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|Museum Head Says He Was Stiffed By Governor
|The director of a museum says the governor's politics prevented him from receiving a major chunk of money.
The Museum of Broadcast Communication is trying to raise $28 million to move to a new home in Chicago . Museum President Bruce DuMont says the governor promised him $8 million from the state in 2005. The money never came, despite repeated assurances that the money was coming, DuMont says. He says he relied on those assurances to start construction in 2005.
DuMont says the state's involvement in the deal gave it leverage over the participation of another wealthy benefactor who had promised a big loan in 2006. Dumont said that John Filan, then the governor's budget director, told him he had to "check everybody's political stripes," and when it turned out the potential benefactor -- whose name is confidential -- was a major donor to Judy Baar Topinka, the Blagojevich people said no. Topinka was the Republican candidate for governor against Blagojevich in 2006.
DuMont says this was a shame. "Here is an independent, taxpayer, benefactor living in the state of Illinois who wants to complete the construction of a cultural institution, and the governor's office put the kibosh on that deal because he was a Republican and a supporter of Judy Baar Topinka -- perhaps someone that they knew they couldn't shake down at a later hour," DuMont said.
DuMont said that had this donor been allowed to lend the money, at which time his name would have been released, it would have been a signal to other donors that the museum would be going forward without financial problems.
The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|12 15 08 by Newsroom
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