RAHM'S RUNNING: Million dollar fundraising at end of 2012 indicates Emanuel will run again in 2015

Anyone who believed that the long-term strategy of Mayor Rahm Emanuel was to get in and get out of Chicago's mayor's office in one term needs to begin planning now for the next Rahm Run. News reports on January 16, 2013, indicate that Rahm's going to be running, and his corporate sugar daddies, angels, and buddies are already kicking in to jump start his next political move. And in case anyone believed that the mayor was going to shift his base from the "one percent" and the plutocrats who are his biggest supporters, the list of those kicking in Mitt Romney-sized donations belies that. The donors to what might be called "Rahm 2015" are a "What's What?" of the Chicago plutocratic class.

As Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business is reporting on the morning of January 16:

Emanuel raises $1 million in 4Q for re-election, January 16, 2013, by Greg Hinz, Read more:

In a powerful sign that he intends to stick around City Hall, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's campaign committee raised a whopping $1 million in the last quarter of 2012, sources close to Mr. Emanuel report.

The heavy fundraising effort, which came even as Mr. Emanuel was busy raising money for President Barack Obama, gives the mayor a war chest of roughly $2 million, more than two years before his presumed re-election bid in February 2015.

And sources say re-election definitely is on the mayor's mind, with the financial haul constituting "a very strong indication that Rahm is re-upping,” as one source put it.

Spokesman John Kupper confirmed, "I think it's safe to say that, after focusing on helping the Obama re-election effort, Rahm is now turning his attention to his own re-election. He's almost halfway through his first term, so it's time to look ahead.”

The big haul was pulled in by the mayor's Chicago for Rahm Emanuel committee. The mayor also benefits from two other, smaller groups. But one, the Chicago Committee, mostly pays for mayoral pollsters and media advisers; the second, One Chicago, focuses on other priorities.

So far, according to disclosures filed Tuesday with the State Board of Elections, Chicago for Rahm Emanuel has reported raising $567,651.70 in the quarter ended Dec. 31, plus another $47,500 since. But hundreds of thousands of dollars more have been raised but not yet reported while preliminary bookkeeping occurs, sources say, with the final figure to hit the million-dollar mark.

The committee began the quarter with about $1.1 million, and will end up with about $2 million.

Thanks to new limits on campaign contributions, Mr. Emanuel is not able to raise campaign cash in chunks of $100,000 or more the way he did when he first ran for City Hall, in 2010-11, when he pulled in more than $14 million.

But he still did remarkably well last quarter, even if his haul generally was limited to a maximum of $10,000 from a company or committee and $5,000 from an individual.

Among $10,000 donors are Chicago's HTG Capital Partners, Guild Capital LLC and Internet insurance brokerage Norvax; Rockville, Md.-based Infinite Computer Solutions Inc.; and New York-based investment manager Paulson & Co.

Mr. Emanuel once worked as an investment banker and has retained strong ties in that field.

Among big individual donors who gave the maximum $5,000 each were Citadel LLC Chief Operating Officer Gerald Beeson, Aon Corp. CEO Greg Case, trial lawyer Robert Clifford, sports-family scion Mike Reinsdorf and attorney Jamie Sprayregan. Mr. Clifford's wife also gave $5,000; two members of the McGrath auto dealership family a combined $10,000; and through his campaign committee, Mike Alvarez, a political consultant and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner, contributed $10,000.

In all, dozens of individuals gave the maximum $5,000 gift.

The Chicago Committee raised $150,000 — but has spent it all and still owes $105,000. It got $20,000 each from the Illinois Hotel/Motel Political Action Committee and from Grosvenor Holding LLC, the firm of top mayoral associate and World Business Chicago Vice Chairman Michael Sacks.

Mr. Emanuel is not known to yet have any potential opponents. But perhaps that is the point: raise a ton now to scare off any competition.

Follow Greg on Twitter at @GregHinz.


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