Chicago says "No Games!"
No Games Chicago Update
12 Days To Decision
Daily News

September 19, 2009
The People Speak

Chicago is no position to even consider hosting the 2016 olympics. Our educational system is in a shambles, we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, we have one of largest budget deficits in history, and the crime rate is seriously out of control.

In my opinion, the resources being spent to lobby the IOC, would be better spent repairing some of the ills we're facing right now.

No Games online petition signer

Dear Member of the International Olympic Committee:

Ben Joravsky, one of Chicago's most distinguished political reporters, has this advice for President Obama with regard to visiting you in Copenhagen:

"Near as anyone can tell, the race to host the 2016 Olympics has come down to Chicago versus Rio. Most accounts have Madrid and Tokyo falling further behind as the International Olympic Committee gears up to make its decision on October 2.

A crucial factor seems to be President Obama. If he shows up in Copenhagen to charm the IOC delegates, Chicago will probably prevail. If he doesn't, the favorite is Rio. But even as Mayor Daley and other Olympic boosters urge him on, Obama isn't making any promises-he's said only that the First Lady will be there to make a pitch for Chicago. The media's also calling on him to go: on September 11 the Sun-Times even ran an open letter to the president, begging him to catch that plane for Europe, and the Trib followed suit four days later.

Well, here's my advice: Don't go, Mr. President.

It's not just that you have more important things to do-remember that little health care problem?-or that the games are looking like bad news for your cash-strapped hometown, since they're sure to mutilate the parks and gobble up billions of dollars that could otherwise go to needy schools and city departments that are reducing services as basic as trash collection.

It's that having the games in Chicago will ultimately be bad for you and detrimental to all that you want to accomplish.

Once you make a grand pitch for Daley's games, they'll become your games too. Every scandal, cost overrun, and delay (and you were around this town long enough to know there will be plenty of each) will be laid at your feet by Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and all your other haters.

If you forgot how dirty Chicago politics can be, read Blago's book and remember you were lucky to get out of this swamp. Don't be foolish enough to dive back in."