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Wed Feb 25, 2015, 08:43 AM

Who’s Afraid of Chicago’s Progressive Aldermen? Rahm Emanuel, That’s Who. [View all]


from In These Times:


Who’s Afraid of Chicago’s Progressive Aldermen? Rahm Emanuel, That’s Who.
The Chicago mayor’s super PAC has spent large amounts of money to protect his allies on City Council—and take down those who oppose him.

BY YANA KUNICHOFF


It’s no secret that Rahm Emanuel has an unparalleled fundraising prowess and scores of wealthy friends to boot. The Chicago Tribune called him “the most potent political cash machine in Chicago history,” and he’s amassed nearly $30 million among the various bodies dedicated to supporting his mayoral run and its broader agenda.

Now that money is trickling down to some of Chicago’s most tightly contested aldermanic races through the efforts of Chicago Forward, a super PAC created by former Chicago Public Schools communication director Becky Carroll. Super PACs are allowed to take in unlimited donations, but can’t coordinate with or directly contribute to a candidate.

This round of aldermanic races, which culminate in Tuesday’s election, has seen a bevy of candidates that are particularly antagonistic to the status quo of Emanuel’s administration. Some of the key groups that the mayor has clashed with in the past four years as now running for aldermanic seats—teachers, environmentalists and community organizers.

Chicago Forward is pumping money into 17 of the 50 aldermanic races, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, with an eye to securing the seats of Emanuel’s stalwarts in the City Council, particularly in tight races—and, in a few cases, pushing the more troublesome progressive aldermen out of the picture.

Dick Simpson, a former alderman and now professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) tells In These Times that it’s “pretty clear” Chicago Forward is pumping money into races that worry the mayor’s office. .............(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17671/chicago_elections



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