Unofficial mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel is taking some heat over a big Hollywood fundraiser.
Candidate Gery Chico said the locale illustrates the different approaches that are going to be taken by the candidates in the race for mayor.
"No doubt he's hobnobbing with the stars, sipping champaign, talking with the celebrities, but we've chosen our own form of Hollywood right here in Chicago," said Chico during a Thursday evening rally at The Hollywood Grill in Wicker Park.
Chico also announced that his campaign now has the support of Ald. Joe Moreno (1st).
"I am supporting Gery Chico because Chicago needs a mayor that walks the talk. Gery has the strongest track record of improving life for Chicagoans, from leading the turnaround of Chicago Public Schools to building soccer fields, parks and playgrounds for our children," Moreno said in a written statement.
Meanwhile, Carol Moseley Braun, who is expected to announce her own candidacy, issued a statement earlier in the day calling into question Emanuel's committment to Chicago (emphasis hers):
- "On this day when President Obama and Illinois Democrats are still recovering from the painful political debacle that he was the architect of, Rahm Emanuel is off in Hollywood hanging out with bankers and billionaires, But maybe Hollywood is whwere he belongs because the story of how he *helped* the Obama administration when he was chief of staff is indeed fiction. Rahm Emanuel cut and ran after pushing policies that lead to the biggest Democratic Party political loss in 27 years. He left the President holding the bag. If Rahm abandoned the President of the United States, what makes anybody think he'll stick by regular Chicagoans?"
The Emanuel campaign took issue with Moseley Braun's statement, refuting her claim that President Obama ushered in a "debacle."
"[Emanuel] thinks that preventing another depression and passing health care and financial reform will help countless Americans. While Rahm has spent the last several weeks talking with Chicagoans about plans for the city's future... Senator Moseley Braun's statement says nothing about her own plans for the city," said Ben LaBolt, Emanuel's Communications Director.
And perhaps it's unwise to cast stones. Sources tell Ward Room that Chico raised $300,000 in out-of-state money during his 2004 race for the Illinois Senate. And roughly $1 million of the cash that filled Moseley Braun's warchest between 1992 and 1997 came from outside Illinois.