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Illinois defers $100M plan for Obama library

Lawmakers promise to keep pushing the measure for public funding of a presidential center

By Associated Press


SPRINGFIELD, Ill » A plan to offer $100 million in tax dollars to lure Barack Obama's presidential library to Illinois is on the shelf, with lawmakers prepared to wrap up their spring session without advancing the idea.

Democrats in the president's home state pushed the proposal to compete against rival bids from Hawaii and New York. But it faced opposition from Republicans wary of an expensive and precedent-setting gift — with no immediately identified funding source — for a mostly private endeavor when the state faces serious financial difficulties.

Not all Democrats were on board, either, and the Illinois House adjourned Friday without calling for any final votes on the measure.

Hawaii, Obama's birth state, and Illinois, his home for a couple of decades, have been lobbying for the library for several years, hoping in part to cash in on the potential for hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development. Columbia University in New York, where Obama went to college, is also expected to submit a bid.

Sponsors of the Illinois measure vowed to continue their advocacy, but the initiative now must wait despite a June 16 deadline for host proposals to Obama's library commission.

The state's influential House speaker, Michael Madi­gan, who doubles as state Demo­cratic Party chairman, had hoped the library plan would be part of a multibillion-dollar replacement for a five-year statewide construction plan that is expiring. But that larger bricks-and-mortar program also got no traction as lawmakers patched together a 2015 state budget without extending a temporary income tax increase, as Demo­crats had sought.

Obama was a community organizer in Chicago before he was elected to the Illinois and U.S. Senates.

"In order to show him we're serious about wanting him in Illinois, we have to do the right thing," said Rep. Monique Davis, a Chicago Demo­crat and Madi­gan's co-sponsor. "We must put forth some good-faith effort."

Even without approval of a capital plan, Davis wanted a vote before the House adjourned to send a supportive message ahead of the commission's application deadline. She said she will continue pushing the idea this fall when lawmakers return to Springfield.

Republicans say they welcome the library and the tourists it would attract. But they pointed out that no library dedicated to a modern president received state or federal tax dollars — although Demo­­crats point out public assistance is often offered, such as donated land.

"Bush and Clinton both raised over $200 million in private funds to take care of their library," said Rep. Joe Sosnowksi, a Rockford Republican. Obama's "ability to raise that amount and more is without question. For us to chip in half of what a presidential library would cost is an abuse of the taxpayers."

Madigan cited as precedent the public funding of another presidential library: that of the Prairie State's other favored son, Abraham Lincoln. That $155 million Springfield showplace was financed with $115 million in state tax money and $32 million in federal dollars.

But Lincoln's repository is not an official presidential library maintained by the National Archives Rec­ord Administration, which has been devoted to presidential facilities beginning with Herbert Hoover.

George Washington's library at Mount Vernon in northern Virginia operates on private donations, spokes­woman Melissa Wood said, as does the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Va., according to library representative Robert Robinson. Like the Lincoln site, Robinson said the Calvin Coolidge library in Massachusetts is state-run.

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Illinois shelving $100M gift to Obama library

