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Raving Lunacy as Economic Development

John Powers 23 February 2010 2 Comments

Aside from Political Shootout on WLS AM-890 every Sunday at 8pm, I have gotten hooked on satellite radio, listening to the wide variety of music on Sirius, which plays a huge selection of music from around the world. My daughter’s choice has been a station which plays rock-and-roll from Denmark, with the Raveonettes being one of her favorite bands.

A few months ago, the Danish rock station announced that the Raveonettes would not be coming for a slated tour in the USA. Band members had work visa problems which prevented them from touring (and working), so they cancelled their concerts, and delayed the trip to the USA. Per the station, the US Embassy in Denmark had been so busy working on Olympic trips for Mayor Daley and President Obama (and Phil Krone) that they had not been able to process commonplace visa’s for Danish citizens wanting to visit the USA.

Yesterday, Crains reported on a major delay in construction of a health care facility at NIU- Dekalb. An innovative cancer treatment center, using proton therapy, will be required to resubmit an application for a Certificate of Need to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review board. You might recall the Health Facilities board as the one the Tony Rezko and Stuart Levine stacked to get insider deals for their clients, only to land Tony and Stuart (and Rod Blagojevich and Chris Kelly and…) in hot water with Pat Fitzgerald.

It begs the question, how does economic development get done in Illinois? Is the important thing for our politicians to all take a junket to Copenhagen, or is it more important for Danish citizens to get their paperwork processed to come to Illinois? NIU has a $159 Million project at risk here, while Illinois has a 10.8% unemployment rate. Does it really make sense to have this thoroughly discredited board making decisions which limits the amount of healthcare treatment available to local customers?

Illinois has some fundamental problems with finance and economic development. The priority of the State must be to allow people to use their own common sense to make a living. All of the grandiose schemes in the world (the Olympics and Gitmo/Thomson come to mind) are not going to bring a dime to the State of Illinois if the US Embassy cannot process simple things like visa applications. Completely reasonable construction plans die on the vine if we continue to require a fundamentally corrupt entity to make the most critical economic decisions in the State of Illinois.

As if it is any surprise to you, the Chief Operating Officer for the State of Illinois, the director of the Federal Stimulus Spending in Illinois, and the head of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity since 2003, is none other than former Rezko Enterprises CFO, Jack Lavin.


John Powers is the President of the Chicago Daily Observer

image The Raveonettes Sune Rose Wagner (on guitar, instruments, vocals) and Sharin Foo (on bass, guitar and vocals).


  • Philip S. Krone said:

    In the event no one detects John Powers’ sense of humor my trip to Copenhagen used no Embassy resources. I made my own travel arrangements, stood in line on arrival and had my passport stamped. Actually I flew to Copenhagen from Venice which made the trip easier becauuse I was traveling within the European Union. It is a shame that legitimate groups run into bureaucratic hassles.

  • Mike F said:

    I’m shocked that John Powers might be a Howard Stern listener.

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