WASHINGTON - Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor
Richard Daley delivered their annual "wish list" for the
state and city to the Illinois congressional delegation
It calls for continued funding of the Abraham Lincoln
Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield and the
Illinois River Basin Restoration project, as well as
broader statewide goals, such as increased funding for
homeland security, affordable housing and Medicaid.
After a private lunch with the lawmakers, Blagojevich
told reporters he strongly supports Daley's proposal to
bring the Olympics to Chicago and that the state would
help financially if needed. Chicago is one of five U.S.
cities that have indicated an interest in hosting the
2016 summer Olympic games.
"The idea of having the Olympics in Chicago is a
fantastic idea. We're in the mix," Blagojevich said.
"We're cautiously optimistic. It will be tough, but
we're interested in being as helpful as possible."
Asked about funding, the governor said: "The state
would be prepared to help in the event that it was
Daley said no federal money is being sought at this
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he didn't know if the
state's entire congressional delegation was on board the
"We haven't circulated any letters, taken any votes
or anything like that," said Durbin, who hosted the
lunch in his U.S. Capitol office suite.
On Monday, Blagojevich held two fundraisers for his
re-election campaign - one in Washington and one in
Boston, hosted by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Blagojevich said he was heading back to Illinois
Tuesday afternoon for a meeting with Honda Motor Co.
executives, during which he hoped to persuade them to
locate a plant near Danville, as opposed to neighboring
However, an Ohio newspaper reported Tuesday that
Honda has chosen a site in Indiana for its new North
American auto plant.
Dori Meinert can be reached at (202) 737-7686 or