Braun headed south for fund-raisers
BY Fran Spielman and Abdon M. Pallasch Staff Reporters January 25, 2011 4:32PM
Carol Moseley Braun | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times
Updated: March 8, 2011 1:24PM
Mayoral hopeful Carol Moseley Braun has needled rival Rahm Emanuel for going to Hollywood to rake in campaign cash. But, she’s apparently not above leaving town to do the same.
On Wednesday, Braun is scheduled to be in Washington D.C. for a fund-raiser sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus. She’s also expected to be the honored guest at a luncheon fund-raiser hosted by the National Organization for Women, which has already endorsed her candidacy for mayor.
Braun is scheduled to return to Chicago for Thursday’s first mayoral debate, then travel to New Orleans for a Friday fund-raiser hosted by what campaign spokeswoman Renee Ferguson calls “a great big group of friends” she has in the Big Easy.
After raising just over $450,000 to Rahm Emanuel’s $11.7 million and Gery Chico’s $2.5 million, Braun has cut two campaign commercials she cannot afford to air. She needs money to get them on TV.
One of the spots is biographical. The other Ferguson described as a clever ad focusing on the universally-despised 75-year, $1.15 billion deal that privatized Chicago parking meters and raised rates sky-high.
Braun has promised repeatedly to cancel the parking meter lease, something that Chico and Emanuel insist cannot be done. They have noted that all but $76 million of the money has already been spent and that the private contractor has spent millions replacing old meters with pay-and-display boxes.
Asked Tuesday how much Braun expects to raise at the Washington and New Orleans fund-raisers, Ferguson joked, “Eleven million dollars.”
Earlier this week, Braun openly appealed for campaign contributions after the state Appellate Court temporarily threw Emanuel off the ballot on grounds that he did not comply with a residency rule that requires candidates to live in Chicago for at least one year prior to the election.
“We’ve always had a poor campaign with a rich message. While we hope that it will be less poor [with Emanuel out of the race], our message is consistent and the same — that I have the ability to deliver for all the people of Chicago to help move our city in the right direction,” Braun said.
When Emanuel held a fund-raiser in Los Angeles, Braun said, “On this day when President Obama and Illinois Democrats are still recovering from the painful political debacle that he was the architect of, Rahm Emanuel is off in Hollywood hanging out with bankers and billionaires. But maybe Hollywood is where he belongs because the story of how he ‘helped’ the Obama administration Enhanced Coverage Linking when he was chief of staff is indeed fiction.”