SUSPECT – Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel


Democrat Urges Corrupt Rahm Emanuel Be Investigated …

Americans should be worried that Rahm Emanuel, who came out of the world of dirty Chicago politics, is President Obama’s right hand man in the White House, Glenn Beck said on his TV show Thursday.

Amer Ahmad, ex-aide to Mayor Emanuel, pleads guilty to Ohio corruption

Monday, December 23, 2013
Chicagos former comptroller, Amer Ahmad

Chicago’s former comptroller, Amer Ahmad

Former Chicago Comptroller Amer Ahmad pleaded guilty in Ohio federal court Monday to charges that he steered state business to his financial adviser in exchange for more than $500,000 in kickbacks.

Ahmad, who served as Ohio’s deputy treasurer and chief investment official, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud and money laundering. He was hired in Chicago by Mayor Rahm Emanuel after the crimes in Ohio were committed. Mayor Emanuel has said that he knew nothing about the infractions and that nothing criminal was done in Chicago. An audit was done on Ahmad’s work and the results were clear, the mayor’s office has said.

According to sources familiar with the plea negotiations, Ahmad struck a deal with federal prosecutors on Sunday.

The one-time trusted ally of Mayor Emanuel will pay more than $3.2 million in restitution and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison and $500,000 in fines, under conditions of the deal. According to reports he declined to comment after Monday’s court appearance in Columbus.

Federal charges had Ahmad, 39, using his position in the state treasurer’s office to steer government broker business to Douglas E. Hampton of Canton in 2009 and 2010. Hampton received more than $3.2 million in commissions from the 360 trades he conducted, authorities charged. Hampton pleaded guilty last summer.

In return, Mr. Hampton gave $123,000 in “legal fees” to Ahmad’s friend, Columbus immigration attorney and lobbyist Mohammed Noure Alo. He also transferred $400,000 to a landscaping company Ahmad owned with Chicago businessman Joseph Chiavaroli.

As the I-Team reported last week, Mr. Alo pleaded guilty on Friday to aiding and abetting wire fraud and could face 20 years in prison. Hampton also cut a plea deal with prosecutors last summer.

Ahmad left the Ohio treasurer’s office after Republican Josh Mandel was elected in 2010. Until last July, he served as Chicago comptroller and he currently lives in Chicago.

(Copyright ©2013 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Former Ohio Deputy Treasurer Pleads Guilty to Kickbacks and Money Laundering


Updated Mon, Dec 23, 2013 8:55 pm

The former Ohio deputy treasurer pleaded guilty Monday for his role in leading a bribery and money laundering scheme involving the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark T. D’Alessandro of the Southern District of Ohio, and Special Agent in Charge Kevin R. Cornelius of the FBI’s Cincinnati Division made the announcement.

Amer Ahmad, 38, of Chicago, appeared before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson of the Southern District of Ohio and pleaded guilty to conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and federal program bribery, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

According to court documents, from approximately January 2009 through January 2011, Ahmad and others conspired to use Ahmad’s role as deputy treasurer to direct official state of Ohio broker services business to Douglas E. Hampton, 39, a securities broker from Canton, Ohio, in return for payments from Hampton.

Ahmad and Joseph M. Chiavaroli, 33, of Chicago, concealed those payments from Hampton by passing them through the accounts of a landscaping business in which Ahmad and Chiavaroli held ownership interests.

Hampton also funneled in excess of $123,000 to Mohammed Noure Alo, 35, of Columbus, Ohio, an attorney and lobbyist who was Ahmad’s close personal friend and business associate.

As a result of the scheme, Hampton received approximately $3.2 million in commissions for 360 trades on behalf of the Ohio Treasurer’s Office.

Ahmad and his co-conspirators received in excess of $500,000 from Hampton. Hampton and Chiavaroli entered guilty pleas in August 2013, and Alo pleaded guilty on December 20, 2013.

