Vast Majority Of Rahm Emanuel’s Donors Get Money From City Of Chicago

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has received $3.1 million in donations toward his potential campaign for a third term, and nearly 70 percent of those funds come from donors who get money from City Hall, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The $2.1 million in donations comes from 83 donors who are either seeking or have received contracts, building permits, or other kinds of benefits from the city, the Tribune reported Friday. The fundraising style is nothing new for Emanuel’s campaigns, however, as media investigations from 2015 showed that 60 percent of the Democrat mayor’s most loyal donors received benefits from City Hall. Emanuel’s office has been quick to deny wrongdoing, however.

“On Mayor Emanuel’s first day in office, he enacted several executive orders that set the highest ethical standards in the city’s history,” a spokesman told the Tribune. “These orders include a first-of-its-kind ban on mayoral contributions from lobbyists and a prohibition on mayoral contributions from contractors doing business with the city of Chicago.”

Emanuel has begun fundraising for a 2019 campaign without even announcing his candidacy, claiming he is simply preparing for the possibility. The move allows law firms, developers, and other organizations that need something from the city to donate. And while lobbyists and owners of these organizations can’t donate themselves, their coworkers and employees can. (RELATED: Rahm Emanuel’s Dream Of A ‘Trump-Free’ Chicago Isn’t Going To Happen)

It was revealed last November that Emanuel used his own private email, causing problems for media who had filed freedom of information requests for the mayor’s communications. His email, “” functioned on Google’s Gmail service, and was not similar to Hillary Clinton’s private server.

The Chicago Tribune has been locked in a lengthy legal battle with Emanuel’s office for private emails and texts the mayor used to conduct government business.

The Tribune’s lawsuit claimed “the mayor’s office in recent years has been uncooperative with FOIA requests,” the paper argued. Emanuel’s “use of private phones and personal email allows the mayor to conduct city business out of public view and contributes to a ‘lack of transparency.'”

While Emanuel later settled the lawsuit with Chicago’s paper and released 2,700 pages worth of emails, there’s no end in sight for his fundraising practices.

“The fundraising — there’s no campaign without it,” Emanuel told CNN in August. “It’s not my desire to always do it. I don’t want to do it, but I’m obviously good at it.”

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