Port project, but lots more needed

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018

* From the Southern

A fresh infusion of hope came with the new year for the Cairo Port project in the form of a sizable donation from the Rauner Family Foundation.

In a news release from Cairo Public Utility on Wednesday, it was announced that Gov. Bruce and wife Diana Rauner’s foundation would be donating $100,000 to the project. Larry Klein, chairman of the Port District and general manager of CPU, said in the release this donation will allow them to drum up interest from shipping companies. […]

He also said that as more companies express interest in the port, which would be built on 160 acres along the Mississippi River-side of the city, it will open up more funding opportunities in 2018 and beyond. […]

However in May, [Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg] told the paper there was a need for about $1 million in “soft money” to pay for legal fees, permits and surveys before any real development could start.

On a visit to Cairo in May, Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill said the DRA valued the project and could jump in at any point in its development, but said that soft money was needed before they could make any commitments.

Maybe JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy could open their wallets as well?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:28 pm:

    Isn’t this where Intersect Illinois steps in?

  2. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 4:39 pm:

    Cairo is not a YMCA, and while Rauner and Dr. Rauner’s Rauner Family Foundstion donation may be helpful, it will not solve the problems in Cairo. Perhaps others will donate, but this is also not a Mansion rehabilitation. This requires someone “being in charge”, not governing for a hobby and a tax write-off while he waits for. US Supreme Court decision. If Rauner is serious sbout the Port Authority work, then show us a budget that works this year.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:01 pm:

    Is the idea that truck and rail containers would unload on barges at Cairo to continue on down to New Orleans?

  4. - Huh? - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:08 pm:

    In 1.4% mind he is thinking “here’s 2 bits, don’t spend it all in one place.”

  5. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:15 pm:

    Downstate image rehab?

  6. - Vote Quimby! - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:25 pm:

    “I invite the remaining residents of Cairo to join me and match our donation to bootstrap the port into reality,” Rauner said in a statement. /s

  7. - illini - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:26 pm:

    I’m going to put on my cynic hat right now -

    First, Thank you Governor Bruce and Diana for the charitable donation. All is appreciated.

    Second, this strikes me as being little more than a feeble, transparent and not unnoticed attempt to curry favor and create some “political” good will in the poorest county in Illinois.

    Third, DoYourJob. Propose a “balanced” budget that has a line item for fully developing this potential economic hub. Anything less strikes me as being little more than political pandering and posturing - we see through this hypocrisy.

  8. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:39 pm:

    Echo Illini.

    Would add that he comes across kind of clueless (or disingenuous) with this donation. Does anyone really expect $100k to move the needle with this project?

    It reminds me of candidate Rauner drivin the trash can van down to the south side to make a donation to a credit union. At least then he ponied up $1M.

  9. - theCardinal - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:46 pm:

    Henry F ….Maybe the Mrs and Guv wanted to throw them a life line without having to bleed out in springfield to do it.

  10. - Sputnik - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:48 pm:

    I was in Cairo a few days ago. Why? Family road trip. I got off the interstate and wanted to see this town. It’s small. And there are JB for Governor signs!

  11. - Chicago 20 - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 5:48 pm:

    - “It reminds me of candidate Rauner drivin the trash can van down to the south side to make a donation to a credit union. At least then he ponied up $1M.”

    It wasn’t a donation, it was a deposit.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 6:14 pm:

    Thank you to the Rauner Foundation.

    Governors that lead need not checks, but the will to do right, and make decisions that impact far greater than the placement of numbers in ledgers at a measured cost.

    I thank the Foundation, but to dismiss the failure of the Administration in endeavors would be a mistake too.

  13. - Juan Bolsa - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:14 pm:

    If only Illinois had an economic development entity that could promote good ideas like this and bring them into reality.

  14. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 8:51 pm:

    Juan. Have no fear. When the money is right. And the good old boy network is in place. You can bet your sweet icicles it will be Intersect Illinois to the rescue. Just follow the money

  15. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:05 pm:

    BDD - that’s funny about Intersect. Those folks don’t seem to do much of anything. Check out their web page and their “successes”. It’s not as bad as the Guv’s top 10 accomplishments, but it’s close.

  16. - blue dog dem - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:11 pm:

    Henry. I could write a book about its corruption.

  17. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:16 pm:

    BDD - I’m not sure there is corruption when they don’t do anything. Their only concern is how do they go out and raise more funds? They have no accomplishments to show for the money they already squandered.

    It’s kinda similiar to the Guv trying to get people to give him their vote again.

  18. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 9:42 pm:

    Sounds a lot like a $1 mil deposit in a black credit union on the south side last election cycle.

    Definition of pandering.

    Words. Deeds.

  19. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:24 pm:

    Nothing against Cairo, but is there any evidence that there’s a demand for a port there for intermodal transportation? Transferring containers from trucks and trains to barges? Lot of established competition for that up both the Mississippi and Ohio already.

    First the railroads, then the interstates, put the hurt on a lot of formerly strategic river ports.Cairo’s decline wasn’t a decline in politics, but an advance in logistics.

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:24 pm:

    BDD, how can they be corrupt if they don’t do anything?

  21. - Chicago Cynic - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 10:53 pm:


    Yes, actually there is quite a bit of corporate interest in this port. The project was abandoned by Governor Quinn and then Governor Rauner. It’s nice to see his foundation writing a check but it doesn’t erase the damage caused by three years of neglect under his administration. And it’s wildly inappropriate and illegal to use a foundation for political purposes. But they’re desperate so I’m grateful.

  22. - Tom Servo - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:12 pm:

    Grandstandin’ and campaingin’ cuz, you know, BVR is the common man and all. Ugh.

  23. - Tom Servo - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:15 pm:

    I wear a Carhartt jacket - because I need it to keep myself warm. Mine is not a prop. Hence, one difference between me and the current office holder. Again, ugh.

  24. - Olivia Pope - Wednesday, Jan 3, 18 @ 11:31 pm:

    —First, Thank you Governor Bruce and Diana for the charitable donation. All is appreciated.

    Second, this strikes me as being little more than a feeble, transparent and not unnoticed attempt to curry favor and create some “political” good will in the poorest county in Illinois.—

    This made me wonder… how did Cario know to apply for funds from the Rauner Foundation? Or who approached Cairo about this funding opportunity? Is there a lack of a firewall between government, politics & the Rauner Foundation?

    Cario needs all the help they can get, but the timing of this is interesting.

  25. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jan 4, 18 @ 8:33 am:

    Anon. Oh, they have done things alright. Typically wrong.

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