Forbes Editorial | March 25, 2015
As the city approaches financial bankruptcy,
Chicago's elite's line-their-pockets with taxpayer money.
There is real pain in Chicago.
In the last four years, 10,000 shootings have left the city scarred. Nearly 21,000 students are trapped in failing schools. Homeowners face rising property taxes - monthly property tax payments now rival mortgage payments. One million residents have fled the city since 1950 for prosperity elsewhere.
As a mayoral candidate in 2010-11, Rahm Emanuel gave regular people hope with his repeated assertion that he would "stop pay-to-play in City Hall" and "end the historical culture of corruption."
In the months following his election, Emanuel seemed to execute on his promise by signing an executive order preventing city contractors from giving campaign cash to the mayor's funds.
Last week, our organization American Transparency - with the data at OpenTheBooks.com - fact checked Emanuel's ethics policy for the John Stossel Special, Chicago Corruption...
Is Pay-to-Play in Chicago Still Legal? Watch Stossel Show click here
Here's what we found: 600 city vendors gave Emanuel $7 million in campaign cash during the past four years and received $2 billion in city payments since 2002.
And here's how we found that data: We looked at a universe of 1,500 companies or their affiliated employees funding Rahm Emmanuel's campaign since 2010. We then matched those company names with payments from the City of Chicago vendor checkbook.
But there's a deeper problem. Our so-called leaders are funding a decadent and corrupt machine that exists to serve themselves rather than the city. The players are extracting extreme and undue profits as the city careens into financial insolvency. Residents face bleak futures while the players enjoy bright futures. The fact that Chicago is famous for this "machine" is disgraceful.
The hard truth is our elites - business and civic leaders - have sold the city out.
Join the Transparency Revolution!
Adam Andrzejewski, Chairman