Trump has never been even a glimpse of a thought in my head for President. I have said that his business experience would lend to a great POTUS, but some of his statements in the past make me wary of him. This article was the final nail to make me think he is a nightmare if he decides to run now.
Rahm Emanuel has tapped his super-agent brother Ari’s Hollywood money network big-time in his bid to become Chicago mayor, gobbling up five- and six-figure checks from the likes of Steven Spielberg, “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, Dreamworks mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, and the Napster founder played by Justin Timberlake in “The Social Network.”
But Emanuel’s stunning multi-million haul wasn’t limited to the bright lights of the sunset strip — it also included huge payouts from CEOs and hedge fund managers across from New York to Silicon Valley, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.
Emanuel’s shop announced Thursday afternoon it had collected $11.7 million, including $1.1 million already in the former congressman’s funds, since unofficially launching his campaign in October. That total — almost identical to what Gov. Pat Quinn spent in his statewide gubernatorial race this fall — puts Emanuel in a strong position as he tries to replace long-time mayor Richard M. Daley.
Emanuel already has spent $2.2 million on friend David Axelrod’s Chicago-based communications firm to produce commercials that remind Chicago voters that the man who lived in DC for the past year and a half is still a native son.
All state candidates in Illinois had to submit their financial disclosures by midnight for fundraising conducted before Jan. 1. Emanuel benefited greatly from a lag time in the implementation of newly enacted campaign finance reform laws. In 2010, any individual could donate an unlimited amount to any state or municipal candidate, but now the amount is capped at $5,000.
Trump and Jobs donated $50,000, while Spielberg forked over $75,000 and Rubin gave $10,000.
Sorkin ponied up $10,000 and Sean Parker — the creator of Napster played by Timberlake in Sorkin’s blockbuster “The Social Network” — donated $100,000. Record executive Geffen also gave $100,000. Katzenberg wrote a check for $25,000.
A POLITICO review of financial disclosure documents posted on the Illinois Board of Elections website late Thursday night reveals that nearly two dozen donors cut one-time six-figure checks for Emanuel before 2011.
The high-ticket contributors ranged from a “homemaker” in Winnetka, a neighboring suburb to where Emanuel much of his adolescence, to Hollywood agent John Fogelman — who works for the agency where Emanuel’s brother Ari is CEO.
The CEO of Fox Family Network, Haim Saban, gave two separate times within a period of four days in November, with the first donation being $300,000 and the second $100,000.
The CEOs of Blackrock, Abbott, Chevron, Walgreens and Winmark gave thousands. Warren Buffett’s daughter Susan also gave, as did News Corporation COO Charles Casey, who donated $1,000. James Clark — the founder of Netscape who lives in Palm Beach and was listed as “retired” on the official disclosures — was a member of the $100,000 club.
While the names of business pioneers, stars and Obama administration regulars stood out on a hundreds-page long list — former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers chipped in $5000 and OMB top staffer Jeff Zients gave $10,000 — famous Chicago families still played a primary role in boosting Emanuel’s historic haul.
The Pritzkers and the Crowns, long known in the area not just for their family holdings but also their political involvement gave in the six-figures. The Pritzkers have given $201,998 to Emanuel’s campaign, basically a third of the total reported by competitor Carol Moseley Braun’s shop in the same pre-new year fundraising period. The Crowns gave $115,000 — and that’s not including those associated with the Henry Crown and Co. not bearing the Crown name.
The Chicago Mercantile exchange cut a check for $200,000, dozens of lawyers from top city law firms, especially Kirkland and Ellis, also gave in the thousands. Local real estate and finance moguls gave $50,000 donations by the handfuls.
Even the owner of the famous Chicago deli Manny’s — long claimed as a favorite by top Obama adviser David Axelrod — pitched in $1,000.
With one month before Chicago’s election, Emanuel’s $11.7 million dollar figure puts him leaps and bounds ahead of the second-most successful fundraiser to date, former Daley aide and Chicago schools chief Gery Chico, who has taken in approximately $2.3 million so far.
Carol Moseley Braun, who polls show in second place behind Emanuel, is expected to have about $800,000 on hand, her campaign said.