One citizen's take on the Dick that makes Chicago tick.


Friday, June 19, 2009


Wow. The Chicago Tribune has three articles addressing Mayor Daley's lies about Chicago taxpayers' liability for the Olympics games. Of course, the Tribune still endorses the Olympics in Chicago, even as evidence mounts that Mayor Daley and his band of crooked cronies cannot finish anything on budget and without lining their own pockets at our expense. I'd respect the Trib a lot more if they didn't support the mayor's Olympic dreams at all. But I guess this is as good as we are gonna get.

First, the Tribune's editorial board urges the City Council to do its job: An Olympic Accounting
Yo! City Council! Step in. The city's entire Olympic bid needs a slow and careful vetting in your chambers.

This financial commitment is an extremely critical issue. The Chicago Olympic bid has a $4.8 billion budget for construction and operations, and it projects a profit. But recent experience in other cities shows that Olympic costs can skyrocket in stunning fashion. The 2012 Games in London are expected to cost nearly three times as much as first budgeted.
Then, there's this one: Mayor Richard Daley's Decision to OK IOC Contract Puts Taxpayers in Deep End of Olympic Pool
Daley did this because he can. He now plans to tolerate an actual discussion of the Olympic contract in a City Council meeting sometime soon. That debate will have all the suspense of a People's Assembly debate over whether to send birthday best wishes to dear leader Kim Jong Il.

Now, Daley's second-in-command on the Olympic bid, retired insurance czar Ryan, is asking everyone not to worry.

That's what London's organizers said before they spent four times their original budget. Beijing's organizers exceeded the original budget by a factor of 10. The Athens Games' runaway $17.6 billion in spending helped boost the entire nation's budget deficit to 6 percent of Greece's gross domestic product.

Chicago 2016 will be different, we are told. The Chicago Games would have to log a $1.75 billion operating loss before bill collectors tapped into the taxpayers' treasury.

That would happen, said Sir Patrick of Ryan, only "if everyone was so inept that we go over" those guarantees.

Gross ineptitude? In Chicago? Not here in the land of the ill-considered parking project. Not here where Millennium Park came in at more than three times its original budget, and O'Hare's expansion is headed in that direction.
And finally: Olympics Funding: City Council in No Mood for Games
"I don't know where he gets the authority to do that," said Ald. Brian Doherty (41st). "We're supposed to be the watchdogs of the budget, and they've been very arrogant in doing whatever they want and not consulting us."

Ald. Manny Flores (1st), who plans to introduce an ordinance prohibiting the city from spending more than $500 million to cover any operating losses, said that "there has to be greater transparency on this."
"The whole thing needs a public hearing, no doubt about it," said Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd). "In light of ongoing scandals and corruption issues, it erodes the confidence of citizens of this city in its government and the aspect of having the Olympics."
I'm not sure my confidence in the mayor's ability to accomplish anything without corruption and scandal could be eroded any more than it already is Alderman Fioretti. But you hold that public hearing City Council. I'm sure all you aldermen will approve whatever the mayor wants, just as you always do. Your "defiance" is just a show. And then the city can lay off a bunch of city workers, cut services, and still not plug our $300 budget deficit, while in the meantime the mayor sits on an enormous TIF treasure chest created solely by our property taxes, just waiting for the Olympic spending spree to begin. I dunno, maybe the mayor can raise our taxes (again) and write more parking tickets to make up the difference.

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