Michael Madigan's $500 million boondoggle

Crain's Chicago Business has the story:

Illinois Speaker Michael Madigan Cost Taxpayers up to $500 Million in Higher McCormick Place Debt Payments

Crain’s Chicago Business investigation reports how politics put Chicago’s $8 billion trade show industry at risk. 

Chicago, Illinois – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan cost taxpayers nearly a half billion dollars by blocking repeated efforts that would have restructured McCormick Place bonds and financed a much-needed second hotel at the convention center, aCrain’s Chicago Business investigation finds.

Denied refinancing for six years, the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (McPier) paid out as much as $300 million more in bond interest than it should have and was forced to tap state sales tax revenue to meet its obligations.  Without revenue from debt savings and a second hotel, officials at McPier increased prices, leading to two major show pullouts and threats by several others to leave; a protracted fight with labor leaders over union rules; and the ongoing efforts to address McPier’s bloated payroll and high costs to exhibitors.

Read more. 

 

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  • If this report is correct, then Madigan is guilty of very serious fraud and should be in jail next to Blago, and for the same length of time. Madigans daughter Lisa, might possibly not be the best person to lead this investigation. The US Attorney's Office, and FBI should have been here already.

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    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

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