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No Games Chicago Update
29 Days To Decision
Daily News

 
September 2, 2009
The People Speak

A check for $75.00 is in the mail.  I sincerely wish it could be more. Please keep the pressure on these filthy crooked bastards, especially the Daley Administration.  The level of corruption and deceit exhibited by many of our city officials is absolutely staggering! These individuals would sell their own mothers if a profit could be made.  They are nothing more than a bunch of political thugs and scam artists.  Have they already forgotten that Chicago is deep in the middle of a serious financial crisis? The individuals who have been promoting Chicago as the best site for the 2016 Olympics are the very same people who are responsible for seriously mismanaging or squandering our limited resources.  This fact alone should be of grave concern to the IOC Evaluation Commission.  If the games are awarded to Chicago, the inevitable boycotts will be remarkable to say the least and nobody will be able to claim that they were not forewarned.  The Olympic Games are a special "once in a lifetime" event for most athletes.  They deserve so much more than a venue tainted with unrelenting controversy and shameful political scheming.  I hope the IOC thinks so too and makes an informed decision.
I give my personal thanks to everyone who has fought hard to end this Olympic sized charade.  You are the true champions in my view and your selfless efforts will be an example to others.
Thank you Again.

Bill Schandelmeier,
Chicago - Donor to
No Games Chicago


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Open letter
to the IOC
:
"Why you don't want to give the Olympics to Chicago"


Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:

Today's news cycle is all about your 2016 Evaluation Commission's report and how the 2016 Committee is spinning it.

John Kass, the senior columnist for the Chicago Tribune, has an amusing, but very telling, take on the bid backers.

Scratch our backs, we'll 'Back the Bid'

John Kass - Chicago Tribune - September 2, 2009

Pat Ryan, the mayor's tough-minded point man for Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games, paused near my office on the way out of Tribune Tower recently.


The poor fellow didn't want to stop. But he had to stop because once I saw him, I jumped up and ran out into the corridor and all but tackled him.

That's when I dropped the Chicago Way on the guy and named my price for supporting the Olympics.

"Hey, Pat, guess what? I'm ready to drop my opposition and support Chicago 2016! I'm ready to back the bid," I said, referring to the big "Back the Bid" promotion Sept. 13, in which such institutions as the Art Institute and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will offer discounts to help drum up support for the mayor's Games.

"Really? You're in support?" asked the distinguished, white-haired former insurance company magnate. "That's nice."

I don't think he believed me.

"Yes," I said, shaking Ryan's hand, pumping it up and down as if we'd just made a deal. "And all I want are the exclusive Gyros/Celtic Corn contracts, and the exclusive bottled water contracts for every Olympic venue. I mean, who's really gonna know?"

If you're wondering, there were witnesses present, including at least one distinguished member of the Tribune's editorial board, which is an august panel of specialists in economics, government, politics and foreign affairs, each with a fine grasp of subtle policy shifts and nuance. (And a couple of them bring some really tasty baked goods for coffee time.) Naturally, I am not a member. But I did have Ryan's hand. And I wasn't letting go.

"Nice seeing you," Ryan said, trying to escape.

I didn't have to tell Ryan this, but there is no Freedom of Information law mandating reporting requirements on who gets what if the Games come to Chicago. There's just a promise by Ryan about full disclosure and another promise that clout will have no place at Mayor Richard Daley's Olympics.

I've never heard of Ryan lying about anything. His promises about disclosure are nice promises.

Olympic disclosure is a subject that my Tribune colleague David Greising has written about extensively. Promises aren't law. There is no force of law behind the vows to disclose who gets what so the public can see who's really getting the Olympic gold.

Such disclosure laws apply to other agencies, but Illinois is still the most politically corrupt state in the union. Of the last three governors, two have been indicted for corruption and one is already in prison. And at City Hall, there has been conflict after conflict, and promise after promise from the mayor to stop it. He's been promising an end to conflicts and cronyism for 20 years.

Yet in a few weeks, the International Olympic Committee will be deciding whether Chicago or some other town gets the 2016 Games. Billions of dollars will be spent on a two-week sports festival that will reshape the South and West Sides, erect some fantastically cool architecture, and, oh, some guys will get really rich.

And the rest of us chumbolones in Illinois? We'll most likely end up paying for it one way or another, as we've paid for every deal, with ever-increasing taxes and fees. But since the Olympics are wired, why not get on board?

Just do me a favor. Don't tell anyone about this, not even my editor. Keep it a secret among you and me and Ryan. Because without the force of law behind vows of disclosure, nobody really has to know, do they?

"So I'm ready to back the bid," I told Ryan. "But don't forget the gyros, the corn, the bottled water contracts, and then I'm yours."

"Uh-huh," Ryan said.

If Chicago gets the 2016 Olympics, there will be about a gazillion tourists in town, and I plan on feeding them oodles of salty meat and salty starch. Once they're thirsty enough, I'll sell bottled Chicago tap water at an outrageous price, and with my monopoly, I'll make a fortune. If the 2016 Olympic committee keeps my name out of the newspapers and gives me the salt and water concessions, then I just might just become a cheerleader.

"Hmm," Ryan said. "Ah." Then he walked away, looking over his shoulder every few feet to make sure I wasn't following. My young colleague, Wings, was sighing loudly at his desk.

"What's wrong with you?" I hissed. "Go grab him! You're letting Ryan get away!"

"You forgot to tell him about my Sangria stands," Wings whispered. "What about my exclusive 2016 Sangria stands? I want to wet my beak too."

So I yelled at Ryan's back: "And Wings wants the exclusive Sangria contract! Remember, Sangria for Wings. Water and salt for me! We're your men!"

He's such a nice fellow, that Mr. Ryan. He didn't actually promise anything -- perhaps the mayor wants to see if I really mean it this time -- but at least Ryan didn't say no.

Actually, he didn't say anything.

jskass@tribune.com