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Central Ohio Public Corruption Task Force, which includes special agents from the FBI and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas W. Squires of the Southern District of Ohio and Trial Attorney Eric L. Gibson of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

This information provided by the Cincinnati Division of the FBI


Rahm Emanuel

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Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel, official photo portrait color.jpg
55th Mayor of Chicago
Assumed office
May 16, 2011
Preceded by Richard M. Daley
23rd White House Chief of Staff
In office
January 20, 2009 – October 1, 2010
President Barack Obama
Deputy Mona Sutphen
Jim Messina
Preceded by Joshua Bolten
Succeeded by Pete Rouse (Acting)
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois’s 5th district
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Rod Blagojevich
Succeeded by Mike Quigley
Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
In office
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Jim Clyburn
Succeeded by John Larson
Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
In office
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by Bob Matsui
Succeeded by Chris Van Hollen
Senior Advisor to the President
In office
January 20, 1993 – November 7, 1998
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Henson Moore
Succeeded by Joel Johnson
Personal details
Born Rahm Israel Emanuel[1]
November 29, 1959 (age 54)
Chicago, Illinois
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Amy Merritt Rule (m. 1994)
Children Zachariah (b. 1997)
Ilana (b. 1998)
Leah (b. 2000)
Alma mater Sarah Lawrence College (B.A.)
Northwestern University (M.A.)
Religion Modern Orthodox Judaism

Rahm Israel Emanuel (/ˈrɑːm/; born November 29, 1959) is an American politician who serves as the 55th Mayor of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, Emanuel was elected in 2011, becoming Chicago’s first Jewish mayor.

Born in Chicago, Emanuel is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and Northwestern University. Working early in his career in Democratic politics, Emanuel was appointed as director of the finance committee for Bill Clinton‘s 1992 presidential campaign. In 1993, he joined the Clinton administration, where he served as the Assistant to the President for Political Affairs and as the Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy before resigning in 1998. Beginning a career in finance, Emanuel worked at the investment bank Wasserstein Perella & Co. from 1998 to 2002 and served on the board of directors of Freddie Mac.

In 2002, Emanuel ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives vacated by Rod Blagojevich, who had resigned to run for Governor of Illinois. Emanuel won the first of three terms representing Illinois’s 5th congressional district, a seat he held from 2003 to 2009. During his tenure in the House, Emanuel held two Democratic leadership positions, serving as the Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 2005 to 2007 and as the Chair of the House Democratic Caucus from 2007 to 2009. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Emanuel to serve as White House Chief of Staff.

In October 2010, Emanuel resigned as chief of staff to run as a candidate in Chicago’s 2011 mayoral election. Because of questions over his eligibility to run for mayor, Emanuel’s candidacy was initially rejected by the Illinois First District Appellate Court, though he was later found eligible to run in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court of Illinois. Emanuel won with 55% of the vote over five other candidates in the nonpartisan mayoral election, succeeding 22-year incumbent Richard M. Daley.

Early life and family

Emanuel was born on November 29, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a Jerusalem-born[2] pediatrician who was once a member of the Irgun, a Jewish paramilitary organization that operated in Mandate Palestine.[3] His mother, Marsha (née Smulevitz), is the daughter of a West Side Chicago union organizer who worked in the civil rights movement, and briefly owned a local rock and roll club.[1][4] Emanuel’s parents met during the 1950s in Chicago.[1] Emanuel’s older brother, Ezekiel, is an oncologist and bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, and his younger brother, Ari, is the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, a talent agency with headquarters in Beverly Hills, California;[5] he also has a younger adopted sister, Shoshana.[4] Emanuel’s grandfather was a Romanian Jew from Moldova.[6] Emanuel’s first name, Rahm (רם) means high or lofty in Hebrew.[7] The surname Emanuel (עמנואל), which means “God with us”, was adopted by their family in honor of his father’s brother Emanuel Auerbach, who was killed in 1933 in an altercation with Arabs in Jerusalem.[4][7]

While they lived in Chicago, Emanuel attended the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School. After his family moved to Wilmette, Emanuel attended public schools: Romona School, Locust Junior High School, and New Trier West High School.[1][8] Emanuel and his brothers attended summer camp in Israel, including the summer following the June 1967 Six-Day War.[4][9]

Emanuel was encouraged by his mother to take ballet lessons and is a graduate of the Evanston School of Ballet,[10] as well as a student of The Joel Hall Dance Center, where his children later took lessons.[11] Emanuel won a scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet,[12] but turned it down to attend Sarah Lawrence College, a liberal arts school with a strong dance program.[13] While an undergraduate, Emanuel was elected to the Sarah Lawrence Student Senate. He graduated from Sarah Lawrence in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, and went on to receive an Master of Arts in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985.[14]

