The Chicago connection to the bailout/stimulus slop

posted at 11:56 am on January 16, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When Illinois bellies up to the federal trough to get its share of bailout/stimulus slop, two of the biggest recipients will be Richard Daley and Rod Blagojevich — although the latter may not be around to enjoy it.  The governor and the mayor of Chicago teamed up for an airport expansion that the airline industry didn’t want and that forced hundreds of residents out of their homes.  Now they want federal monies as part of a “stimulus”, and Amanda Carpenter throws the yellow flag:

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has kicked hundreds of families out of their homes and relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies to build a whopping $15 billion airport expansion Chicago residents oppose, airlines don’t want and he doesn’t have the money to build.

The kicker is that Daley stands a solid chance of getting a good chunk of the boondoggle funded in Washington’s forthcoming stimulus bill under Barack Obama’s pledge to dramatically increase infrastructure spending.

The “O’Hare Modernization Project,” signed by disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich in 2003, has enabled the city to seize 433 acres of land from surrounding villages under a special “quick-take authority” power given to Daley by the state. The city even uprooted a 108-year old cemetery, requiring families to find a new home for the 1,500 bodies resting there, in the process of taking some of its first tracts of land.

Well, these were bad neighborhoods, right?  No one would want to live there anyway, I’m sure. Or perhaps I’m not so sure after seeing this video:

That looks like a rather nice place to live, actually. The houses look well-maintained; their owners obviously took good care of their homes. Perhaps they were happy to sell them, as the noise from the airport comes through pretty clearly in the video, but it seems odd that Chicago would want to dismantle a successful neighborhood, unless in absolute necessity.

O’Hare has topped the list of busiest airports in the world and led the US for decades. Anyone who has traveled through there or been impacted by delays out of Chicago on connecting flights elsewhere knows that Illinois needs to think about more capacity. Does an expansion of the already-huge O’Hare complex make sense, though, or should another airport get built elsewhere?

Either way, this project won’t work, according to both the airlines and city management in Chicago. Nor do they have the money to pay for it. Seizing the property without adequate funding for the project creates a nightmare for Bensenville residents forcefully relocated through the city’s eminent domain power, as well as the potential for a law-enforcement headache as shuttered houses eventually will get exploited by gangs and drug dealers.

Daley has the answer for this. He told reporters that Obama’s big stimulus/bailout package provides “creative financing” for big-city boondoggles such as the O’Hare Expansion Project. Given Obama’s connections to the Chicago mayor and his machine, undoubtedly Daley figures the $15 billion is already in the bag. Unfortunately, his confidence is likely justified.


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Comments

My ass hurts and it’s not even 1/20 yet.

lorien1973 on January 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has . . . relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies

I can’t believe he would offend a major Democrat Party constituency like that.

This is exactly what happened in Poltergeist . . .

I’d hate to see what’s in Obama’s closet, it probably makes Carol Ann’s closet seem like Sesame Street.

NoDonkey on January 16, 2009 at 12:00 PM

Here come the “special friends” days. DC will now be run the Chicago way.

More theft. More corruption. More bribes.

madmonkphotog on January 16, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Now we begin to see whose scratched The One’s back all those long days ago as a Community Organizer.

SeniorD on January 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM

Perhaps they were happy to sell them

Not quite.

yo on January 16, 2009 at 12:04 PM

More theft. More corruption. More bribes.

Mo money, mo money, mo money!

Hope and change.

NoDonkey on January 16, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has kicked hundreds of families out of their homes and relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies

I would crawl naked over broken glass just to get noticed by lovely Amanda, but seriously, what else would a cemetery be full of if not “buried” bodies?

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:06 PM

but seriously, what else would a cemetery be full of if not “buried” bodies?

Voters!

This is Chitown, pal.

NoDonkey on January 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Just more Chicago Politics rearing it’s ugly head. Why doesn’t the media report on this?… Oh yeah, I forgot, we have a Messiah to inaugurate.

BoomJunkie on January 16, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Stupid is as stupid does.

becki51758 on January 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has kicked hundreds of families out of their homes and relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies

I would crawl naked over broken glass just to get noticed by lovely Amanda, but seriously, what else would a cemetery be full of if not “buried” bodies?

