Rahm Emanuel’s $100,000 Club
By Abdon M. PallascH Political Reporterapallasch@suntimes.com January 21, 2011 7:58PM
Rahm Emanuel greets employees at Hu-Friedy (a dental instruments maker), 3232 N. Rockwell, during a tour of the facility Friday, Jan. 21, 2011, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: April 30, 2011 4:47AM
Local and national hedge fund managers and movie industry moguls helped mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel collect more than $10 million in a mere three months for his mayoral run.
Twenty-four supporters gave $100,000 or more to the campaign before new limits on contributions kicked in Jan. 1. Now individuals can give only $5,000 each per election cycle, so director Steven Spielberg would not be able to give the $75,000 he donated last year.
Emanuel’s rivals for the mayor’s seat find those big-dollar contributions — especially the out-of-town ones — worrisome.
“This ... is an obscene amount of money,” said City Clerk Miguel del Valle. “This is Chicago. We should not be picking a mayor of the city of Chicago based on what Hollywood star or what Hollywood tycoon is able to provide ... funding for the mayoral candidate.”
Del Valle conceded Spielberg was probably not looking for a city contract.
“We’ve raised nearly $3 million, the vast majority of our money has come from the Chicagoland area,” said former School Board Chief Gery Chico. “Rahm Emanuel has raised that much from outside the city, Hollywood.”
But Emanuel said his successful friends will be as willing to give money to worthy causes in Chicago as they are to his campaign.
“I am proud and happy that Steve Jobs, who runs Apple, one of the most successful CEOs, supported that campaign,” Emanuel said. “Eric Schmidt from Google, supported the candidacy, Google has a big operation in Chicago. Eli Broad, one of the big philanthropists who sponsors and funds education reform, has supported the candidacy, These are the people, on behalf of Chicago, I will be, not owing them, but some of the people I will be calling upon when I talk about a public-private partnertship, a race to the top, for Chicago for education reform, to invest in ... better quality teachers. I will be calling upon those individuals to join Chicago and invest in Chicago’s future.”
Three quarters of his contributors are local, Emanuel said, but he could not say what percentage of the cash was from local contributors.
Here are the members of Emanuels’ $100,000 Club:
■ The Chicago Mercantile Exchange: $200,000.
■ Haim & Cheryl Saban of Beverly Hills, Calif. Saban Entertainment. He’s the CEO of the Fox Family Network and creator of the Power Rangers movies. Combined they gave more than half-a million dollars. The campaign refunded $300,000, because, Emanuel said, “I set a cap [of $200,000 per couple] and so Haim Saban [is] somebody I will be calling upon to invest in Chicago so I can get schools to the quality the people here want.”
■ David and Diane Heller of Chicago. He’s the investment manager of Advisory Research: $200,000.
The following donors gave $100,000 each:
■ Blue Media LLC, a Chicago-based private equity and consulting firm. Eric Lefkofsky, president.
■ Netscape founder James Clark, Palm Beach, Fla.
■ Donald Edwards, Edwards, Enterprises LLC, Chicago.
■ Newsweb Executive Fred Eychaner, of Chicago, a longtime donor to Democrats on the national and local level.
■ John Fogelman of Los Angeles, Calif., a Hollywood agent and partner of Emanuel’s brother, Ari.
■ Hollywood mogul David Geffen of Beverly Hills, Calif.
■ Retired hedge fund manager Howard Gottlieb of Evanston
■ Anne Dias Griffin, managing partner of Aragon Global Management of Chicago.
■ Kenneth Griffin, president, Citadel Investment Group of Chicago
■ Kristen Hayler Hertel, a Winnetka homemaker.
■ Matthew Hulsizer of Winnetka, Hedge fund manager, CEO of Peak6 Investments; aspiring owner of the Phoenix Coyotes.
■ Shahid R. Kahn of Champaign, Ill. Executive of Flex-n-gate.
■ David Kronfeld, president of JK&B Capital of Chicago
■ Howard Labkon, recycler, General Iron Industries of Chicago.
■ John Morgan, of Minneapolis, CEO of Winmark Corp.
■ Timothy Mullen of Chicago, self-employed private investor
■ Sean Parker, of Berkeley, Calif., a co-founder of Napster and Facebook portrayed by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network.
■ Michael Sacks, Managing partner of Grosvenor Capital Management of Chicago.
■ Sterling Fund Management LLC, of Northbrook.
Contributing: Chris Fusco, Tim Novak