Emanuel was a civilian volunteer assisting the Israel Defense Forces for a short time during the 1991 Gulf War, repairing truck brakes in one of Israel’s northern bases with Sar-El.[15][16]

Political staffer career

Emanuel began his political career with the public interest and consumer rights organization Illinois Public Action.[17] He went on to serve in a number of capacities in local and national politics, initially specializing in fundraising for Illinois campaigns, and then nationally.[18]

Emanuel worked for Democrat Paul Simon‘s 1984 election to the U.S. Senate.[19] He also worked as the national campaign director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 1988, and was senior advisor and chief fundraiser for Richard M. Daley‘s victorious campaign for Mayor of Chicago in 1989.[17]

At the start of then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton‘s presidential primary campaign, Emanuel was appointed to direct the campaign’s finance committee.[18] Emanuel insisted that Clinton schedule much time for fundraising and greatly delay campaigning in New Hampshire.[20] Clinton agreed and embarked on an aggressive fundraising campaign across the nation. The fundraising paid off later, providing the campaign a vital buffer to keep buying television time as attacks on Clinton’s character threatened to swamp the campaign during the New Hampshire primary. Clinton’s primary rival, Paul Tsongas (the New Hampshire Democratic primary winner), later withdrew, citing a lack of campaign funds.[21] Richard Mintz, a Washington public relations consultant who worked with Emanuel on the campaign, spoke about the soundness of the idea: “It was that [extra] million dollars that really allowed the campaign to withstand the storm we had to ride out in New Hampshire [over Clinton’s relationship with Gennifer Flowers and the controversy over his draft status during the Vietnam War].” Emanuel’s knowledge of the top donors in the country, and his rapport with “heavily Jewish” donors helped Clinton amass a then-unheard-of sum of $72 million.[22] While working on the Clinton campaign Emanuel was a paid retainer of the investment bank Goldman Sachs.[23]

Following the campaign, Emanuel became a senior advisor to Clinton at the White House from 1993 to 1998.[24] In the White House, Emanuel was initially Assistant to the President for Political Affairs[25] and then Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Strategy.[26] He was a leading strategist in White House efforts to institute NAFTA[27][28] and universal health care, among other Clinton initiatives.[29]

Emanuel is known for his “take-no-prisoners style” that has earned him the nickname “Rahmbo.”[30] Emanuel sent a dead fish in a box to a pollster who was late delivering polling results.[31] On the night after the 1996 election, angry at Democrats and Republicans who “betrayed” them in the 1992 election, Emanuel stood up at a celebratory dinner with colleagues from the campaign and began plunging a stake into the table and began rattling off names while shouting “Dead! Dead! Dead!”.[4] Before Tony Blair gave a pro-Clinton speech during the impeachment crisis, Emanuel reportedly screamed at Blair “Don’t fuck this up!” while Clinton was present.[32] Blair and Clinton both burst into laughter.[33] However, by 2007 friends of Emanuel were saying that he has “mellowed out”.[22] Stories of his personal style have entered the popular culture, inspiring articles and websites that chronicle these and other quotes and incidents.[34][35][36][37] The character Josh Lyman in The West Wing was said to be based on Emanuel, though executive producer Lawrence O’Donnell denied this.[38]

Career in finance

After serving as an advisor to Bill Clinton, in 1998 Emanuel resigned from his position in the Clinton administration and joined the investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella, where he worked until 2002.[39] Although he did not have an MBA degree or prior banking experience, he became a managing director at the firm’s Chicago office in 1999, and according to Congressional disclosures, made $16.2 million in his two-and-a-half-years as a banker.[39][40] At Wasserstein Perella, he worked on eight deals, including the acquisition by Commonwealth Edison of Peco Energy and the purchase by GTCR Golder Rauner of the SecurityLink home security unit from SBC Communications.[39]

Emanuel was named to the Board of Directors of Freddie Mac by President Clinton in 2000. He earned at least $320,000 during his time there, including later stock sales.[41][42]

During Emanuel’s time on the board, Freddie Mac was plagued with scandals involving campaign contributions and accounting irregularities.[42][43] The Obama Administration rejected a request under the Freedom of Information Act to review Freddie Mac board minutes and correspondence during Emanuel’s time as a director.[42] The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight later accused the board of having “failed in its duty to follow up on matters brought to its attention.” Emanuel resigned from the board in 2001 when he ran for Congress.[44]

Congressional career

Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Emanuel celebrate Paczki Day, February 28, 2006.