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:06 PM

It’s a mix of voters and enemy’s.

the_nile on January 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Worst part of all this is, the Republican Party has become the battered wife who, after being knocked around and f*cked mercilessly, stands up the next day and smiles when Obambi notices her.

The Party of Reagan is dead. We need a new Party, stat!

Wanderlust on January 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

Interesting if spooky video. The good news is that the homeowners probably got a profit on their houses, compared to a normal seller in say, California.

What stikes me is that in not too short a period of time, you will see empty neighborhoods like this where there are no nearby airports or other emminent domain issues…..

Vashta.Nerada on January 16, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I would crawl naked over broken glass just to get noticed by lovely Amanda

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Next on HotAir…the Bishop chokes just for Amanda!

/ducks

Wanderlust on January 16, 2009 at 12:11 PM

When public hangings of corrupt elected officials begins, we may have a chance to turn this country … until then, expect more brazen attacks on the coffers.

The Grace Commission still has a lot of good lessons to be learned. Considering a full 1/3 of any funds would vaporize and reappear in politicos pockets and other societal scalawags accounts and into thin air itself, we are in deep doodoo and the tide is still coming in.

normsrevenge on January 16, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Voters!
This is Chitown, pal.
NoDonkey on January 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

Voters or not, I would still expect the corpses to be buried; if I see a cemetery where the bodies are laying on top rather than under the ground, I’m running the other way.

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Voters or not, I would still expect the corpses to be buried; if I see a cemetery where the bodies are laying on top rather than under the ground, I’m running the other way.

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Could be mausoleums? (spelling?)

MarkTheGreat on January 16, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Actually, Ray Lahood, the Messiah’s Transportation Sec., and token Republican, is a big part of the Chicago Combine and is a notorious porker who gives earmarks in return for campaign contributions. His political patron, William Cellini, is the head of IL Asphalt Assn. and recently indicted by Patrick Fitzgerald. It’s clear that the Chicago Combine wants its payoff from Obama.

Here’s some entertaining John Kass articles about the whole situation:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-14-jan14,0,4852041.column

Illinidiva on January 16, 2009 at 12:23 PM

The Party of Reagan is dead. We need a new Party, stat!

Wanderlust on January 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM

It’s coming. The next revolution is inevitable. Gun and ammunition sales are at record highs because the producers in this country know that this is not the hope and change we need. It took a Jimmy carter to get a Ronald Reagan. However, if the socialism we now see gets too deep, another Boston tea party will occur.

saiga on January 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM

…if I see a cemetery where the bodies are laying on top rather than under the ground, I’m running the other way.

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM

New Orleans.

“Why aren’t the dead in New Orleans buried underground as they are in most of the rest of the country? Tour guides are fond of explaining (and sometimes embellishing) the practice to shocked tourists. The main issue, they explain, is that New Orleans is actually located slightly below sea level. Because of this, the water table is quite high. When early European settlers put coffins under six feet of earth, they found that the water level would often rise above them, especially during the city’s frequent floods. Since the coffins were filled with air, the water sometimes pushed them up through the earth, causing both a gruesome sight and a health hazard.”

cthulhu on January 16, 2009 at 12:27 PM

My ass hurts and it’s not even 1/20 yet.

lorien1973 on January 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

We will have to request $40 coupons for Vaseline in the stimulus package.

WashJeff on January 16, 2009 at 12:28 PM

Like it or not, all people are not equal. To lower the common denominator to level the field is a prescription for total failure. Like in football, you must take care of your star players. They make more because they deserve more. That is life on planet Earth, and the sooner we get back to understanding that reality, the sooner we can restore our greatness.

saiga on January 16, 2009 at 12:28 PM

As an aside, and to prep everyone for any/all news that will be coming out of Chicago (and forgive me if this is painfully obvious):

Everything that Daley is doing – and I mean everything (up to and including supporting a particular candidate for a particular federal office) – is geared towards snagging the Olympics (anyone notice Roland Burris’ lapel pin?).

The next stuff you’ll be hearing about will be TIF (tax increment funding) abuse.

Daley’s got this wonderful system where he skims property tax dollars from the top, and shuttles those dollars into different accounts which aren’t subjected to public oversight.

