After the loss of four major conventions and counting, it is clear that McPier CEO and Blagojevich crony, Juan Ochoa needs to resign immediately. As is well-known, Ochoa won his $195,000 post after raising campaign cash for our disgraced former governor. Especially after the loss of the 2016 Olympics, what we need now are major conventions to help stimulate Illinois’ economy and create much needed jobs. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported recently, I had the opportunity to speak with RNC Chairman Michael Steele about bringing the Republican National Convention to Chicago in 2012. But in order to bring the RNC National Convention and restore our lost convention business from Florida, Nevada, and Texas to Chicago, it is time for Juan Ochoa to go.
Thanks to the mismanagement of the long-line of political hacks like Ochoa & Co., the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority will soon be yet another wasteland and a new drain on Illinois taxpayers. As has been reported, McPier’s projected operating losses will grow eightfold to $28.8 million in the fiscal year that started July and the State of Illinois will be on the hook for millions more to cover shortfalls in tourism taxes. To counter McPier’s shortfall, the state’s general sales tax fund was tapped for $18.8 million this year and will tap $34 million in 2010. Reports indicate that McPier’s cumulative funding gap is expected to exceed $500 million by 2020.
Illinois and Chicago’s economic climate are collapsing under its long-standing culture of corruption, nepotism, and cronyism and McPier is the latest example of this. This kind of backroom double-dealing, price-gouging, greed, and incompetence cannot be allowed to continue – not when Illinois businesses and families are stuck with the tab and not when more Illinois jobs will continue to be lost. Today, I am calling on Governor Pat Quinn and Mayor Richard Daley to demand the immediate resignation McPier CEO Juan Ochoa.
William J. Kelly is running on a platform to be Illinois’ first “activist” comptroller. He is the former executive director of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois. He is also an entrepreneur with an Emmy award-winning TV production company and currently hosts the multi-state sports TV series, “Sportsaholic.” For information, visit http://www.friendsofwilliamjkelly.com.