After working in investment banking, in 2002 Emanuel pursued the U.S. House seat in the 5th District of Illinois previously held by Rod Blagojevich, who successfully ran for Governor of Illinois. His strongest opponent in the crowded primary of eight was former Illinois State Representative Nancy Kaszak. During the primary, Edward Moskal, president of the Polish American Congress, a political action committee endorsing Kaszak, called Emanuel a “millionaire carpetbagger who knows nothing” about “our heritage”. Moskal also falsely charged that Emanuel had dual citizenship with Israel and had served in the Israeli Army.[45] Emanuel won the primary and defeated Republican candidate Mark Augusti in the general election. Emmanuel’s inaugural election to the House was the closest he ever had, as he won over 70% of the vote in all of his re-election bids.


Emanuel was elected after the October 2002 joint Congressional resolution authorizing the Iraq War, and so did not vote on it. However, in the lead up to the resolution, Emanuel spoke out strongly in support of the war, urging a United States’ “muscular projection of force” in Iraq. Emanuel has been the focus of anti-war protests for his support of funding bills for the war in Iraq, and his support, during Democratic party primaries, of Democratic candidates that were more hawkish. In his first term, Rahm Emanuel was a founding member and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Serbian Caucus.[46]

In January 2003, Emanuel was named to the House Financial Services Committee and sat on the subcommittee that oversaw Freddie Mac. A few months later, Freddie Mac Chief Executive Officer Leland Brendsel was forced out and the committee and subcommittee commenced more than a year of hearings into Freddie Mac. Emanuel skipped every hearing allegedly for reasons of avoiding any appearance of favoritism, impropriety, or conflict of interest.[47]

House leadership

After his role in helping the Democrats win the 2006 elections, Emanuel was believed to be a leading candidate for the position of Majority Whip. Nancy Pelosi, who became the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, persuaded him not to challenge Jim Clyburn, but instead to succeed Clyburn in the role of Democratic Caucus Chairman. In return, Pelosi agreed to assign the caucus chair more responsibilities, including “aspects of strategy and messaging, incumbent retention, policy development and rapid-response communications.” Caucus vice-chair John Larson remained in his role instead of running for the chairman position.[48]

After Vice President Dick Cheney asserted that he did not fall within the bounds of orders set for the executive branch, Emanuel called for cutting off the $4.8 million the Executive Branch provides for the Vice President’s office.[49]

DCCC chairman

Emanuel assumed the position of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman (DCCC) after the death of the previous chair, Bob Matsui. Emanuel led the Democratic Party’s effort to capture the majority in the House of Representatives in the 2006 elections. The documentary HouseQuake, featuring Emanuel, chronicles those elections.[50] After Emanuel’s election as chairman of the Democratic Caucus, Chris Van Hollen became committee chair for the 110th Congress.

While chairman of the DCCC, Emanuel was known to have had disagreements over Democratic election strategy with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Dean favored a “fifty-state strategy“, building support for the Democratic Party over the long term, while Emanuel believed a more tactical approach, focusing attention on key districts, was necessary to ensure victory.[51]

Emanuel speaks during the second day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

The Democratic Party gained 30 seats in the House in the 2006 elections and Emanuel received considerable praise for his stewardship of the DCCC, even from Illinois Republican Rep. Ray LaHood who said “He legitimately can be called the golden boy of the Democratic Party today. He recruited the right candidates, found the money and funded them, and provided issues for them. Rahm did what no one else could do in seven cycles.”[52] However, he also faced some criticism for his failure to support some progressive candidates, as Howard Dean advocated.[53]

Emanuel aligned himself with the Democratic Leadership Council.[54]

2008 Presidential election

Emanuel declared in April 2006 that he would support Hillary Rodham Clinton should she pursue the presidency in 2008. Emanuel remained close to Clinton since leaving the White House, talking strategy with her at least once a month as chairman of the DCCC.[8] However, Emanuel’s loyalties came into conflict when his home-state Senator, Barack Obama, expressed interest in the race. Asked in January 2007, about his stance on the Democratic presidential nomination, he said: “I’m hiding under the desk. I’m very far under the desk, and I’m bringing my paper and my phone.”[55] Emanuel remained neutral in the race until June 4, 2008, the day after the final primary contests, when he endorsed Obama.[56]

Positions on political issues

Emanuel joins Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to advocate changes to Medicare legislation, September 24, 2003.

