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Obama library’s public cost estimated at $175M: report

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The planned Obama Presidential Center in Chicago is being privately funded, but on Friday city officials estimated how much taxpayers will pay for roadwork and other construction around the center: $175 million.

It was the first time city officials put a specific dollar figure on the expected cost to the public, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“These proposed investments are intended to make the (center) and surrounding Jackson Park a world-class destination on par with Chicago’s Museum Campus,” the city’s Department of Transportation (CDOT) told the newspaper, in a statement accompanying the figures.

The planned taxpayer-funded work would include widening portions of some surrounding streets and constructing four or five new underpasses, the report said.

City officials said they intended to pursue “all potential options” for the project, including allocations from the state of Illinois.

The information was made public ahead of a scheduled meeting Tuesday, at which representatives from the Obama Foundation, a nonprofit leading the center’s construction, is expected to detail its plans, the report said.

CDOT spokesman Michael Claffey told the Tribune that presidential libraries often get state financing for nearby infrastructure. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., received $100 million in such funding, he said.

However, in January, more than 100 University of Chicago professors and faculty members signed a letter saying that they and a wide range of neighborhood and activist groups agreed that “the Obama Center as currently planned will not provide the promised development or economic benefits to the neighborhoods” on the South Side of Chicago.

They noted that because the center will be located near an existing museum and the University of Chicago, there will be no land to start new businesses or restaurants nearby. 

The Tribune reported Thursday that the project was revealing race and class differences between its supporters and opponents, with one African-American woman telling the paper she has bene accused of being anti-black.

“All I wanted to do was make sure my kids could play with no garage in their park,” Bronwyn Nichols Lodato told the paper. “I have three young children and we live in a condo and the Midway is our yard. My story is simply, how can we keep the park so our kids could play there?”

In January, the former president said in a video statement that he has been “pretty hands-on” with the project and hoped it could help revitalize the neighborhood.

“Michelle and I want this center to be more than just a building,” Obama said. “We want to create an economic engine for the South Side of Chicago, a cultural attraction that showcases the South Side to the rest of the world.”

The center is scheduled to open in 2021.

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this story.

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Nigel Farage quits politics: Brexit mastermind steps down after 30 years in spotlight

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NIGEL FARAGE has decided to quit politics for good, after nearly 30 years in the spotlight.

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Trump sends cease-and-desist letters to GOP campaign committees

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WASHINGTON — Attorneys for former President Donald Trump sent cease-and-desist letters Friday to three Republican organizations asking them to stop using the former president’s name and likeness in fundraising appeals and merchandise, a Trump adviser said Saturday.

The letters were sent to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senate Committee — arms of the party tasked with raising money and shaping messaging, among other things, for the midterm elections and beyond.

The committees did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment. Politico was first to report the news.

Since Trump left office, the committees have repeatedly referenced him in emails asking for donations, hoping to use the president’s popularity among some segments of the party to bolster their war chest as they work to win back control of the House and Senate in 2022.

Trump, however, has been reluctant to offer his support to the party establishment after he lost the presidency and was then impeached for a second time. Ten House Republicans voted with Democrats to impeach Trump, and seven Senate Republicans voted to convict him for allegedly inciting the deadly mob that attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 intent on disrupting the electoral vote count formalizing Joe Biden’s election win before a joint session of Congress. While that is by far the most bipartisan support for conviction in impeachment history, the final vote was 57 to 43, 10 short of the 67 votes needed to secure a conviction.

After visiting with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in January, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters that Trump had not committed to staying out of Republican House primaries.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend in Florida, Trump listed off the names of congressional Republicans who voted to impeach or convict him and said, “get rid of them all.”

He also told attendees “there’s only one way to contribute to our efforts” to elect Trump Republicans: donating to his PAC, or via his website.



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Laurence Fox to run for London Mayor in direct challenge to Sadiq Khan's 'woke politics'

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THE actor Laurence Fox has announced that he will run for London Mayor in a bid to stop Sadiq Khan from tearing down the capital’s heritage and end lockdown early.

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