Tuesday, February 4, 2014


In Illinois, the American dream is still attainable, albeit on the backs of the taxpayers.

Governor Patrick Quinn supports the Illinois Jobs program. Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes every opportunity to attract business to Chicago. Mike Madigan spends his nights setting strategy for protecting patronage jobs.

How often do Illinois citizens see 100% cooperation between these municipal entities?

Here is a blueprint on how to setup a company without any capitalization, equity, understanding of the definition of a Not-For-Profit 501C3 entity, business plan or successful track record managing a municipal venue owned by taxpayer dollars and parlaying that into an overnight $43 Million annual revenue producing enterprise. 

Don't forget the sole source $1 Per Year (over an initial 25 Year term) Navy Pier Management Contract with 4-20 year renewals already in the bag with no negotiation or public disclosure! 

Anticipated Revenue for 25 years is over $1 Billion.

America, what a country!

Bill Gates paid $50,000 for DOS and it took a bit to get to $1 Billion in revenue.....

So the story continues....

On January 4, 2011 Navy Pier Inc. was incorporated.

Show us the money. Who actually incorporated this entity? Where is a copy of the check for the incorporation?

Our investigation has uncovered some very interesting facts.

Marilynn Kelly Gardner was General Manager of Navy Pier (earning $168,000 per year). Dan Blondin was Senior Attorney (earning $110,000). Neither had experience setting up or managing a Not-For-Profit 501C3 entity.

Here is the luck of the Irish!

Apparently, one day over a couple of drinks at Navy Pier, they agreed to become entrepreneurs with the encouragement and financial backing of a public entity, Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority. Blondin's boss, Renee C. Benjamin, General Counsel, MPEA, even hired the politically connected law firm, Shefsky & Froelich in December, 2010 to investigate whether a non-profit would be subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA). It took 7 attorneys and fees of $17,000 to make that determination. Of course, as MPEA FOIA Officer, Benjamin could have simply called Lisa Madigan's Illinois Attorney General's Office to get the answer free of charge. Or, she could have read Page 9 of the FOIA Guide published by the IL AG that specifically exempts non-profits from FOIA.

"Moreover, the Act is not applicable to private not-for-profit or business corporations even though such corporations administer programs that expend public funds or otherwise receive public funds. Hopf v. Topcorp, Inc., 170 Ill. App. 3d 85 (1st Dist. 1988), appeal after remand, 256 Ill. App. 3d 807 (1993)."

Benjamin should simply have known the answer:

One of her duties as Chief Counsel “Monitors the Authority’s compliance with the requirements of its enabling legislation, including but not limited to Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act requirements, competitive procurement, promulgation of rules and regulations, government reporting, and affirmative action.”

Of course, this is the same person who awarded patronage, sole source outside legal fees totaling $8.3 Million from 2008 to 2011 to a select group of 30 connected firms. And, it wasn't her money...she was just sitting back waiting to collect her $8,000 a month pension starting in 2011. 

Next up...Madigan appointed political hack MPEA Trustee, Jim Reilly, circumvents the open bid process and awards Navy Pier Inc. a $1.00  25-Year Lease Agreement.

There is bit of good news. Navy Pier Inc. prepaid the 25 year Lease Agreement, so MPEA recorded $25 lease revenue on its books!

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