Social issues

Emanuel is generally liberal on social issues. He has maintained a 100-percent pro-choice voting record, supports LGBT rights including same-sex marriage, and is a strong supporter of gun control, rated “F” by the NRA in December 2003.[57] He has also strongly supported the banning of numerous rifles based upon “sporting purposes” criteria.[58]

Iraq war

During his original 2002 campaign, Emanuel “indicated his support of President Bush‘s position on Iraq, but said he believed the President needed to better articulate his position to the American people”.[22] One of the major goals he spoke of during the race was “to help make health care affordable and available for all Americans”.[22]

In the 2006 congressional primaries, Emanuel, then head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, made national headlines for engineering a run by Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran with no political experience, against grassroots candidate Christine Cegelis in Illinois’ 6th District. Expedited withdrawal from Iraq was a central point of Cegelis’ campaign and Duckworth opposed a withdrawal timetable.[59]

Youth service

In his 2006 book, co-authored with Bruce Reed, The Plan: Big Ideas for America,[60] Emanuel advocated a three-month compulsory universal service program for Americans between the ages of 18 and 25. An expanded version was later proposed by Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign.

Middle east

In June 2007, Emanuel condemned an outbreak of Palestinian violence in the Gaza Strip and criticized Arab countries for not applying the same kind of pressure on the Palestinians as they have on Israel. At a 2003 pro-Israel rally in Chicago, Emanuel told the marchers that Israel was “ready for peace” but would not get there until Palestinians “turn away from the path of terror”.[61]

White House Chief of Staff

White House Chief of Staff Emanuel reads a newspaper in the Oval Office, as President Barack Obama talks on the phone on April 4, 2009.

Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office

On November 6, 2008, Emanuel accepted the Cabinet-level[62] position of White House Chief of Staff for Barack Obama.[63][64] He resigned his congressional seat effective January 2, 2009.[65] A special primary to fill his vacated congressional seat was held on March 3, 2009, and the special general election on April 7.[66] John Fritchey, a candidate for that seat, said at a forum that Emanuel had told him he may be interested in running for the seat again in the future.[67]

Some Republican leaders criticized Emanuel’s appointment because they believed it went against Obama’s campaign promises of less divisive politics, given Emanuel’s reputation as a partisan Democrat.[64] Republican Senator Lindsey Graham disagreed, saying: “This is a wise choice by President-elect Obama. He’s tough but fair, honest, direct and candid.”[68] Ira Forman, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, said that the choice indicated that Obama would not listen to the “wrong people” regarding the U.S.–Israel relationship.[61] Some commentators opined that Emanuel would be good for the Israeli–Palestinian peace process because if Israeli leaders made excuses for not dismantling settlements, Emanuel would be tough and pressure the Israelis to comply.[69][70] Some Palestinians expressed dismay at Emanuel’s appointment.[71][72]

In a 2009 article in The New York Times, Emanuel was characterized as being “perhaps the most influential chief of staff of a generation”.[73]

At a closed-door meeting in the White House with liberal activists, Emanuel called them “fucking retarded” for planning to run TV ads attacking conservative Democrats who didn’t support Obama’s health-care overhaul. In February 2010, Emanuel apologized to organizations for the mentally handicapped for using the word “retarded.” He expressed his regret to Tim Shriver, the chief executive of the Special Olympics after the remark was reported in an article by The Wall Street Journal about growing liberal angst at Emanuel. The apology came as former Alaska Governor and conservative activist Sarah Palin called on President Obama to fire Emanuel via her Facebook page.[74][75]

As Chief of Staff, Emanuel was known for his good sense of humor. During a staff meeting, when Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra gave uniformly upbeat reports, Emanuel is said to have looked at him and said: “Whatever you’re taking, I want some.”[76] Emanuel had a hand in war strategy, political maneuvering, communications and economic policy. Bob Woodward wrote in Obama’s Wars that Emanuel made a habit of calling up CIA Director Leon Panetta and asking about the lethal drone strikes aimed at Al Qaeda, asking “Who did we get today?”[77]

In 2010, Emanuel was reported to have conflicts with other senior members of the president’s team and ideological clashes over policy. He was also the focal point of criticism from left-leaning Democrats for the administration’s perceived move to the center. By September 2010, with the Democrats anticipating heavy losses in midterm elections, this was said to precipitate Emanuel’s departure as Chief of Staff.[78]

Mayor of Chicago


On September 30, 2010, it was announced that Emanuel would leave his post as White House Chief of Staff to run for Mayor of Chicago.[79] He was replaced by Pete Rouse on October 2, 2010.

