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State Could Spend $100 Million on Obama Library — WTH?

This sounds like money we don't have, right? What do you think? Vote in a Patch poll.

President Obama
President Obama

Mike Madigan wants the state to put up $100 million — and maybe even more — to build Barack Obama's presidential library in Chicago. The House speaker believes the financial commitment will set Illinois apart from other bidders in Hawaii and New York.

But isn't Illinois in dire financial straits and digging deep into its citizens' pockets?

Nonetheless, the House Executive Committee endorsed Madigan's plan on Thursday. The full Illinois House will consider the appropriation next and it's likely to pass.

"We have a precedent for this," Madigan said, referring to the almost $100 million the state put up to build the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield. But the last time we checked, all of Honest Abe's wealthy friends and supporters were long dead. And Illinois' lack of a presidential library and museum recognizing one of the most significant presidents in American history represented a shameful void.

COMMENTARY

At the time, putting up money to build Lincoln's library was the right thing to do, particularly because fund-raising efforts took an excruciatingly long time.

Barack Obama's rich friends and donors are very much alive, however, and they should be footing the bill for this, wherever the library lands.

The University of Chicago, Chicago State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago intend to bid. Madigan told the Tribune's John Byrne that he would be twisting some arms to persuade the library hopefuls to come together on a single site. Building the library and museum could exceed $500 million. The Barack Obama Foundation will consider proposals from others who can lay claim to a piece of President Obama's personal history and life's journey.

Chicago's rep for insider deals aside, the president ought to make it clear that taxpayer money shouldn't be spent on his library.

If Madigan wants to sweeten the package with a government incentive, perhaps the state should consider offering up all the land purchased for the never-to-be-built third airport in Chicago's south suburbs as a site for the library.

Unlike the long-dreamt-for third airport, a presidential library in the Southland would be a real economic driver and perpetual travel draw for decades to come.

This article is posted throughout the Patch Chicago network

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Deerfield Resident May 06, 2014 at 06:11 PM
Stanley, I can't speak for other BO haters but I could care less his skin color but like I say...he doesn't get a pass for it either! What are you saying in your second PP? As for BO, he's death to small biz taking away tax breaks, saying ACA will cost the same but it hasn't (just wait til you see the real costs -by then its too late, imagine having to pass it to see what's in it - typical liberal!), try to raise minimum wage, and no stimulus to hire etc.... Now I ask you , what has he done? Unless you're a social worker, are gay or have a pre-existing condition - what has he done? He borrows like he's poor and raised the debt like he doesn't care.....he's pit the rich against the poor and buys votes with gifts like all liberals! We can do better - your turn, tell me something he's done that I care about! See My stance if purely from an economic view NOT a social issue view!
Dan Cox May 06, 2014 at 06:37 PM
BENGHAZI...We must never honor a deceitful and dishonest pig of a President. I will take a leak on his Library, built by the Madigan family, getting even more rich off of the Suckers in Illinois!
stanley seigler May 06, 2014 at 08:24 PM
@Deerfield Resident, apologies for over reacting to the skin color statement. didn't mean to imply anything personal. i just dont understand why skin color/race is brought up in any criticism of BO if it doesnt matter?? ____________________________________________________ +++ Obama’s Top 50 Accomplishments < http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/march_april_2012/features/obamas_top_50_accomplishments035755.php?page=all > ____________________________________________________ +++ 1. Passed Health Care Reform; 2. Passed the Stimulus; 3. Passed Wall Street Reform >>> goto link for the other 47 >>> ____________________________________________________ +++ "purely from an economic view NOT a social issue view": the economy is better now than in 2008, eg, DJI at around 16,000, jobs being created. ____________________________________________________ +++ re: " What are you saying in your second PP" ... trying to say: what BO policies DR would repeal? ACA? equal pay for women? >>> what/how/when would you do better?? ohand what tax breaks has BO taken from small business? your turn.
Jon Paul Sapsford June 07, 2014 at 12:00 AM
There is a shocking amount of racism going on here. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. It is an absolute honor to have a presidential library.
Tony June 07, 2014 at 01:24 AM
Saps ford. You pay for it. This is one of the most disgraceful presidential administrations of all time.

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