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MalamaKaAina wrote:
Illinois lawmakers must have had a moment of clarity!
on May 31,2014 | 02:36AM
palani wrote:
Not to worry, where fools rush out, Hawaii rushes in.
on May 31,2014 | 04:39AM
ninilchikman wrote:
That really hits the mark
on May 31,2014 | 06:25AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Couldn't have said it any better!!!!
on May 31,2014 | 06:39AM
soundofreason wrote:
We're a factory authorized fool replacement part.
on May 31,2014 | 07:47AM
Charliegrunt wrote:
If there are enough fools to want to pay for his library, let's hope it's their own money, and vote out any incumbent who votes for it.
on May 31,2014 | 07:55AM
monkseal2 wrote:
blah blah blah. so much haters spread love. make 'merica strong. love make usa strong, not hating.
on May 31,2014 | 09:23AM
DAGR81 wrote:
you mistake the voice of reason with hatred
on May 31,2014 | 01:18PM
HD36 wrote:
You hit it on the head!
on May 31,2014 | 08:41PM
peanutgallery wrote:
on May 31,2014 | 04:54PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Wow! That's even cleverer than the one below!
on May 31,2014 | 06:11PM
HOSSANA wrote:
Illinois lawmakers, unlike Hawaii such as Abercrummy and his lackey, Schlatzdummy, still don't get it and want to pursue building the Obummy library but the question is where's the monies coming from. If they think the library will draw more tourists, their head is more empty than I can imagine as people are not going to fly into Hawaii to visit the library esp. with the costs being so high to stay here in every which way possible. Oh, well, if the state legislators want it with Aber and his lackey, so be it just like all the other high rises in Kakaako where they want it built.
on May 31,2014 | 06:26AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Love it! You are the next James Joyce/ Salman Rushdie!
on May 31,2014 | 11:22AM
HOSSANA wrote:
I do hope Hawaii takes a lesson out of the page from the Illinois lawmakers and reach the same conclusion about the funding of the library but with Abercrummy and his lackey, Schlatz, and the other demos in the state legislature, well, you never know...you vote for what you get......think about it come election time.
on May 31,2014 | 06:28AM
HOSSANA wrote:
I do hope Hawaii lawmakers follow the example set by the Illinois lawmakers but you never know in local politics......think about it come election time.
on May 31,2014 | 06:29AM
BuhByeAloha wrote:
Today, I would like to officially announce that my offer of $5,000.00 to "president" obama has been doubled. I am offering this as a private citizen to obummer as long as he builds his library anywhere but Hawaii.
on May 31,2014 | 07:07AM
bigislandkurt wrote:
Maybe we should have satellite branches of both the George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan libraries here in Hawaii. That way, all the haoles who hate Obama can achieve a semi-orgasmic state in celebrating their wayward heroes while singing their patriotic hymns at Pearl Harbor.
on May 31,2014 | 07:25AM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Racism is never too far below the surface for you "progressive" knuckle-walkers, is it?
on May 31,2014 | 03:35PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Enough already! Everything is racist! And un pc! Phooey! Whatever hapoened to freedom if speech!
on May 31,2014 | 06:16PM
palani wrote:
And "...all the haoles who hate Obama..." is not racist?
on May 31,2014 | 06:36PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Here, you take it. No, you take it. No, After you. No, after you.
on May 31,2014 | 07:43AM
soundofreason wrote:
But I INSIST.....
on May 31,2014 | 09:00AM
soundofreason wrote:
""In order to show him we're serious about wanting him in Illinois, we have to do the right thing," >>.....but since we're not.......we won't.
on May 31,2014 | 07:44AM
soundofreason wrote:
"Obama was a community organizer in Chicago before he was elected to the Illinois and U.S. Senates">>>And what a fine, fine place that is today for having him there :/
on May 31,2014 | 07:46AM
Mike174 wrote:
Private funding only.Really!
on May 31,2014 | 07:58AM
americantaxpayer wrote:
Will the world be better if Hawaii uses hard earned tax payer money to build the library here? Hope our lawmakers use common sense during these hard times. Illinois saw the light. Build the library here but use private funding!
on May 31,2014 | 08:14AM
BuhByeAloha wrote:
Hey SA, why did you delete my post? Maybe it wasn't pro obama enough? Only positive things here on our terrible mistake of a president?
on May 31,2014 | 08:17AM
bigislandkurt wrote:
No worry brah. They 'neva approve my post where I was talking about all the Obama (mostly haole) haters. I think SA being fair.
on May 31,2014 | 08:26AM
HanabataDays wrote:
You continually prove their wisdom.
on May 31,2014 | 08:41AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Same old suspects above.lol.
on May 31,2014 | 08:45AM
false wrote:
Any money Hawaii spends on an Obama library they can recoup by not doing any maintenance until it's torn down.
on May 31,2014 | 09:06AM
bombay2101 wrote:
This raises a couple of questions: Will the IRS now be looking into those that do not support using tax dollars to fund the library? If built, will there be a Scandal Wing? Will the families of the Benghazi dead be invited to the grand opening? Are the Illinois lawmakers serious or is this just a line in the Syrian sand? Once out of office, who will pay for the Obamas to visit Hawaii if the library is built here? On a side note, now that Carney is gone, who takes his job? Is Al Sharpton available?
on May 31,2014 | 09:32AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Your name is not politically correct! You have to change it to Mumbai!
on May 31,2014 | 11:30AM
bombay2101 wrote:
And therein lies the reason why it will never be Mumbai! Appreciate the tongue in cheek.
on May 31,2014 | 11:44AM
entrkn wrote:
Aloha library!
on May 31,2014 | 10:53AM
glenn57377 wrote:
Presidential libraries should never be a taxpayer burden. If the library cannot be funded through presidential-friendly special interest groups and donations........let the people go to the local library like everyone else! :^) This sets a BAD precedent. Leave the taxpayers alone. Until somebody comes up with the money, he will have to settle for the presidential kiosk.
on May 31,2014 | 10:54AM
2disgusted2 wrote:
How do you know they are only haoles? They could be shibai dakine to borrow the name of one regular commentator!
on May 31,2014 | 11:27AM
DAGR81 wrote:
Just rename the Moilili Library "the Obama presidential library". That should be good enough.
on May 31,2014 | 11:50AM
NieleHK wrote:
PLEASE don't support ANY Hawaii tax $$$ bring spent on this embarrassment of a president.
on May 31,2014 | 01:50PM
SteveToo wrote:
Good for them. Just hope our law makers do the same.
on May 31,2014 | 04:10PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Hey SA you deleted my comment twice from here! All I'm saying that it isn't just haoles who don't want Obama's lib.
on May 31,2014 | 06:15PM
CEI wrote:
Build it in Kenya where he was born. Then the Kenyans can be told: "If you like your presidential library you can keep your presidential library" Just don't build it on american soil.
on May 31,2014 | 08:22PM
Skyler wrote:
on May 31,2014 | 10:18PM
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