Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Emanuel In Full Front-Runner Mode

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Now that the money race is clear and the new Chicago Tribune poll shows he's far ahead with 44 percent, Rahm Emanuel's front-runner campaign strategy is in full swing.

    He's avoiding his rivals and spending on ad buys.

    His opponents have noted on multiple occasions that he remains absent from forums and community events. But Emanuel counters that he's meeting citizens in his own way. 

    "This weekend we are launching an effort to go to 22,000 homes," Emanuel said.  "I will join them. ... I did 72 'L' stops as of this morning" and says there will be a "couple of thousand volunteers working this weekend."  

    When asked about his $10.6 million fund raising haul he touted his local contributions.

    "Three  quarters of my contributors are from greater Chicago" Emanuel said.  "I have great contributors outside (including Apple's Steve Jobs and  Eric Schmitt from Google) and these are the people I will be calling upon." 

    The nature of his Chicago contributions, however, may not be something to crow about, according to the Chicago News Cooperative

    But the Chicago News Cooperative’s analysis of the report showed that a large percentage of what Emanuel received came from a small group of his supporters. Less than 1 percent of contributors accounted for 23 percent of the total, the CNC found.

    Seventy-five donors gave at least $50,000 each. Of that group, 23 wrote checks of $100,000 or more. Eight of the six-figure checks came from out of state.

    Contributions from marquee names included $100,000 from Geffen, another $100,000 between Jobs and his wife, $75,000 from Spielberg and $50,000 from Trump.

    The candidate’s brother, Ari Emanuel, is a Hollywood talent agent. He held a fund-raiser for the campaign in Los Angeles in November.

    As for the checks from Chicago business leaders, Emanuel got a total of $202,000 from five Pritzker family members, $100,000 from Fred Eychaner and $50,000 each from Richard Driehaus and Mansueto.

    On Friday, Emanuel toured a plant that makes dental instruments.  He left the press in a holding room until an Emanuel staffer said "feel free to get a shot of Rahm meeting the workers."  

    While there he seemed especially upbeat, taking questions with workers on education before the media availability.

    "I talked about 20 percent cut in sales tax" he said.   This particular factory has a operation in China (Hu friendy).

    His opponents would love to have that kind of attention - four TV cameras, two still cameras and eight journalists waited for Emanuel at this event. 

    One final note, Emanuel said he bought Bears tickets for this weekend.