New rules would have shrunk Rahm's war chest

May 16, 2011 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: Richard M. Daley's parting words and Rahm Emanuel's first moves as mayor.

The new mayor, Emanuel, has fulfilled a campaign promise to make city government more transparent by putting several new ethics rules into effect. Those campaign funding prohibitions do not affect the contributions Emanuel used to get elected, some of which would have violated the new rules.

More on that in moment. Let's start though with the man he replaces, Richard M. Daley.

Monday morning, Daley walked in to Pritzker Pavilion as Chicago's mayor. Two hours later he left as a Chicago civilian.

"Mayor Rahm Emanuel. To see him with a wonderful presentation, with a personal feeling about the city-- and that's what he's learned in the campaign. He'll continue to learn that, this is a fabulous, wonderful city for only one reason: because of its people," Daley said.

Among the things Daley leaves to his successor: Protesters against possible City College budget cuts.

Once the festivities ended, newly sworn Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his family walked from Michigan Avenue to City Hall. A column of Chicago police on bicycles escorted him to his new office. Once there, Emanuel took up a position at his fifth floor desk and signed a half-dozen executive orders.

Three of the orders create new ethics rules and three reissue orders put in place by Mayor Daley. Among them:

  • A prohibition of new appointees from lobbying city government for two years after leaving the administration,
  • a ban on city employees from being pressured to make political contributions to their superiors, including to the mayor,
  • and am order that stop city lobbyists from making political contributions to the mayor.
"You can't expect people to change if you don't lead by example," Emanuel said.

This will indeed be a change for Emanuel as well. As a candidate, Emanuel took numerous large donations from companies that do business with the city, according to the most recent state election records, including those who manage city pension funds.

Emanuel raised more than $14 million in the ramp up to his winning mayoral bid. Even after winning the election, Emanuel continued to accept donations from supporters who have city contracts. The mayor's campaign fund, Chicago for Rahm Emanuel, has nearly $1.9 million in it, according to state records, including money from donors that would be unacceptable under the ethics rules he signed Monday.

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