April 21, 2005

River Cities Reader notices Jacobs

As predicted by a commenter a couple days ago, the current issue of the River Cities Reader contains an article on the panel put together to jump-start the construction of the WIU riverfront campus project in Moline. The piece contains quotes from Sen. Jacobs as well as the chair of the committee, Rick Baker, president and CEO of the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce, and WIU officials.
“The government is not really in the business of building things, and private entrepreneurs are,” [Jacobs] continued, “so I’m going to call on them to help us build this project.”
That's true. From what I see, the government is in the business of financing the building of things. Private entrepreneurs are in the business of doing the work and then reaping the profits, evidently. Not a bad gig if you can get it. The hardest part is actually getting the state to pay you what they said they would and when they said they would.

Seems like if businesses are out of work, the state is more than happy to get them some. But if you or I are out of a job, we're just welfare loafers who should have what little benefits that are still available cut short.

The only hinky thing about such private/public deals is that it's hard to imagine that private concerns are going to pony up millions without getting one hell of a benefit in return. There's nothing wrong with say, Deere coughing up some money and getting the engineering courses they need in return. That not only benefits Deere, but it benefits the students and school as well.

I can't wait to find out who the donors are and what they expect in return, that is IF that quid pro quo is ever made public. What those benefits are is what makes the difference between a great civic achievement and borderline corrupt sweet-heart corporate welfare.

5 Comments:

At 4/21/2005 5:49 PM, Blogger latinv said...

Senator Mike Jacobs is off to a solid start. Keep up the good work.

 
At 4/21/2005 8:56 PM, Blogger LL Cool T said...

Some people just want to leave a legacy for the future. I am sure that many people serving on the panel just want to be able to say that they helped make it happen.
Below is a reprint of a previous post on this topic of what others may want and why we need to go after private money.
"Non-traditional sources would be any private money that can be sought out. We have billion dollar grant making foundations, really rich individuals looking to create a legacy, corporations, etc. You can sell naming rights to the buildings, negotiate soft drink and vending deals. You know, i was just wondering if a big university would have a library? DUUUHHH. Maybe the City of Moline should rethink their boondoggle 10 Million dollar library and invest in the University and negotiate access for all city residents. After all it is the city of Moline that will benefit the most from a new WIU. Maybe they could just fund the bond issue for the school from giving parking tickets to the students. Parking Ticket revenue is an integral part of any University funding scheme, you only design about 70% of the needed parking and then put meters on all of the spaces. It's time to think outside the box and Mike Jacobs has challenged all of the local business and governement leaders to do more than fly off to Washington or rent a party bus to go to Springfield. I can see it now....the RiverStone Group Science Building, the Alcoa Auditorium, The John Deere School of Business, the Hunt Harris Hall, The Gates Foundation Computer Lab, The Teresa Heinz and John Kerry library, The TPC Cash and Carry Cafeteria, Jumer's Gymnasium, can you dream with me. We can make this happen and we can thank Mike Jacobs for giving us this challenge and if we fail we only have ourselves to blame."

 
At 4/22/2005 2:10 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for that "blast from the past" LL.

 
At 4/22/2005 10:22 AM, Blogger rope-a-dope said...

follow the money!

 
At 4/26/2005 10:23 AM, Blogger relevant1 said...

you should have heard jacobs on the senate floor a couple weeks ago. "a lot of speeches have changed my heart, but no speeches have changed my vote. i move the previous question." classy.

 

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