By Doug Book, staff writer
When Chicago’s former mayor Richard Daley sold his top hat and city bank book to Rahm Emanuel, some pundits figured Obama’s former top aide would be satisfied with the benefits the position had always provided the Daley family–job security and all you can steal.
But Rahm has his eyes firmly fixed on the 2016 presidential race and is already doing what experienced Democrat politicians do best–he is using the power and authority of his office to buy voters and donors.
And of course in the best tradition of Democrat politics, Rahm will make certain that members of both groups have one thing in common. They will all be beholding to Rahm.
And Emanuel is off to a good start with a $20 million grant from the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation. Named the “Micro Market Recovery Program”, the 20 million will be used to subsidize the purchase of homes in some of Chicago’s highest foreclosure areas.
In short, the mangers of the MacArthur Foundation is buying some very important access to Rahm, while Rahm’s well publicized generosity and compassion make him a hero in the eyes of voters.
But the biggest deal on Rahm’s horizon is gambling. Last year the state legislature passed a bill authorizing the city of Chicago to build, own and operate a casino.
Projected to net $140 million annually and employ some 15 to 20 thousand from ground breaking to opening, Rahm has visions of happy voters and grateful union heads.
But Governor Pat Quinn has refused to sign the legislation into law, citing concerns that the public is not adequately protected from the effects of 5 new casinos in all and the expanded rights for other gaming enterprises statewide.
So in response to the governor’s reticence, the ever helpful Emanuel has told voters how casino income will be spent, emphasizing public benefits for schools, infrastructure and of course, employment: Nothing like putting a little extra public pressure on the governor.
Income from Chicago’s casino was supposed to be used to pay down the city’s mounting debt and shore up growing public pension shortfalls.
But everyone knows you can’t buy votes or generate campaign contribution by sticking money in a bank. (At least, as a rule.)
So Rahm’s road and school projects will garner all the cash. After all, they mean happy voters and, more importantly, happy union heads whose pension funds donate to presidential nominees.
A Democrat presidential candidate knows he can count on a compliant media and limitless funding from the left. But before lies can be printed and illegal contributions spent, the nomination must first be won.
Rahm Emanuel is working hard to get that accomplished.
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This day in history August 26
1920: Passed by a Republican Congress, the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote went into effect.
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