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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

2016 Olympics and the White House

As Chicago waits to find out if the International Olympic Committee will pick it for the 2016 Olympics, the White House lends a hand:

A senior adviser to President Barack Obama says a White House waiver allows her to lead the federal government's efforts to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago with transparency.
Valerie Jarrett on Monday said the waiver was issued out of an abundance of caution. She spoke after attending a fundraiser for Rep. Jan Schakowsky in Chicago.
White House appointees take an ethics pledge that keeps them from working with issues that are "substantially related" to previous employers. Jarrett was formerly vice chair of Chicago's Olympics bid committee. (AP: Jarrett says Olympics waiver allows transparency [via].)

Good for transparency. Where is it? That is, how can us citizens see what Ms. Jarrett is doing on behalf of the Chicago committee? The president's Executive Order on appointees and lobbyists can be found here [via].

Meantime, back at the ranch, Illinoisans put some skin in the game, whether they like it or not:

In response to the now-famous line from a U.S. Olympic official that the U.S. Olympic Committee and the IOC wanted to see some "skin in the game," the city and state have offered to provide close to a billion dollars in backup funding. Of course, that guarantee is simply a euphemism. Should anything go wrong, then city and state taxpayers will be liable for the deficit. (Chicago Tribune: Hurdles and hassles.)

A billion dollars? Like we can afford it.

Posted by Marie at May 12, 2009 6:04 PM


the "can we afford it" question is the biggest problem, to me, with chicago being in the running. you have to wonder how much money will be taken from already bare-bones downstate services to pay for olympics venues the rest of us will never benefit from.

tokyo is also in the running and - you know i'm biased - i think they're much more suitable.

Posted by: jason at May 12, 2009 8:04 PM

Posted by: Dave E. at May 12, 2009 10:57 PM

Jason, I like Tokyo for the Olympics, too.

Dave E., That web site looks familiar.... LOL. I just looked Ely up on the map, and I can't think of a better more out-of-the-way place. I sent my love by joining their Facebook group. Thanks for the tip.

It's my understanding that no town ever makes a profit on hosting the Olympics, much less breaks even.

Posted by: Marie at May 12, 2009 11:30 PM

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