Illinois GOP Hates Obama Library Offer

The battle to host Obama’s presidential library is heating up. The Democratic leadership in the Illinois House is pushing fellow state representatives to pledge $100 million toward the library to try and fend off competition from Hawaii and Michigan. The state, as Republicans have pointed out, is facing unpaid bills, a crumbling credit rating, and significant benefit cuts. “The Democrats are putting up five or six different income-tax hike proposals—all under the guise that we don’t even have enough money to run basic state services, but then let’s find $100 million for the library?” said Jim Durkin, the Republicans’ House leader. Democrats claim that the money in tourism and economic development from a presidential library would make payment of the pledge easy. “This investment of $100 million will return dividends way beyond $100 million to the city of Chicago,” or so says Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and former Obama chief of staff.