Emanuel’s eligibility for office was challenged on the basis of his lack of residency in Chicago for one year prior to the election. The Board of Elections and the Cook County Circuit Court affirmed his eligibility. A divided Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court, holding on January 24, 2011, that residency for purposes of a candidate is different from residency for purposes of being a voter.[80] A further appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court resulted in a unanimous decision reversing the Court of Appeals and affirming Emanuel’s eligibility.[81][82]

Emanuel’s mayoral campaign was the inspiration for a satirical Twitter account, @MayorEmanuel, which received over 43,000 followers, more popular than Emanuel’s actual Twitter account. Emanuel announced on February 28 that if the author would reveal himself, he would donate $5,000 to the charity of the author’s choice.[83] When Chicago journalist Dan Sinker revealed himself, Emanuel donated the money to Young Chicago Authors, a community organization which helps young people with writing and publishing skills.[84]

Emanuel (left) at the 2012 Hyde Park Obama campaign office

Emanuel was elected on February 22, 2011 with 55% of the vote[85] and was sworn in as the 55th Mayor of Chicago on May 16, 2011 at the Pritzker Pavilion. At his inauguration were outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley, Vice President Joe Biden, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and William M. Daley, brother of the outgoing mayor and who would later serve as White House Chief of Staff.[86][87] Emanuel is Chicago’s first Jewish mayor.[88]


Emanuel assembled a transition team from varied backgrounds.[89][90] On August 16, 2011, Emanuel unveiled “Healthy Chicago,” the city’s first-ever public health blueprint with the Chicago Department of Public Health‘s Commissioner Bechara Choucair.[91] Emanuel initiated the consolidation of City Council committees from 19 to 16 in a cost control effort.[92] On November 16, the city council voted unanimously to adopt the mayor’s first budget, which decreased the budget by $34 million and increased spending by $46.2 million, supported by increasing fees and fines. Despite most Aldermen opposing cuts to library workers and the closure of mental health clinics, they ultimately supported it, calling it “honest”.[93][94]

In November, Emanuel rejected Freedom of Information Act requests by The Chicago Tribune for various communication and information logs for himself and his staff, labelling it “unduly burdensome.” After a second request by the Tribune, they were informed that 90 percent of the emails had been deleted by Emanuel and his top aides.[95] As a result, Emanuel came under fire for going against his campaign promise to create “the most open, accountable, and transparent government that the City of Chicago has ever seen.”[96]

Controversy arose in 2011 over the tax-exempt status of Lollapalooza, an annual summer music festival in Grant Park. With Emanuel’s brother Ari being the CEO of William Morris Endeavor, which co-owns the event, the Mayor asked the City Council to appoint an independent third party negotiator, to avoid having the negotiation seen as biased. Although the deal was reached before Emanuel took office, tax breaks must be negotiated every year.[97] It was later revealed that the festival received its tax exemption for 2011 in the final days of the Daley administration.[98] In 2012, Lollapalooza paid taxes for the first time in seven years and extended its contract to host in Grant Park through 2021.[99]

In August 2012, a federal lawsuit was filed by eleven Chicago police officers alleging they were removed from the mayoral security detail and replaced with officers who worked on Emanuel’s mayoral campaign, in violation of the 1983 Shakman Decree, which bars city officials from making political considerations in the hiring process.[100]

On October 30, Emanuel voiced his support for the demolition of the abandoned Prentice Women’s Hospital Building, in order for Northwestern University, which owns the property, to build a new facility. Preservationists supported historical landmark status.[101] Days later, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks voted that the building met landmark status criteria then reversed their decision later in the same meeting. On November 15, a judge granted a temporary stay of the decision in order for a lawsuit filed by preservation coalitions against the landmark commission to be heard.[102]