Currently, he’s got about $1B dollars in there.

Also – he just leased out parking meters to a private company for about $1B (parking fees will quadruple within the next few years).

And, he leased Midway airport to a private company (~$1.2B).

He leased the Skyway to a private company (~$1B).

Oh, and he leased out parking lots on the lake to a private company (~$.5B)

Nevermind that these private companies (Morgan Stanley, spec.) sign the checks of a few of his relatives.

He’s selling bits and pieces of the city at wholesale prices in order to permanently install his legacy.

All the while, the bobbleheaded City Council adheres to whichever backroom deal they’ve made with Hizzoner and vote “aye” for everything (the IL legislature is simply an extension of Chicago’s City Council).

Sorry for the vent, but it’s getting darned near intolerable to live in this town.

yo on January 16, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has . . . relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies

Notify the election boards and update their registrations …

PackerBronco on January 16, 2009 at 12:31 PM

The bridge to nowhere…the airport to nowhere…the president to nowhere…

right2bright on January 16, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley has kicked hundreds of families out of their homes and relocated a cemetery full of buried bodies

In related news the bodies were moved into Chicago city limits so they could vote in this past November’s election.

WashJeff on January 16, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Seizing the property without adequate funding for the project creates a nightmare for Bensenville residents forcefully relocated through the city’s eminent domain power, as well as the potential for a law-enforcement headache as shuttered houses eventually will get exploited by gangs and drug dealers.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. That is both the Star Trek creed as well as the creed of the liberals. Remember, liberals decide what the “many” actually need.

As for the wisdom of Chicago’s actions, it strikes me that the biggest problem was relocating the cemetery. The Democrats just lost 1,500 reliable voters for Chicago elections.

Outlander on January 16, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Voters or not, I would still expect the corpses to be buried; if I see a cemetery where the bodies are laying on top rather than under the ground, I’m running the other way.

Bishop on January 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM

Advice, don’t go to New Orleans.

kirkill on January 16, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Maybe the corpses were really from Minnesota, and they had ballots for Stuart Smalley in their caskets.

kirkill on January 16, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Daley is the sinister pig of Chicago politics. He has more than enough slop at the trough to keep himself happy, but oh NO, he wants it all! More runways at O’hare may keep carriers from moving to one of smaller airports beyond his sphere of influence, dollars be damned!

southsideironworks on January 16, 2009 at 12:45 PM

what happens to ohare if the lake overflows it map?

samiam on January 16, 2009 at 12:48 PM

lorien1973 on January 16, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Stop the contest, we have a winner!

james23 on January 16, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Worst part of all this is, the Republican Party has become the battered wife who, after being knocked around and f*cked mercilessly, stands up the next day and smiles when Obambi notices her.

Sad, but true.

anniekc on January 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

What a beautiful little neighborhood. I hate to see this happen, even with justification.

Alana on January 16, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Remember, this is the same Richard Daley that exceeded his authority, violated federal law and created a hazard to aviation safety by bulldozing the waterfront Meigs airport to create another city park.

He should still be serving time for that instead of bellying up to the pork barrel…

Diogenes Online on January 16, 2009 at 1:16 PM

All the while, the bobbleheaded City Council adheres to whichever backroom deal they’ve made with Hizzoner and vote “aye” for everything (the IL legislature is simply an extension of Chicago’s City Council).

Sorry for the vent, but it’s getting darned near intolerable to live in this town.

yo on January 16, 2009 at 12:30 PM

My fav. was the plan to put the new Children’s Museum smack dab in the middle of Grant Park. He used the race card to get that one passed.

Illinidiva on January 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

The area in question, is not in chicago, but suburbs, so Mayor Daley wasn’t collecting the exorbitant taxes they get in chicago any way

and congratulations to those who beat me to it…

but seriously, what else would a cemetery be full of if not “buried” bodies?
Voters!

This is Chitown, pal.

NoDonkey on January 16, 2009 at 12:07 PM

UNREPENTANT CONSERVATIVE CAPITOLIST on January 16, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Maybe Daley wants the land for something else but needed an excuse to seize it.

KW64 on January 16, 2009 at 7:28 PM

CHANGE we can believe in.

Cylor on January 17, 2009 at 5:04 AM