Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Illinois GOP slams Kennedy for no-bid deal in Cleveland


By Caitlin Nordahl | Nov 22, 2017


A recent report from the Chicago Tribune shows how a project in Cleveland developed by Chris Kennedy while he was at the helm of Merchandise Mart has not benefited that city as projected, a failing the Illinois Republican Party has jumped on to discredit the Democrat candidate for governor.

“Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy is traveling Illinois claiming he is some sort of reformer, but a new Chicago Tribune investigative report details Kennedy’s troubled past as a corporate insider who used family connections to rake in millions while leaving others to pay for his mistakes,” the Illinois GOP said in a Nov. 17 release.

According to the report from the Tribune, Kennedy was able to secure a no-bid contract for a project to build a convention center and Medical Mart in Cleveland in an effort to revitalize the city by capitalizing on cachet of the Cleveland Clinic.

Chris Kennedy |

“Local politicians, led by a longtime family friend, gave Kennedy’s company a no-bid contract and pushed through a controversial sales tax hike to pay for it,” Tribune reporters David Heinsmann and Todd Lighty wrote. Their report explained how Kennedy and developers pitched the project as a way to transform Cleveland into a “Disney World for doctors.”

“Instead, the project was plagued by accusations of insider dealings, secrecy and failed promises. Kennedy’s company made millions of dollars, while residents are stuck paying more on items they purchase,” the reporters wrote.

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