Powerful Illinois political boss wants state taxpayers to pony up $100 million for Obama presidential library

The State of Illinois, whose financial problems are the worst of any state, and which imposed draconian tax increases, would offer $100 million to the Barack Obama Presidential Library if House Speaker Michael Madigan gets his way. Illinois Policy Compass reports:

Madigan told the Chicago Tribune he will use “skills that I’ve developed in the legislature to persuade people to do things they don’t want to do” to try to narrow the list of possible Chicago sites before June 16.

In accepting hefty taxpayer dollars for this venture, President Barack Obama is setting himself apart from his recent predecessors, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Clinton’s library, located in Little Rock, Ark., was funded solely through private donations, according to the Clinton Foundation. Clinton’s “$165 million facility was built entirely through private funds…in public record…it’s just a fact,” said Jordan Johnson, a spokesman for the Clinton Foundation.

Likewise, Bush’s library, located at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, was also funded through private donations.

The Barack Obama Foundation, tasked with planning the development of Obama’s presidential library, has yet to determine the site of the future library. In fact, the foundation’s board of directors is receiving proposals through June 16 and does not intend to announce its final decision until 2015.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Obama Library is expected to cost $500 million, making it by far the most expensive of the presidential libraries. Well, that’s only fitting for a man who will have doubled the national debt by the time his second term is over.

Hat tip: Peter von Buol