The campaign of mayoral candidate Bob Clement
today issued a news release
announcing Clement's intention to pursue a bid for the 2020 Olympic Games (if Chicago doesn't land the 2016 games). The release calls it a "truly visionary proposal" that would represent "the ultimate opportunity for our community."
More like the ultimate publicly-financed indulgence. We learned
just a few days ago that the 2012 Olympics in London will cost British taxpayers $18 billion (yes, billion), which is three times the original estimate. As part of its 2016 bid, Chicago's city council has ponied up
a $500 million guarantee to cover possible cost overruns. In Nashville budgetary terms, that's close to an entire year's budget for the school system. The state of Illinois has said it's good for another $150 million in losses. Even the process of just developing a bid involves tens of millions of dollars: Vancouver, for instance, spent
$34 million (Canadian) back in 2002 to bid for the 2010 winter games.
Today's campaign release quotes Clement asserting that "now is the time to dream big." Clement's dream sounds suspiciously like a big-time taxpayer nightmare.