Rahm Emanuel, who has over 20 years of fundraising experience, has raked in some serious dough for his own mayoral campaign. Today is his D-Day.
In 1989, Emanuel raised $7.7 million as Mayor Daley’s chief fundraiser for Daley’s first run for mayor of Chicago.
Since announcing his departure from the Obama administration last October, Emanuel has raised more than $12 million (from 2,494 contributors) for his campaign.
Most of the money came from outside of Chicago. According to the Chicago News Cooperative, Chicagoans only contributed $5.38 million — less than 46% — of Emanuel’s funds. (Some of the donations came from billionaires like the Pritzker family and Morningstar CEO Joe Mansueto, who gave $202,000 and $100,000, respectively.)
More interesting, approximately 30% of Emanuel’s contributions came from big-name out-of-state donors. Donald Trump donated $50,000. Emanuel’s brother, Hollywood agent Ari Emanuel, raised almost a million dollars for him at a fundraiser last year. Steven Spielberg contributed $75,000. Apple CEO Steve Jobs and his wife gave $100,000.
It’s easy to say it’s all about Benjamin Franklin, but really it’s all about Chicago.
The big donors most likely aren’t giving to Emanuel because they think he’s a great guy who can spin a beautiful pirouette; rather, they want to see their businesses succeed in Chicago.
Illinois provides the movie industry with a 30% tax credit on production spending and a 30% credit on salaries (up to $100,000 per employee).
In one month of shooting in Chicago, “Transformers 3” injected $20 million into the Chicago economy and created 200 jobs. According to the Sun Times, “Dark Night” generated $45 million for the city and created thousands of jobs.
Chicago continues to lose millions in convention business and the bleeding must stop. With a $654 million deficit, unemployed Chicagoans and big corporations have a vested interest in Chicago’s success.
After years of holding their conventions at McCormick Place, The Plastics Industry Trade Association and The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society ditched Chicago and headed south for their conventions. HIMSS would have brought about $52 million to the city. In 2009, the Society of the Plastics Industry brought $95.3 million in direct spending to Chicago, according to Crain’s. The Nephrology convention, planned for 2016, is expected to generate $342 million in city and state revenue.
Don’t forget, Donald Trump has a vested interest in tourists staying at his posh new downtown hotel after listening to the symphony at Pritzker Pavilion and shopping on Michigan Avenue, where they can spend a few thousand dollars at the Apple store.
Chicago’s economy continues to be adversely affected by a large deficit, lingering unemployment and declining tourism. The people who donated large amounts of cash to Emanuel did so because they believe he will make Chicago great — for residents and businesses alike.
Tamara N. Holder is one of the nation’s rising attorneys and legal analytical stars. She is a Contributor for the Fox News Channel. She has received recognition from some of the country’s most respected people, organizations and publications. Tamara founded The Law Firm of Tamara N. Holder, LLC, in 2005. Her work includes: criminal defense, expungement, race discrimination, police brutality, public policy, and pro bono practices. Seeing the need for outreach in this area, Tamara founded www.xpunged.com, a practice that provides a second chance to those individuals who have expungeable offenses under Illinois law.