Monday, August 5, 2013

"Tumbleweed" of Interests Involved in New Motor Row Development Plan

In case you didn't see (or have access) to the informative article in the Chicago Tribune titled "South Loop land deals at the corner of business and politics" we wanted to share a post from the Chicagoist which summarizes it well.  The key line:
The possible conflicts of interest are so obvious and brazen they don't resemble a straight line as much as a tumbleweed.
If you do have access (it's behind the paywall), it's a long but interesting read.  The key point in our mind is that their are a lot of intertwined interests at play here.  The Trib article sums up the issue here:
Bycel, the political and government ethics expert, said the influence of the various landowners involved in the McPier plan raises justifiable questions, especially given their history of political contributions.  
"Ninety percent or more of all political contributions are made because that person wants something, even if it's just access," Bycel said.  
"With this project, there are a lot of pesos on the table here."  
A major factor in sustaining public confidence, he said, is who will be striking the deals on behalf of taxpayers. "The key question is who is negotiating these prices for the city and state? Who is determining what is a fair price?" Bycel said. "It absolutely should be an outside consultant or an outside team that has no connections whatsoever and certainly is not a player of any kind with the city or in Chicago."

If you can't get enough coverage of this topic, the Gazette Chicago also has a pretty good read titled "Plans for DePaul arena continue to spark debate".

No comments: