Today's Groupon: Half Off Inaugural Tickets - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Today's Groupon: Half Off Inaugural Tickets



    Today's Groupon: Half Off Inaugural Tickets
    Getty Images
    CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 16: Mayor-elect of Chicago Rahm Emanuel watches as the Chicago Bulls take on the Indiana Pacers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 16, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 104-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rahm Emanuel

    A member of Rahm Emanuel’s inaugural committee, Groupon chairman Eric Lefkofsky has donated $100,000 to the mayor-elect’s campaign. But I've got a better idea for Lefkofsky.

    He should find a way to use his business model to help Emanuel raise even more money. 

    For instance, Groupon could offer 50 percent off the $50,000 “co-chair” tickets to Emanuel’s inauguration. The deal would include tickets to a May 14th concert by the classic rock band Chicago, a reception at Venue 1 on the Near West Side, an evening dinner with the mayor-elect, and a front-row seat at the May 16th inauguration. Of course, it would greatly increase the chances that Emanuel would return the buyer’s phone calls once he becomes mayor. Because this deal would be so expensive, and because Emanuel wants to limit his inner circle of donors to a select few, only 10 purchases will tip this Groupon.

    For Lefkofsky, offering an inaugural Groupon would help expand the company’s reach into politics.

    Currently the deal site is known for restaurants, concert tickets, day spas and such. But imagine the possibilities that come along with influence peddling. That’s a lucrative enterprise with a long history here.

    In the future, Groupon could offer more modestly-priced deals with different aldermen and developers. 

    Groupon does not have a page for Springfield -- it’s currently covered by St. Louis -- but that area should be included in the influence deals, too.

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!