Like Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm St., Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and his HQ2 plan for Chicago just keeps coming back from the dead. It looks like, now that New York has said no, Rahm/Rauner's $2.5B tax and land giveaway to Bezos is back on the table in Chicago.
...bringing Amazon to town will probably cost untold millions in tax credits—money diverted straight from the state's coffers. That spells a tax hike for everyone else as the state jacks up taxes to compensate for the money it's giving to Amazon. -- Ben Joravsky
Toni Preckwinkle and Bill Daley on board with Bezos.
How can that be with Rauner gone, Ed Burke on his way to jail, and Rahm on his way out the door? It can only happen if Gov. Pritzker and a new Chicago mayor are ready, willing and able to meet all of Bezos demands and accept his unsubstantiated estimates of tens of thousands of "high-paying city jobs".
And which of the current mayoral candidates is ready to bend over for Bezos? According to Crain's there's only two (maybe three) -- Bill Daley, Toni Preckwinkle and possibly, Paul Vallas who hasn't said yet.
While I would expect no less from Daley and Vallas, I'm still amazed that Preckwinkle, who's only in the race because of backing from CTU and SEIU, is willing to play ball with union-buster supreme, Bezos. The jobs Bezos promises are unsustainable and without long-term security. Amazon has the highest employee turnover this side of Walmart and their working conditions are reported to be the worst of any major corporation.
Burke may be under indictment and Ald. Danny Solis may have gone underground, wire and all. But the spirit of pay-to-play and quid pro quo, obviously still lives on among these three.
ONE MORE POINT, if I might... Bezos is also a big backer of charter schools and other school privatization schemes in the state of Washington. According to a report in the Nation, the Bezos Foundation has donated to Education Reform Now, a nonprofit organization that funds attack advertisements against teachers’ unions and other advocacy efforts to promote test-based evaluations of teachers. Education Reform Now also sponsors Democrats for Education Reform (DFER).
Other education philanthropy supported by the Bezos Foundation include KIPP, Teach for America and many individual charter schools, including privately funded math and science programs across the country.