Slow Preckwinkle fundraising boosts Emanuel’s allies
BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter April 16, 2014 11:58AM
The slow pace of fundraising by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel convinced she does not plan to challenge him for mayor. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times
Updated: May 19, 2014 1:45PM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s camp is more convinced than ever Toni Preckwinkle is not planning to run for mayor after perusing the Cook County Board president’s latest campaign finance report.
The quarterly report filed Tuesday shows Preckwinkle with $696,812 on hand after raising $169,455 the first three months of this year and spending $376,367.
“If she was serious about running, she wouldn’t be spending so much and raising so little,” said a source in the mayor’s camp.
The source noted that any effort to ramp up quickly would be hamstrung by a state campaign financing law limiting contributions to $5,300 from individuals, $10,500 from corporations and labor organizations, and $52,600 from political action committees or candidate political committees.
Preckwinkle’s camp countered that she has the time to put together the resources to bankroll a competitive mayoral campaign if that’s what she decides to do.
Unions at odds with the mayor can spend unlimited amounts, provided they do not coordinate with Preckwinkle’s campaign.
Preckwinkle is unopposed for re-election in November. To run for mayor, she would need to get re-elected and turn right around and declare her candidacy against Emanuel. That’s what then-State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley did in 1988.
Emanuel has $7.4 million on hand after raising another $1.4 million during the first three months of this year.
The mayor’s support among African-American voters has plummeted, and Preckwinkle is the challenger City Hall fears most. But Emanuel told the Sun-Times last month that Preckwinkle had assured him privately that she has no intention of running for mayor.
Emanuel said he took Preckwinkle at her word, even though she’s been the most outspoken critic of the mayor’s school closings, charter school openings, school budget cuts and the seven-day teachers strike Emanuel helped to instigate.