At a news conference in November 2012, Emanuel listed his top three priorities for the state legislature as security and pension reform, adding a casino to Chicago, and marriage equality.[103] At a press conference with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who previously vetoed legislation to put a casino in Chicago, the two were “very close” to reaching a deal.[104]

In an attempt to improve public health in Chicago, in 2013 Emanuel endorsed The Engine 2 Diet and made a public appearance with its author Rip Esselstyn.[105]

2012 Teacher strike

During the contract negotiations between the city the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), compromise could not be reached over issues like health insurance increases, teacher evaluations, and seniority pay increases.[106] On August 8, 2012, the CTU voted 90% to authorize a strike.[107] On September 10, the Chicago Teachers Union began a strike[108] after CTU President Lewis declared that negotiations with the city were not succeeding.[109] On September 14, the CTU reached a tentative agreement with the city which included preferences for teachers who have been laid off due to a school closing to be hired in another school and student test scores having less of a role in teacher evaluations than the city had originally planned.[110] This tentative agreement did not hold, and the strike continued, after which Emanuel announced his intention to seek a legal injunction, forcing teachers back to work.[111] On September 17, Emanuel’s efforts to end the strike stalled as the walkout went into the second week.[112] Delegates from the CTU voted to end the strike on September 18, 2012,[113][114] and students began their return to the schools the following day.[115]

Electoral history

US House of Representatives
U.S. House, 5th District of Illinois (General Election)
Year Winning candidate Party Pct Opponent Party Pct Opponent Party Pct
2002 Rahm Emanuel Democratic 67% Mark Augusti Republican 29% Frank Gonzalez Libertarian 4%
2004 Rahm Emanuel (inc.) Democratic 76% Bruce Best Republican 24%
2006 Rahm Emanuel (inc.) Democratic 78% Kevin White Republican 22%
2008 Rahm Emanuel (inc.) Democratic 74% Tom Hanson Republican 22% Alan Augustson Green 4%
Mayor of Chicago
Chicago Mayoral Election, 2011[116] (General Election)
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Nonpartisan Rahm Emanuel 323,546 55.25%
Nonpartisan Gery Chico 140,362 23.97%
Nonpartisan Miguel del Valle 54,342 9.28%
Nonpartisan Carol Moseley Braun 52,483 8.96%
Nonpartisan Patricia Van Pelt Watkins 9,604 1.64%
Nonpartisan William “Dock” Walls III 5,291 0.90%

Personal life

Emanuel and his wife, Amy Merritt Rule, have a son and two daughters and the family lives in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side.[117] Rule converted to Judaism shortly before their wedding.[118] Emanuel is a close friend of fellow Chicagoan David Axelrod, chief strategist for the 2008 and 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, and Axelrod signed the ketuba, the Jewish marriage contract, at Emanuel’s wedding.[31] The Emanuels are members of the Chicago synagogue Anshe Sholom B’nai Israel.[22] Rabbi Asher Lopatin of the congregation described Emanuel’s family as “a very involved Jewish family,” adding that “Amy was one of the teachers for a class for children during the High Holidays two years ago.”[22] Emanuel has said of his Judaism: “I am proud of my heritage and treasure the values it has taught me.”[22]

Emanuel trains for and participates in triathlons.[8] In 2011, he scored 9th out of 80 competitors in his age group. A passionate cyclist, he rides a custom-built, state-of-the-art Parlee road bike.[119]

While a high school student working part-time at an Arby’s restaurant, Emanuel severely cut his right middle finger on a meat slicer, which was later infected from swimming in Lake Michigan. His finger was partially amputated due to the severity of the infection.[120]



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  5. Jump up ^ Littleton, Cynthia (February 27, 2009). “WMA, Endeavor approve merger”. Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  6. Jump up ^ Tom Negovan. “Rahm Emanuel: Mayor of the People”. Michigan Avenue. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  7. ^ Jump up to: a b Pfeffer, Anshel and Shlomo Shamir (November 6, 2006). “Obama’s first pick: Israeli Rahm Emanuel as chief of staff”. Haaretz. Retrieved November 6, 2008.
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Further reading

  • Bendavid, Naftali (May 8, 2007). The Thumpin’: How Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats Learned to Be Ruthless and Ended the Republican Revolution. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-52328-8.

External links

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