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Olympics Spam Makes a Good Point

By Kevin Robinson in News on Sep 3, 2009 2:00PM

2009_9_holy_shit_this_is_going_to_be_expensive.jpg We got a copy of an email appeal to support Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid off the Chicagoist Tipline yesterday (thanks, Michael!), and the sender makes a really good point.

I don't know who wrote the actual email, but it was forwarded via a list by Billy Dec.

After numerous positive points about the Olympics, the one thing that troubles me is this section: The question on deck, and correctly so is, ”What is the risk to the city?”

There is some degree of risk in every single endeavor worth pursuing. As a committee member with full access to the plan, I can tell you with great confidence that the risk is very controlled, extremely limited and very well placed. The city is well insulated from the risk of any financial shortfall.

I'm with many of the people who feel that eventually, taxpayers are going to be affected tremendously by this. For a city that currently can't work its way out of a deficit, is as corrupt as it gets, and has the highest tax in the country, I think this email really glosses over plenty of risks. The city is well insulated from the risk of any financial shortfall? Where's the proof of that?

In the same email it appears to state that some taxes will go up: ยท An additional $1 billion from a variety of sources, including sales and amusement taxes, that will help support education, law enforcement and other city services.

How exactly is that a benefit?

That's a good question, but you seemed to have answered it in how you described where the email came from. We don't know who wrote it. The author of the message claims that he or she is "a committee member with full access to the plan." That's great news, mystery writer! Why don't you share with the rest of us who exactly you are, and what exactly is in place to ensure that "the city is well insulated from the risk of any financial shortfall"?

One of the big problems with how the movers and shakers in Chicago have gone about promoting our city as a venue for an exclusive international sports party is the complete lack of transparency in the process. Olympic boosters claim that the bid will be financed by private money. Unfortunately for us, though, the event itself demands a massive injection of funds, often coming from local, state and the federal government. In fact, the big buzz in IOC circles right now is speculation over whether President Barack Obama will show up in Copenhagen, not just to shake hands, but to make federal assurances that the Games will go off without a hitch. Mayor Daley and his privately appointed civic boosters have hidden from the public eye in this matter. If they had laid out their plans to hold the 2016 Summer Games without spending taxpayer monies from the get go, maybe this story would have a happier ending. Of course, if they had laid their plans out to public scrutiny from the outset, we're not sure they would have passed muster. Less than a month to go.