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Chicago 2016 Kicks Off Washington Lobbying Effort

By Kalyn Belsha in News on Jun 7, 2009 6:30PM

2009_05_11_2016.jpg While the International Olympic Committee won’t vote on which city gets the 2016 Summer Olympics until Oct. 2, Chicago 2016 is hard at work lobbying for support from Washington should the city be granted the Games.

Senior aide to the Obama administration and former vice chair of the Chicago 2016 bid committee Valerie Jarrett was recently authorized to lead the White House’s push for the Olympics. Chicago 2016’s Washington lobbying effort is now being heading up by Peter Halpin, Chicago’s former lobbyist in the capital.

According to the Tribune
, Chicago 2016, a privately funded bid committee, has spent nearly half a million dollars for lobbying services since September 2007. This included ensuring the federal government would pay for the Games’ security costs and that federal agencies would render telecommunications services according to the IOC’s specifications. But beyond the security funding, Chicago 2016 hasn’t yet sought specific dollars from Washington, a rep for the group said.

When Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Games in 2002, it didn’t register a Washington lobbyist until 1999 -- three years before the Games. A Chicago 2016 rep said it needed an earlier start because the Summer Olympics are larger Games and because the bid application process has since become longer and more detailed. [Tribune]