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CHICAGO—Chicago’s hosting of the May NATO meetings was an expensive ego-trip for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his fellow politicians, charged Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

“Emanuel and his press flacks claimed that holding the NATO meetings put Chicago in a favorable light in the eyes of the world, and that as a result, Chicago’s reputation as a world-class city will move up a few notches in the list of great world cities,” said Tobin. “He’s got to be kidding. Does he honestly think the world views Chicago as being in the same league as New York, London or Paris?”

“As far as the world is concerned, Chicago is the capitol of flyover country.”

“On Friday and Monday, downtown businesses were ghost towns — the last thing they needed in this recession. LaSalle Street was empty according to reports, major employers asked their employees to stay home, and receipts in shops and restaurants were down sharply.”

“One reason for holding the meetings purportedly was to emerge from under the shadow of the 1968 riots during the Democratic Convention. Businesses paid a high price to cleanse the reputations of Democrat politicians.”

“Emanuel would have done a lot better cutting rather than increasing expenses, and passing the savings on to the overtaxed residents of Chicago.”